A Family Adventure


Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Isaac intro lesson at Bretton Woods

December 13, 2015
Emilie Phillips

There is no snow around here, so when Isaac wanted to go skiing with his new skis from the ski swap, we headed north to Bretton Woods. All the usual logistical issues slowed us down in the morning. We ate lunch at the ski area and then headed up the chairlift.

Happy on the chairlift

Happy on the chairlift

Isaac really wanted to ride the chair, so we didn’t bother trying to find a magic carpet. The open runs were all green, so it hardly mattered where we went. I put on my ski instructor hat and we made our way down the slope under the chairlift. Tyson and I have read a bit about intro skier techniques, and one of them is to skip the wedge and just use side slip and parallel turns. So I started working with Isaac on athletic stance and getting him to move his body in the direction he wanted his skis to go.

20151213-131754-19-BrettonWoods

The trail was really too steep for this sort of intro lesson, and narrow with sharp drop offs on the side where the man made snow ended, but we made some really good progress. He learned to turn his skis up the hill when he wanted to stop. He could almost do a right hand parallel turn while holding my hands. And, he discovered one time while lying on the snow, that if he kept his skis below him, he could choose to slide down the hill or stop himself by varying the angle of his skis.

Isaac controlling his own speed

Isaac controlling his own speed

But eventually he got frustrated with not quite being able to ski the turns. So we put his harness on and pointed him down the hill. Just before the bottom, I spotted the actual bunny hill. We diverted over there and Tyson took over teaching. At first he tried coaching Isaac to turn and used the harness to keep Isaac slow. That didn’t work. Isaac would do step turns at the last minute to avoid obstacles, but otherwise just went straight down the hill. And he complained that Dad wasn’t skiing him in the right direction. So Tyson switched to letting Isaac go as fast as he wanted (which wasn’t too fast on the bunny hill) and Tyson just used the harness to stop him if he was about to run into another beginner skier. That worked much better. Isaac took a couple tumbles and then decided he should learn turns to slow himself down. After a very frustrating and grumpy middle, we ended the day with two good runs; Isaac grinning the whole way because he was doing it by himself.

Exhausted Isaac

Exhausted Isaac

A group of little kids was taking a lesson on the bunny hill. Isaac watched them the whole time and now wants us to take him skiing with other kids.