After a week of good cross country skiing in Yellowstone (posts forthcoming), we wanted to take Isaac downhill skiing to remind him he doesn’t always need Dad or Grandma to “be the brakes.” It is a lot easier to make turns and control speed on groomed slopes with alpine skis than windy backcountry trails on cross country gear, even if they are equally steep.
We started on the magic carpet bunny hill. Sure enough, at the top, he shied away from the hill demanding that Dad be the brakes. We convinced him to accept Tyson skiing backwards in front of him. And by half way down the bunny slope, he was skiing completely on his own. We then rode the lift up to the easy green that drops back down onto the bunny slope. The first time he needed a little help. By the third or so time, he confidently took off tracing tight little turns down the hill, heedless of us his parents at the top of the hill. Tyson and I took advantage of the moment to relax. Then we hurried to catch up. We did that same green run over and over again. By the end I could see Isaac’s legs wavering with fatigue, and the last few runs he almost gave up on turns. The very last run, he decided to ski down the steep hill at the end of the terrain park. He mustered his best turns and skied very nicely down a solidly blue-level slope.
We skied for a solid 2 hours, from 3pm until the lifts closed. It looked like just the right amount for Isaac. The cafeteria was shut by the time we finished, so we drove home and made hot chocolate.
Goals for next trip: arrive early enough to get a map and find the other green trails.