Can I offer a piece of advice? Don’t take one ski lesson and think you’ve got it down because you don’t! After my first ski lesson at Pass Powderkeg, I was feeling so confident and ready to conquer the mountain but really, I wasn’t there yet. Thank goodness I signed up for more than one lesson!
I was super happy to have Michael as my instructor again this time. He told me to work with other instructors because everyone has different valuable knowledge, but his peppy energy matches my own which makes for a fun time.
We started off on the bunny hill again and reviewed the skills learned in Lesson 1 and practiced hockey stops. I was feeling so confident I wanted to hit the runs, but I waited patiently until Michael though I was ready. And then we got to the first green run and I realized I was definitely still a beginner!
I looked down at the first part of the run which is decidedly steeper than the bunny hill and that confidence flew away into the wind. It was up on Turtle Mountain in minutes. How was I going to make my way down that?
Michael showed me what he wanted my ‘S’ curves to look like and then he went ahead of me to show me as well.
I really like having an instructor to demonstrate what exactly the run should look like, because then I can compare it to what I do. In this case, I cut my turns shorter than he did because I was too nervous to pick up speed.
When we got to a straight part of the run we stopped and talked about how to turn using just the pressure of your big toes to maintain momentum on the flat part. This is one part of snowboarding I do not miss- hitting a very flat part of the run and having to bomb through or clip out and walk. With skiing, I gently glided along making my turns (the ‘Nancy Green’ turns as Michael called them).
Seeing my nerves, Michael had me undergo an exercise to build my confidence; it also showed how much I trust him. On a gentler part of the run he had me practice plowing backwards. I timidly listened for his voice and gently plowed down toward it, all the while super nervous about not seeing where I was going. It wasn’t until I reached him that he said “You could have turned and looked over your shoulder!” It was a great trust exercise, and it also showed me what to do if I was to get turned around going down the run.
We took the T-bar back up which is so much nicer as a skier than a snowboarder! When you snowboard, the bar goes between your legs and pulls you up by one leg. With skiing, you tuck it below your bum and let it push you up.
As we continued going down this run, I gained a lot of confidence – on one side. I felt so strong and good with my right leg that my left turns were nice and sharp, and I hockey stopped pretty well on that side. My left side was a different story. Instead of trusting my leg and putting my weight into it, I would use my upper body to turn to the right.
Michael had me try a few different exercises to finesse those turns, but at the end of the day, I still needed some work. On that note, I am SO GLAD I still have two more lessons! I can’t imagine what it would have been like learning to ski without instruction! Or with one lesson on the bunny hill and then figuring it out by trial and error.
Learn to Turn
I have to plug this program again because like I said, one lesson just isn’t enough! The Learn to Turn program at Pass Powderkeg is a super affordable way to learn to ski or snowboard. Here’s how it works;
- Lesson 1- For $65 you get a 2-hour lesson, rental, and lift ticket
- Lessons 2-4 (Progression package)- For $140-$160 you get three lessons to solidify your skills
- Free seasons pass for the 2018/2019 season!
- 50% off season equipment rentals.
- 25% off a 2019/2020 seasons pass
Who says skiing has to be expensive right?
Don’t be a dope on the slope and try to teach yourself when this is an affordable option!
About Pass Powderkeg
Pass Powderkeg is a non-profit hill operated by the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass that focuses on the customer experience more so than profits. They are super passionate about getting families out spending a day on the slopes and encouraging newbies to take up this fun winter sport. Pass Powderkeg and I have the same philosophy- get outside as a family and enjoy winter!
I have two more lessons and I can’t wait to get out there and get my left leg working properly! I’ll be skiing like a champ in no time. Watching the families on the hill is so cute and I can’t wait until TyTy and I will be out enjoying the slopes together!