Let it begin!
We’ve had a strange kind of weather in the last few weeks, but the main point is we have snow, and Whistler has been opened a week early. Not all the lifts are running, and Blackcomb will be opening on schedule, but the locals are coming out in full force. I have to go to the post office early, and I manage to gape at the line that goes all the way to the Grocery Store in the middle village.
I also see the lesson tents setting up, and decide to try my luck. I know we get free lessons, but nobody is certain when they begin. As it turns out, neither do the instructors, but I’m told if I show up in 15 minutes, I can join the day lesson. There’s no way I can get ready in that time (it’ll take me that long just to get up staff hill again), but if I show up at 12:30, I can join the half day lesson, which I do.
I end up in a group with just two other people, one of which joins later. My Instructor is a man named Dick, who starts us with basics like getting the stupid things on, and learning how to turn and pull yourself along with your poles, before letting us try a very small hill/ramp to see how we control. I’ve had approximately 2 lessons over 15 years ago, but more of it comes back to me than you’d think, so I quickly outpace the others, and Dick leaves the other students with the other teacher to give me some one on one teaching.
We have to head up the bunny hill, which is at Olympic Station, the best place for learners in Whistler. Rather than a chairlift, there is a magic carpet, which is basically a rolling floor upwards. Takes several minutes to get to the top, and it stops regularly, but it gets you to a decent height with a hill to work with – you just have to watch from above since other, more advanced trails finish on the learners hill.
All things considered, I was picking things up very well. After 3 hours, I was linking my turns and controlling my speed with a lot of ease. Dick figures that with some more practice and another lesson and I’ll be able to handle the green routes. Planning to head out tomorrow while I still have free time to try my luck. Here’s hoping my snowboarding adventures are just as successful.