Well, I spent 2 days over at Sunburst doing my Level 2 Prep. Actually, I got there one day early and spent a few hours out on their hill, reacquainting myself with it since it had been 2 years and the only other time I was there was during a blizzard where we cut the Level 1 Exam down to 1 day (which I didn’t pass).
The hill was nice. It’s not big but adequate. The staff there was very nice. I heard they were closed a few days last week because of the warm temps (into the 50s) last week but they opened up on Thursday. Friday was kind of icy but alright. Thank God we got a nice 1" or so of snow Friday night because the snow on both Saturday and Sunday was great. I heard a lot of comments about how it was not crowded there. People were saying that once the snow melted in town, people start thinking the season is over. Interesting. Maybe that’s true.
The teaching we got was great. For our first day, we had Peter enthusiastically teach us about directional movements with our femers. I thought it was cool to use that movement when doing sideslips. We also explored functional tension in our legs when making turns. Everyone in the group, including me, saw this as a whole new way to ski almost and were kind of surprised that with all the training we’ve had, this has never been mentioned – or at least not explained as well. We did have basically all day to do this, so maybe that was the difference. Another emphasis was getting our weight/pressure to be 50/50 on our skis when doing turns – or at least being able to quickly get back to 50/50 at any given moment since you really can’t maintain 50/50 pressure on skis when progressing through a turn.
Another fun exercise we did was with a falling leaf type of drill but we’d instead fall into a downhill turn at the apex of the leaf by turning our femer downhill. That was good.
On Sunday, we had Sheri who says that her most favorite thing to do is the Level 2 Prep training. Wow. And it was good. She paid attention to what we wanted to work on and came through on that and helped us. Steve from Cascade (who I know pretty well) also lended a hand and taught us about boot/cuff pressure with a hoola hoop metaphor which we all really thought was good. Later in the day, during our teaching, he jumped in and gave us an imaginary box around our skis where we’d point to the corners with our pole to help minimize any pop during our turns.
Sheri showed us a cool way to help people get from wedge turns to parallel. You simply tell people to only wedge with one ski – either the left or right. So just turning in a wedge with your right ski puts you into a wedge turn when turning left (or as you are going right and turn left) and then after that turn, you’re skiing parallel and turning parallel. It’s cool. I’d like to see how that works with people and I’ll have to play with that a bit myself, too.
For our teaching, I got to teach how to go from Z-shaped turns to C-shaped turns. It went pretty well. I need to better plan my lesson and teach these more so that I get more confident with them (it tough to teach in front of your peers versus "never-evers" or non-instructors). But I had a simple plan which worked, provided feedback, tried to make it fun and had a very good wrap up – so I’m happy with what was basically my 2nd time teaching an intermediate lesson to my peers. I’ll have to jump in and do that more during Wednesday night clinics and that’ll help. I’ve got a year to prepare, basically. Oh and I’ll have to complete my Level 2 Portfolio, since that’s going to be required next year. No problem.
Anyway, I had fun and slept well those nights. Being on the snow 8 or more hours is a lot of work. Sometimes you’re just standing there, but if you’re on a slope, that can even be some work. All that fresh air, sun and wind also contributed to being really wiped out at the end of the day. It was good and I’m glad I went. We had a great group and had fun, Stan (inside joke). 🙂