Learning how to ski

For the first time since I started my ski lessons, I experienced the glory of powder. Sure, it wasn’t the nice untracked stuff that you get on the upper mountain, but it was much nicer than the hard packed snow I’d become used to over the past few weeks.

  • Mar. 28, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Ski lesson classmate Denise and instructor Bob Livsey.

For the first time since I started my ski lessons, I experienced the glory of powder. Sure, it wasn’t the nice untracked stuff that you get on the upper mountain, but it was much nicer than the hard packed snow I’d become used to over the past few weeks.

This week it was lesson three. I’m getting used to the drill, show up early for rentals, and then wait for my instructor to arrive. But this week I had a couple of unexpected surprises.

The first surprise was I wasn’t alone. My past two lessons, despite being group lessons, were just my instructor and I. This week, Denise from Regina, Saskatchewan joined me for the adventure of lesson three.

The second surprise was when my instructor arrived. It was Nature Bob. Nature Bob is a nature guide, ski instructor, and artist in Fernie. I met him for the first time when I had just arrived in Fernie, and was doing a story on the Christmas Bird Count.

Denise had had a lesson in the morning with Bob, which meant she had had a chance to warm up and get her ski legs.

Bob started off the lesson by asking me if I preferred fast or slow.

Something I’ve found over my past couple  of lessons is that slow isn’t always easiest when it comes to skiing. Speed, I’m finding, helps give the momentum to make the turns, which Bob told me has to do with centrifugal force.

In my last lesson I struggled with my T-Rex arms, which kept sneaking up on me. I’d start off at the top of the run, arms loose and extended in front of me. Half way down the run, I looked like I belonged in Jurassic Park.

Unfortunately, the T-Rex arms were a bit of an issue again in lesson three, but as we learned to use our poles to time our turns my arms started staying where I put them.

Bob also worked with me on moving away from the snowplow and into parallel turns.

As we worked with our poles, which timed our turns, I found that it was easier for my skis to move together and to move away from my big turns and into the little turns you see when a good skier moves down the hill.

I felt much more confident and balanced over my skis, and after watching a video Nature Bob had made on his iPhone of one of my last runs I could see what I need to work on: Hands forward, knees closer together, feet moving parallel, and move away from the snowplow.

The ski lesson wasn’t all about skiing though. Nature Bob gave us some lessons about the rocks and the trees on our way up the ski lift. We learned a bit about how the mountains were formed, about the sediment placement, and about the forest canopy and cedar trees.

Bob’s style of teaching was much different than my last with Luke. Bob focused more on technical explanations where Luke used images like grapes in my ski boots, and flashlights on my knees. But learning with a variety of instructors, I think, is helping me learn more than I would with one.

On to lesson four.

Just Posted

Burn rules loosen in Kootenays as weather eases fire concerns

Category 2 and 3 fires will be allowed in most areas — but know the regulations

Final year for Tears and Gears

Popular event holds happy memories for valley athletes

National Western Regional Mine Rescue Competition a blast

Rescue teams gathered from Canada and the Northwestern United States

Trails in Fernie’s Ridgemont area reopen

The Fernie Trails Alliance announced the reopening on social media, Friday

Latest round of Columbia River Treaty talks wrap up in Cranbrook

Federal, provincial, U.S. and Indigenous representatives recently met for eight round of discussions

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Most Read