Ski Lessons

10 Things about Skiing/Snowboarding that Make me Cringe

Now that we finally have some snow in Tahoe, all of a sudden there are crowds. And lines.  When the hills get crowded, rude and foolish behavior become pervasive. I’m always amazed by the things people do that occupy the gray area between bad manners and stupidity. Here are 10 things that make me cringe:

10. Skiing or riding on terrain that you clearly are not skilled for. One word: lessons.

9. People who duck ropes to enter closed terrain “because the snow is better.” Did you see this article about the rise in deaths related to  “side country” skiing,  i.e. just out of the boundaries of ski resorts?  If you get into trouble and get hurt, you endanger your own health, but also that of the ski patrollers who have to come and fetch you.

8. Skiers and riders who lack situational awareness. If you’re ripping down the hill and you see kids in front of you, slow down. They make unpredictable turns and the more space you give them, the better. For everyone.

7.  Skiers and riders who stop in the middle of a trail where they can’t be seen from above. This is a good way to get  hit, even though…

6. … the skier/rider who is downhill has the right of way whether s/he’s crossing a trail, turning, or stopping. Always.

5. Getting in the doubles line when you’re single. It just messes everything up.

4. People who step out of their skis/board and just leave their gear sitting at the bottom of the stairs or entrance to the lodge.   The racks are there for a reason, people.

3. The bro-dude slamming a PBR in line. Chances are very good that he’s not as good a skier/rider as he thinks he is and he presents a serious hazard to my family and me. Save it for Après, s’il vous plaît.

2. Adults who ski/ride without helmets.  D-U-M-B.

1. Parents who let their kids ski/ride without helmets. D-U-M-B-E-R.
What makes you crazy when you’re skiing or riding with your kids?

Skiing with Jonny Moseley

Or: That One Day that my Kids Thought I was Cool

Every once in awhile I get to do something that makes my kids think I’m sort of cool. I got to go to the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, for example, on behalf of Fitness magazine. Of course they didn’t get to come with me so it wasn’t that cool.

But I was recently invited to join Squaw Valley’s Women of Winter, program for a day where I could ski with Olympian Jonny Moseley who is the “ski ambassador” of Squaw Valley.

WOW is a day of guided skin instruction day with a mission to “ski more and talk less” (that’s my takeaway anyhow).  This day a few members of the local media had been invited but I was the only one who showed up.

We are lucky to have lots of skiing legends in our area, and we see them on the hills now and again, but it’s not like we actually make turns with them. I knew that Liam would be thrilled to get to take even one run with Jonny and so I asked the public relations rep  if Liam  could tag along. And of course Julia didn’t want to be left out. Lucky for us, Squaw graciously agreed to let them join us.

Jonny is a local legend, having won an Olympic gold medal in moguls in 1998, along with other titles too numerous to list. He’s also a super nice guy. At least he was that day. Twenty women, plus my two kids, followed Jonny all over Squaw’s upper mountain, trying to move as gracefully and powerfully down the hill as Jonny did.

At the end of our day, Jonny gave Liam a pointer:  “Push forward more in your boots,” he said.

When our day was over, Liam had just two words for me: “Thanks, Mom.”

But here’s what I imagine he was thinking: “OH MY GOD, that was the best day of skiing I’ve ever had. I SKIED IN JONNY MOSELEY’S tracks for THREE hours. He told me I’m a great skier. Dang: I have the coolest mom in the world.”

He’s a teenager so I’ll never really know, but I’m just sure that’s what he was thinking.

Ever do anything that makes your kids think you’re cool? Ever?