Day 30, 4-10-02 Ski Bums Last Wednesday of 2001-2002 season.
Day 28, 3-29-02 family trip spring is here, My wife and I took our oldest daughter up for a day of skiing, not baby sitting. Jump to a crash and Volant holds up.
Day 27, 3-24-02 family trip warmer . Late start, on snow by 11am with Gina.
Day 26, 3-23-02 Family trip warmer, NJ Ski counsel race.Gina and Ski the Belt
Day 25, 3-22-02 family trip Cold! Morning took a Family lesson, not a good idea on a cold day.
Day 24, 3-20-02 Hunter Free Ski Bums, 2nd chair at 8:31, finished at 4:10 with 26 runs 34,880 vertical It snowed all day. Tested the Volant Power carve 173 with the Monster Binding. Great carving ski when you roll it on edge but I found it to be sluggish in short rotary turns. I trashed My Smart Zone on the thin cover trail. I switched to my 11:20 and ripped up the mountain The rest of the day. The conditions were bizarre. High winds caused slick spots but also left huge pockets of deep powder to float through. It took the 1st day of spring to get old man winter off his butt, but hey better late then never.
Day 23, 3-16-02 no lesson freeski, 21 runs Mountain Due race, gates on Wolvereen.
Day 22, Lesson 12, 3-10-02 Student Jim Dunlevey 1st time mono L5 Biff did very well.
Day 21, Lesson 11, 3-9-02 Ralph hartman race. My student Kevin ripping the course like a walk in the park. John S. shows us what good form looks like. I work on getting countered. It's just me.
Day 18, 19, 20 PSIA-E Level 1 exam 03/01-03/02 Hunter NY.
This was a big step for me. When I first started skiing I never gave teaching a thought. As my skill increases I thought teaching might be something attainable for me. Seeing other monoskiers teaching and moving up through the PSIA levels really gave me a boot. October 2001 I volunteered with the Adaptive Sports Foundation at Windham mountain and started my quest to be an adaptive Professional Ski Instructor of America in the Eastern division, ie, PSIA-E adaptive.
The Exam was excellent, I met some great people and we learned a lot. One thing is for sure, you can't study too much, there is a lot to know about disabilities, meds, ATS and equipment. The examiners Augie, Bob and Frank, did a great job in helping us to be relaxed and have fun, yet when it was time to demo and teach we knew it was time to do the best we could. We had the added bonus two other examiners understudying the exam. John and Kirsty, both of them have a wealth of information and skill and were very helpful. I realized pretty quick my weak points, and they helped me to direct my study to those areas. Over all I felt I had a pretty good handle on the exam, but I was unsure of the out come until my name was called as a successful candidate.
Working together with the other candidates, Larry, Charley, Kristen and Janet was great. We worked as teacher and student , demonstrated turns for each other in mono, bi, three track & four track. To observe all the technique and knowledge the others brought to the table was a great asset to my learning experience. I made some new friends and we had a great level 1 group. The experience has peaked my interest to learn much more. I feel with a lot more study, training and experience level 2 and 3 are attainable. I look forward to my next opportunity to teach. It is a total joy to take what I have learned and pass it on.
Day 17 Exam prep. 02-24-02
Day 16 Lesson 10, 02-23-02 mono-skier (Kevin)
After hours Dwight volunteered to tether me for my first time in a bi-ski. Knowing I was taking my Level one exam for mono and Bi-ski I thought it would be a good idea to get in one so I could understand how to control it and what the differences are between mono and bi. What a blast! To spite the cold , it was getting dark, and it was icy. We had a great time. I tried to turns the way I would in a mono and it did not work. I was using the Bi-Unique. The Bi ski needed more of a lean to engage the turn, then some rotary and countering to link the up smoothly. I had a blast and can't wait To get in it again on some better conditions. We skies three runs. I did half of one run with no tether. Once I felt confident in my ability to control the bi-ski I would have rethread to not be tethered but I was following orders. Great mini clinic, Thanks Dwight!
Day 15 Lesson 9 02-16-02 Observe Bi-ski lesson with Glen
Day 14 Ski Bums of NJ 1st Bus 02-13-02 Hunter NY.
I got a day off work to get in some free skiing with the ski bums.
It was a cold day but a good one. I started out on the Atomic 9:13 170cm
with the new Freedom Factory Monster Binding. The ski is still a little squarely for me
so it was back to the Atomic 11:22 180cm. This was a good to just let lose and have fun.
No testing to speak of, just working on some turns and looking for some air. The big jumps
In the park were not to my liking so I just played with what I could find by the edge of the trail.
As I ride the lift and watch the skiers, I find my self examining skiers and trying to apply what ATS skills they are using well and what they could do to improve. I guess the teacher in me has been unleashed.
Day 13 Lesson 8 02-09-02 mono-skier (Rob P.)
Day 12 Lesson 7 02-03-02 mono-skier (Kevin)
Day 11 Lesson 6 02-02-02 mono-skier (Kevin)
Day 10 Lesson 5 01-26-02 young man mono skier (Kevin)
Day 9 Lesson 4 01-19-02 Bi-ski training from (Glenn Freedman)
Day 8 Lesson 3 on 01-12-02 young man mono skier (Kevin)
Day 7 Ski Bums of NJ 1st Bus 01-09-02 Hunter NY.
The ski bums run the first bust of the year. It was a great turn out. After a fourteen inch dump on Monday, this was the Wednesday to be at Hunter. I hit snow around 8:45 to test some skis and rip it up a bit. First up was a Volkl G4 173cm big fat powder ski. Off the groomed path in the fluff this ski was a floating surf board. Very cool, nice turn control and flex. On the hard stuff it was a little more work for me to get quick edge to edge but it held it own very well. Next up the Volkl P40 F1 183cm. This is one of my all time favorit skis. But I did find it a bit stiff for the soft stuff, but then again I was having shock problems. Very bouncy, I think my shock might have lost some charge. Next up was the Atomic 9:22 Beta Ride Wide Body 180cm. Great fun ski. Pretty quick edge to edge, great long turns and good short turns. It seemed A little week in the tail for me, but that could be a tuning issue. Next up the K2 Mod X 174cm. A fun ski, a monster carving ski when rolling it over and letting it rip a trench in the snow. Strong ski! In the short turns it was lacking what I like, but I like a good challenge and I was up for working it. With a little work and focus the short turns were coming around. But this was a free ski day, who wants to work. Back to the Volkl F1 for the rest of the day. I was getting bounced around a little too much so I decided to change shocks. It did help some. I spent the rest of the after noon racking up the vertical. I did feel that my game was off , not bad, but I could not get in the zone. Anyway, beats a day at work clicking a mouse. I bottomed out my shock and bent my shock bolt again. With over thirty days on the shock and a lot of big air, it may be time to have the shock serviced.
2nd Lesson 01-05-02 Day 6 Windham Mountain NY.
This was my 2nd day teaching skiing. It was a great day.
Happy New Year 01-01-02 Day 5 Hunter NY.
My buddy Gus and I spend new years day carving up Hunter. We got on snow around 8:40am. It was a beautiful cold day. Summit temps around 14. I had a few skis I wanted to test and review. I started the day on my Rossi. 9S 167cm with a Marker M51 binding. It was fresh tracks for the taking. We skied a few runs across the front. Then disaster. Heading into Huggas there was a long clump of snow. It looked like a jump, until I hit it. It was like hitting a cement curb. The next thing I know I was sliding to a stop on my foot rest and then fell over as my ski shot off in another direction. My 9S was trashed. The ski broken under the front binding and the rear binding was blown apart. Gus took the broken ski down and came up with a new one. Next up the K2 Enemy 184cm also with a Marker M51. This is a serious ski with every thing you need to do it all. It carves like hungry electric knife. Snappy short turns are easy to find and the ski is very stable. This ski is the Enemy of hard pack and ice, it just chomps right through it. In the powder it floats like a butter fly and in bumps it stings like a bee. I zippered the bumps with this twin tip mid fat like I was dancing. I have nothing bad to say about this ski. Cliff and Way out were very hard and icy. I loved it. The word was out that Annapurna great. Snow guns were blowing hard, but it was the best kept secret on the mountain. The powder was deep and soft. Hunger became an issue so it was time to grab some lunch. Next up was the Atomic 9.22 beta race with riser. This ski is a rocket. Take it for a ride or it will take you for a ride. It carves like a dream, Lots and lots of energy. The snap out of the turn will launch you into next week if you are not paying attention. Quick snappy turns are easy to get and the edge to edge control is smoking, the ski has great stability and flex. I would have stayed on the ski for the rest of the day but the added height of the riser caused me to be a little off. After a few runs I switched back t the K2. We just racked up the runs and finished off the day with 48, 415 feet of vertical somewhere around thirty runs.
1st Lesson 12-29-01 Dar 4Windham Mountain NY.
This was my first day teaching skiing. It was a great day.
The Eval. 12-22-01 Day 3 Windham Mountain NY.
My evaluation day. This is the evaluation to show if I know how to ski well enough to at least teach the basics to another, and also to see if you were paying attention in all the past clinics. It was a busy first Saturday of lessons, so those of us for evaluation were free to ski for few runs. I started out with a Salomon scream 10 pilot 193cm. Too long, after three runs It was time to trade it in. Next up was the shortest ski in my season arsanol. The Rossignol 9S T-Power 167cm. Well, My eyes have seen the light. This ski rips! I have no complaints. After a few more runs it was time to hook up with the group for the evaluation. There were six of us being evaluated. The sun was out the snow guns were blowing, it was a beautiful day. We talked about turns, wedge turns, wedge christy, open parallel and dynamic parallel. We demonstrated such turns and watched each other ski. We moved around the mountain finding various terrain to ski on. I find it a bit of a challenge to back off and ski the flat ski skidded turn, the mono equivalent to a wedge christy, but it was fun and I can do it at will now. After lunch we met inside for some teaching talk and examples. We all passed the evaluation and next week I will be assisting in a lesson. After the evaluation was over I skied a few more runs. I have learned so much for all the clinics, I never realized what was behind teaching me to ski. Now I can join the ranks of those who taught me and help someone else to be a skier.
ATS on snow 12-15-01 Day 2 Windham Mountain NY.
I have now completed several days of training for adaptive ski teaching. The required training Clinics are "Intro to DST" (Disabled Ski Teaching), "ATS" day 1 & 2, one must be on snow, Blind/DD, 3-Track/4-Track and mono/Bi-ski. The season has got off to a very late start. We have has temps in the 70's and all the clinics have been off snow indoors. But it was a great learning experience. Today it is ATS day 2 required to be on snow. The temps have dropped and the snow guns have been making snow for a few days. To spite a day or two of rain one trail is opened and we are on it. After the morning powwow we broke up into groups and got on the snow. There was no snow at the lodge so I was helped up to the lift area to get in my mono on snow. I was some what of a messy day. Snow guns on, a weekend crowed, cloudy and cold. For most of the group this was the first day on snow this season, and the conditions were tough. Poor visibility, narrow trail with ice, bumps, bare spots and a crowd. It was very hard to hear and talk with all the guns blowing snow. I loved it. This is what you get every season when you hit Hunter opening week in November, well except for the crowd. I am glad I got a chance to ski one day last month. I had got e feel for the snow back and was ready for the season. I had made some adjustments to my mono to lower the center of gravity, last month I felt it was too high. This time I felt it was a bit too low. Not bad, but I was a bit in the back seat for my liking. I skied my Atomic 9:18 beta carve 180cm. Not much show in the load area, so it was a high lift to get on the chair. I was using spotters in ensure a good safe lode. There is no shame in using a spotter or even stooping the lift if you feel unsafe. We skied a few runs and talked about ski teaching. Most of the group was uncomfortable with the conditions so they moved down to the training area. Bob, our course leader Was kind enough to let me hook up with another group on the main mountain. I hooked up with David and his gang. We skied a few more runs and talked about skiing and student evaluation. After lunch our group met off snow for a review of the morning. Over the last few years I have been skiing with the Ski Bums of NJ, a group of hard core, all mountain, able body, vertical hound skiers. I have come to realize that in all that time skiing with them and trying to keep up, I have skied all conditions, all weather, and non stop. It was my desire to keep up and it took me a few years but last season I was skiing with the best of them run for run. There was always a challenge for me to meet and I never stayed in my comfort zone for for more then a day. I think it is a good thing to be challenged and to push your self. Then when you are faced with an unexpected situation you can pull something from your experience and work with it. The afternoon clinic ended so I headed out to the snow to grab a few more runs. With all the teaching clinics done next up is the evaluation.
Here we go! 11-13-01 Day 1 Hunter NY
The 2001 / 2002 season has started. Hunter opened Monday with snow guns a blazing. I found out too late to go Monday, but that's okay. I heard it was very wet and not so good. I headed up on Tuesday bright and early to catch first chair. I called a few friends but there where no takers so I headed up alone. That's okay with me, no better way to start a season then an independent ski day. This is what the mountain looked like at 7:45am. The temps rose quickly and before I got on snow the guns where off. Beautiful clear sky's and warm. To my surprise the lower mountain was closed. I was so excited they were opened I did not care. You take the quad up then ski Hellgate to Broadway to F lift. To get back down to the base you need to download on the quad. There was snow from top to bottom, but with some big bare spots. I got on snow about 8:20 for an 8:30 lift only to find out the lift would open at 9am. My Salomon Scream 10 Pilot 193cm was the ski of choice to start my day. I tried to make my way to the lift, but the new blown snow was thick wet and sticky. I needed help getting through it. I would push with my rigger and they would sink at lease a foot . Once at the lift, oh joy, no snow, just mats. Not a problem, just push hard accross the mats. I was warned there was no snow on the summit off ramp, more mats. Well, I have done that before so I was not going to let it ruin my day. To ski down an off ramp with no snow is not as hard as you might think. I got the first chair of the day and my season at about 9:05am and headed for the summit. Sliding down the mats was not a problem, but the thick wet sticky snow just past the mats was. I hit the snow and sunk and fell over. Oh this is great! The guy near me grabbed my ski to turn me around and the Scream came off right in his hand. Could this get any worse? Well, better here on the flat, then ripping down the slope. Something about the Pilot binding system I have to work out with pinning the front binding. The lift op called ski patrol and one of them brought up my Atomic 9:18 180cm. He plugged in the ski and my skiing started.
One of the ski patrol came along with me for my first run. That was fine because I was feeling pretty rusty. I asked if I could ski down to the base escorted by ski patrol instead of downloading on the chair lift. He agreed it would be no problem. That was very cool. I found my mono uncomfortable. I had a smaller boot made for it and CG was off a bit. It pushed me up and forward. I had to tighten up my chest strap and it gave me a nice welt across my chest. By the third run I had my ski legs back and started to shed some clothes. It was sunny and warm and the groomed snow was great. I met some nice skiers and riders on the hill. There must have been less the fifty people on snow. The on and off ramp at the "F" lift was great. Ski on, ski off. The ride up there was no show in site until you come over the top ledge. No problem loading "F". Ski off the lift at the summit, pass the quad ski to Hellgate the broadway to "F" and back up again. I racked up ten runs and decided to take a break. Ski patrol sent a guy to take me down. This was cool. From the top of Broadway, we call it "Midstation" you can see the bare spots you need to ski over. It was a flat spot, not much pitch, lightly snow / slush covered grass and melting fast with some mud, about twenty yards long and five wide. Not bad, passable with speed but I would not want to fall it in. I aimed for the center lifted my riggers and hit fast. My ski patrol friend had the same idea and we almost connected in the mess. I turned to avoid disaster, he stopped in the mess and I made it out fine. Kennedy was great. Virtually untracked, just a few passes form the morning ski patrol. The snow was groomed and soft, spring skiing at its best.
After lunch it was back to the summit. The lift ops put a path of snow on the off ramp so I could ski off with no problem.I was feeling good with my skiing. My chest was hurting from the chest strap so I tried my best to sit back and relax. Most of the skiers were done for the day after lunch. It was soft thick spring conditions and everyone I met was complaining of thigh burn. Hellgate was getting bumpy and that was fine with me. I skied every line on the trail. The sun was heading west and Hellgate was getting dark. Lots of shadows and deep ruts. One rider commented about hitting a jump close to the edge of the trail. His buddy commented on the thin cover and potential danger. He shrugged it off as if to go for it. I looked at him and shook my head no and told him " Live to ride another day" It's the first day of the season, no sense in blowing the season now. His buddy agreed. I pointed it down hill and linked up some nice turns through the bumps. I was pushing for twenty runs but decided to end it at eighteen. There was only a hand full of us early season, die hard ski animals left on the hill and I was not out to impress anyone. Well maybe myself. The temps were dropping, and the snow was starting to firm up. The Atomic 9:18 loved it all, soft, wet, grass, slush, crust, crud, ice, snow, this is a great ski. By now that bare spot connecting the lower mountain was more bare, but now it was in the shadows and frozen over. I was feeling the efforts of my day and still had to load up my gear in the car. I wanted twenty runs, but my own words came to mind " Live to ride another day". I skied my last run to the base and got out of my mono at 3:15pm. I loaded up my car then grabbed a coffee from the sparsely crowded bar. I hit the road for home around 4pm. It was a great first day 18 runs 19, 835 ft vertical. I will be changing the struts on my mono to lower my CG and get my weight off my chest straps. Ski safe and Be Blessed!
Well it's time again to hit the slopes. This page will grow through out the season as I tell you my adventures. So come back and send me some e-mail, lets hook up and ski together.
Keep The Waxed Side Down!
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