Ski log from my first day in a mono to nowClick Here
3-10-04 Day 26 Ski Bums @ Hunter .
A day on snow with no lesson and no schedule is good to clear your head. It has been a while since I skied with the ski Bums. It always is a good day. Responsibilities: make it to the bus stop, ski all day and make it back to the bus. I was all set to shoot some footage but it was overcast in the morning. I mounted up my Rossignol powerpulsion Viper STX 170cm. This was my first day on this ski this season. Actually I have only skied Atomics All season and thatís fine with me. But I trashed a few and the Rossi was up next. Well not for long. This is a great all mountain ski. I took a few runs to warm up runs. I really like the terrain park at Hunter. Soon I was kicking it out and hitting some nice nice jumps. I got my nerve up to hit the big kicker at the bottom of the park. I went huge but did not arc the jump and landed on the tail. It is important to bring the tip down before you land. It was a nice take off. I cleared the table top and landed on the down side. But I landed on the tail pretty hard and broke the ski. Bummer! Not even a half day on the ski and it was trashed, that is a good reason to bring spare skis. I skied it down and switched to my Atomic C11 170cm. There were nice bumps everywhere, and the snow was getting softer. I love soft bumps! A new ski, soft snow, time to huge and hit the big kicker again. That was some fun Air! When you hit a big kicker did you ever wonder what the look is on your face as you commit to the air? Like this. What about spotting your landing ?. It turned out to be a great day. The sun came out and there was no crowd. Bumps and jumps some rippers and some carving cursers. All in a days work. I love my job. Yeah! I wish, maybe someday.
Driving up in the rain is never a thrill. But with warm temps rain is not so bad., at least not to me. At the mountain however, there was not much in the way of rain. Over cast with a little drizzle but not bad. I got on snow about 8:10. Not many at the lift. The conditions were okay in my opinion. But I will ski wet grass if the lift is running. It was soft wet snow and a little crusty on the side. It was edge able and not icy at all. I was testing a new ski, the Atomic C11 PULS TI 170cm. This is a good strong all mountain ski. This is a carving ski! It carves a mean arch and holds its edge. I LIKE IT! I was even able to stay in the line of a really HOT alpine boarder carving up the slope. What a rush! This ski responds well in the bumps but you have to drive it and stay on top of it or it will spit you out. It holds up well on the crusty crud and floats on the soft stuff. This is for sure a great all mountain ski and has just took 1st place in my dwindling ski arsenal. Okay now for the good stuff. We had a great student. Shawn. From NJ no less, see we are not all that bad. He is a trooper. Even with his cough this little guy was skiing the Wooly Bear standing on his skis with the slider. He was making turns through the cones and sporting a smile that was contagious to all how saw him. Instructors Karen and Mike helped Shawn with guiding the slider as he followed me down the trail. It was a lot of fun. He really enjoyed it and so did we. He was getting a little tired after several runs so we went in for lunch. Shawn was not sure he wanted to keep skiing but when Karen showed him the bright red Bi-ski that looked like a racing car his little smile light right up. He is so cute! Well lunch time. A little PB&B; some chit-chat and all too soon it was time to hit the snow again. We strapped Shawn into his red rocket bi-ski and he was ready to go. Mike and Karen went over the load procedure and loaded Shawn onto the chair lift. He enjoyed the ride up. Karen is a first year instructor and was eager to take on tethering. Well like everything else she does there was NO PROBLEM! Good control and a nice rhythm with the turns. Little man Shawn was leaning from side to side to initiate his own turns and Karen submitted to his lead. It was great display of team work. Shawn was not feeling 100% in the after noon but he was having a lot of fun in his new Bi-ski race car. He skied the D-lift twice and the C-lift a bunch of times. Here is Shawn at the TOP of D-lift. It looks like another skier is born through ASF. We finished off the day taking some carving free runs. KS was trying an Alpine board with ski boot and adapted to the switch with No Problem. :) It was very cool to witness. We laid some nice deep tracks and she really got the sensation of carving. It is a rush, even addictive. We had a blast! It was a great day on snow. The season is winding down. ASF went through some changes this season, but manage to put out a ton of lessons and create many smiling faces. It was good season for me. One side of me does not want it to end because I love the freedom I experience on show but physically I am getting weathered and my left shoulder is racked. Well spring is in the air. This is my favorite time to ski. Soft bumps and warm temps. A few more weeks and it will be time to hang up the mono and move on to another season. Maybe I will take up... Naa!
Night skiing! First time in a long time. I head over to Mountain Creek after work for a little night skiing. My friend from work lives near the mountain and skis there often with her family. They were curious to see how I ski. That twisted my arm and I had to go. I went to the south mountain. It would have been an east access to the snow if the elevator was working. If you really want to tick me off. Put me 200 feet from a running chair lift and leave me at the bottom of a flight of stairs. That will make you feel disabled pretty quick. I waited as some nice ladies went to find some help. The elevator was not going to happening. Time to bump up the steps, I am missing runs! A few guys came over and carried me up the stairs to the snow level. It was cool because they just gave me the lift ticket for the hassle. I was on the chair at 5PM. It was warm and the conditions were soft to slush. No crowd at all. I skid a few runs as the sun set and the lights took over. It was great. Around 6 my friend showed up and we tore it up for a while. I was back on my Atomic R11:20 160cm. I love this little ski. Mountain Creek is at the end of their season with some rocks and bare spots. Itís hard to see bare spots at night. I hit a few and some rocks too, so my happy little ski is pretty beat up and not so happy anymore. Bumps! Nice soft spring bumps that was very cool. We skied until a little after 9PM. I was a great night.
Skiing with the girls. You know sometimes it pays to just wait and trust. My daughters are now hooked on the sport of skiing. My wife went to a conference for the weekend, so I took my girls to Windham for a day of skiing. What a beautiful day. Sunny, warm , good conditions. I ran into my buddy Bill and his family. He is the one who took me on my first mono-ski lesson at Ski Windham back in 95. It was a bit of a challenge getting three girls who are all big sleepy heads up and out of bed at 5AM. Then drive 3 hours. Then unload a third of their world and my equipment. Then try to get them food, rentals and into their lessons, all by 10 in the morning. It all worked out. By 10:15 I was shot, so I went skiing to relax. In the morning the girls took lessons. Nicole my 8 year old took it easy and skied up and down but took the carpet ride. They stayed on the bunny hill but that is fine with me. They will get board with that soon. Rachel my 6 year old was so funny. She got tired of waiting on line for the magic carpet ride up the hill. It was too slow so she walk up with her skis on skied down and walked up again. All Day! My 10 year old Gina, took and intermediate lesson but was the most advanced one in her class. Who taught that kid anyway? I hit a few trails but mostly stayed on a little bump run. I flattened out my second Supercross. :( But just before lunch I took the best run of the day :) A little air, some bumps some speed. After lunch Gina decided to teach her sisters the finer points of stopping and turning in a wedge. Sheís a good little teacher too. Kidís are so cool. I hooked up with Bill and his Family for a few runs. That was great. Bill and I had not been on snow together for about six years. It was fun. Then I hooked up with my daughter Gina for some runs. She is a strong skier, very cautious and controlled. I guess she gets that from her Mom. And it serves her well. We closed the lift and got off snow a little after 4. I thought dealing with a SCI was tough. Try being a Dad to three little ladies. God Help Me! Thank You.
The ski Bums. Remember those guys. This new job is a drag and has cut out my mid week skiing antics with the NJ Ski Bums. But I managed to grab a day, and what a day. Sun! bright blue skyís and great conditions. Again I was doing the helmet cam thing. My first run I cruse east side to the park. Scope the hits and the pipe. I hit the table top the small one. But I hit it to fast. Wo-Ho-nellie! I am talking hang time. I never got that much air in my life. Cleared the top and just about the whole landing ramp. Not the smoothest landing. With a bounce to an edge and over on my side. But it was a blast. I caught up with my buddy Steve and we systematically picked off the runs one by one covering the mountain. I was hitting all the bumps and every jump I could find and it caught up with me. BOOM! There is a nice size kicker at the top of the park. I try my best to go with my gut. The slightest wince and I will usually bail on the jump. Well I looked at it and felt good about it. I just was not sure how much speed I would get to clear the top. Well it was not enough speed and I landed about a foot short. It was a hard landing but I skied out of it and kept going. I think the impact might have engaged my lift latch. I like to jump into the pipe from the side not too high up the wall but a few feet of air. Well I dropped in and BLAM! Parts go flying, my mono-ski is clanking, my blue shock spring is hurling in the air then sliding in the snow. I go sliding up the wall of the pipe and lend back down coming to rest right on the radius of the pipe. I can see pieces of my shock scattered around. This Sucks! Just before 3PM on a beautiful sunny ski day. I did not want my day to end like this. A boarder dropped in to help me get my parts together. Well with no shock my mono sits about 11Ē lower. My ski was still attached I just had no suspension. So I skied it down. This was so cool! Very low to the ground, the ski turned and handled great. I took it to the lift. The guys got me on the lift and I was going for another run. Not much room to lay it over to try to carve, so nice flat turns with a little edge was the trick. I was having some fun so I decided to take another run and finished my day just before 4PM. The damage, a broken shock shaft, broken long link rod end. Bent shock bolt, two strut rod ends bent and some dings and scratches. Plus my back hurts. The good thing was I did not have to drive home. I had a drink relaxed and got on a bus.
You wheelchair people should get a kick out of this. I was getting the equipment together in the garage to load the car for the ski trip in the morning. My garage is my shop. There is a lot of tool, metal, parts and stuff. It is not the neatest shop on the planet, but I like and I know where every thing is. Well sort of. I lean back to stretch my back. And the chair tips back. Well weíve all had that happen and your cat like wheelchair reflexes kick in and you pull the wheels back as fast and the blink of an eye. Well as I pulled back my and wheel chucked against an air hose and stopped. Every thing went into slow motion as I went over back wards. My mind raced thinking of whatís back there that I am going to smack my head on. BLAM CLANK! Too late! Everything sort of tunneled down. I thought it was lights out I was conscious. My chair was on its side next to me. I knew I whacked my head on something hard and metal. I looked to see what it was. There was a Fed Ex envelope. I moved it and there were aluminum plates lined up. There was the corner of a ľĒ thick plate. I saw where the FedEx envelope was punched through from the plate and my head. Now a started feeling sick, I kept touching the back of my head to check for blood. My head hurt but not bad. Finally I put my finger right on the spot that hurt. Blood, three fingers covered. Now I felt dizzy and sick. Iím thinking great! I have to go get stitches, the doctor might not let me go skiing, what drag! I got back in my chair and went in the house. My neighbor came over to take a close look. No biggie, no stitches needed. Just a nice divot added to the collection I already have. Six pin sites from my halo and traction tongs and some other child hood scars. I ainít the sharpest tool in the shed but I can use my head for nicking aluminum plate. For those who know me. Now itís all clear.:)
2-16-04 Day 21 Family ski day at Windham.
We all pile in the van bright and early for a family ski day at Windham. Presidents day. It was a beautiful sunny day a little on the cold side but great conditions. Well for most of the day anyway. It did turn to an east coast skating ring in the afternoon. My oldest daughter took a snow board lesson and my middle daughter took a ski lesson. My little one did not want to ski until she saw all the kids skiing down the hill. Then she was really into it. We got her set up the equipment and a lesson and she was off. I took some runs during their lessons and got some good bump footage with the helmet cam. The ski of the day was the Atomic Supercross. But this was itís last day. The ski is FLAT! no life, history :( But I just had my other one Spuercross tuned so I was ready to ski:). My daughter was not totally thrilled with snow boarding. She wants to try it again but she wanted to ski now. We switched her rentalís and did some skiing. This was her first day on skis this season. She did great. Better then me. I had a few wipe outs and took a hard fall on my left shoulder. I lost my tail a steep icy section. She just skied right by me like I was messing up her line. She skied like she had been skiing all season, pole touch and all. What great little skier. She is very cautious, but always in control. I guess a little fear can do you good. We closed the lift and went to the lodge only to find my other two girls going up and down up and down the bunny slope and did not want to stop. Okay one more, Okay one more. I wish the lift ops did that. We had a great time the girls are hooked and that is fine with me. It looks like I might get my ski partner after all.:) We stopped for pizza and subs on the way home. Itís a big difference making a ski day with three kids but it was so much fun. And now I have them fighting over who will drive up with me next week.
The YES Network comes up to Windham to interview some students, instructors and a student who became an instructor. They shot some footage of us teaching and skiing and we did an on snow interview. We talked about how the program has changed our lives and what teaching has done for us, and our students. Using the helmet cam I was shooting footage of them shooting footage of me. It was a wicked cold day. But the sun was out. I got some footage of bumps and a little air. I finished my day on a knurly bump run with CS. What a great weekend until my motor died about 114miles from home. Time for a new motor, BOOM!
It was great to be back at the ASF and see all the PSIA pins proudly displayed on the jackets of the instructors. I guess the weather scared away some guests. It was raining pretty hard when I left NJ. But up at the mountain it was just overcast and actually warm. No turtle neck in the morning thatís warm for me. The conditions were soft at the bottom but very firm everywhere else. Hitting the snow early is very good for me. I like the quiet still morning it gives me a chance to clear my head. There is nothing like summit air at 8AM. Soon the lift area started getting more and more early skiers and the tranquil morning air was filled with the chatter of friends and familyís gathering for their morning runs. My Atomic Stomp was not cutting it. literally, on the firm conditions. Frozen corduroy! So I switched to the Atomic Supercross. The Supercross SX:11 170cm is my ace up my sleeve ski. It can do it all any time any ware. Soon a big sleepy head broke radio silence for some free riding. My day just got better. After a few runs on the hard pack looking for soft snow it was time for line up to see what lessons we would be teaching. I guess the rain did take its toll. There were no lessons for some of us. So it was back to the lift for an on snow free ride clinic. Exploring terrain and venting. What a combination. After a nice lunch break time for line up again. No lesson! How about an experiential mono-ski clinic? Yeah! Lets take an able body instructor who never skied in a mono-ski and strap them in real tight and see what happens. Who would be up for such a task. KS? No way. Karen, 1st year level 1 instructor steps up with a smile. I was not to sure about the skis response on the program ski for a newbe so I took the program Revolution and we set her up in my Revolution. A few adjustments the foot rest had to move. Sheís little 5Ö oh, never mind. We strapped in, got our outriggers situated and the lesson began. Pushing around on the flat, No problem! Balance, no problem! Glide to a stop, no problem! Garlands! No Problem! LINKING TURNS! NOOO! PROOOBLEM!!!!! In like fifteen minutes this woman went through the mono progression and was ready for the chair lift. It was an assisted load but she would have nailed that too. The off load from the chair lift was flawless and unassisted. Now Iím like the cartoon dude with his heart beating out of his chest and his eyes balls spinning in his head. We talked a little bit about falling, getting up. And she was off. Gone! On her way, down the hill, linking turns. No Problem. At this point I just skied into the nearest tree as fast as I could to end it all. No actually it was a pretty awesome to watch. And her smile, Well that is why I love to teach. Soon reality set in for our star student with a little backwards mono-skiing to a fall. Getting up was a bit of a trick but she did it with only a little help. More turns a fall more turns another fall but she really skied the mono-ski very well. We ended on a good note. Not too tired and no burses. She jumped out of the bucket and on her board and we caught one last summit run before it was all over. What a great day!
Exam day. The Level II Adaptive Exam is in four parts, personal skiing, Mono-Bi, 3&4 Track & Blind DD. I am half way there. This was a one day exam for me and my level two team mates. We had two examiners, one in the morning and another in the afternoon. This was another cold day, but again, great conditions. Each examiner tested us on our knowledge and teaching skills for both mono and bi-ski. We had a great exam. Our group was the last one in after the exam. We got our moneyís worth thatís for sure. I was really procrastinating even taking the exam this season but a little unseen push from my buddy KS lit the fire and I signed up just under the wire and past the exam. Thanks :). Congratulations to all those who passed! To those who did not pass. Donít give up. Your pin awaits you.
The pumpkin patch hit Hunter for exams. What does that mean? Our new program jackets are orange and to see a bunch of us together, well itís a sight. A lot of my friends were taking their exam. I decided to go and ski and prepare for my exam the following day. I hooked up with a new riding buddy CS the brother of my other ridding buddy KS. Chris and I kicked it out pretty good. It was another cold day but the conditions were great. We covered the mountain trail to trail, hitting the park every few runs, shutting down lifts on the west side and jamming down Annapurna.
I entered a DSUSA race that was held at Windham. Again another wicked cold day. The first run was at 9AM. I was ready Nastar wasnít. It was too cold to be sitting around at the start gate so I took another run. I opted for my Atomic SX:11 Supercross 170cm for the race. I really like this ski. Last season I was okay with it, but not blown away. This season it is my #1 choice, well so far anyway. I have no clue when it comes to running gates. But after some pointers yesterday I started taking a high line and carving around the gate. Very cool! For some reason they left a snow gun blowing right in the course. All your speed was lost as you sink into this powder pit. Only to pop out and get some unwanted air. It took the next few gates to get it back together. It was the best of two runs. My best for the day was 38sec with my factor it was a 30.08 and that got me the gold. After the race I caught a few runs with my buddy Dave, but the wind chill was biting cold. 10 below cuts right through five layers. I had no problem taking an early and long lunch. It did warm up a bit so I went out for a few more runs. I am glad I did. Warpath was open and had the best snow of the day with some great bumps and huge rolling mounds from the snow guns. As the sun ducked behind the trees the temps dropped. It was time to call it a day.
Well it seems as if there are more then enough instructors to go around at ASF. Another day with no lesson to teach, and my riding buddy KS was frolicking is the sun down in Florida. Good for her, it was a wicked cold day to be on the hill. I was called on to give a level one mono bump clinic. That was fine with me but there were no bumps. So we worked on some turning skills. Pivot turns, short turns, blocking turns. In the morning I tested the Atomic Sugar Daddy 163cm. What great little ski, a lot of fun. For the clinic I was testing an Atomic R:20 Prototype. This was a fun ski. Good edge control pretty stable but it did not hook up as quick as I like a ski to engage. I had to work it a little and that is fine but I donít like to think about working my turns in bumps. I might move the binding up a notch. After lunch I clicked into the Atomic 9:12 160 for some more race training. I was not into it. It was too stiff for me. But you might like it. I typically donít like race skis and this is why. I had some fun with it and ran some gates. I skied a few runs but it was cold so I called it a day just after three.
I hook up with the ASF race team for some race training. We skied the Naster gates and worked on some skills.
The day started with Heather, Evelyn and Karen for an early morning ATS clinic. Lucky me. Then a late start mono lesson that turned out to be very inspiring.
Very Cold! No lesson. Free skied and tested some skis.
The weather called for a sunny day temps near 50. Well a big cloud parked right over Hunter and the sun was not going to be joining us for the better part of the day. Early skier gets first chair. There was a line at 8:30AM for the first chair of the new year. My Atomic Supercross was the ski of choice for the morning. I thought it was going to be hard pack & bullet proof ice. But actually the conditions were great. Packed powder and hard pack, just the way I like it. I wish I would have plugged into my Crossmax for the morning conditions. I shot some footage with my Helmet cam. 1st run, Hellgate to the park. I like to scope the park, go over or around all the jumps and tricks slow to check them out so I know what to expect when I hit later. Next up, Cliff to Racers. Then I systematically hit each run to see what the mountain has to offer for that day. I caught up with the Lubes family skiing some runs with their daughter Melanie and skied a run with them. Skiing a run with Melanie and her family at their home mountain with her own equipment was the biggest thrill for me. Scott (her Father) was tethering her and her Mom was close behind as a blocker. They really donít need the program anymore and that is awesome. After Lunch I switched to the Crossmax pilot and headed out for some more free skiing. I hooked up with Scott again and we tore it up for a few runs. Then we met up with Kevin my new friend from the program. We gave him the dime tore of Hunter. We skied all the runs we could find that were open and even some others. I skied into some bushes at one point and lost a rigger tip at another. But itís all good! The bolt holding my rigger tip on came out and was lost. I do keep spare bolts in my pouch so after a little on snow repair we were skiing again. The sun finally did make an appearance after 3PM and soon was blocked by the mountain. On the last run there were some nice bumps formed and I hit a big one head on for some huge air. I popped out of the pilot binding and for the last time. This is a great ski and I really like it, but I find my self holding back when skiing it. My Pilot skis are up for grabs here. The Cliff to Gun Hill ended the day and I was on the road before 5PM. What a great way to spend the first day of the year, on snow, with friends. Thanks Kevin and Scott for joining me to share new years day Jan. 1 2004.
This was my first day getting back to the single day grind. That is going up for one day of teaching and returning home that night. Up at 4AM on the road by 5:45 arriving at Windham around 7:20 and on the chair lift by 8AM. It was a beautiful day. Clear blue skyís and no wind. I skied several runs at the best time of the day between 8 and 9 AM. It was not very cold but the conditions were hard pack and ice. I was testing a new ski. The Salomon Verse 10 Pilot 170cm. This is a fun little all mountain carving ski. A little soft on the hard pack for my taste but it handled very well. It carves a nice arch. Good edge to edge control. Short medium and long turns are no problem for the Verse 10. I skied down some of the steepest trails Windham has to offer. The Wall(video clip 3.5M), Wedel(video clip 18.7M) and Wolverine. I also took it through some gates (video clip 3M). About 9:15AM it was time to head in and meet my student. It is amazing how fast the mob fills the lift area just before 9:30. It turned out that there were more instructors then students so I was released to go and ski. I hooked up with Karen and we spent the morning looking for a race camp. We hit every race trail and some other trails in between, but to no avail. ďGĒ lift was open so we decided to inspect the terrain. Why Not was the trail of choice and it turned out to be the best snow on the mountain. Karen has been skiing for many years, but a few years ago she put her two planks down, picked up a snow board and has not looked back. She rides very well and will attack the mountain with an aggression that is pretty awesome to watch. Needless to say we had a blast riding together. But the lunch bell was ringing, and it time to head in and see what students the afternoon would bring. The Afternoon was more of the same. No Lesson so we headed out for more runs. I wanted to get some footage from another camera. Karen and Goraz took turns with the camera. We skied a few runs off ďAĒ lift but the snow was gone and the light was not helping filming at all. Back to ďGĒ lift and the trail Why Not. There we spent the remainder of the day and shot some footage (video clip 18.4 M) and free skied. Just after 4PM I packed up the mono and got ready for the ride home. I stopped up at our annual holiday party for a quick bite to eat and to talk to some friends. I hit the road just before 6PM and was home before 9PM. It was a long day but worth it. Have a Happy and Blessed New Year!
A cold morning, about 17 at the summit with very firm conditions. I opted for my Atomic Supercross. I had popped out of the pilot binding on my Salomon Crossmax and I do not trust it for free style and jumping. But it is a great all mountain ski and carves a mean arch. Just after 8am I was on the lift with helmet cam running. The Supercross bites into the hard pack and ice like is has teeth. A very stable ski at speed. I took a few runs early.The conditions were great. Again my helmet cam was running. If anything cool happensI can get it on film and share it with you. Soon it was time to meet the gang to start the clinic. Potpourri is like a make up of what ever training you would like to make upOr have more time with. Tom T. did three and four track, Maggie and I did mono. Both of us learned to mono through the program, so we gave some personal incite to the do's and doníts of teaching a mono student. Just before lunch I took shot at running the gates on Nastar. That is always a lot of fun. In the afternoon we continued with the clinic and skied. After 3 tried to take a few free runs. Going up in the chair I saw Tom T. hanging with one of the other instructors. I called for him to wait for me. I still had about a third of a chair lift ride to go. Once I got off the lift I bolted to try and catch him before he left. The flat light was setting in and I was cranking down Whistler when I hit a dip in carving turn.I was popped into the air and got a little side ways. When show cloud settled after my wipe out I noticed my out rigger was broken and itís ski tip was sliding down the hill heading for the woods. It came to a stop and I righted myself. Skiing with one broken outrigger is not fun but it is doable. Stew, another instructor with the program was passing overhead on the lift when I wiped out. He told me he would come down and help out. I started making my way to my broken ski tip. Stew met me there and I asked if he could shoot down to the program office and grab me another rigger. He took off on a mission. I will tell you. I really do rely on my out riggers. I was able to make turns. The broken rigger side was the easy turn. Tom T. did wait and was surprised to see me skiing like a newbe. But then he noticed the broken rigger. We chatted a bit about the learning experience of skiing with a broken rigger. Then Stew showed up with a pair of program riggers. I little short and too much break but good enough to ski down. I called it a day.loaded the car and headed south. Tom G. Broke his rigger the day before. I donít know,I do like these super light riggers and I have been using them from day one with out any real problems. But this bites! Well I do keep a spare and parts in the car and I suggestyou do the same. Have a great holiday ( holy day Ė day set apart). Have a wonderful Merry Christmas (Christ Mass Ė The mass or festival of Christ) and a happy new year!
I headed up the night before and dropped off all the gear at the mountain.I had my mono, Tomís mono, six skis, camera bag, tool bag, ski bag, too much stuff to deal with at 7AM. Anyway I dropped off the gear and was at the house by 9:15PM.After a good night sleep I was up early and on snow by just after 8AM. I took a few runs on my Salomon Crossmax with the helmet cam running. I caught up with John on Whistler and followed him for a few turns. Then headed in to warm up and meet the mono gang. Tom G. and Win came up to Windham to test out their equipment and be part of a mono clinic. There were seventeen able body ski instructors being introduced to adaptive skiing, and this was the mono portion of their introduction. We broke up into groups. There were four mono skiers, each of us took about four instructors. We answered questions and gave demos, then switch groups. Each group got the perspective and incite of each mono skier. It was a great clinic. I had my helmet cam and shot some footage of the clinic. After lunch it was over to the learning area to get some of the instructors into the mono so they can get the feel for making some turns in a monoski. Most of them got chance to ski down and ride the magic carpet up. After the clinic a few of us took some runs.
My daughter Nicole wanted to go skiing. She is eight. You really donít have to twist my arm when it comes to skiing. It was her second time skiing ever.Just me and her. I asked my oldest daughter Gina if she would mind if I took her sister just like when I took her and she agreed it was a good idea. What a sweet heart. We headed to Windham so I could return the R EX. It was a nice day. Cold, snow guns blazing, a bit windy, but a nice ski day. I really wanted my daughter to take a lesson, butshe wanted me to teach her. The problem I have with teaching standing two track is not being able to give a stand up demo. My daughter is a visual learner so we found out all too quick that my method was not working well. She was getting cold and went in to warm up. I grabbed a few runs with my new Viosport helmet cam to test out the system. The result is these two videos. Lets take a run together down a blue trail called Whistler to the tune of What Good by Third day. 13.8 M. If a steep double black is more your style, try Wolverine to the tune of One day at a time by Jeremy Camp. 14.2M. After lunch my buddy Dave offered to help and give my daughter some pointers. His lesson helped and we made it to the chair lift. She did okay, a little too fast for me. I would like to see her make a few more turns. After concurring her first green Nicole went in to warm up. Dave and I took a few runs and then we called it a day. I skied the day in the Salomon Crossmax Pilot 170cm. This is a rocking little ski. It carves a mean arc and holds it own on ice and in the steeps. The pilot binding might not be the strongest choice for a mono skier, but I will keep you posted on that.
I was not scheduled to teach so I had a free ski day. Lotís of fresh powder but again, I was not feeling well. So I was taking it slow. Due to the weather some of the instructors could not make it and or were late. I picked up a mono bi clinic to fill in until the scheduled instructor showed up. Once he showed up I took to the slopes.It was after ten and most of the powder was tracked. Again my Atomic Supercross was the for the day. I was not at my best to say the least. I took a few runs and headed in for an early lunch. By noon I was thinking of heading home but opted to test out the programs new Revolution Pro Comp. First I skied it with the Atomic R EX 184cm.I mounted the binding right on boot center and I should have mounted it up an inch or so. It did not perform as well as I would have hopped. My run looked like this. Then I switched to my Supercross. I took two more runs and called it a day. I took the R EX home to remount.
The first big storm of the season hitís on Friday so I decide to drive up Friday night to stay ahead of the storm. One of our new instructors offered me a place to crash so I was able to beat the storm. What a great house, right in the town of Windham. A BIG beautiful farm house, with an accessible bathroom. I arriver just after 11 pm took some nyqill because I was not feeling well and hit the sack. In the morning there were several inches of fresh powder and it was still snowing. I started out the day giving and on snow ATS clinic to the first time instructors. The Atomic Supercross 170cm was the ski of choice for the day. I had to take them to the summit for a powder warm up run. There was much powder to be found. For those of us who ski in the east it is a rare pleasure to not hear your ski under you. I was scheduled to do an on snow action photo shoot for a Verizon print add. The photographer showed up around ten AM and I was pulled from the clinic to shoot some images and give his girlfriend a ski lesson. She was a new skier and did very well. It snowed all day. We skied a few runs after lunch for some more images then I hit it with some of the new instructors. I was not feeling 100% at all and it was still snowing pretty hard. I decided to stay the night. The thought of fresh tracks in the morning worked for me also.
True to form for me I was up early and shooting for 1st chair. Why would one go for first chair on a single little green trail? Because it was the only open chairlift in town. I grabbed a few runs then headed in for a quick bite to eat before starting our blind clinic. Ronny and I teamed up to do the clinic. We worked on various ways to teach and guide the visually impaired. More of the same in the afternoon, I liked being guided by the grid system more so then ďleftĒ ďrightĒ. The grid system is used for more advanced skiers. The far left of the trail being ď1Ē and the far right being ď10Ē and the center of the trail being ď5Ē. The skier goes where they want and the guide lets them know where they are in relation To the center or sides of the trail. For instance if the skier was skiing short radius turns right down the middle of the trail the guide would be calling our 4,5,6,5,4,5,6. I was skirting the side of the trail so my guide was calling out 2,3,4,3,2. As I moved closer to the center of the train and made lager turns the guide called out 3,4,5,6,5,4,3,4,5,6,5,4,3 and so on. This was me with the bib on being guided by Tom. We ended the clinic around 2pm and some of us ski a few more runs. It was a great weekend of clinics and making new friends.
The next morning it was cold with flurries. Overcast but a great ski day. Al and I had a great mono bi clinic. We took some runs in the morning to get the ski legs back. Again only one trail, and now it was firm and slick. Still on my R11:20 160cm.We did a few good runs then headed in for an intro to sit ski equipment namely the mono and bi-ski. Some of the instructors got into the equipment as we covered the various aspects of fitting a student and strapping. After lunch we did the bi-ski and tethering portion of the clinic on our little patch of snow called Wooly bear. After the Clinic took a few runs with some new found friends. Thanks to the Scott and Nancy for putting me up.I had a great room in a house with a really great family.
The powers that be at ASF has seen fit to allow me to be a course conductor. This is great for me because I love to teach and it forces me to be a fast study. Friday was the three track four track clinic on snow in the rain. Oh Joy! One trail Whatís Next a green, thick wet hero snow, very cool conditions. Skiing the Atomic R11:20 160cm. This ski rocks. It is getting soft though. Tom T gave a great clinic, it was a great day. I stayed Rain and wind all night.
Well gang, day one has come and gone. What a day.I headed up to Windham to conduct an ATS course. We were going to be on snowBut the mountain did not open. So we had another day of indoor training. We have a new group of collage student junior instructors. I had the opportunity to give them a mono and Bi clinic in-door. It was a blast. What a great group of people. Each one got in a mono-ski and a Bi ski and tried loading and other things in side on carpet. Every one had a good time and by 2 PM we quite for the day. The word was out that it was Hunters opening day so I figured I would stop by and see how it looked. I pulled out of Windham at like 2:30 PM. I started to think would I be able to get some runs in at Hunter? I have a pair of rain pants in my ski back pack I could through on over my jeans. This could work. I pulled up to Hunter at 2:45 PM the lift was running and skiers were skiing. The lift closes at 4pm, how fast could I get my rig up to the snow and strap in? I picked up my ticket and went to my SUV to get my mono. I ran into a guy who worked at the mountain and asked him if he could bring my mono up the snow. He was happy to help. I plugged the mono into my Ski, Atomic R 11:20 160cm. and he took it away. I grabbed my ski bag and motored into the lodge, I never through on rain pants so fast in my life. I strapped as quick as I could and was on the lift to the summit to start my 30-04 season by 3:05PM. On the chair lift I was able to scope the terrain a little. Narrow, bumpy, end of the day flat light, big ruts and no bail out. What a way to start the season. If I can manage this the rest of the season will be a cake walk. Hellgate earned itís name today. I had made a change to my mono. I lost some weight and I am loose in the bucket, so I added and padded liner. It raised me up and forward a bit. Not bad, but a little uncomfortable. I ended the season on bumps and started this season on bumps. Do to the mad rush I did not ware the helmet cam and I am bummed about that because these conditions where wild and I would have liked to posted it, but there will be more wild footage. My first run was sweet. Really no problem at all other then not having a warm up run and committing myself to only one way down the mountain through Hells Gate. I love it! Call me a thrill seeker, an adrenalin junky, some might even say a nut. But you know what? In 1981 I was face down and drowning. God has seen fit to save my life and keep me here for a while to enjoy this life, so I am. It felt great to be back on snow. I guess my shoulder surgery worked will because I did not think of it once until now 11:21 pm. It all came back pretty quick and I was on my game in about ten turns. My second run was not as graceful as the first. I was totally parched. Eating frozen snow off the chair safety bar and feeling week from my light lunch. The awesome snowmaking crew at Hunter were turning the guns back on. I was tried and feeling the workout of the first run. Getting a little sloppy and washing out my tail here and there. Once past the steep part of Hellgate things came together pretty good and I actually worked on some carving, turn shape and a little air. I was back at my wheelchair at 3:55. I was tempted to take one more run but I learned to listed to the still small voice inside. I know what changes I need to make on my mono and I am ready for what ever this season throws at me. Day one, two clinics at Windham, two runs and Hunter, and over three hundred miles of driving. But I loved every minute. Keep the ski waxed, keep the edges sharp and keep your shoulders in the fall line. Be Blessed.
11-02-03 Welcome Back, Pre season update
Well here we are at the start of yet another ski season. I will do my best to keep an up to date log this season. Things got nuts last season. This should be an interesting season. I will be dawning a helmet cam for most of my days on snow. We will see whatwe can capture on film, and I will try to create a video library. This has been one of the roughest summers for me. But the turn out was awesome. You can read about it here.Pre season instructor training started and on the first day of training old man winter blewby and dropped some snow for us as if to say welcome back. Here in the east we get a six month ski season that starts in November and ends in April. That means we will be on show linking turns this month. With a little consistent cold weather the show guns will aim into the sky and the assault will begin. In a matter of hours the trails will turn whiteand the mountain will begin to take on itís winter face. In the mean time we who teach at the Adaptive Sports Foundation are in pre season training and preparing for a new season. We have new uniforms this year. I have been elected to be a course conductor so I will be training the new instructor recruits. I will also be working on my training and teaching for the completion on my level 2 exam in early 04. But I donít want to get too far ahead of my self. One day at a time. I still have to get my own mono back together for day one. I have had a few of you send your mono-ski in for some repair and up grades. It is a good thing to keep your equipment current and take the time now before you go on your first ski day to check all nutís, bolts, fastenerís and straps. For you Grove owners the Grove boot system is available again. You will love just clicking into a binding. No more nuts, bolts and cold fingers. You can get details here. Are you getting ready? What is on your to do listfor this season? Ski fast, get air, ski bumps, improve your skills in all areas? That's great! Let's talk Bumps click here.
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