Powder Skiing: Kim-Marie's Trip Diary Day 2
This morning I took out, with a pair of cool new fat powder skis and met up with Barry, head of the New Zealand ski association, and for the day my powder instructor. The first thing I learned about powder is that EVERYONE wants to get in it. The lift line was just this side of aggressive. As one of the lift operators commented “you’d think they were giving out free food”. Better, untouched powder. Barry took me to the top of the lift, off to some as yet un-skied area and with a few instructions and general assurances about the technology of my cool skis sent me off in to a meadow of untouched foot deep powder. Much to my surprise, my skis carved the powder and I got the high of my life. I came out the other side shaking, from fear, from joy, from absolute exhilaration. I totally got it, the powder obsession.
We had heard yesterday that it was supposed to snow two feet overnight. While this might be the thrill of a lifetime for powder skiers, it left me feeling panicked. Though I grew up skiing on the west coast, I have become a true east coast skier. Give me a vertical ice rink and I’m just fine, several feet of fresh powder, not so much.
Most of my powder experiences have not ended well, actually they’ve generally ended with me face down in what is referred to as a “yard sale”. Someone suggested I rent powder skis. I had never really thought about the fact that there are various skis for various types of terrain. I have skis, they work, I like them, done right? As it turns out, they are all wrong for powder (so maybe the wipe outs weren’t all my fault).
I rented a pair Salomon Geisha’s, I felt cool just carrying them around. Younger too somehow. Once I had the gear, I still didn’t really know what to do with it so I booked a private lesson. I’ve taken a few lessons over the years and I’ve found that some of the best instructors are the old guys that have been doing it forever and have seen it all. So when I booked my lesson I asked for a “crusty old guy”. The staff person at the private lesson desk thought it was hilarious, and then admitted I was probably right.
I’m not sure if I’d be over exaggerating to say that my day was life changing. I conquered a fear, greatly improved my skiing and became a certifiable powder addict.
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