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I am not a pro boarder. In fact I am a very late fan of the sport. This is more a diary than anything else, although comments and suggestions are appreciated. I'm going to try to keep track of how I do (and what I do) from season to season; what works and what fails; and how I improve over time.
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Family day weekend

Posted 02-11-2013 at 10:16 AM by Donutz
Updated 02-11-2013 at 10:23 AM by Donutz

It's the "Family Day" weekend, and Seymour has announced that they'll be giving 25% off lift tickets and some lessons on Monday. Based on that, I figured Sunday was the day to go. I don't know yet how bad Monday (today) will be, but Sunday was great. It was certainly busy, being a long weekend and good weather, but not quite as bad as it could have been. It was generally sunny, although fog kept rolling in and out all day. Snow was pretty good, groomed but still soft.

So the park crew has, as usual, been busy, but this time for a wonder they didn't plow under anything that I liked. They've replaced the rail in Mushroom with an oval box, but since I'm more likely to hit the box that's really a plus. Especially since they didn't seem inclined to lower the rail. I did in fact hit the box a couple of times, but since I wasn't wearing most of my armour today I was reluctant to really get into it.

The jump line had been somewhat re-engineered. For starters, the first roller was turned into a jump. Good move, IMO, I really don't see the point of rollers in a jump line. But they made the jumps REALLY kicky. The third one down I swear was almost vertical at takeoff. I spent quite a bit of time on the jump line. I'm just starting to get over my tendency to undershoot. Actually overshot one or two times. With this line, it's not fatal.

I'm getting way better with the ally-oops on the quarter pipe, and it's translating to the side hit at the bottom of Manning. It's not nearly so much effort any more. I'm also getting a lot better with my C turns and steeps handling (as long as moguls aren't involved). Feeling pretty good.

The big thing today though -- I decided to book a Next Step lesson. They only run the level 5 Next Step at 3pm, so it was a long day for me. As I suspected might happen, I was the only person in the group. And since I had used my 50% off coupon, I effectively had a private lesson for $30. The instructor was an import -- possibly Kiwi -- which meant I understood about one word in three but that's pretty inevitable. The big things we worked on were moguls, drops, and tree runs.

We worked on moguls on Noel's. They were fairly deep and heavily cut, so it was definitely a test. I survived all the runs, and Harry gave me some good pointers, but it's going to take practice. For some reason I have this weird unconscious belief that mastering a skill is just a matter of learning some secret technique. Unfortunately reality is that it still requires practice. So over the next couple of sessions I'm going to be hitting Noel's a lot more -- as long as it's not snowcrete of course.

For the drops, we headed towards Earl's then did a hard right just before the first tree well. This brought us to what looked to me like a cliff leading back down to Elevator Shaft. Harry pointed straight down and asked me if I wanted to try this. I smiled and said "sure!" while my brain screamed "ARE YOU FUCKING INSANE????". Harry went first just to prove that it wasn't a practical joke. The first time, I did some falling leaf to reduce the potential plummet. We did the same run a couple more times though, and by the third time I actually straight-lined it all the way. So that's another example of things that I would never try on my own but need to be pushed into.

The third item was tree runs. Harry showed me a tree run off Unicorn that doesn't even have an official name. It's a fair bit steeper than the stuff through Pete's, so it is definitely challenging. I did a lot of falling leaf and also cratered a few times. That run, like Noels, is going to take a lot of practice to master. I'm a little concerned about taking the tree run alone, though. It's not a well-known run. You could lie there all day without getting discovered...

The only really scary moment the whole day happened when we were bombing the stretch of Unicorn just before the Goldy intersection. As we came over the big (blind) hill, there was a skier hiking up the hill to one side and another skier lying in pool of equipment to the other side. Some quick dodging and loud invective and everyone lived, but Harry was some pissed!

When it came time for the last run of the lesson, I suggested to Harry that we go down Unicorn. Told him to "make it difficult" and I'd follow him. Well, I was mostly able to keep up, but had to cut some corners. I took mental notes of where he went though, and that's another set of things to try in the future.

So all in all this was one of those days that I'm going to remember as an exceptionally good and fun day. I'm also pretty happy with my stamina. No leg burn, full eight-hour day, and could have gone longer. Again, though, next year I have to be a little better prepared for the beginning of the season.
Posted in Mountain, Seymour
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