Hittin’ the slopes


After years of saying “I’d like to take the boys out skiing some time” and then not doing it, I finally did it on Saturday. Gail had lots of school stuff to do, and Sunday and Monday were supposed to be rainy and crappy (it’s Sunday afternoon right now, and it’s currently rainy and crappy — attaboy, weatherman), so we went out to Chicopee on Saturday afternoon. I looked at Glen Eden as well, which is about the same distance from home, but they only had full- and half-day rates and rentals, and Chicopee had 2-hour rates and rentals. For their first time out, I figured two hours would be plenty, and it turns out I was right. It was an expensive two hours ($45 for the three lift tickets and $66 for rentals), but the boys and I had fun.

The rental line was very long, and by the time we actually got our boots on and picked up our skis and got out there, we had already used up 20-30 minutes of our two hours. We headed over to the bunny hill where I gave them a short lesson on standing on skis, slowing down and stopping (the “snowplow”), and turning (again, the “snowplow”). The lift was a magic carpet, which I had never used before. It’s just a conveyer belt that you stand on, so it’s about the easiest lift possible. The boys both did very well — I’m not going to say either one was a natural, but Ryan didn’t fall at all, and by the end, he wanted to try the bigger hills. Nicky had a couple of very small spills, but he was in more danger of falling while standing still than while skiing. Ryan would just point his skis at the bottom of the hill and go, while Nicky got frustrated because he couldn’t go as fast as Ryan, and I kept having to slow down so he could keep up with me. He wasn’t trying to go slow, and I couldn’t see any reason why he would be, so maybe his skis weren’t as tuned as mine and Ryan’s. I asked Ryan to practice some turns by doing a zigzag pattern down the hill, and he did it perfectly. I was very impressed.

When we had about 15 minutes left on our two-hour lift ticket, Nicky started to get cranky and I figured he’d about had enough. We did one more run and then returned our stuff and went to the snack bar for the obligatory après-ski french fries.

It is an expensive sport, but the boys had a lot of fun, so I think I’m going to look around the classifieds or used sporting goods stores for some used equipment for the boys and myself (Gail has zero interest) so that we can bypass the rental lines in future.

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