Monday, January 17, 2011

Magoo Hits the Slopes

On Saturday, we went up to Vermont to go downhill skiing. Where does one take their eight-year-old for his first time skiing? Why, Suicide Six, of course!

Here we stand, ski lodge in the background, ready to hit it!

I've been skiing before. As a child, my family would go to Crystal Mountain in Michigan quite often. Then, when I got older, I didn't go as much. I think the last time I went skiing was in the late 90's. So it's been a while for me. But it's kinda like riding a bike, yanno. I needed a few runs down the bunny hill, but I basically had it.

But for Mike and Magoo, it was the first time.

Mike went off with family-friend, Larry, who gave him some pointers. Being an excellent ice skater, he picked it up quick.

I worked with Magoo. I had read/heard that they were teaching the kids with the pizza/french fries method - meaning if you wanted the child to snowplow, you'd say "Pizza," and they'd make the shape of a pizza with their skis. And if you wanted them to straighten the the skis, you'd say "French fries." It felt a little silly, but I was happy that I wasn't the only adult shouting, "Pizza! Pizza!" at my kid.

It was slow-going at first. Lots of falls. But the kid never lost the thrill of it. He was having fun.

Here he is, ready to go.

Heading down ...

That's the J-bar in the background. Magoo was psyched when he rode the J-bar up be himself and didn't fall at the top!

Eventually, Magoo felt like he wanted to try one of the easy trails on the mountain. I was hesitant, but I didn't want to be a mother who tells him "No" just because I'm worried, so Larry, Mike, Cam and I all went up together.

Well, I was kinda right because he wasn't ready for it. Magoo could make awesome turns to the left, but not to the right. So you'd get him going and then he'd turn left and head right into the trees. He always stopped himself by falling, so he didn't get hurt, but it was a lot of stop-start-stop-start.

Larry tried leading him down with his ski poles.

But eventually Magoo and I skied down the mountain like conjoined twins, with my right ski, guiding his skis. We made it, but it's a lot of work guiding 60lbs down the mountain!

Still - everyone had fun. It was GORGEOUS up there. We even got some light fluffy flakes floating down like Vermont magic.

And now Magoo is ready, willing, and almost able to try again. (Check out the video at the end.)

(Sidenote: check out the massive icicle! It's a widow-maker!)

Here's Magoo coming down the bunny hill. I thought he was going to stop when he got to me, but he kept on going so I had to ski after him. High-action film-making, people!

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