Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Skiing accomplishments

Once you get to a certain advanced point in skiing, it becomes hard to progress that next step. For some, lessons just don't cut it, for you need to acquire some very specific skill or other that requires personal coaching. So at that point, a lot of people gain their instructor's certification. It was the same way when I was a glider pilot. First you learned, then you flew solo, then you flew cross country, then you flew higher performance aircraft, then you learned to teach.

Karen decided recently that she had reached "that point", so she signed up for the Canadian Ski Instructor's Alliance Level 1 course. I got my Level 1 way back in the late 1970's. Level 1 instructors teach beginners how to snowplow and progress to an intermediate level of skiing, primarily to kids. It's not really advanced skiing, but the course teaches you how to ski a technique "perfectly" and how to plan and deliver classes. And one key to the course is the absolute requirement that your skiing improves. Because it's Level 1, you really don't have to be that incredible a skier to take the course, but no matter how good you are, you MUST get better.

She passed, of course, and the limited opportunities I've seen say she's skiing better to boot. So I am (as usual) proud of her for getting it done. Will she teach? I doubt it, because that seems like work. But it wasn't about trying to get a job as a ski instructor. It was about setting and achieving goals.

While she was in the class, I was skiing on my own. A few weeks back, I posted this on how I managed to ski a 3rd best ski day ever, by setting a goal to ski a lot one day. At the end of that day, I wondered if I would ever get the chance to break 50,000' again.

Well, I did, and then some. This past Monday featured fast snow, fairly good viz all day, some powder and a bit of hero snow around. As Karen was in class, I was on my own, with no reason (but wobbly legs) to stop during the day. On the downside, I have been (and continue to be) fighting a cold, so wasn't feeling 100%. But circumstances on the hill caused me to ride the Goat's Eye lift -- with it's 1,900' of vertical -- exclusively for the day. Karen's early start for her class got me onto the chair at 9:05 AM, and her late finish caused me to catch the last lift at 4:00 PM. Add to that the briefest of lunch stops and I managed to get...

18,040 vertical meters or
59,186 vertical feet 29 runs in my day. That's 2,610 m more than my best day ever.

What did that look like?

As seen in Google Earth
As seen on my iPhone
And lest you think I took it easy this day, simply blasting up and down green runs, or doing hard stuff early and easy stuff later...
A close up of the South Side Chutes
...that's one in Mother in Law, one in Goat's Head Soup, one in Wildside Main, one in Farside, one in Think Again, two in Renegade, one in Stampede, one in Saddledome and one exit through Eagle Meadows. All but 2 of those are double black, and one was my 26th run of the day.

Now I have a new goal: 18,288 m, or 60,000 vertical feet in one day. Given the "perfect storm" of conditions that caused me to get 18,040 m, I doubt it will happen soon.

But you never know...


Edwin said...

Congrats! One great accomplishment and remember everyone needs a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) keeps you grounded and it gives direction to your live. I'm pretty sure I'll read all about it on this blog, if not this winter then - God permit - latest next!

Ali said...

Hi Derek. Could have sworn you had my contact info. Email is, phone is 613-929-2992.