By: Kris Hoey
Head Women’s Cross Country Coach/Assistant Track & Field Coach
I went Skiing for the 1st time over Winter Break! Nate (Hoey) and I went up to Wintergreen Resort, which is less than an hour away from Lexington.
So I got all of the gear rented and put on and we were about 40 mins early for our lesson. That is a long time with a nice white ski slope in from of you. There was absolutely no way I could just sit there and wait for the lesson to begin. I decided that I was going to try out my rental skis and go down the mountain. 40 mins that is enough time, right?
I got to the edge of the flat snow and started out slowly down the slope. I figured I would just go down Potato Patch and ride the lift back up…check out the Trail Map http://www.wintergreenresort.com/pdf/TrailMap2009.pdf . I started out going slowly but I started picking up speed and more speed and it wouldn’t let up. Ahhhh what do I do? I had to bail! (I finally know what Sandra Bullock felt like when she couldn’t stop that bus in Speed) Ok so a few more times same thing, get up, pick up speed and bail. I know there must be more out there….the ski and bail method was not what I really saw on the Winter Olympics in 2006, although some of the wipeouts I had felt very similar to some of those I remember seeing there at the sports highest level. (I must have been doing something right) Check out what it felt like to be me on my 1st day of skiing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mozBxhvxXRA
I am finally down at the ski lift. How hard could it be? Stand there, chair comes and you sit down. Sweet, I did it! I am pumped…..there is no one around except the chair lift operator, but I am just smiling feeling pretty accomplished riding the chair lift up Potato Patch looking around at the beautiful surroundings, and “SHINK” something is pulling on my leg. I looked down and my ski is laying there behind me. All these things started racing through my mind….I pictured myself having to ski down the mountain on one ski to come back to retrieve my orphaned ski (this was not an option considering how 2 skis went just a few mins before), I thought that I would have to wait in a long line for another ski, I wasn’t really sure how I would get off the lift with one ski on and one ski off, you can imagine the dilemma in my mind. “MUST GET SKI” was my reaction, so I did what any novice skier would do. I jumped off the ski lift to get my ski.
How did this all happen? I am not quite sure, but I do know that it was not my fault . There was a huge mound of snow extending up almost touching the ski lift so my ski got stuck in the drift and was not able to be lifted out as the chair went up. If this didn’t happen to me, it surely would have happened to the next person. The chair lift operator was very nice and helped me get my ski after screaming relentlessly “Don’t Jump, Don’t Jump, Stay there.” After reattaching my ski, I was all set to ride the lift again. Just as I was about to get on the lift, they decided that it would be a good idea to get rid of the mound (so this wouldn’t happen again with the next skier coming to ride the Potato Patch lift) so they had to stop the lift. Time was ticking, I had a much need lesson to get to. Finally the lift was running, I was on it with 2 skiis and I was going up the mountain to my lesson.
From the top of the mountain, things looked very different. When I got back up to the top(with 5 mins to spare before the lesson), Nate, asked me if I fell off the ski lift. My reaction was “No…..only someone who has never skied before would do that!”
I highly recommend Wintergreen Resort http://www.wintergreenresort.com/default.aspx for a 1st time skier. We had a lesson from a great teacher, Ralph Frink was his name. (as coaches, we rarely get the opportunity to be coached anymore, so that made it even more of a treat). I no longer have to bail and I have a new appreciation for speed. I can’t wait to watch everything going on in Vancouver in a few weeks. There is just nothing like the Olympics! http://www.vancouver2010.com/ .