DAY 2 — “If you have good coaching, skiing is effortless. You just need to use the equipment properly,” says my 72-year-old instructor IJ Fisher, a former Christmas Tree farm owner and ski patroller from the East Coast who followed his kids herein Steamboat, Co (www.steamboat.com ). The kids were going to spend one post -college season working as ski instructors—but they met their spouses (his son met his wife giving her a snowboard lesson!) and his three grandchildren are all still here and he and his wife have been here for 17 years.
Fisher teaches a couple of days a week because he likes to help visitors get better at a sport he loves. “Use it or lose it,” he tells everyone. A Tip: I signed on for an afternoon group lesson during a busy holiday weekend yet there were only two of us in our “group” –me and another mom here with her husband and two kids from Manhattan. Ski trips are a lot of work for a family, she concedes, but lessons are “me” time—someone to lead her around the mountain and to help her improve her technique without worrying about kids who might be alternately tired/hungry/bored or –every mom’s worst fear—when they want to go faster and down steeper slopes than you are comfortable with.
I’ve been there more times than I can count. That’s one reason I opted for take this lesson rather than trail after my family. It was challenging too–we skied bumps and trees and blacks. The difference: I had a coach cheering me on rather than family waiting for me at the bottom, not that they minded but I did.
My lesson partner is here for the third time with her family. Her kids aged seven and nine are fans of the mountain and the all like the family friendly vibe of the place –ski instructors who take time to point out aspens that look like goal posts or bear scratches. Restaurants welcome kids with kids’ menus.
And tonight the mountain is celebrating Valentine’s Day with a torchlight parade down the mountain –courtesy of the ski school—and fireworks which I think we’ll be able to see from the comfort of our condo at the steamboat grand while we stuff ourselves with spaghetti. Hey, we burned a lot of calories today.
Besides I’m celebrating. I conquered my fear—skiing bumps and skiing trees. My kids will be proud.