Tuesday, April 17, 2007

PSIA Symposium at Big Sky

So I went up to Big Sky over the weekend to try and stalk my friend Josh who is trying out for the "D" team this time around. Unfortunately, he dropped off the back side of the mountain into waist deep fresh powder where you need an avalanche transceiver to follow.

Instead, I spent the day skiing with his buddy, Zach, who had just got back from Garmisch, Germany, and who was suffering from a bit of culture shock ("It's such a 'Nar, Brah' scene here!"). He had just passed his level 3 exam, and deigned to spend the day helping me to suck less.

Zach's big tip of the day: drive the outside knee out, like opening a door. YES! I need this. I ski like a knock-kneed lilly-livered girl. I wanna look like a friggin bow-legged (magnetic) freight train. You know, because even though the magnetic ones are burly and fast, they float about an inch off the rail, so they are smooth as silk. Or buddah (that's New York butter, not Buddha, right? got it?). Or Ghee, if you are really a purist.

Anyhow. I am glad I spent the day with him, exploring the mountain because the next day we got to ski with some of the clinicians. My first guy? The very sparkly Nick Herrin, poster boy for the Alpine team (All the photos of him skiing, he just looks like he couldn't be having ANY more fun!!). What a blast.com. Seriously. He is, um, ebullient to say the least!

Nick, who is now the asst. director at Telluride, lived at Big Sky for nine years, and took us everywhere. I skied the steepest terrain I have ever been on, in trees, down groomers, through crud, off jumps (Okay, I got 2 inches of "air", Nick threw a huge Iron Cross, whatever, you know...). Anyhow, my skiing dramatically improved, and it was awesome to have him there going "YEAH! GOOD JOB!!". This guy is a bucket of fun on skis.

The next day, I skied with Rob Sogard, whom I NOW know is the Coach of the "D" team, but whom at the time, I foolishly thought was TRYING OUT for the NRM region "D" team. Yes, I am a goober. Hi, I'm Kate, I'm new.

Anyhow, its a good thing, because had I known, I certainly would NOT have opened my big mouth and told him I hoped to try out this psycho physiological experiment and make the team in five years. He was really nice, encouraging, and basically told me to go for it. It can be done. YES, it can be done!! Says the coach!! So here we go. Once again, my skiing dramatically improved, and then I got to take a spin on his skis at the end of the day. "Kate, have you ever been on real skis?" (Right, neglected to mention that I showed up on my only gear, back country skis and dynafit bindings... not so great for high performance in bounds skiing...) and tried to ski away with them... ah, well...

The next day, I skied with Nick McDonald at Rob's request, head coach of the NW Technical Team and all around amazing coach. This guy has a drill for everything. After the first five minutes, I owned the center of my skis like never before. Thanks, Nick!

All in all, it was an incredible weekend, I can't wait for National Academy in just five days!! YEAH!

I also hope to get over to Crystal Mountain in Seattle where Nick M. is based out of to just siphon his brain of all those drills, drills, drills.

Okay. Here is the girly note. While I was there, I met Kirsten, the education coordinater for the North West Division. She was wearing just the hottest jacket I have ever seen. Bergan of Norway. Yummmy Yummy Yummy. So I sent Bergan a letter asking if I could have some free clothes. Cross your fingers!! (Because I know you want me to look THIS good!

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