Wednesday, March 18, 2009

14 Days to the Level 3 Exam! What a day at Big Sky!

Today, I traveled up to Big Sky, MT to ski with my friend Jill Imsand, who I've been trying to get together with for MONTHS, unsuccessfully. Today, we made it happen! Not ONLY did I get to take a couple of rippin' runs with her and her boyfriend, but I also got to ski the Big Couloir with Christine Bakker (who ripps, I always forget how fast she is in the chop), and then in the afternoon, I chased Tom Marshall and Chris Jones through the trees in the bumps and nearly died a hundred times. (Just kidding.)

It was awesome to come ski Big Sky, I haven't been here since the fall, and it's just amazing how different it feels under my feet! The snow is different, the vertical goes on foooorrrrever, its steep, and it stays steep, and its been ages since I got to get out and play with these guys, and it was a blast to see them.

We ran into Ben Bernekie (I'm sure I spelled that wrong, sorry, Ben!), who has just skied the Little Couloir, which is gnarly, steep, and you have to go straight sometimes! He was pretty psyched on it, it was great to hear about, he described it as we went up the tram looking at this just INSANE line and thinking... wow, he did it!

I was wearing the new helmet cam, which was wonderful, and I looked at some of the footage on the tiny screen, I can't wait to upload it and show you what it was like today! Too fun!!

Skiing with the camera was challenging, because I was aware all the time that I was wearing it, so I wasn't focusing completely on my skiing, and it got away from me a few times when I was thinking about keeping the camera pointed in a certain direction, rather than feeling the snow and the turn and my skis.

The bowl was sloppy and choppy, but we skied The Big Couloir, as I said, and it was boot top powder with chalk underneath, just heavenly, and then Christine went down and subbed for Jill so she could come play, and we skied the third gully, and the black rock in the bowl (and the camera was unfortunately NOT rolling on that run, which was fun, and I did a big somersault on the steeps, and then looked up to see Jill skiing like a rock star toward me with the sun behind her catching the spray of the snow, but the camera was not only covered in snow, but it was OFF, bummer, bummer, bummer.

Anyhow, got it turned back on for a very fast run down the Decider? or the Discipline? or the... can't remember... but Jill and her boyfriend were rippin, and I was kinda hangin on for dear life, which was great, because when I try, I can ski that fast, too...

Then we hightailed it down to the bottom (ten minutes from tram top to ski school, no stopping... whew! And then we headed back out, Jill, Tom, Chris and I for a few fast play runs. Jill had to head in, so I followed the boys, which was hilarious, just watching them disappear into the trees and trying to see the terrain, make the turns, and keep up, it was so fun! I'm not entirely sure how Chris sees all those jumps and kickers at such high speeds, but I guess it just doesn't feel that fast to him in there. Tom had been in Garmish, Germany for the past week giving an exam, and had just flown home the night before, so he was exhausted, but he looked goofy and happy after playing in the snow for a few.

All in all, a super fun day out playing with friends, just what I needed to get my head in the right place before the exam. I have 14 days to go! Jill and Jen Gunther are going to come out and ski Bridger on Monday, we are going to spend the day in Slauchman's, because we found out that the exam says "Transcievers Required", so I'm assuming that means steep, fun terrain! Chris might get out for a play day later in the week at Bridger, which would be great, also.

My game plan for the next 14 days:
Sleep as much as I can every night.
Improve overall quality of foods I'm eating, although I'm eating frequently, I need more easily processed superfoods.
Soak in Epsoms three times a week.
Increase water intake to 1 gallon a day (I'm very dehydrated right now).
Rest days: March 21, 28, and maybe the 31.
Skill Focus: Javelin Turns, Teaching Progressions, Charlestons, Arcing in Emile's Mile, Deer Park Face, Short Turns on video, and arcing in video, short swing turns in video. Keep working bumps, hands and shoulders schooled.

If I get to choose, I think I am going to teach skiing on one ski, I have to check and see if I have time to do it the way I want to. I'm thinking of leaving a ski at the bottom of Pierre's and then skiing a whole run on one ski, switching feet, and thinking about what do you have to do to make the ski function? (Pressuring the cuff, high attention to movement patterns), then get the ski, and do delayed weight transfers down upper thunder road to the flats, then take it into arcing from the lone tree down, applying the idea of softening the inside leg (which is easy when its non existant!).

I'm also thinking of teaching comma turns to inside ski pulled back and bent, to arcing with the inside knee softening and tipping in. But those both end in the same place, with an emphasis on better carving, one on listening to critical edge angle and ski performance, and the second focusing on a strong inside half and flexion/extension movements. This second one is more complicated, because I'm gonna want to talk about pulling the skis to their edges, and about making sure the extension is on the new outside leg, rather than two-legged, creating the long leg short leg... so I have to think about that.

They will probably assign the tasks we'll teach, so I'm not going to worry too much about that.

Video coming tomorrow, probably! I have to learn the new editing software and cut it down a bit, but I checked it out on the little LED screen, and some of it looks pretty damn good! YAY!

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