IT’S now five weeks into my beginners’ ski course at The Snow Centre, and, dare I say it, I think we are all starting to get the hang of this skiing lark.
With the basics now pretty much there, myself and the guys on the course have really started to make rapid progress.
Having practised the plough position – skis pointed inwards at the toe to control speed – our instructors, Steve MacKay and Sue Richman, introduced turning into the equation.
While we were all getting the hang of descending in a straight(ish) line, turns were a whole new proposition.
Steve laid cones across the slope, and we were given the task of manoeuvring our way in between them.
The theory behind the practice is fairly straightforward – create a bigger angle of the right ski and you will go left, and vice versa.
And to be honest, we all seemed to get it quite quickly, as Steve and Sue talked us through what we could improve next time, while also encouraging intrinsic feedback.
After a few runs, the whole group were managing to wind our way in and out of the cones – albeit rather cautiously – without too many problems.
I must admit, I was a bit too confident in my ability at first and went a tad too fast, causing a few hairy moments! But once I had sorted that issue, things were coming along nicely.
So, with plough turns under our belt on the practice slope, it was time for us to fly the nest and tackle the main slope.
All slightly apprehensive at the transition, we made our way across to play with the big boys, as it were. It felt like our first day at secondary school!
The nerves were jangling a bit, and our first task was to tackle the big mechanical monster, known as the Poma lift.
Getting on was OK – grab the bar, put the seat between your legs – it was the getting off that proved tricky!
Dismounting at the first stop on the slope, it took a few attempts to get the hang of it, but with a little help from Sue, it started to become easier.
And then, there we were – skiing down the main slope!
OK, so we were a bit wobbly at times, but compared to five weeks ago, we were flying.
It’s time for some parallel skiing next – and I say bring it on!