I have been taking Sydney skiing for a couple of years now. This usually involves a moment in parental patience as I try and teach her the skills needed without being any type of certified instructor. Yeah yeah, I should put her into a class but that’s just too normal for my tastes. But this year, I figured a 7 year old might have the maturity to take it up a notch.
Aunt Natalee was in town to ski with us. This requires us going to a real resort to ski. Sydney has never been off the greens at Eldora in the past. I figured some nice long greens would give her a better chance to develop her skills. We left the cabin and got to Copper Mountain for a nice weekday of skiing. By the time we got everyone a bathroom break and walked to the lifts, we were all getting tired. But we got right up the lift with no big trouble. Unfortunately, I didn’t do a good map check and headed down a blue run with Sydney next to me. She was holding on my poles as we used to do and things were not going well. After a series of falls and steep downhills, she wanted to walk down and go home. Failure. Dad failed. But I kept her working and we got down and I promised more diligent map reading and greens from here on out.
Somewhere on the next green hill, skiing just clicked for her. She was off my poles and turning from side to side down the hill without any worry for my location. She started moving through traffic without problems. She was on fire! Who is that kid? At the bottom, she was ready to go again. So we ran more greens until lunch time. I was so proud! It made all that struggle so worth it. Then Sydney proclaimed that she wanted to return to that blue from earlier and ski it herself.
And she did! It was a nearly perfect day for her once we got past that first bad experience. Except for when she almost died — huh? We were getting on a 3 seat chair lift. Natalee and I on the outsides and Sydney in the middle. We had a bit of confusion as we sat on the chair and it threw me off my usual sequence of getting myself on and then super double checking on Sydney. We literally lifted up and started out over the “drop zone” of fresh powder that is roped off and Sydney just flew off the chair. She landed about 5′ below in the powder. We yelled “help, help!” and they stopped the lift. She was OK. You couldn’t have done a safer fall. They put her on a chair behind us and we went up the mountain. I was nervous she was back there crying but she was not. She thought it was kind of crazy and fun.
Everyone had so much fun that we went skiing again the next day at Cooper Mountain and talked Reagan into joining us. Its a smaller place with a more cozy feel. Sydney skiied with Natalee all day long and I barely saw them. Apparently, they were all over the greens, a few blues, and even took a wrong turn onto a black and survived. We are getting closer to making this a family event. Only 2 more to go!
I shot a little video of Sydney motoring along. Nothing that great if you have ever seen someone on skis before…but this is my kid…getting it done!
So proud of Sydney for hanging in there and learning to ski. Now its all up to her.