On our first day skiing just before noon, I saw Marissa as I was riding up the Comet Chair. It looked like Marissa was heading in for lunch so I headed down to the lodge to see what they were up to. Sure enough I found Marissa waiting for lunch.
Marissa had one boy in her class and their instructor, Hagen reported that there were doing really well. They would not let Marissa use polls, and boy was this a sore subject with her. Hagen said he would give her poles for day two - so that made her happy! I made arrangements with Hagen to meet Marissa at the end of the day at the top of the gondola. That evening Marissa and I skied Liz's, a very challenging blue run. Marissa skied very carefully, carving turns all the way down.
I did not see Marissa on day two until the end of the day. She had a different boy in her class and Hagen was still her instructor. Hagen reported that Marissa had been working on speed and small bumps that day. We decided to do repeat runs off the Tamarack lift. There are two moderate blues, not as hard as Liz's that are serviced by this lift. Marissa was more aggressive than on Wednesday, but was still skiing pretty conservatively. There was a long flat spot at the end of the run to the base of the lift. I told Marissa to get into a full tuck to pick up enough speed to get the lift. There was also a big bump at the base of the hill, so when I demonstrated this, I popped some big air off the bump. Marissa practiced this several times, and I think that this was a defining moment in Marissa's ski career.
Again I did not see Marissa on the hill Friday until I picked up at the end of the day. Hagen reported that they had skied some black runs that day, and they worked on skiing bumps and "connecting short radius turns in the steeps!" Marissa and I headed to the runs off of Tamarack once more. There was a big mound where the lift dumped at the top of the hill. It was a blind drop to a connecting trail, so I always skied around it. Marissa just blasted right over the top and hit a big hockey stop with a BIG GRIN. Then Marissa blasted down the hill, really fast. This was a change for sure. On our second run, Marissa did the same thing over the mound, but she got a little off balance and took a nice face plant and tumble. But she came up grinning. The photo to the left was taken just before the spill.
Marissa was really carving her turns, skiing fast, and eating up the bumps. In this photo she is demonstrating good form and balance, she has her outside ski on edge and is moving her inside ski to set up her next turn. Hands forward. Awesome!
Saturday was my race. I had given the kids option of coming to the race, or taking another day of ski school. All of them choose ski school, and Marissa had made sure that Hagen was going to be her instructor. Marissa had Hagen take her down to where we were racing, and I saw them after my first run. There was no one else in her class! Hagen reported that Marissa had been skiing some blacks including The Milky Way Bowl (photo below.) When I showed her this photo, Marissa denied skiing Milky Way Bowl – but you don’t have this kind of view when you are going down the hill. Hagen wrote this on Marissa’s final report card, “Awesome! Marissa is a great skier! Today we skied lots of black runs, bumps, steeps, and went really fast!” That’s my kid!! :-)
Bob has been officially retired as Marissa's ski idol. I have a feeling that I will be hearing alot about Hagen from now on!
All views expressed in this post and on this blog are my own. None of my comments should be construed to represent the views of others including and not limited to: BMC Software Inc., Corel Corporation, Dun and Bradstreet and AC Nielsen. Copyright Chris Hughes 2004-2012