Comfort Levels

Yesterday morning we brought Charley up to the ski hill for a few runs and a Gondola experience. And then around noon, my Mom, Step dad and myself went up the lifts to access the backcountry. They had not seen any of the south facing terrain so I thought I would show them some easy access touring that they would be able to access on their own.

They have toured with me for years but this season they are living here. And since they are living here they are having to ski tour on their own. I have always “guided” them around and now that they are here full time they are starting to go out on their own. So they are finding their comfort levels. I thought that they should see some of the easy terrain so that they could grow familiar with it and more comfortable.

But since we were testing out comfort levels I decided to see where their comfort line was. We toured up Kokanee ridge and I thought we should ski Holy Cow. This little chute is rimmed with cornices and steep cliffs; its very dramatic. So we stood on top and peering down the line I began convincing them that they would be able to ski it and enjoy it. It is a short chute, 200ft, and then it has a great finish to the valley floor.

Both of them starred apprehensively down the chute, wondering if they had the skills to ski it. I knew they did and proceeded to talk them down it. The first key to success is understanding that you can side slip down anything. Its the best tool in the book. “too scared to turn, side slip a few more feet till your confidence is high enough to jump into it.” Realizing that its true, Deane and Don both slid down till they could jump turn and then worked their way down the chute. And like most chutes they enjoye d the turns down the fan the best. It was great to watch them and I believe that they enjoyed their”extreme skiing” episode.

Well the weather is looking great for the next 3 or 4 days and I can’t wait to get after it.

  1. ryan January 20, 2008 at 3:29 am

    pan-generational ski day.

  2. D&D January 20, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    And Charlie straight lined it!

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