Ski Lessons: Time to challenge yourself

At the beginning of the season, it was snow, snow and more snow leading many ski resorts in the area, including Sun Peaks, to open early. Mother Nature’s favour was upon us. Or so we thought.

Then two days ago, there was wet snow. And even stranger…rain? In January? In Sun Peaks??? I discovered that the milder weather we’re getting is from a climate pattern called El Nino that warms both the atmosphere and the ocean temperature.

“The link between El Nino and milder temperatures is very strong,” meteorologist Claire Martin told CBC. “Generally, El Nino means less snow.”

All I can say is, thank God for artificial snowmakers and all the mountain operations employees at Sun Peaks Resort who make it happen despite El Nino.

Anyway, I’m now a Beginner Level 3 skier! And today, I made it down a blue run! In case you’re wondering why I’m so happy, I should explain. This is exciting news for someone who, (a) is the first skier in the family, and (b) up until a few months ago, didn’t even know what a binding was.

Me, my British instructor Amy and fellow skier Sammie (I think she’s probably 12) went on Homesteader first to warm up and get ourselves ready for the next challenge. It was Sammie’s last day on the hill before heading back to Sydney with her family, and even with just a week of instruction from the Sports School, I can tell that she now has excellent control and grasp of skiing techniques.

The next run was Grannie Greene, a beginner blue run. “It’s nice to try something different,” said Amy. “People don’t know what they’re capable of unless they push themselves to try something new.”

This comes from someone who practises what she preaches. Amy can ski black diamond runs, but she didn’t stop there. Instead, she decided to learn other sports. She’s mastering snowboarding as an alternative sport in the winter and she has recently learned to wakeboard. That’s what she does in the summer because she doesn’t mountain bike. “I like to mix it up a bit,” she said.

At first, I had some qualms going down Grannie Greene, and that translated to several falls on the initial steep incline. It was a good day for falls, however, as the run was covered in very soft, dry powder that cushioned the falls. Also, what’s more important than falling is the willingness to get up and try again. I think I’m getting good at that too.

Patience is key, whether it’s in completing my turns or learning to ski in general. I discovered that when my instructor was first learning, she only skied for a week each year. Now she’s an advanced skier who’s teaching others to discover their love for the sport. It’s all about the patience and the willingness to try new things.

And speaking of trying new things, allow me to go off on a tangent. Bottoms Bar and Grill is holding an open mic night on Sunday, Jan. 17 at 9 p.m. If you’re a musician, dancer, singer or all-around performer hiding your abilities in the closet, this is your chance to get out there and entertain the community with your talent. It may not be Canadian Idol, but it’s a wonderful new opportunity to challenge yourself all in good fun. If you’re interested, contact Nathan at 250-578-0013 or just show up at Bottoms.

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