Sunday, 8 February 2015

SNOWBOARD POPPA


Yesterday, we drove up to Kananaskis in the mountains to watch Hurricane and Tornado learn to ski.
Every time I say “ski” in front of the boys I am corrected. They “snowboard”, not “ski” and to tell you the truth, they seem a little put out that I don’t know. I do know, but to me, if you are sliding down a slope covered with snow with something strapped to your feet, you are skiing. I will probably never learn. I don’t understand why people would rather snowboard than ski, it seems so much more restrictive to me. I guess that is just old fart thinking.

It was a surprise to us that we actually met Arwen and family in the parking lot since we left about a half hour after they did. We forget that it takes a long time to unload and dress two active kids with attentions spans of about 13 seconds. Like most ski hills, Nakiska is in a beautiful mountain setting. They have tried to make a little village atmosphere with the rental shop, gift shop and cafeteria located at the base of the main hill. It is very nice.

The boys are just learning to ski (“SNOWBOARD POPPA!”) and once everything got organized, we walked over to the bunny hill. Bunny hills for those that don’t know are training hills for those learning to ski (“SNOWBOARD POPPA!”). It is a gentle slope that hardly even qualifies to be called a hill, but as I recall it is terrifying for the novice at the top looking down at his imminent demise.
 
On either side of the hill, they have a moving carpet that you stand on and it moves you gently to the top of the hill. When I was learning, they used a pommel lift which was a pole with a round wooden seat that went between your legs and carried you up the slope. The secret was not to sit on it but to let it pull you gently. Chris took Hurricane up one side and Arwen walked beside Tornado on the other. Hurricane is three years older and just that much more co-ordinated, so he did pretty well skiing (“SNOWBOARD POPPA!”) down the slope. Tornado had a little more trouble focusing on the task at hand, but he made it down all right. The hill was very crowded and every now and then an adult would lose control and end up face down in a pile of skis, poles, toques, sunglasses and mitts.
 
The boys had fun at the bottom of the hill in the play area the hill had placed there for those with short attention spans.

Eventually, Chris took Hurricane to another hill with a chairlift and some “real” skiing (“SNOWBOARD POPPA!”). Tornado and Arwen did another run down the bunny hill and then we wandered around the village for a while. We found a table, sat in the sun and had our lunch. Eventually Hurricane and his dad came back to join us having had a successful trip down the mountain. I don’t think that Hurricane will ever again ski (“SNOWBOARD POPPA!”) on the bunny hill. That may cause a problem with Tornado, but time will work it all out.
 

It was a wonderful day in the mountains and almost made me wish I had strapped on the boards, pitting myself against the mountain. Almost… 

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