What’s it like to visit the slopes for the first time? Emily Cefaratti, a college junior, was asked to reflect on her first skiing experience when she visited Crystal earlier this month. Here’s her take on that first trip to the slopes:
“OK, what did I tell you is the number one rule of skiing?” my boyfriend Drew asked as we drove north on US 31 heading for Crystal Mountain last weekend.
At age 20, this was going to be my first time skiing ever. I had both excitement and nervousness swirling around in my stomach. Drew had been giving me informational tips all week as I prepared for my inaugural skiing experience. What was he talking about?? There seemed to be so many rules, so much information. I tried to remember everything he’d said.
“Ummm… always make sure your skis are perpendicular to the hill when you stand up if you fall?” I stammered.
“No. Well, that too, but the other rule.”
“Make sure my boots fit well inside because if they don’t fit perfectly then I will be uncomfortable skiing in them all day?” I said hesitantly.
“Well, yeah but no! What’s the one rule I told you to remember?” he said impatiently.
I tried again. “When in doubt, make a pizza?”
I could tell he was irritated. “What do you want from me?!” I retorted. At this point, we were almost yelling at one another before Drew finally clued me in. “The number one rule is that if you fall, don’t try and stop yourself,” he said. “Let the fall happen. If you have to put your arms out, use your forearm and not your hands so you don’t break your wrist.”
“Oh yeah. THAT rule”, I sighed.
If you go online, you’ll see many articles about teaching your significant other to ski. They all said about the same thing—don’t do it. Well, Drew and I were already breaking THAT rule. But before I could even get out on the hill, I had to get the equipment. As a rank beginner, my first stop was at the rental building. The ski rental process was fairly self-explanatory if I followed the big signs that told me where to go and when. At first glance, filling out the equipment rental forms looked like I was applying to become an organ donor, asking questions just shy of your blood type. My rental skis, boots, and poles were in good shape and fit perfectly for a beginner. The people inside were very helpful and friendly, which made the whole experience not too overwhelming or daunting. However, little did I know that I was about to face my biggest nemesis of the day: the chairlifts.
With Drew’s help, getting on a lift for the very first time was fine and I was feeling pretty good about myself - until I realized that I’d have to get off. When we reached the top, I stood up as I was told – but lost my balance, throwing me into Drew, who just kept going down the ramp. I fell, and frantically tried to stand up again but ended up twisting my skis around each other. As I lay on the ground helpless, I looked behind me to see the lift operator had stopped the lift and come over to help me untangle myself. Drew, waiting at the bottom of the lift ramp, was doubled over laughing.
The rest of the day went very well, as I finally graduated from the ‘snow-plow’ and wide turns to shorter, more parallel turns. Overall, I had so much fun! Crystal Mountain was a great first skiing experience, and I hope I can be back on the slopes soon.
And when Emily returns, she’ll be sure to take a lesson! Our Snowsports instructors are certifiably super in teaching skiing and riding skills so that anyone’s first time on the slopes is an enjoyable introduction to a lifetime of good times in the sport.