Katie learns just how much fun spring skiing can be on Day #3

So truth be told, I love to complain. If it were a sport in the Olympics, I would hands down take the gold, silver and bronze. So although I’ve said that I hated skiing before and I’m starting to like it now, doesn’t mean that I didn’t have my fair share of complaints during this whole experience. I won’t lie and say it wasn’t cold, and that falling didn’t hurt, or even that it was an easy experience that I fell in love with instantly. But I will tell you that it was something that I have zero regrets doing and that I may not be a diehard skier now, but through this experience I have grown to be more patient, more confident, and willing to put effort into it even though I’m not that great. It’s easy to love something that you are good at, but much more difficult to find fun in something that you’ve sworn to loathe.

After my first and second lesson, I was pleased with my progress and thankful for the chance to learn a new skill, but I really had zero intentions of ever going again (this is where my excellent complaining skills came into play). And then I was informed that I got one more lesson! I was excited, but also really nervous because I was probably going to have to really ski, like actual runs, with actual potential to eat it hard core. So while heading up the canyon I told myself that it was fun and I loved it and I would live. Cue complaining, again.

And then I got my stuff and we were off, just to the beginners slope at first but Eddy assured me that we would hit the actual slopes today in his perky-I-love-skiing-more-then-life- sort of way that he does best. The first run down I was shaking and not loving it, and then all of the sudden it hit. I felt that I was OK and that I could survive the full lesson and then real skiing began.
We went to some of the runs where it was super sunny, and created a whole new type of snow that I was not used to. Snow that’s a little slushy is clearly my kind of snow. It makes turning a bit more difficult but helps keep your speed in check, no complaint with that. Not to mention the sun! It was so beautiful and made the resort look so much different in such a breathtaking way. We made it over to Deer Crest and Eddy could easily sense my change of mood and knew that this sort of skiing was Katie Fredrickson sort of skiing. We went down our first run which was an easy blue, and I felt good about it. Then we did the same run again, and again, and again. It got to the point where I could relax and enjoy the run, instead of focusing on what my feet were doing.

Then Eddy told me that I was ready for a harder run and that it was not much different at all. Looking at this run was very frightening. I looked at Eddy and said, “Alright crazy, what run are we really going to do?” After about five minutes of me standing there and Eddy reassuring me about a million times that I was more than capable to handle this run, we set off. Turns out, I could handle that run, and had fun all the way to the bottom. When we reached the bottom Eddy started laughing and I asked him what was so funny, assuming I looked like a spazz. His reply was, “Look at you, actually skiing and you are smiling. First time I’ve ever seen that smile!” No joke this was when I knew that I would come back and ski on my own sometime.

Eventually we met up with Deer Valley blogger JF Lanvers and he asked me how I was doing. My answer was, “fantastic, we are skiing and looking legit!” And his response is probably the greatest thing that I have ever heard. Imagine his French accent and his smiley face saying, “Well why else would we ski but to look cool?” LOVE IT! We got some good runs in, I did fall (which was so kindly edited out of JF’s video), but if you don’t fall, you’re not trying.

This experience was the only thing that would ever have made me enjoy skiing. I’ve even have plans to go within the next week. I never thought I would actually have plans to go skiing. Thanks to everyone at Deer Valley, especially Eddy, you all made me like skiing and build the skills so that I can learn to love it.

Attempt at skiing, #2!

I woke up this time and felt so much more at ease for the upcoming ski adventure. I knew that I could at least wedge down the mountain if absolutely necessary, but that Eddy probably would be rather disappointed (and that is something that I couldn’t handle).

After I went through the process of getting all my equipment I met up with Eddy on the beginners slope and felt even more at ease with the situation. However, unlike my first day I was not ready for the cold. I realize that you can’t always have a beautiful sunny day, but from my personal experience, I can say without a doubt that if you don’t like being cold and you are trying to learn to ski, you won’t have a great experience. Eddy gave my some hand warmers to put in my gloves and we made our way to the lifts.

The first couple of runs we took just went very slow and reviewed all that we had learned at a slow pace. I cannot say enough how great Eddy is! He was trying to cheer me up because I was frustrated at how I wasn’t doing as well as before and not to mention that I had turned into the abominable snowman. As great as he is, cheering me up was not happening and I was losing my excitement quick. Eddy then suggested we take a break and warm up inside, which I was more than happy to do. We then met up with JF Lanvers in the lodge who was very excited and couldn’t wait to see how much more progress I had made. Eddy delicately explained it was too cold to get as good while showing me puppy pictures to bring my smile back. I think that the most important thing that Eddy taught me in this lesson was that you can’t be hard on yourself and you need to be patient (whether that is with your progress or with the sun).

We decided that it was time to give it another chance because the sun had come out and I was on a cute-puppy-picture high and now was as good of a time to try as any. We started with our run and the difference between that run and the previous runs was unbelievable! I was for sure not as good as I had been towards the end of the first lesson, but I was much, much, MUCH better than before. My mood instantly got better and I was ready to go. (Again mad props to Eddy for being able to read me and know how to best ensure I had a good day!)

After a few runs on the bunny hill Eddy decided that it was time for an actual run. My heart just about stopped and I was less than enthused to fall down a very large and much longer hill. Eddy promised me that he would never endanger me by putting me on a run that he didn’t know I could handle. Eddy is a very optimistic person clearly, because I for sure felt like that was something that I could not accomplish. But he had never steered me wrong so I needed to trust him and everything he had taught me…

Fast forward to the top of the run which was called Success, which Eddy promised was super easy and just a longer version of the bunny hill.

At the top of the run I snapped this pic to both A) show the world my mastery of the sport B) lie to the world and say I skied skillfully down the run.

We started down the run and I cannot believe what happened. I destroyed it (In a good way!). I did so well and I felt that excitement of skiing and accomplishing something. I did fall twice, on two flat parts because I was spazzing out and looking directly down which you should not do! Eddy told me half way through that he had a secret that he would tell me when we finished, which I knew was something I was either or that the run was maybe not the easiest of the beginner runs. I flew down the rest of the mountain (still a bit of a ski hazard so if you ever see a fully purple ski suit looking a little nervous and in the way, it’s me and I will apologize now if you run into me, I’m sure it’ll be great meeting you like that.)

At the end I felt so accomplished and was so happy to be able to say that I skied my first run and lived to tell the tail. I was so proud of myself and I know that Eddy was really proud of me as well. He then proceeded to tell me that I had just skied the hardest beginner’s hill and “killed” it. Eddy is very sneaky and totally tricked me into realize that I’m good enough for even the more difficult beginner runs.

Long story, very short; Had a really hard morning, decided I hated skiing, hung out with Eddy and listened to him and finally skied down an actual run. Decided that I like skiing and I have a lot of potential to be good at it.

As always, a special thank you to JF Lanvers for catching my lessons on video and showing everything I cannot describe in words.

If you live in Utah, you should be Skiing!

Did you know January is National Learn to Ski & Snowboard month? Do you know what this means? A lot of good deals! There are 32 states that participate across the country in this program. Here at Deer Valley, from January 17-31 we are offering a Learn to ski package: 25% off lodging, adult rentals and two Max 4 lessons. Why not come visit Utah during this time and take advantage of the great deals offered during learn to ski month. On January 28 we are also offering a day for Utah locals. If you’re a never ever or spent some time away from the sport, come visit Deer Valley. For $39, the program includes a ticket, rental equipment and a lesson! Reservations can be made by calling 888-754-8477 or 435-645-6648 and mention “Ski Utah Learn to Ski Program.”

I think this is such a great program for the sport of skiing. Do you realize we live in a state with the best skiing terrain and The Greatest Snow on Earth ® and ONLY 20-25% of Utahans ski? Come up to the mountains and get into the clean, fresh air. Take advantage of these programs and you’ll be hooked. It’s always a good idea to take a lesson especially if you’re a never ever skier instead of adventuring out with a friend. You’ll be taken care of, reassured and protected. It’s normal to be a bit fearful but you’ll be in good company with our professional instructors. (Take a look at Katie’s progress here). If you’re not skiing you’re missing the best part of living here in Utah. I can understand its cold or looks extreme but remember the technology of ski clothing is so more sophisticated and the pictures/videos you see in ads and movies aren’t where the Instructors will take you, I promise.

If you’re a social person grab some friends and take a group lesson. If you’re shy, take a private lesson with no pressure from other skiers. I suggest picking a nice day to be introduced/re-introduce to the sport. Reward yourself! Take a few runs, grab a cookie and rest. Make it fun. Start slow and build your confidence. Taking advantage of these programs will allow you to enjoy your day instead of feeling you must stay outside all day to get your “money’s worth.”

Baby steps before big steps. Athletic stance and a fun attitude is all you need to start. Have fun and see you on the slopes.

 

January Learn To Ski & Snowboard Month

January Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month began in 2007 and has since grown to include 32 states and over 300 resorts. Deer Valley Resort is proud to participate in this great national program.

What is Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month?

“Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month in January encourages children and adults to learn by taking lessons from professional instructors. It also challenges current skiers and snowboarders to improve their skills through lessons.” (According to skiandsnowboardmonth.com)

What is Deer Valley offering in January for Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month?

Deer Valley is offering a Learn to Ski Lodging Package this year for out-of-town guests.

Whether you are new to skiing or perhaps have just taken some time away from the sport, what better time to visit Deer Valley Resort than during National Learn to Ski Month! Save 25% on lodging, adult ski rentals and two MAX 4 semi-private group lessons. Valid January 2 – 12, 2012, and January 17 – 31, 2012.

Deer Valley is also offering a Ski Utah Learn to Ski Program on January 28, 2012 for locals.  

Date: January 28, 2012
Program: Ski Utah Learn to Ski Program – Never-ever skiers and locals only (local is anyone with a current Utah driver’s license. Lesson Time:   9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Maximum: Limited to the first 55 registrants.
Participants: First-time skiers (never-ever skied before).
What is included: Ski lesson, lift ticket, ski rentals (helmet not included) and locker token.
Age: Participants must be 13 years or older. Cost: $39 for the package, per participant ($13 for a lift ticket, $13 for ski rental equipment and $13 for the lesson)
What to bring:  Appropriate ski attire (pants and a jacket), gloves, goggles/sunglasses and sunscreen.
Reservations: Must be made prior to January 26, 2012.  Reservations can be made by calling 888-754-8477 or 435-645-6648 and mention “Ski Utah Learn to Ski Program” One lesson per participant.

*Though January is known as Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month, Deer Valley is a ski only resort.

To celebrate Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month Deer Valley will be following a local, never-ever skier as she learns to ski this January.

Meet Katie Fredrickson

Katie is 21 years old and is studying History at the University of Utah. Born and raised in Utah, Katie is looking forward to finally learning how to ski.

“Living in Utah you are surrounded by people who ski, it’s easy to feel left out when all your friends leave you down in the valley on powder days.”

With the improvements Deer Valley has made to its Wide West beginner area the environment should be less intimidating for Katie.

“I’m stoked I don’t have to get on a chairlift right away. The conveyor lifts on the beginner hill seem a lot less scary. I think it will help me to focus on learning to ski and not freaking out about getting on and off the chair.”

We took Katie down to the rental shop to get fitted for skis and boots. It’s important to follow the steps when renting gear for your first time skier.

When you first enter the rental shop you want to make sure you fill out the proper form before anything.

The rental shop has several tools to help you determine your ability and type of skier.

There are lots of friendly customer service employees to help you out.

Boot fitting will be your first stop.

Followed by getting measured for the right ski…

Finally you will be fitted for the right length of pole

We asked Gary Wassmar, our rental shop manager for some tips on renting gear for first time skiers.

Tip #1: When trying on boots make sure you toes touch the end with straight legs. You know they fit properly when your foot slides back with your knees bent

Tip #2: For beginners, your ski length should come right below your chin

Tip #3: To choose the right size poles, your arm should be a 90-degree angle holding the pole under the basket

Katie has her first lesson Friday, January 6. Check back here to see how our first time skier does!