Monthly Archives: January 2008

Downhill Skiing: Successful Second Attempt

Last year, I tried out downhill skiing for the first time ever and the painful conclusion I made after 50 metres was that if I ever want to try it again, I will have to take a skiing course (for the pictures from last year see here). So new year, new hope, I wanted to try it again – this time with professional help.

So I wanted to sign up for a skiing course for beginners. However, when I called the skiing school, the lady on the telephone told me that for absolute beginners like me, it was better to have a personal instructor instead of a course in a group. First I was a little bit sceptical also because of the higher price for the lesson, but then I “ordered” a personal instructor for 1 1/2 hours.

Personal Instructor

Today then, I went up to Tryvann and there he was: Nick, my personal instructor from England, a country well known for its cold temperatures, high mountains and loads of snow.

First things first, I asked him many stupid questions like how to step into the skis, whether the boots were sitting correctly and how to properly hold the sticks because I have absolutely zero knowledge when it comes to skiing. After that, we started really slowly on a beginner’s slope (in German we call that Idiotenhügel = idiot’s hill) with very basic movements. After that went quite well, he said “now let’s get up there and go down the big slope”. I was a bit scared because this was the very slope where I fell down last year and hurt myself pretty bad.

However, this time it went really well. We made some more exercises and Nick also showed me techniques how to make sharp turns and how to brake. Then I should follow his way down the hill and when we reached the ski lift on the bottom (where I also met a colleague from work). I was quite happy because I had not fallen and had safely made it to the ground. We went up again and down another time and then my skiing lesson was over. Nick concluded “you are doing really well, if you like, just ski on your own a few times”.

Near-collision

And so I did. Since my card for the ski lift was still valid for almost 1 1/2 hours, I had enough time to practise. In the end, it turned out easier than I had thought: I went down the hill probably 5 times on my own, with only one “minor incident” (a near-collision with a snowboarder). It was a lot of fun, and I am still astonished how it was possible to ski on my own after only 1 1/2 hours of instruction given by a British guy. :-)