2.26.2007

white grass xc ski resort

white grass xc ski resort

on my trip to canaan valley this weekend past I had hoped to get out on the cross country skis
there was no firm itinerary
we had a rough notion of desires
but no firm plan

my primary objective was to get my older son out on some skis
downhill skis
this plan had me and the wife going to man to man defense
sort of unfair for me to join the older one
so we had rough plans to move to a tag team scenario for day two
swapping dean for grant
letting the wife do some downhill while dean took a lesson
which would have me with grantman
at three he is too young for any real alpine adventures
unless I could sell him on being towed while I cross county skis
which would be a humorous site as I can not cross country skiis

as the mountain weather would have it
saturday was warm and sunny with some day old powder scattered about
which allowed for some morning fun at canaan valley
as our lack of planning left us blocked out of the group lesson
I bumped dean up to an hour private
not only was the private more expensive
but the private was shorter
which gave me an hour to play on the mountain
I made the best of that hour

tried to be fast and effiecient
pretty much worked the corduroy groomers
dipped through a few bump lines and the trees
did not like the slick ice and thin coverage tucked under the sparse powder
found some pleasure in the glades
but favored the fast turns on the corduroy

some of these runs I chanced upon riding with a friend of mine's son
small world running into him on a small mountain a few hours from our separate dc homes

was prompt for pick up of my son
but did not see them gathered at our place of meeting
so I jumped on the lift for one more run without my son
at the top of the chair I heard the chirp of my cosco two way radio
shockingly enough it was the voice of my son
we had a short coherent exchange which sent me down the hill like a bullet
met up dean and his instructor ray

dean was all smiles and so was I
ray briefed me on how it all went
I asked dean if he was interested in doing any more skiing
without hesitation the answer was yes
I asked more about his experience on the hill and his understanding of it all
from the discussion I felt that ray was directing us towards the bunny slope

dean and I walked up to the cat-track which is the secondhalf of the road like bunny trail the clipped into our gear
dean in his skis and me on my snowboard

I was amazed when I sent dean off in front of me
he was up and moving
not swooshing turns
but directing himself around the assortment of fleshy obstacles on the trail
people were falling all over the place
and dean just moved around them
showing the ability to stop with his pizza pie
we both beamed
dean beamed because he was skiing
I beamed because he was skiing
the pride overwelmed me

we took the bunny slope a number of times
on one of our turns towards the second half of the bunny hill I spotted dean;s instructor
we approached him
I askeed if he felt that dean could go to the top of the mountain
sure enough
there was a green run that would work well with his understanding of skiing
only with a short section of slightly more steep blue that he would have to slow down for
dean was excited to go to the top of the mountain

the chair ride up was a good time to catch up
I was filled in on all that he learned
there were a number of crashed
some times I had to help him stand up
on all but the last two dismounts from the chair there was a crash
but there were no tears and there was definitely no complaining
after the second time down the main hill we took a break for lunch
the hill was getting more busy
and well
the beginner runs were starting to scare me

dean was yearning for more
but we had to meet up with the family

we were running late
but I thought that eating before we went to whitegrass
which turned out to be in error
we could have been on time to our meeting time and had a better meal
but
it was nice to have some one on one time
where I got to share his first downhill ski experience

the next day we woke to the site of snow on the cars and the shoveled areas of the deck
at a closer look there was precipitation
not fluffy falling snow
wet mixed stuff
much more rain than snow
I hustled to get ready
mushing dean about the cabin in a military father style
lisa had bowed out of taking dean to the hill
I called the mountain to see if they were getting the same wet percipitation at a slightly higher elevation some 5-8 miles away
sure enough... JR called it like he saw it
rain
JR appreciated the call
as I appreciated honesty
I agreed with JR on it being more important to leave on a high note than to taint dean's impression of skiing with a cold wet day on the mountain

it took some explaining
but dean understood
yet his yearning did not wain

the morning was spent cleaning up and packing
there was all sorts of stuff to pack and cars to dig out
things cleared up and we did some local sledding
it was not the morning at Blackwater Falls on XC Skis with the dogs
but it was fun
dean got to try his department store snowboard
as well as a super fast inner tube
these activities only reminded him that he wanted to downhill ski

we will have to watch the weather and see if it makes sense to take a day off and head out to Whitetail or Liberty
not sure if we can fit another West Virginia trip into our winter

but
it we do
I will have to get out to White grass.... not for the food... although I hear that the dinners are awesome, but for the skiing and maybe a lesson

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