Sunday, 16 August 2009

Skiing (3/4; Effort required)

Initially I booked James into 5 2-hour lessons with the kids' ski school. What a complete waste oif time. I deliberately only booked the lessons, not the half ro full day session, at least. But honestly, the 'instructors' barely even pretended to teach them. It was really only baby-sitting; and very poor quality at that! Not only did he not learn anything, he was miserable. That's not what skiing is meant to be about! If you're not going to teach, don't promote it and charge $70 for a 2-hour session! Even on-mountain child care was only $100 for a full day! I won't go into details here (although I will in a letter to them!), suffice to say complaining yielded no satisfaction, and I transferred what I'd paid towards private lessons for James.

Yes, it was more expensive, but we happened across an instructor taking a young boy for a private lesson while we were skiing with James after the disastrous ski school session, and were really impressed with both his care fro the boy, and his teaching. So we got his name, and specifically requested him.
If you're at Falls Creek and want a private lesson for your child, ask for Rover (real name Brett)! In the first 1-hour lesson, he undid all the harm of the previous day, making James enjoy his lesson, as well as skiing with us - and James learned to snow plow with the edgie-wedgie. Above is James a little uncertain st the start of the first lesson, and below he's waiting for his last one!!
Having sorted James to both his and our satisfaction, we either did a little 'real' skiing of our own, or took Eleanor out, if the weather suited and she was sufficiently awake!
This is on the beginner run. We didn't let go of her except while effectively stopped, but she really enjoyed it.
Simon's preferred method of skiing with Eleanor when it wasn't suitable to have her skiing between our legs:

And for the first few days until James had better control, I skied and carried him down the steeper slopes from the beginner runs to the home trails (heavy work!). The faster I skied, the sooner I could put him down on his own skis again! (Yes, we're both experienced skiers!)

Again, Simon's preferred method:

Skiing exhausted James. After skiing from 9.30 - 1.15 one day, he had a nap of equal length after lunch, only wakign after the lifts had closed for the day! So we alternated other activities. Last time we went skiing when James was 9 months old, Simon made a sled from an old sailboard and some ex-Mt. Thebarton kids' skis. The tobogganing area is miles along the road away from the ski runs, but we pulled them both around on the flattish area near our apartment.
And James insisted we all take turns. We tried to push ourselves along with our hands during our turns, but in fact on the flat, he was able to pull us along easily on his own.

One morning while we were out with James, my parents took Eleanor out for a long session just outside. The plastic skis are great for littlies - much lighter, designed for use with regular snow boots and for 'walking' in (no fixed heel) and with 'scales' on the base to stop them sliding backwards so easily.
She loves to take her sunnies on and off, and preferred not to wear gloves - she must be a bit like me! I usually ski with bare hands (they stay pretty warm, and stop the rest of me overheating!) and bare-headed (I hate hats, and will wear sunnies ratehr than goggles in all but the worst weather).

It's hard to find ski boots small enough for her (James' were the smallest size they had this year!), so I will have to do some early research before next year's trip.

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