Friday, February 6, 2009

HCO Event #4

I'm just back from the HCO ski trip to Steamboat Springs, Colorado and it was awesome. There were 13 people total on the trip, which is lower than the 30-40 that have gone in years past- just blame the economy like everyone else!

Everyone was on different flights because of schedules, so after work on Saturday, I flew from Austin to Dallas and then on to Hayden, then a shuttle to the Timber Run condo. The shuttle took longer than the flights because I had to wait for one couple who had lost a bag, and instead of taking the 10 other people, the driver waited for an hour and a half for them, and then I was at the last stop. So I didn't get in until 11:30 and after getting a key and letting myself in, no one had waited up for me, or got up, or even left a note, or set up the pull out couch- it was a bad start. Luckily, that was just about the worst part of the trip, so that's good.

The next morning, met the three other women in my condo- J, K, and C and we went on the first shuttle to the mountain to get our rental ski gear. C and I were the only ones taking lessons- she had skiied once before, and I just like the comfort of an instructor. We wound up getting the three full day lesson pack, thinking we could always take the afternoon off, because the the half day lessons were only in the afternoon, and that was no good.

I had way overdressed and wound up taking off my fleece jacket and thermal pants- it was about 20 degrees, but when I am moving, I am a heat machine! Once situated, I tried to remember how to ski since it has been two years since I went with Mom and Elizabeth to Red River. The rental place had given me 150 cm skis, but said I could swap them for 140s if I was having trouble, and I was having trouble with the tips crossing from the start, so I did swap them after the lesson and the 140s were much better. I wish I could 130s even, I don't want to go fast, and the longer they are, they faster they go. Maybe next time I'll try the 130s.

They divide the lessons into levels 1-8 and they put me in level 4 initially, and then after the ski off where they watch you ski and then divide you further, they put me in level 3. C was in level 2- she'd only skiied once before. The instructor the first day was really good, and we worked on wedge turns, putting more weight on the outside ski and leaning downhill. We stopped for lunch and had a great burger on the outdoor grill, then more practice. We stayed on all greens except for one short section of blue, and it was a good day.

Afterwards, all the HCO people trickled in from skiing and met at the hot tubs- the condo had three hot tubs and a heated pool. My calves and quads are always what hurts most from skiing, and they were already starting to protest. I was slowly meeting and putting faces to names. Then I showered and changed, and we had pizza and watched the Super Bowl at R's condo. And in bed by 8 pm- I was pooped!

This is the bottom section of the green hill for beginners, and then the lesson area with the magic carpet.

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