My Beginner Experience: Jaslin Grove-Facey
Standing on the top of the hill, looking down at the vast valley below, ready to shred the snow that lays before me. I am experienced, I am going to conquer this mountain…what is it called again?
Oh right…Bambi. The "bunny hill".
But let me take you back to how I found myself with skis strapped onto my feet...
I’m not really a winter person. I’ll just get that out of the way now. I’m not a fan of the cold, I don’t get excited about snow, and therefore winter sports have never really appealed to me. That was the case, at least, until I gave skiing a try at Brimacombe.
I have only gone cross-country skiing when I was younger and I quite honestly loathed every minute of it. Needless to say, I never really considered skiing or snowboarding, until I got the opportunity to learn at Brimacombe. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t look super cool: the way people can shred down the slopes and turn with such grace at high speeds – the wind blowing, and the snow spraying. It looks awesome. At 24-years-old I felt a bit behind, but when I got the opportunity to learn how to ski, I saw it as a fantastic way to try something new.
My first obstacle was figuring out what to wear – not because I was worried about looking cool, but rather I wanted to know how to stay warm. I get cold easily and when I do, I’m not a happy camper, so I decided layers were the best way to go – if I got warm, then I could take some off. I borrowed a helmet, goggles, snow pants and a ski jacket from my family who knew I was venturing into the skiing world. For my top half I wore a t-shirt, a fleece zip up, and then a thick sweatshirt with my ski jacket on top. For my bottom, I wore tights, comfy pants, and then my snow pants. And of course, warm socks and gloves. First obstacle, check.
Second obstacle: getting skis, boots and poles. This was probably the easiest step as I went to the rental shop and the Brimacombe staff handled the rest. They were really helpful in getting me fitted with everything (and admittedly, helping me get INTO everything, as well). My boots fit nice and snug, and my skis and poles were the perfect size for me. I was ready to hit the slopes!
My final obstacle: the colossal, intimidating, bunny hill. It seems fitting that Brimacombe’s bunny hill is called “Bambi” – when I went down for the first time, I really did feel like a baby deer trying to walk for the first time. I felt a bit embarrassed when I fell, but I told myself that everyone on the slopes was once in my shoes (or boots) at one point too – they have all taken their falls, and I will too! My instructor’s name was Maxim and he was awesome. He first taught me how to “pizza” and how to stop, which I thought was a smart tactic. From there, he taught me how to turn, and before I knew it, I was turning down Bambi with an unexpected confidence.
I was so excited and proud of myself. I was not only skiing, but I was really enjoying it too. I couldn’t help but smile the rest of the time I was on the slopes, as I finally began to realize why people enjoyed winter. I began to appreciate the snow, the views from the lift, the feeling of my skis turning in the snow, and the fresh cold air in my lungs. This was it – I was finally converted into a snow-lover!
So, what’s My Newbie Advice?
Have fun and be patient with yourself – you’re only learning!
Skiing and snowboarding are meant to be fun – so let yourself enjoy it! Don’t worry about looking cool or going fast, just focus on enjoying the first time you make a great turn, or get down the hill without falling. It can be hard to not get frustrated with yourself when you are first learning something new, especially when there are people around you, younger or your own age, who look like they have mastered it. But I think this is about perspective. Instead of telling myself “I’m so silly, trying to learn this with a bunch of children”, I told myself, “Hey, I think it’s pretty cool that I get to learn something new at this age! I’m proud of myself for giving it a go!”. Encouraging yourself to step out of your comfort zone is never a bad thing!
Trying something new is never easy but learning to ski is not something I will regret. It has seriously changed my outlook on winter - which, if you’re like me and you live in Canada, it’s an unavoidable season, so we might as well make the most of it, right?
See you on the slopes!
Want to Discover the Slopes?
For only $49.95+hst, you can learn to ski or snowboard with a Discover Package that includes a four-hour beginner lift ticker, four-hour equipment rental plus a one-hour beginner lesson – everything you need to get you started on the slopes! Learn more [here].