Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Victor Day 3

Slow start again – but today there was a massive queue for the long lift up to the glacier. Once we got there the T bar broke down and there was a massive queue for the chairlift. Eventually we decided to ski down a red run instead of heading up to the flatter glacier that we had been aiming for. This was probably a good move because little Timothy already had cold feet as the snow temperature must have been very low due to the clear overnight sky (radiation loss). Timothy was very resistant to any coaching. His child ego was causing him to switch between considering himself as the best authority available in skiing and then feeling too fearful to move without extreme backwards leaning and stress on his little legs. Unfortunately he simply wouldn’t listen to anyone and so was impossible to teach. He appears to be extremely wilful – to his own detriment in areas where he is not capable of making informed judgement – and nobody has managed to give him a basic framework to know where his boundaries lie.

While he went into a café to warm up his feet I took Liliana for a run and we went on an off-piste excursion in quite difficult wind packed snow. Liliana skied well and confidently and that was great to see. Her lack of fitness was already showing through after linking a few turns – but she had not lost her skiing skills and she surprised me with her confidence and courage in difficult snow.

Timothy's Triumph
After warming up Timothy followed me off piste on a gentle slope and despite a few falls he didn’t complain too much and did a great job of staying in my tracks. He is so small and light that he has to go in my tracks or he would be stopped by the snow. We were running out of time for getting to the Marmottes restaurant for a 2pm lunch meeting so I suggested that we continue off piste down a proper marked off piste trail – realising that it would certainly be a lot steeper and more challenging – but also being prepared to carry Timothy if it was too much for him. Despite a lot of sideslipping and strange noises he made it the whole way down and by chance the off-piste trail ended up exactly at our restaurant and we were not embarrassingly late after all. This run had been tougher than most black runs and the saving grace was that it had no ice. Getting down this by himself – despite limited technique – would only have a positive outcome on his confidence. With a bit of luck it might even get him interested in learning some real technique.

Off Piste Adventure
Rodion and I headed off after lunch and decided to go off-piste on a steep run which required us to put on our transceivers. It was our best off-piste descent so far. The steepness, while making avalanche risk greater also makes skiing much more interesting. Rodion was surprised by the big rebound from his skis and called it “bumpy”. He worked on his hip use – pulling it back - and on his timing and rhythm. We hadn’t had time during the day to continue to change his technique but that will have to move forward tomorrow. Despite the steep terrain and deep snow he didn’t fall over once and so the pivoting and dynamics has improved in general – but he was getting stuck too far back and that needs to be addressed as soon as possible now.

My Ideal House!

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