This week my group haven’t had many good falls. Normally, a few kids will have a spectacular wipeout with skis, poles and sometimes goggles flying around but this week I haven’t been so lucky to have such entertainment. I have pushed them hard all week and other than the first day they’ve managed to get down most things without exploding. They’ve been doing hard red runs, steep runs, icy runs and bumpy runs but so far, no wonderfully whimsical whiteouts. Until today.
The first boy to start the trend started strong. Coming down a particularly sharp hill he got a bit nervous and lost control. Gathering speed as he cut across the slope he panicked and instead of turning up to slow down or turning around he just sat down and flew into the hard snowbank on the side. Both skis popped off but he gave the thumbs up to signal he was okay. When I next looked around he wasn’t putting the skis back on, but was clutching them as he slid down on his bum for the remainder of the piste.
After that some of the other kids decided falling looked fun and tried to copy. One lad in particular got a bit carried away after a few jumps in the park and decided to cut a corner off piste in search for more. What he found was a big bank arcing back to the rest of the group and he thought that he would be able to drift along the icy wall. He couldn’t. He skied up to it and hit it but shakily regained balance, he then turned so he could ski along it, but as soon as tried to turn his skis he ended up falling into the wall and sliding along it on his side. He was then stuck on the wrong side of this wall and had to walk sideways up it to rejoin us.
The winner of the stack of the day however was much more satisfying. There’s always one kid who’s a bit of a joker and thinks he can get away with anything. We’ve had banter all week but occasionally he gets a bit carried away and takes liberties such as a few pokes with his pole of skiing over my skis on purpose. So when I finally let the group go to the park, I kept an eye on him. He’s not the best skier and never looks totally comfortable. He is trying to learn and seems to take my feedback on board, but when we got to the park I was not surprised that it wasn’t his forte. The first section of jumps didn’t go according to plan for him. He took a bit to much speed into the first jump and when he took off, he was already off balance. He disappeared in the landing area, and he didn’t reappear. A few moments went by and eventually one of his friends let me know that he had landed on his bum as his skis carried on in different directions. Finally, he emerged out the side carrying his skis sheepishly before gearing up to go again. On the next section he didn’t learn from his recent mistake. He raced up to the first jump again and looked a bit off form as he got airborne. Once again, he disappeared into the landing area. The sound of skis clattering was followed by a firework display of ski equipment. Poles flew to the sides and skis shot into the air, one went so high it could’ve ended up in the gondola passing overhead. A dusting of snow scattered around before the laughter of his friends broke the silence. We waited again for him to reappear before finally, he emerged out the side carrying his skis sheepishly before gearing up to go again.