Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Happy Canada Day

At the trail-head, it was hot before we even started
 To celebrate Canada Day Simon and I hiked and skied Old Glory on Friday.  We went early because we were unable to do it today.  Good thing as the snow has been melting rapidly, I am not sure it would even be possible today.  It was a huge effort, 8.5 hours total with no real breaks.  Simon did exceptionally well, this was the first year where I was confident enough in his skiing to take him.
The snow was just like this last season, the most marginal of all the 8-10 times I have skied up there for Canada Day.  Our turns needed to be precise as the the chute was so narrow.  But as Simon said "It was totally worth it!". 
I had no trouble hiking up skiing down and hiking out the chute but I hit a wall after that and slogged all the way down the mountain looking at each step as a victory of progression.  It was a suffer-fest down for me.
When we got home Simon jumped on the trampoline while I laid myself down on the living room floor.  This was a mistake because I literally could not get up, I was so weak I could not even roll onto my side.  All I could do was laugh at my plight and that hurt-a lot- particularly because I could not control the laughter.  I guess I pushed myself a bit far.
This is the chute we skied, photo taken a couple of years ago, this year we could only ski the top half.
Simon mentally preparing for the best turns he will make all June

This is what we hiked for.

Really Steep!

This is about where we ran out of snow

Simon near the top, when he came over the top he said "Well that was worth it!"

Monday, January 12, 2015

January Groomers

It has been quiet on the slopes of Red Mountain-unfortunately no powder.  The upside is that the slopes seem pretty much reserved for Canadian Ski Quest and Nonstop.  Seriously we were about half the population on the hill today.  Great for us as the groomers are fantastic.  We were skiing on Grey Mountain a lot today, or I should say we used the Grey Mountain Chair a lot today.  We used the Grey chair to ski laps on Rino's Run.

Photos above are of Peter Parrot in red and Paul Egan in green.  Powder is great but these two had a fantastic day without it.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

12 random thoughts on the profession of Ski Instruction

Acknowledgement of influence from Bartoz Barcynski and Don Kjorven!

1.    The most successful CSIA Course Conductors have first been educated and inspired by the CSIA and have then taken the extra step of looking outside of the CSIA for education and inspiration.

2.    Lateral flexion of ones knees, without season ending injury, is an impossibility.  Knees move on the vertical plane.

3.    Fact: Norman Kreutz knows the secret of how to ski well.  He has shared this secret with his immediate family and no others.  Norm is also very good at pretending that there is no secret.

4.    If a Ski Instructor has stopped learning it is time to stop teaching.

5.    In an effort to develop edge angle, hips need to move first.  A skiers ankles can not contribute to this effort until the hips are actually inside the turn.

6.    Boot fitting is presented as being way more complicated than it needs to be.

7.    Just about every Ski Instructor who has been successful in achieving the Level 4 certification has committed an exceptional effort towards this goal.  The 5 or 6 since 1938 who have achieved Level 4 certification on talent and intelligence alone didn’t last long in the business.  Level 4 certification is merely a starting point for further development. 

8.    The effort is more important than the pin.

9.    There might be a difference between what the “Center of Gravity” and the “Center of Mass” is.  For those who seem to understand the topic this is difference is very important.  Nobody else cares-at all.

10.    Guest service skill can be developed just like edging skill can be developed.

11.    Enhanced pivoting skill will help all skiers to ski better.

12.    Points 2, 5, 9 and 11 are important but no where as near as important as solid guest service skill.

13.    In training; Compare your performance of the day to your own performance of the previous day or previous run.  Comparing your performance to that of others, for better or worse, is mentally devastating.

14.    Fellow Ski Instructors: Can you believe how privileged we are to be able to earn a living by doing what we do?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Beautiful December at Red Mountain

 December is a special time for me at Red Mountain.  It is a peaceful time.  For me it is the quiet time before all of the action of Nonstop and Canadian Ski Quest.

The December tourists at Red Mountain seem to be here with skiing being only a bonus activity to the time they are spending visiting friends and family.  January brings the more focused destination skiers.

The weather and light in December are also consistently unique compared to January-March.  December brings brilliant shades of gray.  The sky, snow, trees, and distant mountains all blend together, they seem to be more connected to each other in the December light.  There is much less color contrast between different elements of the environment except for about the 17 minutes before the sun sets.  Then there is more contrast than at any other time of the year.  The mountains near and distant become clearly defined.  Each day ends with a brief moment of sunlight enhanced glory.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Finally on the Rails

My Yodel Challenge has been a bit of a challenge to get started.  Today was Day 1.  Today was the first time I have been able to actually hit the park.  2015 has been a slow opening for Red Mountain, but we are back on track now with Motherlode and Paradise chairs opening tomorrow.

My only other options were the small home made Jib park kids have made at Rossland Secondary, which I opted out of since it was a sheet of ice.  The Whitewater terrain park was not open the two days I was there.  Red Mountain opened on Saturday December 20 and I Conducted a CSIA Level 1 course for three days.  So today was Day 1 of my challenge.  These boxes were about as far as I dared go, but I did hit them over and over again and did actually develop a level of comfort.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Whitewater is Open

 Whitewater is open!
So today I took the Freeski team up there. 
As you can see from the photos conditions are definitely early season.  There are still a lot of ditches and holes to fill in so it made for careful skiing.  But good on you Whitewater for making it happen.  We had a great day!

My Park Rat challenge is proving somewhat difficult so far.  None of the rails were set up. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

48 Year Old Tomato Head Park Rat

Interested in seeing Mark Impey do something new AND utterly humiliating?  Read on...

I am involved with the Rossland Skatepark Association, our goal is to raise enough funds to develop a Skatepark in Rossland.  We have the land, the design and over $100000.00 raised.  In the month of December the Nelson and District Credit Union and two anonymous contributors have each pledged $10000.00 ($30000.00) total in matching funds to what the community can raise.  So if I can raise $500.00, they will throw in $500.00.

Terrain Parks scare the hell out of me.  Tomato Heads are always so dammed cheerful.

The Challenge I am undertaking for the Rossland Skatepark is to learn a completely new  (to me) aspect of skiing.  The Park!  I pledge in the month of December; 20 sessions of at least 45 minutes duration which will result in the establishment of the most elderly Park Rat at Red Mountain.   If I reach my hopefully unattainable (serious) goal of $1000.00 I will join Finn and Blaise for their jump line session wearing only my tighty whities and a Tomato Head helmet from my sworn enemies-the Red Mountain Tomato Heads.

Game on-oh god!!!

To donate: