A week ago last Sunday Rylan and I went skiing at Copper Mountain Ski Resort. We left the house at 5:45 a.m. and drove through the early morning darkness, catching only a glimpse of the sunrise as we crested the top of I-70 before it dropped down into the canyon. It is about a 1 hr 45 min drive up to Dillon/Silverthorn, and another 15 minutes beyond that to Copper. Rylan loved the sensation of being the only person on the road for a little bit. I do to. :)
We got to Silverthorn and pulled off to go to the Mountain Lyon Cafe for breakfast. Dean and I first went there exactly nine years ago when we spent a weekend in Dillon and it is still as good as ever.
We drove on to Copper and spent the next 30 minutes getting our gear organized and on. We were in Dean's new car, and it is a tight fit as far as getting dressed! I am not well-acquainted with Copper, so I was a little mystified as to where to start Rylan out. This was her third time on skis, and it had been two years since her last stint. Unfortunately, I made a bad choice. We hopped on a shuttle to take us to the Center Village so that we could get our lift tickets, and I thought we would just take a lift up to the top of the main green run that runs from the very top all the way to the bottom, and we would just make our way down. Umm.. not such a good idea.
Here we are, we made it off the lift in one piece, and I was able to drag her to this spot. A very nice lady took our photo. Then we turned around and headed down the run. We made it about 10 ft and Rylan went off the side just behind us, down a steep shortcut that led to a double black diamond. Sigh. I had to take off my skis, hike down to her, toss her skis back up to our run, and boost her up the side. We got our skis back on, made it another 10 feet and then another major fall. Rinse and repeat about another 50 times, over the course of the next TWO AND A HALF HOURS. Then we finally made it to the bottom of that run. Never in my life did I think it would be so difficult for her - and neither did she. I think she was very frustrated with herself, and it was annoying her to no end that other little kids were zipping right past her.
Rylan has had two and a half years of karate, plus almost two years of dance...and yet this kids still struggles with body-awareness. She struggled with which foot to put her weight on, which way to lean, how to transfer her weight, how to lean into the mountain, yet lean forward as well.. It really is a lot to take in, and I am seriously kicking myself for not getting her on the gradual bunny slope first thing. Trouble is, I had no idea where it was located. I studied the hell out of the map as we sat and ate lunch after finishing that long, horrible run, and finally found it tucked away in a glade between the black section and blue section of the resort. Stupid place for a bunny slope, if you ask me...
So, after a late lunch we got on a bus and after getting off at the wrong spot, getting on again and hiking over a meadow with our heavy skis, we made it to the bunny slope and Rylan got to master getting on/off the ski lift and got in some good practice with turns. She ended the day on a very happy note, much to my relief. I would feel terrible if this day turned her off to skiing. She sported a very nasty bruise on her hip, and her muscles ached for a couple days from all of the snow-plowing, but she recovered quickly! Here she is on her last run..
I was just fine, but I really should have put my orthotics in my ski boots because my feet - especially my left - were barking by the end of the day. I could barely put weight on it. I also had to do a lot of getting up and down from a sitting position while still in my skis as I helped Rylan get in and out of her ski bindings, and a lot of pulling her up and so on... my shoulder really took a beating - I am not as recovered from that surgery as I thought! No falls on my part, so that is a good thing - but I also didn't really 'ski', as I was working with Rylan the whole time. That was a bit of a bummer, because the snow was freakin' fantastic!!!!!
I love my girl for not giving up, and for staying as positive as she could, all things considered. She is not a quitter, that's for sure!! I also loved bonding with her over pancakes and cocoa during breakfast and music during our long drive up and back. She loves alternative rock as much as I do!