Except for one day when Andy and I ventured to Winter Park, we spent our time skiing Sol Vista, a smaller and quieter resort. While the harder terrain is very limited there, it is a fabulous place for beginners and our ski students received unbelievable personalized instruction. In fact, on our second day of lessons, there were no less than five instructors working with the seven family members taking lessons. Considering we were paying for inexpensive group lessons, this level of attention was pretty amazing.
(Also noteworthy on a technical level: Sol Vista teaches a non-traditional, direct-to-parallel methodology, so there is no snowplowing involved. After witnessing this, I am not sure which teaching method is better. I think snowplowing can play an important role in helping beginners gain confidence on more challenging terrain, but our students progressed pretty quickly with direct-to-parallel instruction and seemed to develop better technique than comparable lessons using the snowplow. The first few hours seemed less enjoyable, though.)
These noteworthy events occurred:
1) Tony and Shelly skied for the first time in over 20 years! (They last skied when they were five, of course.)
2) Molly, Susie and Scott skied for the first time ever.
3) Will and Sophie rode their first chairlifts.
All the beginners took two days of lessons and were skiing amazingly well by the second day. Will's skills increased greatly during the trip. Scott reached the point where he could ski independently on the bunny hill. His skill level was more than ready to move on to harder terrain, but he found a small "jump" on the bunny hill and was content to perfect his technique on that and catch air! (Those of you who know Scott will not be surprised by this.) Both Molly and Susie skied great, but Susie took to it more, which gave us the opportunity to utilize Molly's amazing babysitting skills, which are always in demand. By the end of the trip, all the skiers over 10 could ski the green "beginner" terrain without falling! Due to her age level, Rof spent less time on skis than the others but definitely benefitted from her lessons and enjoyed skiing, especially when we took her on the chairlift and skied down the bunny hill together.
Tony and Shelly
The whole Flanigan family on the slopes Rof likes to ski with Daddy! You would not believe the amount of planning and effort this picture took! (Beginners, while good at getting into unlikely positions on the snow, are not so good at contorting themselves into such intentionally.) Yet the ski instructor, after spending a good 8-10 minutes posing us, apparently could not wait for a clear background. The Morris Family less Scott (who was busy catching air on the bunny hill)
Molly and Susie with instructor Deb
Scott with his instructor Estevan
Scenic Sol Vista
Shelly found Marty Stuart on our flight! Since I now consider myself a Nashville native, I strongly discouraged this photo, but Shelly was not to be deterred.
(All of these photos are courtesy of Shelly. I may have a few to post from my own camera, but they are on a different computer.)