Ice, the ultimate grooming |

Ice, the ultimate grooming

Compiled by Allen R. Smith

On a mid-winter morning, following a night of freezing rain, two young ladies approached an instructor working the ski school desk to inquire about lessons and skiing conditions.In his usual affable style, Leonard proceeded to answer all their questions until it came to the subject of skiing conditions. At this point, he reached for the morning grooming report and with a flourish, handed it to the two snow bunnies.”Let’s look at the grooming report to see how conditions are for you two lovely ladies,” said Leonard. After studying the report, he continued, “Oh yes, the conditions are spectacular. All of the slopes are marked UG. That stands for Ultimate Grooming.”As the ladies headed for the hill, a supervisor took Leonard aside and explained, “UG stands for ungroomed, not Ultimate Grooming. If you recall, we had a freezing rain storm last night.”Fearing that the ladies would return, Leonard leaped over the ski school desk and dashed out the door. He spent the rest of the day hiding from the two snow bunnies pursuing the purveyor of “Ultimate Grooming.”- Bert Probst, Holiday Valley Ski Resort, New YorkGlove the one you’re with”Stretch pants were designed to help the forces of fashion excel against the forces of gravity.”Last year, I was a new junior ski instructor at Magic Mountain, just a few miles down the road from the Okemo Mountain resort.At the end of the day, my mother picked me up and asked how my lesson went. “It was OK,” I said. “But my hands are freezing.”She asked why my hands were so cold. I told her that sometime after lunch, I was assigned to a small 5-year-old student for a beginning lesson. After only a few minutes showing the child the basics, he suddenly started to cry.When I asked him what was wrong, he said that his mittens were sopping wet and he could no longer feel the ends of his fingers. By this time, we were already at the top of the mountain, with no dry gloves to exchange.Being the professional ski instructor, I took off my brand new Schneider racing gloves and put them on the child. Feeling the warmth of the new, waterproof gloves, the child instantly stopped crying.I told him, “Tell you what: You can wear my gloves until we get down to the bottom. When we get to the locker room, you can swap out my gloves for a dry pair and give me back mine.”But the child was having such a good time wearing “big guy” racing gloves, I decided to let him keep them until the end of the lesson.At the end of the day, I returned the youngster back to his mother. Before parting, she gave me a ten-dollar tip and asked, “By the way, does Matthew still wipe his nose with his gloves?”- Ben Kolakowski, Okemo, Vt.Vail, Colorado

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