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New skier prefers hurdle to limbo

Compiled by Allen R. Smith

Last spring, I was assigned to teach a group of beginning skiers. The class was made up of a burly dockworker, a couple of secretaries, a schoolteacher and one 7-foot 3-inch college basketball player.After spending the morning on basic maneuvers, most of the students were still extremely stiff on their skis. To help them “loosen up”, I thought about trying a little drill I had read about in one of my professional skiing journals.I jabbed two ski poles into the snow about shoulder-width apart, with a third pole supported horizontally through the safety straps; like a limbo bar. I instructed all of the students to ski up to the bar, bend their knees and waist and pass under it.One by one, each of the students skied under the ski pole. When it came time for the basketball player’s turn, he asked, “So how do you want me to do this?”Thinking that he wanted advice on how to accommodate his height, I just said, “Any way you can.”The basketball star slowly skied up to the ski poles, crouched down and then jumped over the bar; skis, boots, poles and all.- Dave Yost, VailSex and the cable bindingOne day during the early 1960s, I was skiing with a friend at Aspen Mountain. These were the days of obscenely long skis, soft leather boots and clunky cable bindings that protruded from the back of your heels.At the top of the practice area, a young man precariously made his way down the hill, on the verge of destruction. After a series of linked recoveries, he skied into the backside of a woman, becoming permanently attached to her by their intertwined bindings.The initial force of the collision bent the woman over at the waist, while he stood over her with his hands on her back. As they sped their way down the bunny slope, they went through a series of convoluted contortions lurching forward then back, in a last ditch effort to regain their balance.Observing the melee from the chairlift above, an entertained skier yelled down at the duo, “Hey, why don’t you guys get a hotel room!”- Jinny Loeffler, VailVail, Colorado


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