Probably for the first time and last time in my life I did skiing. Its not possible to ski anywhere in South India where I hail and work from. But now being in Germany and winter season we planned for this outing for another german friend who is also a ski instructor. So off we went on Friday evening heading towards place called Allgäu by car through all the traffic jam. Finally we reached the place and the ski house where we were supposed to stay for the next two days.
We were in all 29 in number and best part is, cooking was made collectively. Everyone had to clean their own rooms, use the blankets and replace them, clear off stuff and other activities. There are no maids one gets for doing these chores unlike back home.
On Saturday 17th February 2007, we start off to get our ski’s for rent from a shop nearby. First step is to find the right size of shoe. Your toe should not be touching against the edge of shoe then this would lead to pain later on. Next is to get a ski. Since you need to lock your shoe in the middle of ski, the pressure should be optimum on the ski. This pressure is determined by the size of your shoe and also width of your knee. After this you take two sticks which comes not more than your waist height or too much below.
After getting all the equipment and putting it into the car we drove up the mountains about an hr drive from the ski house to Gräsgehren. There was quite a bit of snow and here starts the training. The first step is to wear the boots. Its not easy walking with those boots and we managed to reach the van which would take us further up with the ski’s and sticks over our shoulders.
Once on top we walked on snow a bit with boots to get accustomed. Most important thing is to do warm-up before skiing lest we pull our muscles. So, we place the sticks in the snow and run around, do some stretching exercises. Now time to get on to the ski’s. Its very important that the ski should not be pointing downward otherwise we would be dragged down. So, the ski head should be pointing 90deg away from slop of any kind. Then we were taught to learn walking on the snow with the ski’s and stick. The knees should be bent sideways so that the side of the ski’s hits the ground and gets sufficient friction to stay hold. Its necessary to also take only small steps initially.
Once you get used to walking without falling down, the next step begins. There is a technique in also falling down. When you are falling its always good to slide down on the side so that we dont fall with full face down.
How to turn around. When you turn there is always a possibilty that you get dragged down the snow. So, you should use the sticks to hold the ski’s by pushing it into the snow.
To get moving, you need to bend low and hold the sticks and push yourself. When you do this, you get a momentum to move forward. When you come down for stopping you need bend to the side you are moving and then incline the ski’s to the side so that you generate the friction for stopping it.
If you have got this part correctly and able to move around, climb up and ski down then you are ready for doing in bigger area. Its not as easy as it sounds above. it takes the entire energy out of you.
More photos can be viewed here.