Ode on a weekend spent in the snow, at the house in Shawbridge
(with sincere apologies to Thomas Gray and the
'Twas on a lovely day of snow
The food was great, I do declare
Balance shifts from side to side
From the river to Johansen East
From hence, new skiers, undeceiv'd,
- Jason Lerch
The 2003 MOC cross-country ski school was run once again by the good-hearted Jason. Kate, Isla, and Sarah were our incredible cooks for the weekend. There were 9 instructors for 22 students, allowing the instructors to take it easy and the students to get lots of advice - Hold your ploes this way. Hold your poles that way. The poles are used just for balance. Half of the push should come from the arms.
We went to the trails by the river and started
off with some stretching and warm-ups. We practiced all the fundametnals
of balance, weight transfer, kicking, gliding, and poling. The students
amazingly well. The good snow conditions for both grip and glide probably
helped, but I do think that this was a really excellent group.
Before heading back to the MOC house for lunch,
we split into small groups and let the students practice putting it all
together. We literally worked up a head of steam skiing down the trail
and turning back.
After lunch we returned to the trails by the river
to practice going downhill, turning, and herring-boning uphill. We finished
the day splitting again into smaller groups and enjoyed the scenic side-trails
which go up and down along the river.
On Sunday, most of the students went to the ungroomed MOC trails. Some of them covered a lot of ground getting out to the 8 and 6X. A few students went back to the trails by the river to work on the basics. The ~10cm of fresh powder that fell during the day on Saturday and overnight provided superb conditions.
Katie came up for a day of skiing. Gigi, Mark,
John, Dan, Shawna, Andrew, and myself decided to join her. We drove to
the trails at the Chantecler Hotel in Ste Adele. Shawna and Andrew skied
off somewhere while the rest of us took the Loup Garou trail up to a refuge.
From the open view to the south we could see the ski slopes of Mt Olympia,
St Sauveur, and Morin Heights. We enjoyed some wonderful descents on the