Another great week with Chill. Once again the weather was super gnarly, gale force winds and tons of snow. The kids didn't seem to be phased by the weather. It's amazing to see how stoked the kids are despite that fact that it's dark out, really cold, dumping, and blowing like a banshee.
This week Jake, the kid I'm chaperoning, made the leap from from the Explorer lift to the Majestic chair. In order to do this he had to show that he could link turns. Jake had been really close to doing this last week, but, kept bailing at the end of the turn reaching down for the snow. Watching Jake link that first series of turns successfully and yell with the excitement of a new accomplishment got me so pumped. He still needs to work at being fluid and keeping it moving rather than coming to a stop, but, his instructor thought he was doing well enough for me to take him up Majestic.
On the ride up, the wind was howling, blowing snow straight up the mountain in waves. It looked like the coldest sandstorm ever. As we went over some steeper sections of the mountain you could see in Jake's eyes that he was wondering what I was getting him into. When conditions are this burly it can even make the bunny hill look intimidating. Jake got off the lift and handled the conditions like a champ. I was in a hurry to get back to the lodge myself, with the wind swirling snow everywhere and sometimes taking visibility down to just a couple of feet.
On the steeper bits, you could tell Jake was a little freaked out, but, after some convincing that it's exactly the same movements as he was doing on the bunny hill he started tearing it up, following me through the park and even finding some wind blown pow to carve.
Tonight we'll be heading up to Brighton again for Week 3. The forecast is calling for a low tonight of -1, so it's going to be really cold. I just hope that the stoke keeps Jake warm and that the learning curve will continue its upward arc. I've definitely been reminded by the kids of what stoke can do for you. Stoke keeps you warm. Stoke makes you forget that you've got snow down your pants. Stoke makes you forget about that last slam and helps you get up to try it again. Stoke gives you strength and stoke gives you endurance. Snowboarding is all about being stoked. Thanks to the Chill kids for reminding me.