What an amazing start to the ski season. A week ago, the mountains were brown and Sugarbush had two upper mountain trails open. But, with a storm last week followed by a lot (and I mean a LOT!) of lake effect snows, the trail count grew very quickly this past weekend. I got out on Friday afternoon and took my first run on a single-black diamond natural snow trail - no rocks, no sticks, just soft sweet snow. Later on, I joined up with some other instructors and we hit a number of tough trails that were skiing very easily with small moguls, soft natural snow, and just perfect coverage. We skied for about 3 hours or so, maybe a bit less, and then had a couple beers after skiing. It was a perfect day.
Saturday morning was somewhat chaotic as we wrapped up a few items that needed to be done before we could start teaching. But, we got groups organized fairly quickly and I basically had returning students from last year, one of my daughter's good friends, and two other new girls who I've skied with before. I had 8 of my 9 assigned students all weekend.
I spent Saturday focusing on a few basics that we needed to get out of the way. Late in the day, we took those few tactics to our first bump run of the year and most everyone skied well. After that, we backed off for the rest of the day. There's no sense burning people out the first weekend.
On Sunday, I added one more skill to what I'd given them on Saturday. My timing was perfect, as I was teaching this new skill just as my two supervisors rounded a corner to check up on me and the group. Later in the day, we took that skill and Saturday's work, and skied our first black diamond bump run of the year. Near the end of this one, I could see that the girls were getting tired, so I decided to back off for the rest of the day. Regretfully, at that point in time, essentially every trail on the mountain was bumped up, and there wasn't any really easy terrain. So, we took a long break inside to let them recover. I could tell they were working hard because the girls purchased "snacks" that were essentially a second lunch. Finally, we did one last easier run and called it a weekend.
I have a really good group of girls and I'm really looking forward to the rest of the season. Until last year, I'd always had mixed groups of boys and girls, but I accidentally ended up with all girls last year and it stayed that way this year. I offered to take the little brother of a girl I'd taught the past few years, but when he found out he'd be the only boy, he backed out quickly. I don't blame him. In ten years, he'd kill for that ratio, but right now, it's terrifying.
It was a great, great start to our ski season. The whole weekend just reminded me how much I love this job. At times, I definitely envy my friends who can do it full time and still pay their bills.