Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ski School Salvation

This week being Christmas it seems an apt time for a miracle – and so it was: My friend Patty on skis at Platty. Not just that she was on 2 sticks, but skiing parallel – a feat due in no small part to her instructor Kory Ancona.

Now I have to say I started out skeptical. Patty isn’t quite a never-ever, those adults who decide to take to the slope for the first time ( I was one). No, she’d skied twice in her teens with mixed results, and obviously on long straight skis, in an era that counts (at least for skiers) as the dark ages. Patty’s lesson also started out with much theory. Here was young Kory (apple cheeks, blond hair, bubbly disposition) talking rather scientifically about edge angles and carving and how she was not going to teach the wedge. A sacrilege if ever I heard one, but she very logically said, “Why would I teach something I have to un-teach? If she needed it, yeah, but Patty doesn’t.”

Kory had clearly done that quick assessment a good instructor does where they figure out how their student learns and what they’re capable of . So here we were after side-stepping up the hill (to show what it felt like to be on edge) and doing progressively longer runs down Bunny Hop then moving onto skiing parallel from the top of Powder Puff. Not perfectly (that would be a miracle). Patty was sitting back a bit and not yet on her edges but doing smooth, even turns. And, this you’ll have to take on faith. I have no pictures. I couldn’t get ahead of her fast enough.

The next day when the wind chill had defeated me, Patty and Kory were out again on Sundown and Shredded Mozzarella. Patty on her edges. And, this is not the only miracle Kory is after. Off the hill, she’s in school studying chemical engineering and sustainable energy at Clarkson University. Kory, who grew up skiing, says, “I love to ski, so of course I want to fix the environment.” Thus, she’s out to save the world, to find a better way to make ethanol and a lighter material for wind turbines. In the meantime though, you can find her working her magic in smaller ways at Platty.

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