|Feather River College||
The skiing crew on a resort day. Photo Credit: Sierra Speer
It is February 25th, and tomorrow our Outdoor Rec Adventure Based class at Feather River College will begin our four day winter camping trip. This trip is the culmination of everything the class has learned thus far in the Spring 2016 semester, and it marks the end of our class official skiing season. The snow will not be leaving the mountains, but the Adventure based class will be shifting its focus from snow sports to whitewater sports.
Since we have reached this important milestone in our class I figured it would be a good time to do a quick recap of what Adventure Based has been through thus far.
The semester began with introductions to cross country skiing. We learned basic techniques for moving uphill and also a few for going down. Every time the class went out on a trail for a cross country ski day we staggered up the hill in a ridiculous gaggle looking like a group of drunken geese that couldn't figure out their V formation. Everyone would occasionally fall on their face, have no idea why, and then get up after refusing help and try to race around the 'established' line to regain their place. It was a total mess. Eventually we did begin to get the hang of sliding around on cross country skis, and as soon as we were nearly comfortable our skis were taken away and replaced by big, fat, scary ones.
The first time I wore telemark skis they felt massive and unwieldy. They were difficult to push uphill (using skins attached to the underside of the skis) and terrifying to come down on. On our first day with tele skis in the backcountry at least half of the class obtained knee trauma. Fall, knee bend, pop, ouch, get up, keep skiing (falling). Regardless of this, when the first telemark day was over everyone was excited about the new faster skis. Next we went to a ski resort and practiced the difficult telemark skiing style under instructor supervision. At the resort we began to understand how turns on skis really feel when linked together correctly. We also became aware that skiing wipeouts can get really gnarly. After our time at the resort we spent nearly every class day skiing in the backcountry around Plumas County and had two more beautiful ski days at resorts in Tahoe.
Throughout this semester we have learned many snow skills including how to build snow caves, how to obtain information regarding avalanche terrain, avalanche rescue techniques, winter camping techniques, and of course, skiing techniques. My fellow student Sierra Speer created a wonderfully edited video documenting our class's struggle in learning how to ski as well as how amazing skiing can flow once it's done correctly. Look for the author to be stuck in a tree for the majority of the video.
Written by Jonathan Simenc
Video Credit: Sierra Speer
*Here's the Youtube link if Weebly doesn't let the video work: