Annika Learns To Ski: A Documentary, A Memoir, and A Lot of Hot Chocolate

I've  dedicated sometime over the 2013-2014 winter to learning to ski
  The first time my Mom buckled  up my hard plastic boot I thought she had lost it.  She thought she lost the better part of a $100 bill. $55 Craig's list downhill K2skis and Technica boots, $30 on the Lucky Bums plastic skis (Reliable racing closeout) plus helmet but that will fit for years.

Our first attempt on the kinder ski /cross country ski that fits traditional boots wasn't that good. I took one step the ski stuck in the snow and my boot right off my foot. The bindings needed a bit of adjustment. By that I mean in the the garage, tools out adjustments,  to fit my boots. The whole " Oh you can just strap the plastic skis on and run around your yard" idea so many people share and my Mom hoped for is a bit misguided. The reality of living in Finland, I mean Alaska, Marquette is that you need real deal, old school Eskimo Indian build an Igloo ...wait that is the next blog style snow shoes to get anywhere in our yard with out sinking. When I mention snowshoes I know the image of spandex clad, uber lean racers running on skinny snowshoes comes to mind....Full disclosure, fancy pants light weight snow shoes are for groomed trails. The truth of the matter is if I tried to run around my yard with skis on you wouldn't find me until June. Maybe not as bad as the whole JonBenet Ramsey episode but it probably would not look good for my Mom. Learning to ski was going to take a little bit more effort than running around the yard....unless my Dad gets a grommer attachment for the snowmobile.
He's busy at the moment, using the snow mo for some ungroomed adventures. There is talk though of installing a tow rope in our back yard so I can have my own ski hill ;)

It's taken a smattering of approaches, equipment, and aids. I'm learning both to cross country and down hill the season. 
I borrowed a pair of big girl cross country skis one day and boy did I know just what do do with them.

Skiing is fun...but very exhausting.


My Mom's favorite teaching aid is the co -pilot.

My favorite ski aid is hot cocoa!

I really understand the difference between downhill and cross country skiing. Downhill skiing is all about getting hot cocoa in the cafeteria. Cross country skiing is about bringing your own thermos full of hot cocoa to the warming hut.

 Hot chocolate fail me not.
You've probably noticed some differences in equipment based on the pics. When you go down hill skiing you need to wear a helmet. It is warm and comfy though and works great with goggles. If at first you aren't sure about it, a "Curious George" sticker will help. Downhill skiing requires stiffer boots than cross country skiing . They aren't as comfy but when you go down hill skiing you can get hot chocolate with whip cream so that makes up for it.
The season is far from over and I am already King of the mountain!

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