This week (6.2.17 – 10.2.17) we had our basic ski course. For that we travelled by bus on Monday morning to Syrthveit (near Evje), where we stayed in cabins from Troll Aktiv. Troll Aktiv is an activity center which offers 20 different activities like rafting, kayaking, climbing, bike, team building and a lot more. After we arrived we had some time to unpack our bags, eat lunch and get ready for skiing. Len and Tim (the owner and founder of Troll Aktiv) showed the first group how to rip the wax on the skis off and put wax on it for this day. We were in one of the last groups, so Simon showed us how to do it. How exactly it works will we learn in the evening in a lecture after skiing. After we were all ready we drove with two busses ca. 15 minutes up the hill to the ski tracks. Høgås is the name of the area there. Before we started, Len put us in two groups. The groups were mixed with people who never skied before and people who have some experience. In my group were George, Conner, Timon, Phil, Eva, Emma, Elouise, Hannah, Max and me. We had Tim as instructor. Most of the Persons who are a lot together were separated in this week, what I think was a good thing. So, we had the chance to get to know each other better and have conversations with other classmates.
First of all, Tim showed us how we have to put on our skis. There is a ski who has to be on the left and one on the right. An arrow who points on the outside let you know if you are right. As well as that there is a left and a right poll. To fix the skis on the shoe, there are holes in the front of the shoe and then you have to shift you weight to your toes and click the binding down. To hold the polls, it is important to go from down up in to the loop. Than it is like walking. We walked to a flat area to have some instructions to get used to have skis on the feet. It was snowing the days before so there was a lot of snow. To get a flat space around our selves we were walking with small steps in circles. We learned how to turn with small steps, then a kick turn by lift one leg and turn the ski 180° around and then the other again next to it. We jumped and tried some other stuff with our skis. From the flat area, we were working. Tim wanted us to going in an eight so that we have to go down a little bit and up again. It was a strange feeling for me to go down with this ski. I used to go downhill skiing so I did this before, but to know that the heel is not fixed was wired for me and I felt a little insecure. I was surprised in the end how well it went. Even when I had some trouble my selves I tried to help the others by giving tips or motivating. When we all felt more or less well on the skis, we went to a small hill. We practiced some downhill skiing. It is important, that the skis are parallel, hands in the front, knees bent and hips and shoulders over the ankle. Every time it went better and Tim gave some helpful feedback, so that we could improve. As well as that, he always motivated us, what gave me a good feeling. It is difficult to write something about the group from the first day. I think all the group members had to focus on themselves. A few of the group tried to help and motivate each other. It was not for all of the group easy to not go in the pace they wanted. The difference of the level was big at the first day and in my opinion it is important to consider, that they have a positive start in something new.
This day we went again up to Høgås. We started with a warm up without skis. The aim is, to get blood in to the fingers and those. So, we imitated tree different ski movements. 1. Diagonal poll, 2. Double poll, 3. Double poll with kick. Tim said a number and we all did the movement. When we were warm, we had a repetition about downhill. Tim showed us more techniques which we could practice when we felt ready. Telemark stile was the next. One ski has to be in the front and the other behind an in the knees. The weight is on both skis. This technique is for fresh powder snow. Not to get cold, we made a little tur off piste. Tim was always in the front and choose someone to stay in the back. It was always a good skier, so that it was possible for the person to help. To be in the front is hard through the fresh snow. I think it would have been good if everybody could try it. For lunch, we made a short brake. It is important not to make to long brakes outside and not to eat too much. When you eat, the blood goes in to the organs and the fingers and toes getting cold. The whole group stayed under an emergency shelter, to be protected from the wind. It was pretty narrow, but it was fun and brought our group more together. After lunch, it was important to keep moving in a constant pace. After a while, we went up a hill. The technique to get up the hill is, to go in zig-zag and make kick turns towards the hill. We had to support and motivate each other, because it was hard and some of us had some trouble. Here it was important to be patient and wait for each other. Not all of our group were good in it and the back person was not in its position all the time. As I see it, it has to be something with respect, because it demotivates people if you don’t wait for them. I enjoyed going off piste and not staying on tracks. After the small tur, we practiced telemark downhill with curves. To end the day we had some time to play on the small hill also with the other group. We had fun and I think it was good for the togetherness. What we learned in addition to the skiing today was, that it is important to have always warm drinks, not to eat too much in one break and don’t have too much stuff with sugar. As well as that always have some extra gloves (mittens) with you, googles, enough space in the shoes (to not to get cold feet), and an extra jacket for the brakes.
This day it was very windy and cold. Tim and Len decided to have the lecture in the morning and go skiing after that in Evje. So, we learned how to pack a day sack and what is important to take with us in the winter environment. Next to the sports ground we played in a flat area with some small hills. We practiced again the telemark technique. After a while we went on the prepared tracks ca. 8 km. The aim was to slide on the skis, not just walk. When it was going up, we tried to walk with the skis parallel and not to hearing bone. Than it is important to give pressure on the whole foot. At the beginning, it was hard to stay together as a group, because of the level difference. Tim decided to have the slowest in the front and then it was much better. It was obvious, that she improved her skills every meter further on. This day it was possible to have a chat with the people while skiing. I really enjoyed to speak to people I didn’t that much before. It was a good chance to get to know each other better. As well as that, Tim was very interested in us and asked us about our background. He as the leader of the group gave us the feeling, that we are important members of the group. Tim gave us some challenges with new techniques, without pressure on us. I like to be motivated, but I also know when I have to stop when I get to tired. I felt comfortable in the group and had not the feeling that I have to prove something. This day we had a very good group cohesion and it was fun to spend the day with each other.
For the day four was a day tour planed. We changed instructors, so our group was with Len this day. The weather was again not very good, so we started a little later. It was snowing and the snow was very deep. This made it much harder than the day before. As well as that, we all were very tired from the days before. Len wanted us to have a look around ourselves and not just to focus on the skiing. We found some tracks from an elk and rabbit. Most of the time I stayed in the back this day. I prefer to stay in the back, so I don’t feel pressure and I like to see the whole group. Hannah had some trouble with her skis and always slide down the hill. It was very exhausting for her and I tried to motivate her and always asked her how she is feeling or if I can help her somehow. On one point, I decided to stop her and wax her skis. It was a little better after that but still not good. Even so we made it on the top of the hill. Down was very difficult, because it was icy and it was hard to breaking. After our tour, we had the chance to practice downhill at a quite steep hill. The other option was, to wait in the car. I was very tired, but I decided to try it. It was fun and it motivated me that it went better than expected. Sometimes I should have a little more self-confidence.
This evening we had no lecture, but an evening we all came together and play some games, which are special for our countries. It was fun to spend the evening around the fire together and learn some new games. There were some games you have to overtake a role and it is interesting to see people from another site and learn more about them. I would say the games helped us to get to know each other better and bring us more together as a group.
Already the last day of the ski week. After cleaning the cabin in the morning, we were ready for another ski tour in Høgås. This day the groups were different. The more experienced people were with Tim and the others with Len. I was happy about being in Tim’s group but also a little worried. We were much faster than the days before and the route was more difficult. Sometimes it was a little too fast for me, but I just went my pace. I was again in the back most of the time, what made it not much easier to slow down the group a little. I came on my one borders, what was a good feeling and made me proud at the end. I think it is important to have a positive attitude. I wanted to give my best and was positive thinking. It is hard to concentrate when you are tired, so I was thankful for some advice from Timon. He gave me some tips to go up the steep hill and he motivated me. It was nice to use the downhill skills we learned the days before. At the end of the day I was very tired but in a good way.
I learned a lot in this week and had a lot of fun, even when I came sometimes on my borders. It was helpful to already have some experiences on skis. But not just the skiing was nice this week, also to spend time with the people with the class and get to know each other better. I really enjoyed the time cooking and eating with the girls in our cabin. Even we were very tired, we played some games in the evenings together with the boys and had some fun. All in all a very successful week.