The team was lucky enough to have the opportunity to spend a day downhill skiing at Sugar Bowl Downhill Resort. Our inspirational alarms sounded at 6:30 trying to tempt us to get out of bed, but even the excitement of going ‘down’ the hills all day left us stumbling sleepy-eyed to another delicious breakfast of porridge.
We skipped our morning run and boarded the bus to Sugar Bowl. To our disappointment there was no actual bowls made of sugar, just an amazing expanse of wilderness and plenty of snow. After the complicated process of hiring gear (which was even more complicated with the accent barrier) we made our way to the ski school for our lesson. One group headed off to participate in a newly introduced program ‘Freestyle Friday’. This program turns innocent cross-country skiers into reckless terrain park rats and many were very excited to take part in the lesson. They spent the two hours learning how to ride the park safely and use park etiquette whilst showing off what they could do. The first skill learnt was sliding boxes sideways. This proved to be a challenge for most. Other new skills included rotating off jumps and many more.
The other group headed out to explore the mountain whilst getting their downhill ski legs back and learning some helpful ways to fine-tune their technique.
After an overpriced lunch (still not as bad as Buller) we headed out for our afternoon session in which we skied the mountain in small groups enjoying the amazing terrain. We skied countless tree trails and found plenty of powder to satisfy us.
The day was concluded with a heavy snow shower leaving the bowl full of sugar and a group of tired, yet satisfied skiers ready for bed.
The Victorian skiers decided to put on their coaching hats on today and help out with an open day Tahoe Donner was running. The open day allowed people to register and receive a free trail pass as well as a lesson. As expected, the turn out was huge and there was never a dull moment for us. It was a new and very rewarding experience for all, as many members of the team had never taught someone the basics of how to ski. From Alecia’s group of Libyan diplomats to Stella, Catherine and Emma’s group of four year olds there were some interesting learning experiences to be had. It is safe to say that our patience levels were tested several times as well. As amazing and naturally talented we were, we think we should hand the coaching back to JC, Ewan and Ronice for the rest of the trip…