Sunday, March 02, 2008

NBN Ski Trip

Last week I got to enjoy Israel's frozen north on the Nefesh B'Nefesh Ski Trip. It's actually about a 3 hour drive from Jerusalem to Mount Hermon, so we had to get together and get moving at about 6 AM.

Just picking up our rental skis was a total madhouse.

Never having been skiing before, I always figured skis were just these things you strap onto your shoes and off you go, but it was a bit more complicated. You have to wear these big plastic boots to prevent ankle injury. The boots prevent you from moving your ankles, and force you to walk on your tip toes all day.

All set to go here.

The ski resort also has this sled ride. Next time I'll go for a ride.
Those who had been skiing before hit the slopes and disappeared for the day. The rest of us went to the "bunny slopes" to learn how to ski.
Ismail, our instructor, "You, eh... peoples are not like ze Israelis. You are not complaining!"

Taking our lessons.

Yours truly. I was the only sucker who showed up in Jeans. Hey, I didn't know what ski pants were.

We took a few shots on the small slopes, learned how to turn left, turn right, and stop. I was good at the turning, but not so good at the stopping, and crashed into some innocent bystanders. But after a while, I got bored with it. The bigger slopes looked like more fun, so we got on the lift.

People having fun on the big-kid slopes.

Waiting in line for the lift.

Aliza from NBN and I shared a lift up, but we got our skis tangled and ended up falling off before we reached a dangerous altitude. On our second try, we made it all the way up.

The top of the shortest lift. The hilltop in the background has some sort of army outpost on it.

Somehow, the way down looked a lot more perilous from the top.

The main problem was that I couldn't figure out how to stop. On the main slope, you only had about ten feet to stop until you went ploughing into the crowd waiting at the bottom. That, combined with the slippery, wet snow, led to a truly nerve wracking first-skiing experience.

After some experience, I learned that crashing into snow hurt less than crashing into people.

After a while, I mastered the controlled crash. I would just go faster and faster, and when I felt I was going faster than I could control, I would try to turn uphill slightly and end up with my face in the snow. I probably spend more time skiing in the slope than on the slope, but I had a good time.

Keren had some crash-related problems as well. But she seemed to pick it up a lot faster. As a matter of fact, everyone seemed to pick it up a lot faster.

This is what people who know what they're doing look like.

It was a pretty fun experience. I think if I had another day or two to practice, and perhaps went with someone who knew what they were doing, I would be able to get the hang of it and try some of the really huge slopes.

But for now, I'll stick to hiking.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

only the first picture posted. all the others show up as the caption only