My quads are stiff, my knees ache, and my ass is sore but I was expecting no less for my first snowboarding experience. I was up at 6 in the morning to make it up Grouse Mountain in time to rent all my gear and get ready for the lesson at 10. The temperature on top was below zero-ish; it was snowing and sunny intermittently throughout the day with some heavy fog as well. Jill, our Irish boarding instructor, said that there was fresh powder from last night! And this made falling so much less painful.
For the first half and hour my classmates and I were fumbling and tumbling down the bunny hills. Meanwhile, chubby Asian toddlers in their floral pink snowsuits were just booking it down the hill like it was more natural to them than holding chopsticks. Eventually, our confidence grew, as did our balance, and we managed to complete turns, brake quickly, and do the ‘falling leaf’. Soon enough, Jill left for lunch and we were on our own. Feeling pretty good about my new skills I decided to test out a bigger and steeper slope called the Screaming Eagle where I promptly wiped out 5 times in the first 10 metres.
At the day’s end I had snowboarded for a good 7 hours, including a lunch break. And yes, I did make it down the Screaming Eagle in one piece, a couple times. Although I’ve not been to other winter sporting locations before, I think Grouse Mountain operates their facilities and rentals really enthusiastically, and with some extra Canadian pride… something to do with some Olympics thing last year I’m guessing. Staff were helpful, our instructor was cool, the people were friendly (offering to help others up after they faceplanted).
Snowboarding is awesomesauce, I can’t wait for my next lesson next week! Actually, the only reason why I took up snowboarding was to see this: