A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

…or a bad workman blames his tools ….

On Monday, we all woke up to an overnight fall of snow, and what is gleefully referred to as a powder day.  Of course to really enjoy this requires a combination of skill and suitable equipment.  I have been skiing on my lovely K2 piste skis, easy to turn, but too narrow to float well on the powder.  However, my previous Rossignol All Mountain skis are wider in the middle and should float better, so I decided this was a good day to swap my skis.

It was my turn to lead our group, so after a session on techniques for beginners learning to walk on skis, we set off to tackle the deep stuff; we all needed the practice…..

I found it all incredibly difficult, and could not turn my skis at all.  I had forgotten the second part of the ski equation, wider skis may float better, but don’t turn as easily, particularly when the rider has little or no skill to bring to the situation, or has forgotten all she has been told.

I struggled with it all morning, and took a few nasty tumbles, and then finally seemed to find a bit of rhythm, only to crash out with a very painful knee twist when I made another mistake.  I groaned for a while, and it crossed my mind that this could be the finale for my season.

However when I dug myself and my skis out of the deep stuff, it wasn’t so bad, and I found I could still ski, though I decided that was enough powder for the day.

At lunch, I quizzed Kevin on what he had in store for us for the afternoon, and told him my knee had taken a bit of a bashing. He assured me that we would not be tackling any powder, and that I could always duck out of anything I didn’t fancy. So it seemed reasonable to carry on. He also recommended that I stick with one pair of skis for now, the ones I will use for my exam, and leave the reserve pair at home.

The slopes were all lumpy and difficult enough without venturing off piste, so when the guys all piled over the steep drop to the side of the piste, I did not follow, but stuck to the piste, where I hacked my way down like a beginner, totally frustrated with myself. I was definitely having a bad hair day.

Finally, I think even Kevin was frustrated, as he took me aside on a very long slow chairlift and proceeded to give me a real dressing down, told me to up my game, use the technique I had been taught, go for it and stop holding back.  He said he wasn’t seeing the performance he thought I was capable of, and that I needed to try harder, and not to ski in my comfort zone.  This was nothing to do with me not following the guys over the edge, just that even when I took the easier route, I made a hash of that! It was tough getting such direct feedback, none of it positive, a reality check, I think.

So tomorrow, I’m going out there to up my game.

1 person likes this post.


  1. Comment by Paula:

    Oh boy,I can see why skiing is not for me!! you have lots of guts! hope you have a better hair day tomorrow.

  2. Comment by Ruth and Nick Pearman:

    Oh Karen here come some hugs ooooo You CAN DO IT!! One pair of skis is the message… have a great day on the slopes tomorrow and hope knee is not troublesome either xxxxooooxxxxx