Club Skiing At Rossendale - Friday 14th Jan

By John Lymer

Our mid-January session with instructor, Bill McGann, was enjoyed by a small group. This was our club's opportunity to thank Elton Sailing Club, Bury, for their hospitality last Summer (sailing, barbecue and barn dance) by inviting their members to Rossendale for some tuition. Alas, numbers dwindled as the night drew near .... and then there was one! But, at least he seems now sold on the idea of signing up, so we mustn't have seemed such an odd bunch.

The night was slightly spoilt by the breakdown of the main lift, which lead to big queues for the lift on the left of the slope and of course we had to forego our bumps practise ..... sighs of relief from a few, but some of us were a bit miffed! The weather was cold, with a chill wind blowing - I've been to Rossendale lots, but have rarely been as frozen! Anyway, serves me right for not wrapping up.

So, conditions weren't perfect, but we don't go to Rossendale for that do we? The real bonus of these sessions is the tuition and Bill always puts his message across very well. He even had some "carving" skis from Atomic and Fischer that we were encouraged to try, with absolutely no obligation to buy. The Fischer BetaCarve 9 I used certainly turned easily - all you really had to do was lean them over. The "Hermanator" race skis went well in the capable hands of Andrew, who motors over from Harrogate for the Rossendale sessions ..... and you thought it was a bit far for you to drive on a Friday night! Others skied well on Atomics, their own skis, or Rossendale's.

The thrust of the night was to learn (or hone!) carving techniques. The emphasis was on not planting poles; the substantial up and down movement of this "classic" unweighting technique varies the edge pressure and prevents carving. Instead, to aid in initiating turns, we were advised to thrust hips and skis forward to slightly unweight the skis. With or without this unweighting, pre-turning the shoulders just a little worked a treat ..... the hips and then the skis follow into the turn. We finished off by concentrating on turning the skis and letting a small amount of unweighting happen more naturally as we changed quickly from one turn to the next - the rebound effect does the unweighting for you.

Perhaps I've missed one or two salient points, but Bill's tuition certainly worked for me!

For February's session we're promised a fair quota of bump skiing, so contact Steve now if that appeals.