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Rossendale Skiing, 10th October 2003

By David Shepherd

8 hardy members of the club were in attendance for Bill McGann's first free session of skiing tips aimed at blowing away the cobwebs from our skiers' legs. Despite horrendous traffic on the motorway up to Rossendale most of us managed to turn up early enough to get kited out with the usual grubby hire skis, though two people upgraded to "superior" skis - whatever that means.

Most people had their own boots and one member, Alan, was trying out his brand new Scarpa Denalis ready for a ski tour next year. Fortunately we had two or three SCGB members in the group and so qualified for the 2 for 1 discount. Also the weather was dry for a change, but the slope had been well sprinkled and skied quite well.

Bill started off by allowing us three or four runs to get going, before going to work on smoothing out the various bumps in our individual techniques. This included the "emptying the suitcase routine" which involved exaggerating the body movements on each turn, crouching down then stretching up as you came out of the turn. It must have looked odd to the slalom team who were practising on the bumps side of the slope, but it certainly improved our balance and control. We also had to balance our poles on our arms, and I don't remember anybody dropping them on the way down.

The ability level was quite varied but all 8 of us benefited from Bill's witty stories involving the Canadian ski team, especially one young gentleman who started off rather nervously, but due to a bit of expert tuition, was full of confidence by the end. Those of you attending Bill's day course should have a great time.

The session lasted the full two hours, and Bill was thoroughly entertaining throughout. Trudy made a valiant attempt at giving us directions to a pub in Rawtenstall, but to no avail. I gave up after much driving up and down, a map might be a good idea for next time please!

Many thanks to Trudy Lymer for organising the evening and to Bill for his patience. I look forward to the next one.