Matthew’s 4th Time Skiing at Sierra at Tahoe

To continue Matthew’s learning how to ski, we once again went up to Sierra At Tahoe. Today was Sunday of Martin Luther King Jr’s 3 day weekend. We were expecting the resort to be very busy, even though the 49ers were playing the Falcons for the western championship. They beat the Falcons and are now headed to the Super Bowl!!!

Working on what Matthew has learned so far, I decided it was time for Matthew to learn to get on and off the chair lifts. He managed quite well and learned very fast. He didn’t fall once! He had some close calls, but he kept his hands forward, good “french fries” when getting off the lift and then the “pizza” to slow himself down. I told him the goal at the end of the day was to go up the Rock Garden chair lift. It was an old school 2 seater that did not disconnect so the chair whips around the corner very fast. In the end he did awesome!

At the top of the Rock Garden chair lift are the Upper Main trail, the Cork Screw, and then back to Broadway. The Cork Screw part zig zags back and forth a few times before connecting to the mid ridge line and then to Broadway. The first time we went down, I skied with Matthew between my legs during the Cork Screw part only. After that he was able to do it himself. Because the runs were a little longer, his little legs got a little more tired. We took breaks here and there. The 2nd time we went up, he managed to ski the whole thing himself. Julie also came on the 2nd time and she did well on the “scary” Cork Screw run!

I am very proud of my little one. He’s doing so well! I managed to get some pictures using my D800 of him in the afternoon.

Thanks for looking!

~Greg

Matthew’s Skiing Experience…

Matthew’s skiing ability has increase significantly.

He originally entered ski school back on Friday December 28, 2012. After doing so and asking him if he wanted to go again, he said he’d rather go to Mei Yee’s house (his aunt).

We went up to Sierra At Tahoe for the 2nd time on Monday January 7, 2013. He entered ski school fine, but when I made the mistake of stopping by AND saying hello, I saw him whimpering after he skied down their little ski school hill. I then took off to head up the lift.

I got a call about an hour later to come in and to pick up Matthew. When they brought him up, he was whimpering still and he didn’t seem to be having fun. When I asked him if he would like to ski with me, he was eager. It was apparent that he was not having fun at all. It is important to make sure he has fun otherwise he won’t want to ski at all. That afternoon, he skied between my legs and had a blast. He even was screaming, with excitement of course, down the hill. He really enjoyed the speed.

Today, Monday January 14th, we went up to Sierra At Tahoe again, but this time instead of putting him in ski school, I just got his lift ticket and ski equipment. No lesson through the resort. I was taking it upon myself to teach him. The day before, I bought the reins and the ski tip binders from REI. My plan was to just pull him up the hill to see if he could balance. I was going to play it by ear to see if I needed any of the training tools.

He managed to stand up on his skis and ski down the hill. Initially, he couldn’t make the “pizza” or wedge. Then he started to get the hang of it where he could stop on his own. I was definitely not expecting this at all. I had very low expectations. He totally surprised me! Because he could stop on his own, I decided to take him up on the magic carpet. I was still in shoes and didn’t bring out my ski equipment just yet. THe magic carpet operator was very kind enough to allow me to go up with Matthew without a lift ticket. Showing off his new skills, Matthew managed to ski down the hill without falling. He got into trouble a bit, but managed to “save” himself or regain his balance.

Now it was time to pull out my ski equipment and try to ski with him. He now knows how to get himself onto the magic carpet ride. He can somewhat scoot around on his skis. We went up many times throughout the day. Initially, I didn’t trust that he could stop, so I had to ski backwards down the hill. Luckily it was not very crowded on this very cold and slightly windy day, and I wasn’t going to run into anyone since my attention was on Matthew most of the time. He did just fine. He fell a few times. His reward was some skittles at the bottom of the hill. A patient of mine suggested a bribe or a reward of skittles, specifically. I did just that and rewarded Matthew an extra skittle after every successful run. If he did fall down, I would take away one skittle. He managed to get up to 5 skittles! Way to go Matthew!

Towards the end of the afternoon, I didn’t have to ski backwards in front of him. I skied next to him and one time behind him. He absolutely did fine! The beginner skiers and snowboarders in the area were quite impressed. He was also very cute going down the hill. I’m not sure which is a bigger deal, Matthew learning to ride a bike or learning how to ski? Both rank quite high on my list of accomplishments as a dad.

Matthew blew away my expectations. He accomplished so much more in one day, than he would have going to the resort’s ski school. I don’t think they really teach anything in ski school. Next is to do the lift. I think he can do it. Maybe next weekend, but unfortunately, it is a 3 day weekend for some. We might go up for Sunday and come back home. We’ll see what the weather is like. He still has more to learn, but when we got home, he was already asking me how to turn! I can’t wait to go up again and teach my son how to ski! Next will be Hayley in a few years!

I wish I could post the video here, but I did on Facebook.

Thanks for reading,

~Greg

Ethan’s Birthday Part II: The Race

There are a lot of pictures that I took. I hope they I got at least one picture of your child racing and at the end. Sorry if I did miss someone. Once they put their helmets on, it was hard to distinguish who was who. I tried to remember what shoes they each were wearing!

If you would like any of these pictures, please let me know with the link below or contact Susan with your email address. If you can, please try to remember which photo(s) in the slideshow you wish to have.

Enjoy!

~Greg

Ethan Chinn’s 9th Birthday at GoKart Racing in Burlingame!

Ethan has turned 9 years old today! I cannot believe how much time has flown by.

His parents, or more like his dad, reserved GoKart Racer in Burlingame to be the venue for young Ethan’s 9th Birthday! We didn’t know what to expect when it came time to do the racing. In the end, one young boy has done it before and was zipping around the track. Even though the boys were friends, there was some friendly bumping going on…ok more unintentional bumping and running into each other. No one was hurt and they all seem to have fun.

If you would like any of these pictures in a high res format, be sure to email me or contact susan to give me your email address. I’m more than happy to share!

Here are the initial photos of them getting ready:

~Greg