Snowboarding at Hoodoo

3 03 2010

Through my work with the Outdoor Program, I went on a snowboarding trip to Hoodoo Mountain Resort. Now, I’ve only been snowboarding two or three times prior to this occasion, so needless to say my skills were, well, spectacularly unexceptional. I had experienced all the typical first-timer woes: tumbling down the mountain, falling flat on my face and sliding for feet on end, trying to master the ski lift — you know, standard stuff. Regardless, I was quite excited at the prospect of “tackling” the mountain again, so to speak.

I arrived at the River House at 6:30 with my friend and classmate Julie. We were going with a group of high school students who enrolled in a three-session course. Julie and I gave a sleep-deprived introduction and received a similar response. Clearly, the early morning was taking its toll on everyone.

The River House Outdoor Program offers a wide variety of classes, including snowboarding, skiing, snowshoeing, kayaking, rafting, surfing, rock climbing, hiking and much more!

A snowboarder with the River House slides to a halt.

The bus ride was a similar affair, with most nodding off for the majority of the trip. But as the buses approached the mountain, the sun shone brightly through the windows, alerting everyone inside they had arrived at their destination.

After the initial clamor of unloading two buses full of teenagers subsided, the session began with a discussion of the word of the day, compassion. Sitting in a circle on the floor of the lodge, each participant, instructor and volunteer described their personal definition of compassion and how they would use it on the mountain that day. As for Julie and me, we needed all the compassion we could get from this veritable bunch of virtuosos. After some stretches and preparation, it was time for snowboarding!

Despite the stumbles, it’s impossible not to have fun. It’s such a unique sensation to be gliding with ease atop an otherwise unruly surface. I truly encourage everyone to try it at least once.

Oh, did I mention it helps to have awesome instructors who are both skilled and helpful? Well, it does. Under the tutelage of Colette Ramirez-Maddock, and with some fun, hard work, I felt like the next iteration of Shaun White.

Or, something like that.

You probably won’t be seeing me in Vancouver any time soon, or the next Winter Olympics in Sochi for that matter, but with experiences like this, you can certainly count on seeing me on the mountain again. Question is, will you be there?

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