• Women skiers, this is the place for you -- an online community without the male-orientation you'll find in conventional ski magazines and internet ski forums. At TheSkiDiva.com, you can connect with other women to talk about skiing in a way that you can relate to, about things that you find of interest. Be sure to join our community to participate (women only, please!). Registration is fast and simple. Just be sure to add webmaster@theskidiva.com to your address book so your registration activation emails won't be routed as spam. And please give careful consideration to your user name -- it will not be changed once your registration is confirmed.

So I'm afraid of hills...

AliceH

<span style="color:#F89F07";">Angel Diva</span>
#1
...which doesn't really fit with skiing, does it?

I really want to be able to ski, I've taken half a dozen lessons but I still can't even ski over the steepest parts of the bunny slopes at Loveland Valley. I tried pushing myself further today, and got myself going pretty fast, so I decided I'd try just pointing myself down one of the steeper slopes since I'd been doing pretty well using my snowplow turns on the moderately steep slopes. I ended up stuck parallel to the hill, completely unable to even make myself turn a little to get the speed up to start making turns again. I had to sideslip down to a less steep part to get going again. I don't think the speed itself is the problem - on less steep sections I can zip around fairly quickly.

I don't know exactly where this fear is coming from. I don't know if it's because I'm plus size and so I'm worried gravity will drag me down the mountain faster than other people, or if it's because I'm late 30s and am too old to try to learn this, or if I don't trust my muscles to do what they're supposed to, or if I just need to practice more (which is what I was told after my last two lessons). I see other people zipping down the steeper parts of the ski school and it's gone from being encouraging that it can be done to a serious self-esteem issue - if that four-year-old can do it, why can't I? :help:
 

dloveski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#2
Be patient and just get out there and keep trying. It's a journey and every person's is unique. Don't compare yourself to others, just keep taking lessons, find ski buddies, and just enjoy the experience of skiing.

Lessons and women's clinics will help you gain the confidence you need. I've skied 40 years and still need to overcome some issues and have much to learn from those more advanced than I. But I always enjoy my day on the mountain no matter.

It's not how you ski---it's that you ski. Period.
 
#3
Oh, gosh, I think most of us are afraid of going fast on steeper stuff (steeper being relative). I remember my legs shaking like crazy on the steepest part of the green run that I learned on (I learned at 35). Looking back it's so funny but it wasn't then! I still am slow on steeper blues and blacks though I am much better than I used to be. I think many of us are a bit afraid of losing control when we're going fast on a steep slope. I still am awed with I see someone take a relatively striaght line down a steep blue or black. *sigh*

There's no shame in sideslipping. I've done that many times, and often I'll figure, oh, geez, I'm already slipping down this mountain I might as well try some turns. Then I would end up skiing down.

I had a lesson once where my instructor said, enough is enough re: your fear of speed on steeper slopes. He took me to a very steep (but relatively short--maybe 200 yards?) section and said, go straight. I thought he was kidding but off he went. I'm a good student so I followed. We did that a bunch of times. It helped.
 

B.E.G.

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#4
Alice, I had that same experience my first day - the bunny hill looked steep! - and a couple weekends ago when I went on a steep blue. Totally ended up doing a turn, stop, side step, turn, stop, sidestep, down the entire steep part - took me FOREVER and I was so exhausted when I was down.

First, how is your equipment? How are your boots? I felt like even slightly steep greens were way more so when I was swimming in my boots, because I wasn't in control of my feet and skis. I also noticed a big increase in confidence when I found the right ski (today actually) and I trusted my equipment to take me down.

I think practice will help - the more you do it, the more desensitized you will be to the steepness of the bunny hill you're on, and then it'll start looking easy and you can progress to the greens and repeat! And more practice means better muscle memory, more comfort doing turns and stops, and you can start trusting your body to do what it knows how to do, even if your mind freezes a bit at the steepness of the slope you're on.

And hey, I see those four year olds (or seven year olds) zipping down blues that I refuse to venture on yet, and I think - hey, they're closer to the ground, springier, and have no fear of mortality yet! Not being able to do what they can do - don't judge yourself by what you see kids doing! Not the same standard at all! Good luck!
 

AliceH

<span style="color:#F89F07";">Angel Diva</span>
#5
I think my equipment's good. I noticed last weekend that one of my heels is slipping just a tiny bit in my boot, so I'm planning on hitting a bootfitter probably early next month. I've got a pair of K2 Lotta Luvs that are pretty well used (I bought them used) but are still in good shape, and I had them tuned up at the beginning of the year. I'm going to take them with me to the bootfitter to have them checked out too.

Most of the women's ski clinics that I've found that are close enough to drive there and back in a day are either weekday clinics, require the skier to be good on blue slopes, or are just plain too expensive for me to consider right now. I can't swing a weekday clinic right now with having to pick up kiddos from school in the afternoon.

I'm hoping next season I'll be able to do the clinic in Taos with Kathy...can't remember her last name...that someone was talking about in another thread. We have family there, so at least I wouldn't have to shell out for lodging. But right now I really can't get away for more than a weekend day.

A lot of this is just me venting, there's no suggestible solution for limited funds and limited time.

Oh, and...my son overheard me talking to my husband about the part of the hill where I got stuck parallel and being unable to muster the courage to point my skis back down the hill, and chimed in, "Oh, I love that part of the hill, it goes so fast!!!"
 

Jenny

Angel Diva
#6
You're not too old! And, frankly, I'm not sure I'd have ever gotten off the bunny hill if I had to learn on great big mountains instead of the little bitty hills we have here. So more power to you.
 

marge

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#7
It's not being plus-sized. Many of us are plus. :giggle

Do NOT compare yourself to the 4-year-olds. They have NO fear and are idiots. I can attest as I have 2 of them (they're older now) who have surpassed mom in just about every aspect of skiing there is. :( .... and I've been skiing since I was about 13. :rolleyes:

I agree, just take your time. Get comfortable on one slope before you hit the next. I don't know about bunny slopes but Copper has (or had - not sure if they still do but someone may know) a GREAT green/beginner area that is SO much fun and SO beautiful. It just makes it easier to really feel like you've accomplished something. :smile: Keep taking the lessons and find some friends who will hang with you on the beginner stuff every once in awhile. :smile:

I agree with making sure your equipment is up to the task. That can be a HUGE stalling point.

Just relax and have fun. Some of us are just not made to "bomb" the steeps. My gf finally figured out that she is PERFECTLY happy on long green cruisers and is done trying to keep up with the rest of us. We happily come along on many of her runs as we want to be with her. Then sometimes she has some quiet time while some of us bail and head out for a bit. We always come back to her. :wink:

I hope you start to feel more comfortable and can start to really enjoy it!!!! :grouphug:
 

mtngirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#8
Its all about baby steps! Get comfy at one level and push it just a bit, but not so much that you scare yourself!

Most of us still have that OMG this is scary hard feeling, just at different levels. It just takes time and practice.

You also have to know the conditions to play it safe in, and the conditions to try something harder..

Its about having fun, not how fast you advance, or what level of runs you can ski...
 

Pequenita

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#9
So, I don't have kids, so I understand if what I next write is blasphemous to all the moms who read it, buuuuut.....I think it's important to make your comfort on the slopes as much of a priority as your kiddos' if skiing is something you foresee being a family activity in later years. Women's group would be the ideal, but I wouldn't shy away from a mixed group, either, if that's what's available on the weekends.
 

Nadine_A

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#10
Oh, gosh, I think most of us are afraid of going fast on steeper stuff (steeper being relative).
ha ha ha...too true. Do you remember my hissy fit at Sugarbowl!!!!

Funny looking back, but at the time I was scared as hell. Our instructor took us down a steep run and I turn around and went the other way. I was so freaked I didn't even want to side slip!

After another season, I'm much better.

My girlfriend and I have this rule. We look at a hill and say that we have 45 minutes to come down it. Doesn't matter how it looks, you have 45 minutes to do it. My very first green run took 46 minutes to negotiate.
Step 1 - Ski
Step 2 - Ski into my gf or fall (whichever comes first)
Step 3 - Take the skis off
Step 4 - Turn them the other way and put skis back on
Step 5- Repeat Step 1 through 4

Back to 45 minutes... It centres us and also reminds us where we've come from.

Another thing I do, is to find one run that scares me the most (Ie. that run that in usual cercumstances would give you that "no why in hell" feeling) and do it straight after my warmup. After taking my alloted 45 minutes, ending up with my heart beating a million miles an hour, sweat dripping and knees shaking...I go back to the other runs. After THAT, I usually to better. It's almost like I've done the worst thing and survived, then everything else seems easier.

As previously stated, you'll just feel bad comparing you to the 4 year olds. they have no fear, are close to the ground and bounce!

Have patience, persevere and continue to challendge yourself.

Also, keep coming back here. The Divas are so inspirational. I would not be where I am with my skiing without them!
 

Robyn

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#11
As a life long skier I am always in awe of those who learn later in life. I don't remember then sensation of learning to slide on snow. Do not compare yourself to children. Marge is right, they have very little fear (and they're closer to the ground). Take your time. I would suggest if you can afford it taking a private. Katy Perrey at Keystone is a Diva and deals well with fear issues. Well at least when she knows there is one.

As a skier of 30+ years I was following her at Vail one day a couple seasons ago. She took me (and a couple other Divas) down Lover's Leap. I froze at the top. She looked at me like "Come on!" and I finally just had to go. All was fine but she didn't know until that night that it was a first for me and she'd chosen the steepest rockiest place. So, yes even those who have skied for years have their moments.
 

altagirl

Moderator
Staff member
#12
I tried pushing myself further today, and got myself going pretty fast, so I decided I'd try just pointing myself down one of the steeper slopes since I'd been doing pretty well using my snowplow turns on the moderately steep slopes.
I just needed to point out that with any significant amount of speed - snowplow turns are terrifying to most sane people. (i.e. not children, teenage boys or completely intoxicated full grown men.) Snowplowing in general is not very stable at speed. 4 year olds are still made of jello and haven't learned to be scared yet...

So there is nothing wrong with you, just keep working on your skiing on terrain you are reasonably comfortable on and know that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you! Once you develop your parallel turns, hockey stop, etc - you will know how to control your speed better, and then you will become more comfortable with speed (still within reason, but it will make a big difference.)
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#13
So, I don't have kids, so I understand if what I next write is blasphemous to all the moms who read it, buuuuut.....I think it's important to make your comfort on the slopes as much of a priority as your kiddos' if skiing is something you foresee being a family activity in later years. Women's group would be the ideal, but I wouldn't shy away from a mixed group, either, if that's what's available on the weekends.
As a mom, this is sooooooo poignant! Moms are so often guilty of taking care of themselves last, which really is not doing anybody a favor. So no, not blasphemous at all.

Along with the fantastic advice being given here (which I am reading with great interest, since fear has been my worst enemy in skiing) I do agree, get some lessons even if they're group and on the weekend. And don't compare yourself to others, and don't allow someone, or yourself, to pressure you into something you don't want to do. Just keep it fun! Once in awhile, you WILL take that turn down a run that's more than you THINK you can handle. But anything's doable if you don't rush yourself.

Ski by yourself if you have to to avoid pressure. I personally can't handle skiing on steeper stuff with the boys (my bro and DH.) I send them on their way and do my own thing. At my own pace. I did the Wall at Kirkwood at my own pace (yes, it's just like it sounds.) I sat at the top near the drop-in for 10 minutes. I never would have done it with the boys in tow!

And ski as much as you can! The more you ski, the easier it will be for your muscles and the faster you'll progress. Good luck!
 

whitewater girl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#14
I was 41 and plus size (have changed that since then) when I started learning to ski...took me 2-3 years & a bunch of boot changes before I was able to get off the greens (my first year I never really got off the learning hill)...it can take time (and decent fitting boots!) to get comfortable with this sport (yes, there's a HUGE spread in how fast different people learn/get comfortable with skiing) - the fact that you're comfortable with side-slipping is a BIG plus! Feel good that you're out there doing this & don't judge yourself harshly - sounds like you're doing just fine..

...btw, 6 years in now & I'm back on the learning hill learning tele! :becky: (and progressing about as fast as I did with regular downhill...:redface:...oh well, I'll get there)
 
#15
I do agree, get some lessons even if they're group and on the weekend.
Agreed. If you, like me, are the type of person who always wants to be the good student, definitely get into a group (I've always had good experiences with mixed gender groups--beginning male skiers are just as humble as the rest of us). I always want to be the best in a group (or at least not the worst!) and I trust that an instructor isn't going to ask me to do something that will get me hurt. So I've tended to ski better, faster and do things I wouldn't do alone in a group lesson (ie the first time I did a black was when my instructor led us down one at Whistler with no fuss or warning). Also it's so great to see others struggle with the same things you are struggling with. Otherwise I tend to think that everyone on the mountain is better than me, and that's demoralizing.
 

badger

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#16
Every one of us has had those same feelings at one time or another! Experienced skiers can suddenly find themselves in the same emotional/mental state just like a beginner.

When you find yourself parallel with the slope it CAN be difficult to release yourself to begin again. If you point your body down the hill and use a pole to reach forward--kind of diagonally--your skis will turn and follow your lead. It's the mental part, the commitment to moving DOWN that will actually help you.
 

drjoyous

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#17
Everyone here has good advice--
You're not too old: I learned how to ski at 49 y.o. And I was NOT talented. You can do it.
Take your time--you're going to be a year older anyway, so you may as well be a year older and a little better at skiing.
Every moment on the snow, you're getting better, whether or not you see it. Each time you feel scared, you are still on the hill, and still getting used to it. Many times, I have comforted myself by saying "well, logically, i CAN'T get worse!" We are all working on it--so join the club.

And remember--one of these days, you'll be ripping down stuff you can't imagine now, and you'll look over and see someone who is struggling with what you will then know, and remember these days. Skiing is a process of humbling.
 

skigirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#18
The K2 Lotta Luv is WAY TOO MUCH Ski for you. You need a beginner ski to get started. I really think you will be much happier skiing once you get yourself onto a pair of skis that are correct for your level of skiing.
 

B.E.G.

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#19
What Skigirl said- the Lottas are an advanced ski. If you're new and on the bunny hill, you'll want something that you can learn on, not a ski that's going to take you for an uncontrollable ride.

In the K2 line-up, the First Luv is their beginner ski I think - maybe look into that?
 
#20
Take your time. I would suggest if you can afford it taking a private. Katy Perrey at Keystone is a Diva and deals well with fear issues. Well at least when she knows there is one.
Save up some $ and book a lesson with Katy Perrey at Keystone. She is the best instructor I've ever taken a lesson from. What she's taught me has been carried forward into every day I ski.

As a skier of 30+ years I was following her at Vail one day a couple seasons ago. She took me (and a couple other Divas) down Lover's Leap. I froze at the top. She looked at me like "Come on!" and I finally just had to go. All was fine but she didn't know until that night that it was a first for me and she'd chosen the steepest rockiest place. So, yes even those who have skied for years have their moments.
Robyn, wasn't this during the Diva Week 2 seasons ago? I think I watched you do this from the chairlift!

I just needed to point out that with any significant amount of speed - snowplow turns are terrifying to most sane people. (i.e. not children, teenage boys or completely intoxicated full grown men.) Snowplowing in general is not very stable at speed. 4 year olds are still made of jello and haven't learned to be scared yet...

So there is nothing wrong with you, just keep working on your skiing on terrain you are reasonably comfortable on and know that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you! Once you develop your parallel turns, hockey stop, etc - you will know how to control your speed better, and then you will become more comfortable with speed (still within reason, but it will make a big difference.)
I was going to say the exact same thing. I learned as an adult, and snowplowing is tiring and scary as a beginner. Heck, it's still tiring and much scarier than carving turns! Once you learn to carve turns, you CAN control your speed, the fear diminishes, and the fun factor skyrockets! Don't give up! You are NOT to old! It's awesome that you get out there! Check the skis, though, Lotta Luvs are a LOTTA ski for a beginner.
 

Members Online

No members online now.