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getting 62yr old mum skiing

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getting 62yr old mum skiing

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
My mum says she likes skiing but says it doesn't like her.
She's 62, not fit as a flea by any means, but not a couch potato.
She had a lesson at Xscape and quit half way through.
She fell over a lot because her legs wouldn't do the snowplough when she was trying to make them do it. She hit her head a few times, trying to avoid falling on her left elbow, which was recently wired together after she smashed it falling on concrete.

So, physically, any advice in helping her learn to do the moves right, as it were, strengthen her legs etc, would be very helpful Very Happy

The other thing is her favourite line to bleat which does my head in - 'I know my limits.' and that is er excuse for not trying anything, or pushing herself, or challenging herself. I doubt any of us would ski well and fast without pushing ourselves. My mental attitude is you only get somewhere by pushing your limits and therefore going further and achieving more, otherwise you become sedentary and boring. Any advice for a positive mental approach to help her face the challenge of learning and push herself?

Many thanks Very Happy

And yes - she does want to ski - I'm not forcing her!! Just greatly encouraging Toofy Grin but I don't want to teach her, I'd rather someone else do it and she paid out for a good instructor, we are off to La Clusaz in just over a week, reccomendations welcomed. Language barrier not an issue, she speaks French so well people think she lives out there!

So yeah, any advice and reccomendations greatly achieved.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
crazy_skier_jules, snowplough position can be quite difficult when you are older and hips less flexible - I sympathise, as I struggled mightily with the snowplough on cross-country skis (and was trying to avoid falling on a particular piece of my anatomy too - in my case my coccyx, damaged by fall on - or rather off - snowboard).

If the skiing doesn't work out too well (and somebody local might be able to make a specific recommendation for an instructor) do some snow-shoeing together, it's great aerobic exercise and good to be out in the mountains away from the lifts. Take local advice on routes, though - most tourist offices will have leaflets about snowshoe routes which are marked and sometimes bashed.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
crazy_skier_jules,
Quote:

favourite line to bleat

us of that certain age do have our favourites to bleat - mine is usually when having been taken down something I didn't really enjoy 'I think that was a sell-the-chalet-moment'

Having said that, this afternoon when I wasn't really enjoying a particular slope I thought, grit your teeth, and get (slightly) out of your comfort zone. And I did enjoy it, really.

Certainly having some instruction when you get to La Clusaz would be great - I do occasionally have lessons here, I can't afford them very often - but I really enjoy them, and its amazing how when you catch sight of your instructor out somewhere you pull yourself together and try that little bit harder.
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crazy_skier_jules, if she decides skiing might not be easy for her for the reasons pam w, suggests, there is always boarding Toofy Grin

Seriously, good luck to her and carry on with your encouragement!
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Pamski, Rule 5! (though sounds like you did!)
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crazy_skier_jules, bad elbow and doesn't like falling . . . don't even think of boarding. She needs to go to a hill that's very shallow, literally the bunny slope where she isn't forced into a full on snowplow from the very beginning and can slowly develop more leg flexibility.
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Tell her there's a 74 year old regularly seen in full tuck down our local slope, who started skiing at 70, no time like the present!

Too late for strengthening but the instructor will help her with the rest of it, biggest mistake I see is people ploughing with knees too close together, really inhibits speed control and ability to steer the skis.

Good luck!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I read recently that women learn better in a female only environment, and it seemed very logical

If I could remember where I read it, there was a link to companies that teach women on their own. Might be worth looking up one of these and sell it to her that way.
None of us nasty competitive men out there

( apparently the key is that the average man needs technical output based instruction with a load of machismo "me me me " approach, and the average female thrives best from technical instructions alongside female bonding and mutual group learning ). - I only quote the article, even I can't claim that logic as mine
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sev112,
Quote:

the average female thrives best from technical instructions alongside female bonding and mutual group learning

Blimey. I'm obviously not average.
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Pedantica, me neither! Stick me in a male dominated learning environment any time.
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crazy_skier_jules, how about she try blades and use poles with them? A few years back we skied with an older woman who couldn't get on with skiing but was fine on blades. They don't just have to be for young tear aways who can't ski wink She could probably get away with not snow ploughing
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Just as an idea, does Butterfly still do that cautious to confident course with Easiski? That might be a good thing for her.


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Wed 2-01-13 19:25; edited 1 time in total
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
crazy_skier_jules wrote:
we are off to La Clusaz in just over a week, reccomendations welcomed.

I can't speak of any instructors out here, but I know the area pretty well now.

I've been critical before of La Clusaz for beginners. But's that's before I found the Merdassier/Manigod area.

If you can get there (I reckon there's a bus from LC town to Merdassier, or it's an easy drive - follow signs for Etale and then Col de Merdassier), it's a really cosy unintimidating little part of the resort for beginners. Lovely little nursery slope with a gentle drag, followed by an easy-on-easy-off chair for when she's ready. All in the trees.

If you can't get there, the next best thing is the nursery area at the top of Beauregard, which is excellent and served by a gentle drag - the only tiny tiny problemette is that the drag lift goes round a dog-leg corner, which some beginners struggle with. I would have her download again at the end of the day. The blue home is borderline red in a few sections.

The other obvious green routes are:

1) Doing laps of the Patinoire gondola. It's usually crap snow, you have to compress through a narrow tunnel, and it carries loads of speeding through traffic.

2) The area around the Petit Loup chairlift. This is excellent, but she would be well advised to download at the end of the day. That whole middle 'Merle' section of the piste map is a bit grim. Poor snow, a little too steep for it's blue/green billing, and again it carries a lot of speeding home-run traffic. Unfortunately the download is on a chairlift which can be an unnerving experience.

If you see the 'long' greens on the piste map, avoid at all costs. They are without exception gloomy icy flat roads that will put her off forever.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Nor me but I am also much happier working in a male dominated environment as well.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Pedantica, No you're not, If us men don't get things right you skewer them in the gonads with a ski pole Evil or Very Mad
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
crazy_skier_jules wrote:
She fell over a lot because her legs wouldn't do the snowplough when she was trying to make them do it.

Was that that she couldn't get her legs into the snowplough position in the first place (lack of flexibility) or couldn't hold the position once the pressure started building up (lack of strength)? I doubt there's much that can be done in a week to address either issue, but long term this would suggest specific exercises for improving flexibility or strength. Take up Salsa dancing?

More seriously, if a complete inability to snowplough is the main problem, then she could try a "direct to parallel" approach to get into turning earlier in the learning process, and much shorter skis than normal (e.g. the Wed'ze style) may help with getting that going. Unfortunately I've little direct experience of this problem, as the only guy I've had with a total inability to snowplough (and simply standing up was a bit of a challenge) I managed to palm off on another instructor after only one lesson (and he started the lesson with giving me a list of other instructors who'd also failed)! With other beginners who just couldn't get the snowplough to stick it was primarily a problem with learning style - they were kinesthetic types who needed to feel what it felt like before cottoning on, and they were solved by either skiing down in front of them holding their skis in a snowplough until their legs got the message, or a load of jumps into/out-of the plough position while standing still on the flat. But these are things an instructor should be able to fix in a few minutes one-on-one time.

I take it Ruth de Luge will be watching this thread - so is this a not-so-subtle ploy on CSJ's part to shaming her into going for the Rule 5 option?
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Masque wrote:
Pedantica, No you're not, If us men don't get things right you skewer them in the gonads with a ski pole Evil or Very Mad
Now you KNOW I didn't do that on purpose! Laughing Laughing
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Pedantica, I was wondering if this was the equivalent to the cherry on a stick for a vodka party Shocked
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Megamum, vodka with a cherry on a stick? Perish the very thought!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I'd get her towards cross country skiing - none of the stresses of the snowplough if they choose a sensible route, and a good way to spend time when away with others alpine skiing and enjoying the mountains. You might also find others in the group prefer to do this for one or two days instead as well, so she won't be on her own and missing out.

It sounds as though she is keen to be involved, keen to do something and be active on the holiday, but isn't getting on with skiing. So find something else. I was surprised by how much fun but also how relaxed things like dog sledding are - you get to go reasonably fast, but to slow down just put your foot on the brakes and you can stop the whole thing or slow it down to your own pace.

This paragraph makes me think a bit:

"The other thing is her favourite line to bleat which does my head in - 'I know my limits.' and that is er excuse for not trying anything, or pushing herself, or challenging herself. I doubt any of us would ski well and fast without pushing ourselves. My mental attitude is you only get somewhere by pushing your limits and therefore going further and achieving more, otherwise you become sedentary and boring. Any advice for a positive mental approach to help her face the challenge of learning and push herself?"

She is different to you. Some people do not like pushing themselves out of their comfort zone, and you pushing won't help that. She may say lots of positive things and agree to go along with things, but in fact she might quite like sitting in front of the telly and being sedentary and boring. If that's the case, let her do it. There is plenty of potential for being sedentary and boring on ski holidays - count yourself lucky that your mother is considering a ski holiday at all. My mother is similar age and she has never ridden a bike more than 100 yards on a tricycle we hired for her once. Quite often those people who are a bit less adventurous are also fairly easily pressured into doing things they don't really want to do - be careful not to push her, or she won't find her own way into it at all.
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Pedantica wrote:
Megamum, vodka with a cherry on a stick? Perish the very thought!


Another time to invoke Rule 5 I think!
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
davkt, I does satisfy the Pedantica Rule 1, always eat something with each shot. Madeye-Smiley
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Masque, Ahh good point!
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
If your a purist, please skip this comment Wink

crazy_skier_jules, I had an issue where I was unfit (I still am!) and just starting, I really was not getting on with Ski's, the snow plough would put me in a lot of pain, on top of this I frequently crossed ski's and took tumbles, I was about ready to hang up my boots, but then a friend suggested I try Snow blades! It was the best thing I ever did, because they have a much shorter length its makes them 100x easier to put into a snow plough and steer whilst also being much easier on the legs. I could suddenly go places in a controlled manor that didn't feel as if it was tearing my muscles apart. This was a massive confidence boost, suddenly I was able to get down Green and Blue runs with no problems. After a few hours I started to pick up basic parallel turns and using edges to stop.. Rather than hanging up my boots, I came home with a pair of 120CM Cross Max Blades -

http://www.snowinn.com/ski-shop/salomon-snowblade-crossmax---l10-sc-10-11/9728/p#

Purists and elitists alike will sneer at them, instructors will tell you they are not proper ski's Evil or Very Mad they lie! I've never understand this attitude, the only reason I can see is these are people who probably started skiing very early and have never experienced the pain of beginning later in life. As far I'm concerned they are a good way to get started. You do eventually outgrow them, over the past couple of seasons I've progressed from the 120CM Blades to a pair of 180CM WhiteDot Ones (Only just brought them, can't wait for the S9BB).

Apologies for the essay, hope it at least gives you some ideas.. good luck snowHead


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Wed 2-01-13 23:46; edited 2 times in total
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Kelv1n, good point, could work well for her . . . certainly better than nailing her to a snowboard Twisted Evil
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Cross country less stressful ????? Have you ever tried skiing downhill on those things
I'd rather go down Face at the end of day than a green downhill x-c course (ok a blue one)
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
sev112, sorry, not explaining well - basically those people who walk around ski resorts and the flatter slopes, never really going downhill. It is like skiing, but without the steep bit Smile Like going snow-shoeing, but on skis.
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crazy_skier_jules, we have two very good friends who both learnt to ski 6 years ago in their 60s . One now needs a knee replacement, and is desparate to be able to keep skiing.

I know Easiski has taught people to ski who couldn't snowplough because they'd had hip replacements, so I know it can be done without. I learnt to ski in Flaine via the 'Evolutif' method, we only sed a braking snowplough to stop, all the rest was parallel, and we changed our skis for longer ones every day. That method is well out of fashion now, but it should be possible to find someone to get her over the fear.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

Cross country less stressful ????? Have you ever tried skiing downhill on those things
I'd rather go down Face at the end of day than a green downhill x-c course (ok a blue one)

+1. I suppose that just shuffling around on the complete flat wouldn't be too difficult, but as a good intermediate downhill skier I found cross-country surprisingly difficult. I have had two complete weeks of tuition now, and am still fairly hopeless - I plan another week this year. In Les Saisies there are green, blue, red and black cross country routes, and even the green ones require braking - either a "demi chasse-neige" with one foot out of the tracks, on gentle slopes, or a full on snowplough on steeper bits, where the tracks disappear. You are just as likely to fall on an elbow cross country skiing (I sat next to a woman in the medical centre who had broken her arm doing just that) and I certainly agree that a snowboard would be ridiculous (and I know of what I speak, having started snowboarding only a very short time before becoming an OAP).

The blade suggestion is worth thinking about BUT the proposal that she uses short skis is a much better one, I think. The short Wedze skis are much more like skis than blades, but easier to turn. I've used blades a fair bit in the past but I do find them a lot harder on the knees than longer skis.

Private lessons with a sympathetic instructor, with a very gentle slope so that no heroic snowploughing is needed, with short skis, sounds about right.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
pam w, the "short ski" is definitely the better option. The Cross Max Blades I gave the link to is the Salomon version of the Wedze Short Ski (120CM compared to 127CM) Madeye-Smiley

crazy_skier_jules, The standard size for Blades is 90CM, if you go for these, I highly recommend the Head Big Easy.. they are about the easiest thing going and good to test the water with. But if things work out, then highly recommend moving to "Short Ski" which will give more stability and edge.
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NB - for the record I was only joking about the boarding hence the mad grin smiley - you wouldn't get me nailing my feet to one of those, and I sure as hell wouldn't wish it on someone else!!
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
This is all fantastic, thanks everyone!!

Mr Piehole, we love LC for it's traditional-ness and French-ness. I'm v familiar with the place, as in don't need a map, and we stayed up in Manigod once - gorgeous stuff! I do like your suggestions though, and I know to avoid the long greens. l'Envers is TERRIBLE for skiers, let alone boarders!

X-Country skiing - it could be a go, but mum is less fit than me, and more derpy than me, so I have images of her tripping over the long skinny skis and being knackered already NehNeh I will deffo support her if she goes for it though.

Short skis/blades - why the HELL did I not think of this?! Such a good idea! We can't afford to buy blades off the hat since mum might not carry on, but I am guessing you can hire them??

Again, many thanks, I hope mum is reading this thread, if not, I will point her to it.

Monium, the thing is, she HATES sitting still on the sofa and watching telly - she indignantly threw her TV licence subscription back in their faces! She cycles a bit, or did before she did her elbow in, and she sails as a crew in an Enterprise dinghy every week, in some ridiculously crazy conditions. She is adventurous, she loves hillwalking and snowshoeing, she did SS for the first time in Chamonix when I was skiing, she loves the outdoors more than most and will do adventure, so I am guessing this is a bit out of her comfort zone though. I am being as gentle as a hot-headed impatient daughter can be, I promise Smile

Think short skis will be the thing to try! Thanks everyone Very Happy
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
You certainly could hire them a number of years ago as hubby swapped to blades for a day of fun on them with the hire shop (the only time I have sen him do a sumersault)
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NickyJ wrote:
You certainly could hire them a number of years ago as hubby swapped to blades for a day of fun on them with the hire shop (the only time I have sen him do a sumersault)


I think csj's Mum might be rather keen on avoiding somersaults! Shocked Laughing
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I suspect she won't be skiing with the same enthusiasm Happy
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crazy_skier_jules, I have a pair of short Wed,ze skis you could borrow - and I'm not a million miles from LC. Maybe we could work something out? When you going?
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We are going on 12th January Very Happy that would be awesome - take it bindings are adjustable to boot sole length?

Alternately I am going to look into hiring now, does anyone know of a decent company in LC?
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Thanks for all the help/encouragement/advice everyone - am certainly willing to give it my best shot, and so looking forward to getting back to La Clusaz and the snow!
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Ah sorry crazy_skier_jules, didn't know you knew the place so well, sorry if I went all condescending by accident!
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Quote:

take it bindings are adjustable to boot sole length?

yes they are, within all normal adult sizes - very big men don't fit. Might well be able to sort something out. But it's a quiet time - no need to sort out hire in advance, really, though if you go through skimium.com you can get useful discounts. Will look at my timetable (I have visitors then but they might enjoy a trip) and get back to you.
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