Yesterday we went for our first ETC Fundamentals Adventure Module to Seven Springs Mountain Resort, about an hour’s drive from Pittsburgh. Activities include skiing and snowtubing (and eating), all fully organised and sponsored by ETC! =)
The first activity was skiing, with a 1-hour lesson given to everyone, beginner or intermediate. Although I skiied 2 years ago in Montreal, I kinda forgot and decided to join the basic lessons again on the bunny slope. It took us a while to get our boots and equipment together. The first time I learnt skiing was without the poles, but this time we all have the poles. The instructor thought us basic stopping and turning, and we went up and down the slope a few times.
After some practice, Meng, Seewon and I decided to take the “Polar Bear Express” chair lift to the top. The first incident was that my friends were too slow when getting unto the chair lift and they were pinned down by the chair, one person on top of another. It was a scary sight. Fortunately they managed to stop the lift and assisted them to get out of their skiis. We managed to get on the next lift. The chair lift was kinda scary and unstable and sometimes you wonder if you will drop down. Haha. At the top, I was afraid I would make the same mistake as the first time I skiied – not coming down fast enough and hence falling under the chair lift. Fortunately, I managed to come down fast enough.
We took one of the easiest trail. The first part was quite gentle, and it was a good practice for myself as I slowly began to remember my skiing skills. My friends kept falling as it was their first time. We reached a sharp curve and I managed to go down very slowly by opening up my legs very wide. After a while, I managed to get the hang of the S-shape maneuver as we went downhill. Later, we reached a very sharp U-turn which was very steep as well. No way one can go down straight. I decided to go on the outer circumference and slowly down, and fortunately I didn’t fall. In fact, I didn’t fall for the whole day except for one when taking out my skis. Lol.
After that, we had lunch at a function room, which was some DIY sandwiches and nice soup! After lunch, it was snowtubing time! We have 2 hours to snowtube as many times as we want. The queue was really long, but there was a nice magic carpet to bring us to the top. There are 2 grades of slopes, one higher and one lower. We tried the lower one first, then slowly everyone decided to stick to the highest one as the interest curve was higher. Haha. After a while, people started to form groups to come down together. It was quite funny as the groups become bigger and bigger, and soon, there were like 6-8 people in one straight line. We realised that it isn’t very feasible as the last few would usually get detached or fall apart. Lol. Twice, they even hit the sign at the top before even going down as the train was too long! haha. Later, another group found out that forming 2 columns is a more stable group and they did that. We had to pass our ring attached to our tube to the person behind us. I took some videos, it was really really funny at the end as the first person would usually smash against the fence/wall and get bumped out of his/her tube. Haha.
After snowtubing, some of them went for drinks, while the rest of us went back to ski. Meng and I managed to ski many times down the beginner’s trails with different combinations, getting the hang of it already. I managed to find out how to conquer the sharp curve better each time. Later, we tried to find another trail, but we ended up coming back to the same trail as we got lost and there were not enough signs. After a while, we managed to find 2 seniors and we went up together to find the Lost Boy’s trail, which is longer and easy and fun. It was like a never ending straight downslope, with a climax at the end when the slope became steeper. However, two of our friends kept falling and was lagging behind. It became a question of whether I should wait for them. Team spirit and camaraderie? I gave them some tips, and then I decided to go down first and wait for them at the bottom.
At the bottom, we waited for them for about 20 minutes. We have to take another chair lift up and then come down another route to go back to the main area. My friend was shocked as he thought there was another route to walk back and he is not good enough to conquer another slope. We had to go anyway, and this time, this chair lift was a long and tedious ride. The snowing didn’t help as we were eating snow most of the time. Haha.
We decided to go by the deer path, but my friend got lost as he was trying to put his skis on (he fell), and he couldn’t find us. We had to call him and wait for him. Thank God for phones. He managed to catch up. The two seniors were surprised that the trail still merged with that sharp u-turn point which they wanted to avoid. lol. Well, we finally managed to go down in the end, about 30 minutes late for dinner.
Dinner was an awesome buffet with lots of seafood, pasta, salads, soup, and cakes! It was a good spread, with fresh salmon and crab and oysters, and lots of cheese, some meatloafs with horseradish (I like the wasabi-like taste), and the desserts were very very delicious, although it was pretty standard American fare. After dinner, we set off for home at 8pm.