Green, Blue, Black Diamond, Double Black Diamond – Easy, Hard

If you are not a downhill skier in N. America, you many not know this.   Ski Hills have a way-finding system that flags for you the severity of the ski run you are going to take.    I have seen signs like, “No easy way down”.   That is a warning that you need to come prepared to go down some steep slopes.

Reading from Dr Henry Cloud in his book integrity, “The courage to meet the demands of reality”, some linkages were forming for me related to training and actually going resort skiing, casual adventure.   If you start on a Black Diamond ski run, you need to be ready for some “Hard” skiing.  Do you normally find new skiers on these runs?   Not usually unless they have made a wrong turn off an easy green run.   But important to note even if a run is labeled as a Hard Double Black Diamond Run, there are ways to slowly get down it.  You can traverse a steep slope as long as you are prepared to slip a little and absorb any bumps you may encounter.   Keep in mind going down hill is easy, we have gravity working for us.   Going uphill, which is usually called hiking or climbing is harder, we are fighting gravity.

On page 11 of his book Dr Cloud has some information about “character”.   We have heard people say, “wow, she must have a strong character to have gone up Mt Everest”.   Now Everest is a big mountain compared to where I resort ski at Silver Star.   And what about the Himalayas, pretty big also.  From Dr Cloud, “In my experience in leadership and performance consulting, there are 3 areas that character affects.  Either someone is not reaching full potential and is stuck at some level beneath his abilities, or some particular situation that he is not equipped to deal with does him in, or he does reach great heights and then something about his makeup brings him down”

So yesterday we went skiing.  Started out with a Green run, worked on some Blues in the morning.   There was no new snow so most of what changed was the slope of this hill.   Then in the PM did a Black Diamond.   And for fun looked at a couple of Double black Diamond runs for the future.  The Black Diamond brings a new “Tingle” to the muscles in the legs.  I believe it is this tingle that says to us that our muscles are getting a good work out.   A good thing on the Physical Dimension.   And the views of sunny skies, sparkling white snow and other mountain peaks in the distance is definitely good for the Spiritual Dimension.

So what keeps some people stuck on the Green runs?   And just for an aside, do you know what a “feature” is related to ski/board jumping?  It is a man made piece of equipment that you ski or board over to do a trick or jump.   Silver Star has levels of these S, M, L, XL.   S for small…   so on the Green Run at Silver Star are some S features…   they may be called “Kiddie” features, but for someone just starting out they give you a taste of being in the air, and the hard part, landing.  Here is a sample picture, trust me they look better in real life due to some incredibly creative and hardworking snow carvers that work on theses feature parks.

So would you try one these features?  I did, but only after we studied them as a group and gave some S for small one’s a try and succeeded.  That I feel is the key, tried a small one and succeeded.   “Failure is only postponed success”.   When I tried it the second and third time, my confidence grew as I figured out what my body could influence and what was out of my control.   One key we have picked up is as you approach the feature, check your speed, and you need momentum to keep going.   Then once you are on he feature like a “Party Box”, DON’T TRY TO CHANGE what you are doing, just hold it and jump off.   Seems simple right?    And then of course once you have come off the last feature give a big WOOHOO for success of not landing on your head !!!!

Quote from the Silver Star Telus Park Marketing Material:

“Terrain Park & Rail Garden:  Our progressive terrain park & rail garden are a whopping 16 acres (6.5 hectares). Designed for the progression of riders and skiers, you will find an assortment of table tops, step up jumps and spines. For a good mix of metal to grind, you’ll also find minis, flats, rainbows, kinks, wide rails, and boxes for skiers and snowboarders to satisfy your park cravings.”

Thanks for reading…   it may not be obvious in this post, but my intent was to say that doing anything is possible.   And if the challenge is something physical like downhill skiing, one needs to work on technique, equipment is important, stretching, daily workouts, encouraging and being encouraged by others.   Try new things, work thru the levels, look to the future, set goals.   Celebrate in simple ways, a hearty scream, a mocha at Bugaboos.

One last quote from Dr Cloud on page 27, “People grow and people change when the right experiences are brought to the person, and they have the right response in using those experiences”   Keep trying new things yourself and encourage others.    Never underestimate the power of a “Teach to Learn” situation.


One response to this post.

  1. […] So the four of us are making our way down this double black diamond run.   See my other post on run identification.    Then over the trees, and these are thick trees are these guys snow […]


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