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Destination Recreation: Learning to Ski - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Destination Recreation: Learning to Ski

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BOLTON, Vt. -

Our reporter/producer Cat Viglienzoni is from California and didn't do winter sports when she lived there. But this weekend, she strapped on a pair of skis to learn how hit the slopes for our Destination Recreation:

It's snowing and time to buckle up and hit the slopes. But if you're a beginner like me before I get to strap on these skis, Bolton instructor Bruce Bassett has to teach me how to walk.

"if we're going uphill I like to have people try out is just walking on the toes of the boots and kind-of focusing and looking up where we're going," he says. "Notice how the ankle is flexed, almost like we were kind-of peddling a bike uphill, so that's a fundamental part of skiing, that ankle flex."

And once I'd learned how to walk, I could finally put on the skis, one at a time, and start getting used to the motion. And then I got to put them both on and learn how to walk again.

"Something like this, again noting that my ankles and knees are rolling into the hill so I can get a grip," he says.

You find the way that works for you. I think I like sideways walking better.

And when you get up to the top, you have to get back down.

"Go ahead and launch! Poles up, skis together!" he says.

Each student's learning pace is different, so I skipped the snowplow and went straight to trying to keep the skis parallel. But Bassett says it's a good tool to have as an emergency brake on the slopes.

"That's what's going to allow us to stay stable and keep our speed down and that'll be the basis for skiing for a while as a new skiier," he says.

After a couple runs with practice turns on the instruction hill, it was time for Mighty Mite and riding the tow. I was told you have to keep your ski tips facing up as it pulls you, kind-of like a jet ski.

On this slope it was all about working on skiing technique, with a mock slalom course to practice wide turns and keeping my skis as parallel as possible.

And once I'd gotten comfortable there, it was time to step up to the Snowflake.

Up at the top, I quickly found that watching out for other skiers meant I had to look up and trust my feet, and picking up speed meant using the wider turns we'd practiced to slow down.

And while I may not be the most graceful thing on the slopes, I made it to the bottom on my feet, ready for another run.

And if you're like Cat and haven't skiied before, Ski Vermont is offering $29 beginner ski packages this month that include lessons, equipment rentals and a beginner lift ticket. It's available at many resorts around the state, including Bolton.

For more information, visit their website: skivermont.com/learn.

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