This last weekend included two of the best days of the ski season at Hemlock Valley.
The sun was shining, the snow was deep, the grooming was suburb and the line-ups at the lifts were short. Primo spring skiing.
Saturday brought out the boarders for the slope style competition and the resort staff had done a great job on setting up the course and running the event. From the sounds of it everyone had a good time.
Saturday and Sunday the Hemlock H.O.G.S. (Hemlock Old Geezers Society) showed up to assist the resort staff constructing a Freestyle Bumps and Jumps Course in preparation for the 2014 BC Winter Games.
Since the resort staff had never constructed a freestyle course before, the old timers came out to show them how it was done. Young and old worked all day Saturday building the rough ramps for the jumps while the ski instructors made runs down the course to “bump it up” — cutting tight lines in the snow for the turns required to be made by the competitors.
On Sunday morning the HOGS and the resort staff got to work shaping the jumps which had frozen in overnight. Shaping can take hours as the transition into the jump and the angle of the face of the jumps are critical in launching the competitors high enough so they can perform their “tricks.”
Many of the tricks performed by the competitors are inverted, reverse summersaults, forward rolls, spins, grabs, and the list goes on. For myself, I like my skis to always be connected with the ground.
The course opened for the public to come out and give it a try and a good number of first timers gave the course a run. Not many used the jumps but those that did found out how hard it really is to not just get the nerves to make the jump but to actually land the jump correctly.
All ages gave it a try and there was some friendly competition going on between friends, siblings, ski instructors and even members from the Canadian Ski Patrol.
Thanks to Hemlock Resort, Freestyle BC and all the volunteers that showed up to help construct, maintain and run the course throughout the day.
For the HOGS, it brought back many memories of the days we spent with our sons and daughters when they were competing locally, provincially and nationally and we heard “remember when” throughout both days working on the course especially when we hit the day lodge deck at the end of Sunday for a few refreshments.
Submitted by Marty McKinney
For The Observer