This season the Lyndon Outing Club and the Kingdom East School District are working together to host “Kingdom East Night”. This night provides free skiing for any student in the Kingdom East School District and $5 skiing for their parents. For the first night, my friend Kelly Walsh, the athletic director for Kingdom East, asked me to help her out teaching kids how to ski. I was a bit nervous to teach anyone how to ski, because I’ve only been skiing a year myself.
Teaching My First Lesson
She assured me that it would be easy, because the kids will only need some basic guidance. What she didn’t tell me was that I would be instructing two small girls on how to snowboard. I don’t know how to explain to someone how to snowboard, when I’m not snowboarding myself. It turns out I didn’t have to! Since they were so new to snowboarding, I just walked them up the hill several times and had them work on their balance by going in straight line. I ingrained in them, the importance of looking around your surroundings to avoid collisions with others and also to avoid hazards in the terrain.
A Challenging Little Hill
The Lyndon Outing Club is not an easy place to learn how to ski. There is no snow making, so it’s all natural conditions. The conditions and grooming are never constant, so it’s like skiing a new hill almost every time you go. The grooming can be very coarse and chunky, the runs are very fast and turning can be somewhat challenging. It was an excellent place for me to learn how to ski last season and helped me advance my skills beyond what I could have imagined when I put on skis for the first time. They say if you can Ski the East you can ski anywhere. Well if you can ski the Lyndon Outing Club, then you can ski anywhere in the East.
Hunting The Powder Stashes
I spent a little over an hour with the girls, on the beginner slope next to the rope tow, before it was time for them to head home. This gave me plenty of time to make my way up the T-bar to the summit to get some runs in. Only a groomer width trail was made down the face tonight, so 99% of the hill was still covered in powder stashes from the recent snowfall. Sadly, I watched the completely untouched hill be skied off while giving lessons, but thankfully there was still plenty of snow to play in on my five runs down the hill.
One of the Oldest Ski Hills in New England
Founded in 1937, The Lyndon Outing Club is one of the longest running ski hills in New England. It is purely volunteer run and truly a gem for the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. I joined the Board of Directors, of the LOC at the beginning of this season to help promote this wonderful historic ski hill. I recommend that anyone visiting the NEK or is skiing at Burke or Jay Peak to visit the LOC for day or night skiing. And while you are at it, make sure and have one of their tasty burgers in the lodge!
- Check out Stoked! Jan’s Ski Blog for more of his skating off-season adventures.
- Visit skilyndon.com for more information.
- You can also follow the Lyndon Outing Club on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
- Follow Jan Welch on Instagram.
About “Stoked! Jan’s Ski Blog”
I’ve spent my entire life living in cities, where I was able to urban, distance and aggressive skate all year long. In December of 2017 I moved to rural Vermont and found myself in the dead of winter, with snow all around me. Winters in Vermont are long and harsh, making skating nearly impossible 4-5 months out of the year. I live 2.5 hours from the nearest city and an hour from the nearest trails, making skating even in the summer much less frequent then I was used to.
Something needed to supplement my skating during the off season, so I took up skiing on January 2nd of 2019. From the moment I put on skis, I was hooked! Skiing gives me the exact same feeling I get from urban skating. Through skiing I am able to replicate the feel of carving around on city streets and playing on whatever obstacles catch your eye. This blog chronicles my stoke on skiing during my skating off season.
– Jan Eric Welch (Founder of bigwheelblading.com)
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