Many of the people in the OMEL group had never been cross-country skiing (langlaufen), so teachers were hired to give group lessons. I had learned to langlauf in college in Minnesota, but that had been a few years ago, so I was happy to have a lesson. Equipment has drastically changed in the past 35 years, and I was just in awe of my cute ski boots.
After warming up in a big circle, we were divided into two main groups – German and English. Each of those groups was further divided into beginners and almost-beginners.
It was noted that if this group returns here for another winter trip, they will ski in the afternoon when the sun comes over the mountains and shines in the valley. It was a little chilly.
The lesson was very systematic. First we tried on one ski and practiced with small strokes. Then we switched to the other leg. We also took off the ski and worked with just the poles. Then two skis with no poles. We finally got to put it all together.
One important thing I learned this time around. As you age, if you do not do anything about it, your balance gets worse. I fell down quite a few times, although at the end of an hour and a half I felt that I had markedly improved.
By this point, I was ready for a rest, so when all the groups headed off into the valley, towards the sunshine, I went inside and enjoyed watching the valley while sitting next to the fireplace. At 11:30, the sun had filled the valley.
People came back all happy, having enjoyed their experience so much. Here is the OMEL group all smiles.
After lunch most of the people opted to ski the 7 km back to town to return their equipment, and seven of us took the van and all the luggage and met them there. H said he particularly enjoyed this leg of skiing since it was downhill. It was a good thing he had some coins in his pocket since there was a 4 CHF charge at the bottom of the hill. I told him I would have been happy to visit him in the hoosegow, but that I was glad he had the fare.