Gurusewak Kaur isn’t a big fan of winter when he’s in the city. But when he gets to a ski resort on a blue bird day, the smell of pine trees in the air and mountain peaks all around, well, winter begins to feel a lot more inviting.
Kaur and his eight-year-old son Jaskirat got to spend a day learning how to ski at Lake Louise and though the dad was a bit nervous about trying the new sport, the majestic surroundings put him in the mood for a fun day on the slopes.
“It’s so beautiful there. It’s a feeling in you that you’re actually in the mountains, you see the beauty you get into nature,” says Gurusewak. “Being in the city we hate winter – with this experience, there is nothing to hate about winter. You go skiing and you feel good!”
Admittedly, he was hesitant to clip into his skis. “I was a little bit scared of falling down,” but his instructor Dave Gibson instantly made him feel comfortable on the skis, says Gurusewak. That lesson also made up for the unpleasant experience 10 years before that he’d had at a ski resort in California with a friend who left him to fend for himself on the slopes.
Gibson’s teaching style is calm and easy when he’s teaching beginners. It’s all about the basics, learning how stop and making a pizza shape with the skis to slow down. It was the patience of Gibson that made Gurusewak feel “confident and comfortable.
Gibson, who’s been an instructor at Lake Louise for 25 seasons, says dad and son “did really well.” They picked up what skiing is all about – you can still have fun, go faster and be in control.
It’s always a good sign that they had a good experience, Gibson says, when new skiers are already talking about more lessons for the next time they visit.
The day at Lake Louise also included a trip up the gondola for a snowshoe experience with a guide. “I’ve seen that in movies and documentaries, but I’ve never experienced it before. It was a different a feeling on the top of mountain walking in the forest and walking on the soft snow. I loved to go out in nature,” said Gurusewak.
He loved the idea of snowshoeing because he knows you can do it anywhere, and he’s keen to do it again.
The father and son’s friends and family in Ontario were pretty impressed with their day, too. Gurusewak was sending pictures and texting all day while out at Lake Louise for the day. “People started texting saying, ‘Where are you?! It’s so beautiful.’ They were saying, “Whoa, I want to go there.”
Maybe the next time they visit Gurusewak will take them out to the mountains to have the same kind of day he and his son did. With his fears behind him, he says he’d tell anyone hesitant to get on skis.
“Go out and try!” I’m so thankful to Snowseekers to let us do this…Unless you try you don’t know. I will recommend to my friends!”
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Immigrant Services Calgary, Head Skis, and SnowSeekers are proud sponsors of #NewSKiAB, welcoming newcomers to Alberta’s slopes and promoting diversity in winter adventures.