Home Wallowa Life On a carousel
On a carousel
By Dick Mason
Observer Staff Writer
ANTHONY LAKES Music does not play when the carousel is switched on at Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort.
Still, the barely audible sound coming from the carousel is music to the ears of ski instructors.
A new carousel for beginning skiers is now operating at Anthony Lakes. Skiers grab on to one of the carousel's moving bars and then are pulled across the snow in circular fashion while learning to turn and slide. The machine makes it easier for people to learn these skiing fundamentals.
"It is incredible,'' said Rick Pignone, general manager of Ski Anthony Lakes.
The carousel works by forcing skiers to make turns through centrifugal force. Skiers and snowboarders can practice making turns in both directions since the carousel moves clockwise and counterclockwise.
Pignone said the carousel greatly expedites the learning process.
"Within five minutes they can turn and are ready to go on the hill,'' Pignone said.
It normally takes much longer for people to learn how to make turns. In fact, Pignone said that before Anthony Lakes had the carousel some people did not learn how to turn during their first ski lessons. This no longer is the case.
"We have not had one person this winter who hasn't learned to ski the first day,'' Pignone said.
Anthony Lakes ski instructor Terry Edvalson is among those who has students make extensive use of the carousel. Edvalson likes to have beginners use the carousel for about 15 minutes.
"It really helps them develop a feel for skiing,'' he said.
Edvalson added that it also allows skiers to learn about making turns and slides while working less. This means students have more energy to apply toward learning how to ski.
There is another advantage.
"It keeps the instructor from getting tired,'' Edvalson said.
The carousel is situated in a flat area about 50 yards west of the ski lodge. It can be used by more than beginning skiers
"It is a great warm-up tool. It is a nice way to get into the flow of things.'' said Jerry Krieg, the business manager of Ski Anthony Lakes.
The carousel can be used by all skiers but only under the supervision of a ski instructor.
The best times to use the carousel are 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. These are the times that ski lessons are given and instructors start using the carousel.
Many times parents accompany their children on the carousel.
The carousel is unofficially known as Barney because of its red and yellow colors. The hues are like those of characters on the PBS children's series "Barney and Friends.''
Carousels are becoming increasing popular at ski areas. Those that have them in Oregon include Mount Hood Meadows and the Hoodoo Ski Area.