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Old 12-19-2019, 03:22 AM
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The Ski thread 2019-20 - Come, and trip it as ye go, On the light fantastick toe.


Here's to another fine season for all y'all, with bright snow crystals to dance on, and family and friends to dance with.
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Hour after hour, day after day, we paddled and sang and slept under the hot sun on the northern ocean, wanting never to return.
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Old 12-19-2019, 04:59 AM
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It was really nice getting out on skis again, getting up on edge, bending the ski, and carving through the arc. It was a lovely summer on Superior, but now it's time to rip.

Some of the folks whom I hadn't seen since last season skated up to me exclaiming, "Are you OK? They said you went into the trees and were hurt!" I tell ya, it's getting so a fella can't fall without a fuss. Sorta like having to poop in an open field -- lack of privacy.

Yes, I fell, no I did not go into the trees, and no I was not hurt. Sheesh! Anyway, I killed three tele binding heel clips during the day from opening up the throttle (the parts are old plastic, so they can't always take the force of a sudden and powerful heel lift on a deep-freeze day), but the fall wasn't for gear failure -- it was just me crossing my tips.

One of my students was smiling from ear to ear while skiing on her first set of new skis and boots, and she brought out a couple of her friends to try snowboarding. Lots of smiles!

An old friend who is into tele-kiting chatted with me on the lift while we made some runs together. Later at the bar-ski-bar-ski a level 4 who had been conducting an alpine instructor's course joined us, and once the place shut down the office manager sat down and announced that she is getting a monoboard. Vive la 70s! I wonder if her grandparents were monoboarders? But who am I to comment, for I ski on what are essentially modern modified Kandahar bindings that would not be out of place ninety years ago.

It's all good!
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Old 12-19-2019, 05:29 AM
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I'm not going to get on snow until January. This will be one of my latest starts ever.
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Old 12-19-2019, 04:15 PM
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We are off tomorrow, driving to the mountains. Two weeks in the Austrian alps and looking like pretty nice coverage already with more to come.
I apologise though, we are very much leisurely skiers and unlikely to have extreme tales of derring-do.

There'll be beer and schnitzel though! That's got to count for something.
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Old 12-19-2019, 10:55 PM
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I managed to hit Monarch Mountain a couple weeks ago, and quickly realized Colorado is a WHOLE different animal than Minnesota. I managed a couple blue runs, but I pretty much kept my out-of-shape butt on the easiest runs. Fortunately, I found out I can get from peak to base without leaving packed powder. It was wonderful, but oh did my legs hurt the next day.
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Old 12-19-2019, 11:41 PM
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21k vertical today. Good parking, great snow. Rode a chair with the worst person I've ever encountered in my life. If it wasn't a quad, I'd have pushed them off. But the rest of the day was Deluxe, so fuck that noise. Damn near perfect, actually.
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Old 12-22-2019, 11:29 AM
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21k vertical today. Good parking, great snow. Rode a chair with the worst person I've ever encountered in my life. If it wasn't a quad, I'd have pushed them off. But the rest of the day was Deluxe, so fuck that noise. Damn near perfect, actually.
Lovely stuff, If we could only rid the mountains of everbody else!

First day for us today. Weather hovered around freezing with a dusting above 1000m and flat-ish light but the snow was plentiful, well bashed with a grippy and squeaky top few cm, very forgiving if not massively fast.

We took it fairly easy, the mountains we normally use tend to have some comfortable routes down even 1000-1300m vertical drops so you don't have to go hard in order to get nice long runs and build your confidence.

We started at 08:30 and finished about 2, that felt like enough and my boy started to feel his boots were too narrow so we got them changed at the bottom (very useful to rent until his feet stop growing).

Took a break at 10:30 for coffee and shared a germknodel with my wife, roughly the size of a baby's head. Perfect ski food! (and only 6.50 euro, I love a bargain, part of the reason why we go to Austria, it sounds like it should be expensive but it isn't)

Next few days are a mixture of snow and broken cloud/sun and temps anywhere from 2 to -14. We'll have to choose carefully but situated where we are with the ticket we've bought we have the luxury of slopes ranging from 700 - 3000m facing all directions within a 30 min drive of our apartment so I'm sure there'll be something to suit.

What I'm really looking forward to is a sunny and mild-enough day to go high onto the Kitzsteinhorn glacier and a coffe and Swarzwalderkirschetorte in my favourite cafe with my favourite view.
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Old 12-22-2019, 02:12 PM
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I have not skied for 20+ years, but used to go a lot when I was younger. Now I need some advice.

This year, I want to go back to my favorite place, Wildcat in New Hampshire. I was a speed demon but had no form to speak of, but I knew how to take a spill and avoid hitting things. Mainly, I want to go fast! I reckon I will take it easy the first run or two, but eventually the need for speed will overtake any instinct for caution.

I don't have any gear and expect to rent. What has changed? I know boots and bindings are different from what I was used to. What else? Someone told me that skis today have no edges - can I still get the edgy type?

Are there still chair lifts and T-bars? Will I have to know any special lore to deal with snowboarders and such? What am I missing?
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Old 12-22-2019, 07:54 PM
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This year, I want to go back to my favorite place, Wildcat in New Hampshire. I was a speed demon but had no form to speak of, but I knew how to take a spill and avoid hitting things. Mainly, I want to go fast! I reckon I will take it easy the first run or two, but eventually the need for speed will overtake any instinct for caution.
Work overtime on that caution instinct. You sound like you will be very unsafe out there, and a danger to yourself and others. Wildcat has some runs where you can generate a lot of speed and if your skills are rusty you're likely to get out of control on unfamiliar gear. Spend time staying under control. You're likely to get your ticket pulled by ski patrol if you're out of control on icy crowded slopes.

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I don't have any gear and expect to rent. What has changed? I know boots and bindings are different from what I was used to. What else? Someone told me that skis today have no edges - can I still get the edgy type?
Skis still have edges; whoever told you that doesn't know what they're talking about. Modern skis are shorter and more shaped, meaning they have more side cut, are easier to turn quickly and generally less stable at high speed. At least that will be the case for most rental gear. Bindings are better, but you're unlikely to notice any difference.

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Are there still chair lifts and T-bars? Will I have to know any special lore to deal with snowboarders and such? What am I missing?
Yes, the main lift at Wildcat is a High Speed Quad that takes you to the top. The rest of the lifts are fixed grip chairs like the old days. No T-bars at Wildcat these days. You don't need to do anything to deal with snowboarders on the lifts, although they may ask for a spot on either end of the lift to make things easier.

The main thing is ski in control, and don't be that guy. There's been a big crackdown over the years on reckless skiing with people having little patience for mad bombers.
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Old 12-22-2019, 08:59 PM
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The main thing is ski in control, and don't be that guy. There's been a big crackdown over the years on reckless skiing with people having little patience for mad bombers.
Hey that's what they used to say - "ski in control". I guess things haven't changed all that much.

When you say skis are shorter, I hope not like Shortee skis. My mom liked those, I didn't. Turning is easier, but at the sacrifice of trackability. Oh well, I'll take what I can get.

But I promise not to be a mad bomber. (Of course, that's what a mad bomber would say, right?) Seriously, if the slopes are icy, I ain't going.

Back in the old days, Wildcat used to have mailboxes on the trails, with souvenir buttons you could collect. "I skied the Polecat trail at Wildcat". I will wear mine proudly.
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Old 12-22-2019, 09:27 PM
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Twenty years ago there were still a lot of non-shaped skis, and the shaped skis were not as dialed in as they are today. By comparison, today’s skis are far easier to turn on hardpack and ice. When you start your turn, roll your weight onto the inside edge of your outside ski and let the magic happen. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carved_turn#Dynamics
Watch some current youtube instructional vids on how to carve, rent a performance ski and boot package (not untuned, non-waxed/non-phantomed lifeless crapola) and get some instruction, be it sole instruction, group instruction, a carving clinic, a day long group mountain guide . . . just, as Telemark wisely cautions, don’t be that guy.

Bindings have been dialed in over the years so that these days they tend to be a more effective at releasing when you need to be released and not releasing prematurely.

Boot manufacturers have put a lot of effort over the years in working on flex characteristics. A significant advance in boot liners is in how some of them can be custom heat molded for your feet. A recent advance in boot heaters is wireless boot heaters that are fob or cell phone controlled.

There has been significant development in helmets. Twenty years ago most people did not wear helmets. These days most people do wear helmets. Look for a helmet that protects your temples and ears and is able to deal with multi-directional impacts and can redirect/dissipate impact forces. An example is POC Skull Orbic Spin line.

There is a good variety of goggles frames that are soft and face conforming, and there are lenses for pretty much every light condition, although flat light is flat light is flat light.

Twenty years ago high end jacket and bibs/pants were waterproof+breathable Goretex adhered to a nylon shell. There are more options today for you to find the right breathability for your exertion level.

Not a lot has changed for UV skin protection, but these days spray-on sunscreen is easier to find. Lip balm remains the same. To save a few bucks, just find someone whom you think shares your taste preferences and ask them to kiss you.

Folks still prefer gloves to mittens, and they still complain about cold fingers. If your fingers are cold despite good gloves, then get some Baffin Polar Mitts so that your fingers can keep each other warm.

For ski masks there was already a wide variety a couple of decades back. Be sure there are no skin gaps when fitting helmet, goggles and mask.
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Last edited by Muffin; 12-22-2019 at 09:31 PM.
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Old 12-22-2019, 09:31 PM
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Wind shut down Heavenly Saturday early, an pretty much kept it closed Sunday.

I took the dogs out in the Jeep to hunt for meeces.
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Old 12-22-2019, 09:40 PM
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Two things to watch out for with boarders. (1) They do not have eyes in the back of their heads, so don't expect them to see you when they turn toward their blind side. (2) Some boarders sit down in the middle of the hill, and some groups of boarders sit down in a line across part of the hill, so always ski in control so that you can easily avoid them.
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Old 12-22-2019, 09:43 PM
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Wind shut down Heavenly Saturday early, an pretty much kept it closed Sunday.

I took the dogs out in the Jeep to hunt for meeces.
I could have used your pups at my chalet. Last week in the middle of the night my cat deposited a live mouse on my face while I was sleeping. I've glue trapped three mice since then.
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Old 12-23-2019, 12:53 AM
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If you haven't skiid for a while I'd have three peices of advice, helmet, helmet, helmet.

Even a moderately decent one is more comfortable, warmer and gives more protection than a bobble hat and goggles. I switched over a decade ago and love it. Here in Austria it is a legal requirements for kids and I see virtually no-one without one,
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Old 12-23-2019, 12:59 PM
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Last week in the middle of the night my cat deposited a live mouse on my face while I was sleeping.
Exhibit A in 'Why Cats Suck and Will Never Be As Good As Dogs'.
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Old 12-23-2019, 01:18 PM
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If you haven't skiid for a while I'd have three peices of advice, helmet, helmet, helmet.
Total agreement- especially at a cold, windy mountain like Wildcat.
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Old 12-23-2019, 01:57 PM
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I will borrow a helmet, sure. As for some of the other suggestions, I got electric boots, a mohair suit...

But this is just a one time thing. Unless I like it so much I want to go back more often than once every 20 years.
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Old 12-23-2019, 07:16 PM
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It's addictive. Hope you get hooked.
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Old 12-23-2019, 07:19 PM
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A snow gun deposited a fifteen-foot-high pile of hard snow in front of the clubhouse, smack dab in the middle of the childrenís play area. Rock solid, very smooth, with a forty-five degree pitch and a short run-out. Textbook attractive nuisance, but since it was not climbable no alarm was raised.

Eventually a primary school age little girl discovered kick-stepping, as if she were an ice climber, only without dual-point crampons and ice axes Ė just helmet, alpine ski boots, warm gloves, and determination.

It took her a while, but eventually she made it to the top, climbing the un-climbable with other little kids following in her boot steps as if she were a Sherpa leading up the Hillary Step. Not one of them peeled off her steps, and all of them had a blast sliding down the steep main face, climbing and sliding and climbing and sliding and climbing and sliding.

. . .

Later, in the clubhouse, I had to make way for a diapered nine-month-old who was crawling at Sanna Tidstrand speed to Ė where else Ė the race room.

There's hope for the world.
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Old 12-24-2019, 07:54 AM
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Great day today, one of the first groups on the mountain and the snow on the slopes was perfect. Powdery and just cold enough to keep it from clumping. Even after lunch with a lot of people hammering it, it still remained smooth and soft enough to ignore any small clumps and the sunshine meant that we could pick out any larger bumps for a bit of safe airtime. The conditions today were good enough to flatter anyone's skiing and mine needs all the help it can get.

The coffee break at 10:30 was taken outside, sitting in the sun with slice of sachertorte, a view of the Grossglockner and, as luck would have it, my favourite Christmas song on the mountain hut speakers (Frankie goes to Hollywood, The Power of Love, since you ask).

The weather tomorrow is looking decidely ropey though, heavy snow, sub-zero and windy. I think we'll have a late start, let the kids open their presents and play with them for a bit. Then a few low-level runs and perhaps take the gondola up the top in the middle of the wild weather. Not to ski, just for lunch in a blizzard. Then we might go to the Tauern Spa for a hot soak and a cocktail in the pool, a little christmas treat.
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Old 12-24-2019, 10:00 PM
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Wind shut down Heavenly Saturday early, an pretty much kept it closed Sunday.

I took the dogs out in the Jeep to hunt for meeces.
Went to Heavenly Saturday and was limited to Cali side with Sky chair closed all day due to wind. However, Canyon was still running so got some laps on Ridge Run, which is a favorite - I never get tired of the views of the lake. Off-trail was too much work. Was on a snowboard with a buddy and couple skiers - good time had by all, even with no getting over to Nevada side.

Today a cold, clear, crystalline morning at Kirkwood. One of those perfect days with the cotton clouds and bright blue sky. Skipped yesterday due to storm and road conditions - was way better today according to some that were there yesterday. Rode the snowboard again since I was solo and just wanted to cruise. Most of my friends are skiers and will end up with more ski days than boarding anyway.

Viva winter!
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Old 12-24-2019, 10:51 PM
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Only managed 19k vert today. Too crowded. Was nice in the morning, then got progressively colder thru the day. By 3pm, it was down to about 17 degrees!

Time to head home. For what I don't know.
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Old 12-25-2019, 01:00 AM
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Youngest starts her Saturday skiing on Jan 4 for 7 weeks. Whilst our ski spot is only 45-60 minutes away from Seattle. It suffers from only being an hour away from Seattle. As in, the base elevation is 3000 feet, and it is often slushy and wet. Right now there is only a 2' base, so while I have season tickets, I may not be going up until the 4th.
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Old 01-03-2020, 10:53 AM
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Tomorrow morning, I'm putting my 5-year-old on skis for the first time. The only goal I have for the day is for him to want to go again.
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Old 01-03-2020, 12:45 PM
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Looks like I'm getting my first day on snow this Sunday. Then instructor training on Tuesday and teaching telemark on Saturday. That should be enough to teach, right?
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Old 01-03-2020, 06:52 PM
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Looks like I'm getting my first day on snow this Sunday. Then instructor training on Tuesday and teaching telemark on Saturday. That should be enough to teach, right?
Someone has to bring light and joy into the lives of skiers. Might as well be you.
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Old 01-04-2020, 04:10 PM
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Very flat light today, so I toured about in the sidecountry on old light non-edged cross-country kit. Might have to retire the gear. One boot lace eye is broken one ski strap's buckle is broken, and one ski base tail delaminated. Had a weenie roast with friends who snowshoed in from a different direction. They took the direct approach by snowshoeing up an escarpment. I took a chairlift from a lift area and then skied in a few klicks of up down around. A piliated woodpecker scolded me because I was having such an enjoyable time. On the return descending the escarpment at the ski hill was a blast!
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Old 01-05-2020, 11:26 AM
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Went 2x in the last week - a rarity for me: Kirkwood NYD and Heavenly yesterday. New Years Day is usually a good day to ski and this was no exception at Kirkwood - light crowd, cold and overcast. Tops of the peaks in the clouds, and eventually on-and-off drizzle/sleet. Not the best weather, but still a lot of fun. Heavenly was busy AF, and with the upper mountain on wind hold the mid-mountain lift lines were apocalyptic. We were just about to call it a day around 11:30, then the winds started calming; saw Sky chair (Cali side lift that goes to the top of the mountain) opened and we got in the queue with the teaming mass. As we reached the top they were just telling everyone the Nevada lifts were preparing to open, so we jetted over there and had a few mid-week style runs: no lift lines, wide-open corduroy, blue sky and views of Lake Tahoe. We were on the 2nd chair as Dipper opened - the timing was perfect. A couple times we were the only ones in sight on the run - pure heaven! The day started out sucky but ended up epic as we were able to keep ahead of the crowds.
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Old 01-05-2020, 02:41 PM
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I was eye-balling the web-cam at the base of Comet. I'll bet I saw you there. I watched them turning people away when the chair was running, but then they started uploading. Was perfect there for a while, wasn't it?

Got crowded fast, then Dipper opened and the line disappeared again. Wish I was there...

Tomorrow...
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Old 01-05-2020, 03:29 PM
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Didn't make it out today, my wife came down with shingles and I was on nurse duty. I still have two days on track next week. Conditions should be firm.
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Old 01-05-2020, 06:12 PM
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Tried some old kit that I picked up last season -- Garmont Libero 3-pin telemark touring boots and Atomic 2000 edgeless double-cambered cross-country touring skis. I had a blast for a couple of hours making parallel christie (alpine) laps on a hard-pack GS pitch, but without edges I didn't try turning on the scrape.

I'll start using these skis as replacement for the old light x-c gear that started falling apart yesterday (I don't want to use my good light x-c gear on ungroomed trails). I have an old pair of light Apina 3-pin boots that might be an OK match for these skis for trail skiing, although I'll have to fix the flex of the uppers above the foot ball, for they cut into my metatarsals.

The next three hours was earn-your-turns time: telemarking in the bumps -- they were sweet today! I used slalom race skis and serious tele boots, rather than the trail skiing set-up. A couple of my friends tele-bumped for about an hour, so it was fun watching and cheering on each other from the lift.

I bailed on skiing hours six and seven when my quads started twitching. Three hours and one hot bath later, they're still at it. It was my own fault, for I forgot to duck in for electrolytes and fluids. Memory is not by strong suit, but at least I remembered to have fun: lots of fun!
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Old 01-05-2020, 06:14 PM
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Didn't make it out today, my wife came down with shingles and I was on nurse duty. I still have two days on track next week. Conditions should be firm.
Tele students still huddled in a snowdrift, or was someone able to fill in for you?
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Old 01-05-2020, 07:56 PM
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Tele students still huddled in a snowdrift, or was someone able to fill in for you?
The teaching is next weekend. This was just to get on my skis a bit before teaching.

The Liberos are great boots, I had them for years.
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Old 01-05-2020, 11:04 PM
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The teaching is next weekend. This was just to get on my skis a bit before teaching.

The Liberos are great boots, I had them for years.
Here's to you getting on the slopes before 2021. Must be frustrating to have your season delayed.

I'm glad to hear your opinion of the Liberos. I came across the new Liberos and a pair of new Scott Voodoos for $25 and $75 respectively at a store that sells off what is left when a retailer closes down (in this case someone carrying Garamont/Scott). I figured that if I didn't like them, I would give them to our tele school.

After my first run on the Voodoos, my comment at the clubhouse was "totally unskiable" but after spending an afternoon trying different combos of lifts and insoles they dialed in to the best fit I have ever had in a ski boot. For lateral stiffness, they are in the same league as my old 'n' holed '95 Scarpa T1s that they are replacing, but are lighter, so I'm enjoying their agility.

I got lucky with the Liberos in that I did not have to fiddle with the fit at all. Just put them on and started skiing. Wheee! They communicated everything that I did -- very responsive -- which came in handy given that I was on non-edged skis on a GS pitch. I can see why you like them.
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Old 01-05-2020, 11:45 PM
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Tomorrow morning, I'm putting my 5-year-old on skis for the first time. The only goal I have for the day is for him to want to go again.
Success here! We went up Saturday, and today he put his skis on and walked around the house and backyard "so I'll be better next week." We're planning to replace that carpet anyway.

He's in a program that relies on volunteer instructors... so Saturday was my first time on skis in fifteen years, and I went back today for instructor training. The physical part came back faster than I expected, but the mental part - especially modeling fundamentals for new skiers - is going to take some time. But it's been a lot of fun so far, and it's really nice to be back on snow.
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Old 01-06-2020, 10:04 AM
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I was eye-balling the web-cam at the base of Comet. I'll bet I saw you there. I watched them turning people away when the chair was running, but then they started uploading. Was perfect there for a while, wasn't it?

Got crowded fast, then Dipper opened and the line disappeared again. Wish I was there...

Tomorrow...
Yeah, we got to Comet musta been a few min after they started loading people - it was deserted (for a little while). We got a couple-three blissful laps in. As that lift started to get busy, we approached the bottom and saw people in the maze at Dipper so rolled in there - got on the 2nd chair after opening - perfect timing!

I hope you got up there - it's starting to get a little thin in some areas - need a refreshing. I think some snow approaching later this week.
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Old 01-06-2020, 12:21 PM
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Going today. Gonna lap Comet. Little Dipper should be really good! Cold as hell for some reason.
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Old 01-06-2020, 05:54 PM
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Success here! We went up Saturday, and today he put his skis on and walked around the house and backyard "so I'll be better next week." We're planning to replace that carpet anyway.

He's in a program that relies on volunteer instructors... so Saturday was my first time on skis in fifteen years, and I went back today for instructor training. The physical part came back faster than I expected, but the mental part - especially modeling fundamentals for new skiers - is going to take some time. But it's been a lot of fun so far, and it's really nice to be back on snow.
That's terrific! Here's to his having a blast next week!

Yesterday, a couple of little nippers made it into the ground level locker room with their skis on, and trudged proudly down the corridor. Now if only someone would teach them to chant "Quack-quack, waddle-waddle! Quack-quack, waddle-waddle!"
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Old 01-06-2020, 10:17 PM
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Icy as hell at Heavenly. But better than sitting on the couch. Got to wave to people on the web-cam.
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:54 PM
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I spent the holidays in Park City (Utah) with family! I managed to ski seven days in a row, including on Christmas. We actually would have preferred going after Christmas, but I didn't pick the dates. I was worried it might be a bit too early in the season for a decent base, but conditions were great. I managed to ski 120K vertical feet over the course of the week (and 127 miles of distance).

This past Sunday I went to Mount Snow in Vermont. What a letdown after a week skiing out west. It had evidently rained the day before, which then froze overnight, so there was a lot of boilerplate ice and crusty crud. They were doing the best they could, though, with all guns blowing. This next weekend looks similar -- temps in the 50s on Saturday with rain all day. It's hard to build up a base with warm days and rain.
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Old 01-07-2020, 06:46 AM
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...Mainly, I want to go fast! I reckon I will take it easy the first run or two, but eventually the need for speed will overtake any instinct for caution.
...
I was in that category, till I took a spill and slid quite a long way mostly on momentum, not gravity. Lucky there was a very long smooth slope that allowed me to come to a stop still on that slope, not in the woods or off a cliff. I realized what could have happened if such a spill happened at another spot. I decided to make a change.

One thing I avoided like the plague over the years on the slopes were moguls. I figured that would slow me down and continue to challenge me on the slopes. The next ski day I found a easier mogul slope which happened here to be groomer made artificial moguls. I did that the entire day and by early afternoon really started getting it. I found that there was a pleasant fun and challenging rhythm to them that far surpassed my need for speed skiing.

After that day I started venturing out to other mogul slopes, natural ones that skiers have created, and found that irregularity added to the excitement. With some more experience, I discovered something else, it was like most if not all of the ski area opened up to me. I felt I can go anywhere and I didn't need speed, but could hit that occasionally when I wanted but not like before.

Now decades later and with my older body I took a mogul clinic and found out 2 additional methods to ski the moguls. What I also found that my self taught way of turning over the top and skidding into the next one was the hardest on a body. The 2 methods I learned, side door/back door and skiing the bridges, was much easier and gave me much better snow then my former method. It changes my view of mogul skiing from 'ski the bumps' to 'ski in the bumps'. Looking back a lesson or 2 back then would have greatly expanded my mogul tool chest, but I am glad I finally did.

Thank you for letting me share.
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Old 01-07-2020, 07:04 AM
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Icy as hell at Heavenly.
It's not ice if there aren't fish underneath.
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Old 01-07-2020, 07:27 AM
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I was in that category, till I took a spill and slid quite a long way mostly on momentum, not gravity. Lucky there was a very long smooth slope that allowed me to come to a stop still on that slope, not in the woods or off a cliff. I realized what could have happened if such a spill happened at another spot. I decided to make a change.

One thing I avoided like the plague over the years on the slopes were moguls. I figured that would slow me down and continue to challenge me on the slopes. The next ski day I found a easier mogul slope which happened here to be groomer made artificial moguls. I did that the entire day and by early afternoon really started getting it. I found that there was a pleasant fun and challenging rhythm to them that far surpassed my need for speed skiing.

After that day I started venturing out to other mogul slopes, natural ones that skiers have created, and found that irregularity added to the excitement. With some more experience, I discovered something else, it was like most if not all of the ski area opened up to me. I felt I can go anywhere and I didn't need speed, but could hit that occasionally when I wanted but not like before.

Now decades later and with my older body I took a mogul clinic and found out 2 additional methods to ski the moguls. What I also found that my self taught way of turning over the top and skidding into the next one was the hardest on a body. The 2 methods I learned, side door/back door and skiing the bridges, was much easier and gave me much better snow then my former method. It changes my view of mogul skiing from 'ski the bumps' to 'ski in the bumps'. Looking back a lesson or 2 back then would have greatly expanded my mogul tool chest, but I am glad I finally did.

Thank you for letting me share.
Thanks for sharing. Iíve been trying to learn to ski bumps for a couple of years now with mixed success. Maybe I should take a lesson specifically for this.

I like to go fast, too, but I only let it rip on wide, empty (or nearly empty) slopes. I hit 46 mph last season on a smooth blue trail at Stowe with no issues. (The slopes were nearly deserted because temps were in the low single digits.) I was hoping to go even faster on the next run, but halfway down I came across a family slowly crossing in front of me several hundred yards downslope. Out of an abundance of caution, I moved over to the complete opposite side of the slope and ended up on a huge section of solid ice. I held it for a few seconds, but my skis slowly went out from under me. I slid for quite a ways on my side. According to my app, I hit 47 mph on that run before I went down, and hadnít yet reached the steepest section. I stopped then, because I didnít want to get hurt.
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Old 01-07-2020, 08:34 AM
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According to my app, I hit 47 mph on that run before I went down, and hadnít yet reached the steepest section.
Those apps are notoriously unreliable and vastly over-estimate top speeds. It's very hard to hit 47 MPH on recreational gear on slopes not prepared for racing.
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Old 01-07-2020, 12:11 PM
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Those apps are notoriously unreliable and vastly over-estimate top speeds. It's very hard to hit 47 MPH on recreational gear on slopes not prepared for racing.
Well, shoot.

However, you've now got me taking a more detailed look at this. I'd like to figure out another way to measure my speed, even if it's only an average. The vertical drop and horizontal distance seem accurate on the app, and time is easy enough to measure. Top instantaneous speed would obviously be more difficult to measure.

FWIW, I just took a look at a run I did in the Canyons at Park City. It was the end of the day, so I know exactly how much time it took (4.5 minutes), because I was trying to catch the lift again before 4 p.m., and I didn't stop on this run. The distance according to the app was 1.2 miles, with a vertical drop of 1,071 feet. The vertical drop matches the resort stats, and the horizontal distance matches Google Earth. The app says that my average speed was 16.2 mph, which checks out (simple math). It further indicates that my maximum speed was 24.1 mph.

However, it also shows a very detailed profile of my instantaneous speed vs. time, with a series of peaks and troughs as I made my way down. (I could post a screen shot if I knew how to post pictures here.) There are 5 main speed peaks (22.1 mph, 21.2 mph, 23.9 mph, 23.2 mph, and 22.1 mph) as well a series of troughs (11.5 mph, 8.0 mph, 14.4 mph, 14.2 mph, and 6.2 mph). Bottom line: the average speed of 16.2 mph seems consistent with this profile of instantaneous speed. Quick check: simply average all of the peaks and troughs, and you are very close to the listed average speed, which we already verified.

The app does indeed seem to overstate the max speed a bit (24.1 mph vs. 23.9 mph), but doesn't seem too far off. Also of note is that the vertical footage calculated by the app is nearly identical to that of the EpicMix app (which simply keeps track of every lift you take). My app calculated a vertical footage of 118.9K vertical feet, while the EpicMix app came up with 119,178 vertical feet for the week at Park City.

For those faster runs at Stowe last season, conditions were nearly perfect, and I was running the same run repeatedly. Also, the run in question (Nose Dive) was in fact historically used for racing at Stowe. (The guy who built the run said: "Nose Dive is the ultimate. That is IT! It's inviting, it’s not too particularly difficult, yet you can develop pretty good speed on it." He effused, "Nose Dive is really good—if you want to take it easy and swing turns, you can, and if you want to pick up speed, you can get going pretty fast.")

Looking at the profile of the run where I didn't fall for the section in question, the speed peaks on the profile were 25.5 mph, 25.8 mph, 29.1 mph, 37.2 mph, 45.0 mph, and 41.6 mph. (The listed max instantaneous speed on the app was 46 mph.) The troughs were 21.7 mph, 19.7 mph, 25.5 mph, 28.0 mph, and 33.1 mph.

In short, speaking as an engineer and former physics instructor, the instantaneous speed profiles profiles produced by the app look plausible.

Finally, and this is certainly not scientific, I've been on a bicycle at comparable speeds (downhill, of course). It's not too hard to tell if you are going down a hill at 20 mph or 40 mph. I felt very lucky that I didn't get hurt when my skis slid out from under me on the run that I was supposedly going 47 mph. I slid for quite a while (seemed like an eternity). Fortunately it was a wide open, almost completely empty slope.

Last edited by robby; 01-07-2020 at 12:14 PM.
  #47  
Old 01-07-2020, 12:59 PM
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Recreational skis and boots simply aren't stable at those speeds, and frankly neither are recreational skiers. Take a look at what ski racers use for equipment, and they are much stiffer and rigid than recreational skis, and those racers have wicked strong legs and practice at those speeds. Gear that works well at 50 MPH is miserable at normal recreational speeds because they're extremely difficult to flex unless you're putting a huge amount of force on them.

At lower speeds those apps are probably fairly accurate; at higher speeds you get sampling error and small glitches that give wildly inaccurate peak speeds.

If you want to test your speed try the Tuck It speed race at Magic Mountain. Getting hit by a radar gun is a much better measurement than a phone app.
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Old 01-07-2020, 02:26 PM
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...If you want to test your speed try the Tuck It speed race at Magic Mountain. Getting hit by a radar gun is a much better measurement than a phone app.
Nice logo for the event. I might just try to make it that day, mainly just to get hit by the radar gun. (I have no illusion of actually being competitive.) Thanks!
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:08 PM
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Got in a great evening of Telemark instructor training last night at Nashoba Valley, the 240' hill that I grew up skiing on. Good to get back on snow, everything worked just like when we finished up last season. Conditions were exactly what we expected, New England hard pack with some loose ground up ice on time; dust on crust.
  #50  
Old 01-19-2020, 08:31 PM
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Finally, a real day on snow. Some decent snow overnight after a pretty good week of cold weather we were hoping for good conditions at Cannon today. And it delivered. It was cold and foggy, but the snow was as promised on the snow reports. Big crowds for the holiday and conditions, the cafeteria lines were the worst I'd ever seen. The lift lines weren't bad, the visibility never improved, and my legs held out. A good real first day of the season.
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