Originally Posted by ILOJ
A quote from Warren Miller "...anyone who claims they are just as good a skier in their 40's as they were in their 20's was not a very good skier in their 20's"
Well, I never skied more than 4 days in any season until I was 29, so I certainly wasn't a very good skier in my 20's and I'm definitely better than that now, at 58 with 59 approaching rapidly.
It really is necessary to get more efficient every year now, or I will certainly be able to do less each season than the year before. Fortunately, years of instructor clinics with some of the best clinicians in North America gave me fundamentals that I'm still using, even in the absence of frequent feedback. However, that lack of feedback has, I believe, caused my skiing to deteriorate in the six years since I left Winter Park, at least in some ways. At Whitewater, though, I've been exposed to conditions and terrain that simply didn't exist at WP. At a big destination resort, most of the powder is gone a few hours after a storm. At Whitewater, with its great hike-to (or at least traverse-to) terrain and limited uphill capacity, I can find stashes days after a storm. And even where it has been skied, it stays soft for a long time because of limited traffic. I've gotten much better skiing Pacific Northwest heavy powder, breakable crust with goop underneath, heavy crud, "bumps" that are caused by rocks rather than skiers, etc. On the other hand, Whitewater has almost no Mary Jane style bumps, boat-tailed and close together with trenches in between. Whitewater's bumps have more space in between, but skiing around the shoulder of one may include a drop of 6 or 8 feet. It's not mandatory air, but it is mandatory losing altitude in a hurry.
At Winter Park, I skied as many as 75 days per season, but I spent most of that time teaching or getting taught, always trying to get better. At Whitewater, I ski 50-55 days per season, but it's all free skiing. At Winter Park, I worked though Christmas, MLK weekend, spring break, etc. At Whitewater I ski weekends and powder days.
And I still have an epiphany once in a while. I might figure out, for example, that my left turn is slow or weak because of something I'm doing in the seemingly strong right turn that precedes it.
I don't intend to quit anytime soon. I know people at Whitewater who are past 70 and still ski out of bounds regularly.
And I do know that, more than when I was younger, a sun and beach break in Mexico during the dark depths of January sounds pretty good.