I'm just returning to skiing after a long break and can't believe how different everything is.
I started skiing around '77 when I was 12. After I got interested, my dad said he would give me some pointers. But he spent a lot of time in the Army in Alaska, and their job was to fly across the Bering straits, ski across Siberia, and kill everything between them and Moscow so he was pretty burnt out on the whole thing. He didn't mind Alpine too much to help me out, but still saw it as "work". I always suspected if I had asked him to teach me CC skiing I would have wound up shot.
I skied through about 1990, and the last time was while I was in the Army in Germany at Garmisch a couple of times, and that was so long ago I had to look it up just to remember the name. LOL!
I finally got my wife to go skiing with me again after 20 years of badgering, and now she's mad that I didn't force her into it years ago. She's ripping greens, working blues, and surviving on blacks after one year. We both can't wait for the coming season. We only live a 20 minutes from Ober Gatlinburg in Tennessee, and while it's not Crested Butte (that used to be my favorite place in the world. Do people still ski there?) it's close and we ski it open to close every weekend and several days during the week, so at least we get time on snow. Last year we were the last ones off the mountain after riding up with the ski patrol to shut it down. Not bad for my wife's first year.
But after a 20 some odd year break, I do have a few observations. I'm sure there are plenty of people to tell me why I'm wrong! LOL!
Mountain etiquette. There used to be some. Everywhere we went last year, it was not unusual to see groups of people, like more than ten, sitting in the middle of the trails. Mostly snowboarders. WTH?
Speaking of snowboarders, WTH? I get ran over, on average, 3-4 times a day by snowboarders. Most of the time standing still, at the edge of the trail, out of the way. I'm 250 pounds and wearing a blaze orange Hawiian shirt. Don't say you didn't see me. My wife got hit on her third day out so hard it knocked her out, broke her arm, gave her whiplash, messed up her shoulder, and broke her upper jaw. We participate in "combat sports", and this isn't the first time she has been knocked out, so she decided to self assess and kept skiing, skied like that through the season, and is probably going to skip the last of her surgery to clean up her jaw until after this season.
Why don't they have areas, or at least make runs, that are skiers only? Isn't just skiing dangerous enough as it is? Donna really wants to find some places we can go ski this year that are safe (skier only) and if anybody knows of some I'd appreciate it. I doubt there are any though. It looks like in the money vs. safety battle, money won. I suppose most people just deal with it and accept it like the rest of the natural dangers like ice and avalanches?
Equipment... I don't even know where to start.
Did the Marquis De Sade start regulating ski equipment? Who's idea was it to take beginners and the average skier, people that turn primarily to scrub off speed, and put them on race skis diquised as rec skis, and that are designed to accelerate through turns? Carving used to be a racing technique. It still is, but now the racers are people that have no business doing it.
That said, once you can stay on your feet it makes carving pretty easy. I'm still going to hop my turns and rotate if I want to anyway. Which is most of the time. Just like I was taught.
And why so much gear? It used to be that if you have a pair of skis, maybe a pair for out west, a race pair, and a pair of rock skis people would look at you funny and start to suggest maybe you should spend your money on lessons and lift tickets. I about fell out of my chairlift when I heard some kid say he was leaving because it was getting dark and cold, and he didn't bring the right skis for it. In Tennessee.
It was worth it though when we went to buy boots. The guy asked what kind of skis we were getting and I said we would probably just buy a used pair of whatevers or maybe some demos at the end of the season, the only thing I thought was important was a good pair of well fitted boots and the skis didn't really matter.
I think he almost had a stroke.
What's funny though is the one thing still the same... the people at the bottom of the hill with top of the line, this year’s gear, that you never see on the chair lifts. Hopefully, we'll get their skis when next year’s come out.
LOL! Now that that's off my chest, I look forwards to being here with you all, and skiing with the ones I can!