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Ready for black? - Page 2

post #31 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff2010 View Post
 

I don't remember my first black, but it may have been Gunbarrel at Heavenly Valley c.1973 -- my brother and I would pick our way down that one when the lifts closed just to make the day last longer and to avoid taking School Marm or loading downhill on the chair.

 

I do remember taking my son on his first blacks last year (age 12). He quickly showed talent and bravery -- more so than his brothers -- and was willing to follow me on any run, so I gradually ramped up the steepness. If it's a new one I watch him from above so I can ski down in case he has a problem, but he hasn't yet had any difficulty. That being said, he's only been on East Coast blacks (short, icy, fairly steep) but never been down an interminable mogul field like Gunbarrel or Pallavicini.

 

 

Tristan about to try upper Ramrod at Roundtop, Pennsylvania.

Is that Ramrod at Ski Roundtop???  I remember my first run down Fife and Drum and it looked like a wall.  After mastering Roundtop I moved to Mammoth and realized I didn't know how to finish a turn.

post #32 of 52

So I started skiing on February 22nd. I went every other weekend since, and joined an overnight group for this weekend just passed. We went to Mt. Stowe in Vermont. It was only my fifth day on skis, but I was too fast for the other beginners in the group, so I started skiing with the intermediates. All of them told me flat out that I was better than someone would expect for a fifth day on skis in their life. In the late afternoon, one of the other members of the group told me he just did a black run that he felt I could do. So, about 9 of us went back up, and came down Main Street on Spruce Peak over at Stowe. It was a rush, and felt great. Didn't fall. Went right back up and Upper Smuggler, which was narrow and mogully. Fell three times into soft spring moguls. Had a blast, and it was a great sense of accomplishment to complete the run.

post #33 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Keller View Post
 

So I started skiing on February 22nd. I went every other weekend since, and joined an overnight group for this weekend just passed. We went to Mt. Stowe in Vermont. It was only my fifth day on skis, but I was too fast for the other beginners in the group, so I started skiing with the intermediates. All of them told me flat out that I was better than someone would expect for a fifth day on skis in their life. In the late afternoon, one of the other members of the group told me he just did a black run that he felt I could do. So, about 9 of us went back up, and came down Main Street on Spruce Peak over at Stowe. It was a rush, and felt great. Didn't fall. Went right back up and Upper Smuggler, which was narrow and mogully. Fell three times into soft spring moguls. Had a blast, and it was a great sense of accomplishment to complete the run.

Welcome to EpicSki!  By any chance do you ice skate?  Sounds like you were lucky on conditions.  It was really cold when I was at Stowe with friends in early March, as in the high was in the teens.  Needless to say, what was frozen stayed frozen.

post #34 of 52

Simply put:   If you have to ask then you're not ready.

 

This winter was my first ski season and it took me 7 outings from never-ever to double-black at Pat's Peak.  I'm pushing 52 and I hate going fast, so I always thought if I could stop anywhere, then I'd be comfortable most everywhere.   I think somewhere around the third or fourth trip I finally got it, and was able to lose the pizza wedge.  By the fifth and sixth trips I was doing "cyclone" and "twister" just to prove to myself that I had the basics down.

 

I'm also really self-conscious about being the Mr. Magoo that slows everybody down, so at each turn I'd spare a glance up hill to see if any real skiers were coming.  If I saw someone coming down at me then I did pole plants and bunny hops until I was alone again.  Kind of like skiing the breakdown lane to leave the road open. 

 

I was the slowest person on "tornado" but I built the skills to totally bomb "breeze" and shred "puff". 

 

Then last Sunday I went to Loon.  What a wake up call !!    Those hills were so big there was no way I was going to risk bunny hopping all the way down a black.  I needed a nap just to get down the blues.

 

post #35 of 52
re-started my skiing adventure 6 years ago after an absence of over 20 years (heard that one before?). Had an afternoon ski pass that started before condo was ready with group lessons booked next five days. Looked at a black run while on a lift towards beginner/intermediate runs and thought....that doesn't look bad and some of those people don't look like they ski any better than me! So turned towards it off the chair in my fine beginner rental gear and went over the edge. Had a heapin' helpin' of boilerplate lunch with a desert of iced bumps on the side. As I slid down head first on my back and was wondering when I might stop, it occurred to me I should have waited for my lessons at the least.

A nice guy, my age, brought me my ski that had been several hundred feet above me and said...Dude! You gotta watch out up here, alot people today been going down on sleds! Maybe try out some of the runs around Whiffletree! (intermediate/beginner)

So back to the OP question, when did you know or when were you ready? During group lessons when the instructor took us down a black run that he felt was appropriate for you.

I didn't get hurt or hurt anyone else and I learned alot from the experience.
post #36 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by doomed View Post
 

Simply put:   If you have to ask then you're not ready.

 

This winter was my first ski season and it took me 7 outings from never-ever to double-black at Pat's Peak.  I'm pushing 52 and I hate going fast, so I always thought if I could stop anywhere, then I'd be comfortable most everywhere.   I think somewhere around the third or fourth trip I finally got it, and was able to lose the pizza wedge.  By the fifth and sixth trips I was doing "cyclone" and "twister" just to prove to myself that I had the basics down.

 

I'm also really self-conscious about being the Mr. Magoo that slows everybody down, so at each turn I'd spare a glance up hill to see if any real skiers were coming.  If I saw someone coming down at me then I did pole plants and bunny hops until I was alone again.  Kind of like skiing the breakdown lane to leave the road open. 

 

I was the slowest person on "tornado" but I built the skills to totally bomb "breeze" and shred "puff". 

 

Then last Sunday I went to Loon.  What a wake up call !!    Those hills were so big there was no way I was going to risk bunny hopping all the way down a black.  I needed a nap just to get down the blues.

 

Welcome to EpicSki!  Hope you find some of the Beginner Zone threads useful.

 

As you've discovered, trail ratings are not meant to be standard across ski areas.  They only give an indication of relative difficulty for a given mountain.  A black run at a small mountain (less than 250 acres) is not at all like a black run at a ski resort (500+ acres).  Someone who is comfortable on black runs in the Mid-Atlantic should still warm up on a green, and then check out blues when they venture out west to the Rockies.

 

Pats Peak looks like  a pretty good place to learn.  Always interesting to learn of ski areas that have been around for 50+ years.

post #37 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by doomed View Post
 

Simply put:   If you have to ask then you're not ready.

 

I disagree with this. There are lots of people (usually women) who have plenty of skills, but sell themselves short and just assume they could never do it. For these people, being encouraged or even gently pushed into doing something outside their comfort zone can be a big help.  Ideally it's with an instructor who's good at that kind of thing.

post #38 of 52
I agree with this. I didn't feel
I was ready for a black diamond trail, but the people I was with at Stowe convinced me to try one. I felt great after, and I ended up skiing all the single black diamonds at Hunter the following weekend, as well as several at Windham (and four runs down the short double black Wall). Getting pushed just beyond your comfort level is the way to expand your comfort level. Plus, if you never try, you'll never know, and possibly plateau.
post #39 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by bounceswoosh View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by doomed View Post

 
Simply put:   If you have to ask then you're not ready.

I disagree with this. There are lots of people (usually women) who have plenty of skills, but sell themselves short and just assume they could never do it. For these people, being encouraged or even gently pushed into doing something outside their comfort zone can be a big help.  Ideally it's with an instructor who's good at that kind of thing.

I agree with bounce. Think of the surveys you sometimes see showing 80% of all drivers think they are better than average. I'll bet the other 20% includes some really good drivers (as well as some spectacularly bad ones).
post #40 of 52

Experience with my progressing son reminded me that the length of the run is a bigger factor to consider than the pitch or even condition (icy, bumps, etc).  He gave us a scare on a longer black because he slayed the top 2/3rds of it fine then got tired and pretty out of control for the bottom 1/3rd of it.  Luckily the run out was flat so he didn't run a big risk of crashing in to anyone or anything at the end of the run.  I clipped his wings and kept him on shorter blacks until he demonstrated that he could keep his speed controlled for the entire run without getting too tired.

 

So my advice is to start with shorter sections of challenging terrain before attempting longer ones.

post #41 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by bounceswoosh View Post
 

 

I disagree with this. There are lots of people (usually women) who have plenty of skills, but sell themselves short and just assume they could never do it. For these people, being encouraged or even gently pushed into doing something outside their comfort zone can be a big help.  Ideally it's with an instructor who's good at that kind of thing.

 

 

the thing you are right but this following is also 100 percent right.

 

"whether you think you can, or think you can not you are 100 percent right" 

post #42 of 52
I do want to point out that the SKIER has to believe they can do it, and no instructor telling me I can do it will make me believe it, especially in front of a class. I've been talked into things by friends who know my skiing and it's been successful when the "leap" hasn't been much, but a disaster in cases where the push is really for the benefit of the pushing party. There are definitely instructors who can't tell the difference. Usually male.
post #43 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 

Experience with my progressing son reminded me that the length of the run is a bigger factor to consider than the pitch or even condition (icy, bumps, etc).  He gave us a scare on a longer black because he slayed the top 2/3rds of it fine then got tired and pretty out of control for the bottom 1/3rd of it.  Luckily the run out was flat so he didn't run a big risk of crashing in to anyone or anything at the end of the run.  I clipped his wings and kept him on shorter blacks until he demonstrated that he could keep his speed controlled for the entire run without getting too tired.

 

So my advice is to start with shorter sections of challenging terrain before attempting longer ones.

Good point.  One of the reasons I liked the Supreme area of Alta as I improved was that there is a variety of short blacks to experiment with.  Even one that is right next to a groomer, so I could do a few turns and then bail if that's what felt more comfortable.

post #44 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bounceswoosh View Post
 

 

I disagree with this. There are lots of people (usually women) who have plenty of skills, but sell themselves short and just assume they could never do it. For these people, being encouraged or even gently pushed into doing something outside their comfort zone can be a big help.  Ideally it's with an instructor who's good at that kind of thing.

 

 

the thing you are right but this following is also 100 percent right.

 

"whether you think you can, or think you can not you are 100 percent right" 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

I do want to point out that the SKIER has to believe they can do it, and no instructor telling me I can do it will make me believe it, especially in front of a class. I've been talked into things by friends who know my skiing and it's been successful when the "leap" hasn't been much, but a disaster in cases where the push is really for the benefit of the pushing party. There are definitely instructors who can't tell the difference. Usually male.

Appreciate the thoughts.  Even though the question is about moving up to trails rated black, please remember that this thread is in the Beginner Zone as you reply.

post #45 of 52
Not sure how it didn't apply.
post #46 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bounceswoosh View Post
 

 

I disagree with this. There are lots of people (usually women) who have plenty of skills, but sell themselves short and just assume they could never do it. For these people, being encouraged or even gently pushed into doing something outside their comfort zone can be a big help.  Ideally it's with an instructor who's good at that kind of thing.

 

the thing you are right but this following is also 100 percent right.

 

"whether you think you can, or think you can not you are 100 percent right" 

 

Yup. That's where the good instructor comes into play.

post #47 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Not sure how it didn't apply.

 

 

exactly I was trying to inspire. and yes I do tell that line to some clients...

post #48 of 52
Skiing well and skiing a black diamond have nothing in common.

Skiing black diamonds and skiing safely have nothing in common.

Thinking you can ski a black diamond has nothing to do with skiing a black diamond safely.

For the most part I agree with the phrase "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right." I think Henry Ford made that statement to inspire people to set out and achieve goals and face the obstacles of a pursuit. I don't think he meant it to set out and do something before you're ready.

Thinking you can, can also get you in trouble if in all actuality, you can't. My example is me. I 2008 I thought I could ski well enough to ski Tuckermans. I thought I could, there for I could right? However, I couldn't and therefore I didn't and after three short turns, ended up with a torn acl. Not because I didn't think I could, but because I lacked the skill set and wasn't ready for it.

I don't think anyone here is trying to encourage anyone into doing anything before they are ready. Simply pointing out that once they are ready, they might need to have the mental encouragement to believe in themselves. That is good. My concern is too often I see people in trouble on a trail they have no business being on, because they were encourage to believe they could. It is a tricky area.

I've also noticed that years on skis doesn't necessarily correlate to ability. Some people have sucked for a very long time. I've watched other people excel rapidly and have been amazed at their progress.

If you are a never ever, and want to make your goal to ski a black diamond, good on ya. But you must pursue the goal and work at it. and not cut corners just because you desire something. Nothing is more frustrating and can set you back as far, physically and mentally, than attacking something too soon.

Everyone brings something else to the game. Very rarely do two people progress at the same level even though they might start out at the same time. Both have different life experiences to draw from.

Pursue your goals. Think you can. Train for it.

Ken
post #49 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post

Pursue your goals. Think you can. Train for it.

Ken

Ken, very well said.
post #50 of 52
"Some people have sucked for a very long time."

Ain't THAT the truth!
post #51 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post

Skiing well and skiing a black diamond have nothing in common.

Skiing black diamonds and skiing safely have nothing in common.

Thinking you can ski a black diamond has nothing to do with skiing a black diamond safely.

For the most part I agree with the phrase "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right." I think Henry Ford made that statement to inspire people to set out and achieve goals and face the obstacles of a pursuit. I don't think he meant it to set out and do something before you're ready.

Thinking you can, can also get you in trouble if in all actuality, you can't. My example is me. I 2008 I thought I could ski well enough to ski Tuckermans. I thought I could, there for I could right? However, I couldn't and therefore I didn't and after three short turns, ended up with a torn acl. Not because I didn't think I could, but because I lacked the skill set and wasn't ready for it.

I don't think anyone here is trying to encourage anyone into doing anything before they are ready. Simply pointing out that once they are ready, they might need to have the mental encouragement to believe in themselves. That is good. My concern is too often I see people in trouble on a trail they have no business being on, because they were encourage to believe they could. It is a tricky area.

I've also noticed that years on skis doesn't necessarily correlate to ability. Some people have sucked for a very long time. I've watched other people excel rapidly and have been amazed at their progress.

If you are a never ever, and want to make your goal to ski a black diamond, good on ya. But you must pursue the goal and work at it. and not cut corners just because you desire something. Nothing is more frustrating and can set you back as far, physically and mentally, than attacking something too soon.

Everyone brings something else to the game. Very rarely do two people progress at the same level even though they might start out at the same time. Both have different life experiences to draw from.

Pursue your goals. Think you can. Train for it.

Ken

I think that is what helped me. The people who encouraged me had been skiing with me for a few hours, and then, right after they did a specific run, told me that they felt it was within my ability, as it was only marginally more difficult than the one I was skiing with them.

 

Further, I can ski a black diamond, but now my goal is to ski a black diamond well, versus skiing it poorly. I can get down them safely, but now I need to get down them gracefully too. Practice, and as you feel your limits have expanded, and your skills progressed, challenge yourself a little bit more. I think skiing is great in that it really is not that hard to push yourself in manageable increments to improve, if you so desire.

post #52 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Keller View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post

Skiing well and skiing a black diamond have nothing in common.

Skiing black diamonds and skiing safely have nothing in common.

Thinking you can ski a black diamond has nothing to do with skiing a black diamond safely.

For the most part I agree with the phrase "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right." I think Henry Ford made that statement to inspire people to set out and achieve goals and face the obstacles of a pursuit. I don't think he meant it to set out and do something before you're ready.

Thinking you can, can also get you in trouble if in all actuality, you can't. My example is me. I 2008 I thought I could ski well enough to ski Tuckermans. I thought I could, there for I could right? However, I couldn't and therefore I didn't and after three short turns, ended up with a torn acl. Not because I didn't think I could, but because I lacked the skill set and wasn't ready for it.

I don't think anyone here is trying to encourage anyone into doing anything before they are ready. Simply pointing out that once they are ready, they might need to have the mental encouragement to believe in themselves. That is good. My concern is too often I see people in trouble on a trail they have no business being on, because they were encourage to believe they could. It is a tricky area.

I've also noticed that years on skis doesn't necessarily correlate to ability. Some people have sucked for a very long time. I've watched other people excel rapidly and have been amazed at their progress.

If you are a never ever, and want to make your goal to ski a black diamond, good on ya. But you must pursue the goal and work at it. and not cut corners just because you desire something. Nothing is more frustrating and can set you back as far, physically and mentally, than attacking something too soon.

Everyone brings something else to the game. Very rarely do two people progress at the same level even though they might start out at the same time. Both have different life experiences to draw from.

Pursue your goals. Think you can. Train for it.

Ken

I think that is what helped me. The people who encouraged me had been skiing with me for a few hours, and then, right after they did a specific run, told me that they felt it was within my ability, as it was only marginally more difficult than the one I was skiing with them.

 

Further, I can ski a black diamond, but now my goal is to ski a black diamond well, versus skiing it poorly. I can get down them safely, but now I need to get down them gracefully too. Practice, and as you feel your limits have expanded, and your skills progressed, challenge yourself a little bit more. I think skiing is great in that it really is not that hard to push yourself in manageable increments to improve, if you so desire.

Definitely good to have friends who are willing to check out harder trails before encouraging someone on what I call an "adventure run."  One reason I've been able to improve was finding ski buddies for trips out west to bigger mountains.  Going off-piste with a friend who is acting as a sweeper gave me more confidence to try longer and steeper trails in less than ideal snow conditions.  An instructor can provide an introduction to more advanced skills, but afterwards really needs some mileage to make use of the new knowledge.

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