I'm a beginner-intermediate skier I think - I can ski Bonanza Bowl at Mt. Baldy fairly confidently and get down a couple black diamonds at Snow Valley without traversing. I'm 6' 2" and 220 (EDIT: I'm 38 and started at 36 in 2010) on 160cm Rossignol Power 9 Pros skis (I think shaped, NOT my sale on ebay link BTW) with soft but tight boots (tips of toes touching the padding, no side wiggle and heel planted) and have noticed that when I get speed or the terrain isn't groomed well, it starts to feel dicey but not totally out of control. I'm going to Mammoth this weekend for 5 days (3 of 4 lift ticket). I don't use the pizza wedge technique unless I'm at the lift line either. Also, boot comfort is a premium for me as I've had gout worse than anyone I've ever met (3 joints at a time) so changing that is not an option until I can get Daleboots.
My questions are, in order of most importance:
1) Would slightly longer ski's make things more stable or easier to ride? I was thinking of trying 168-170's one day just to see the difference. My buddy says he thinks I'm too far in the front seat from what he's seen. I equate the length of the ski like a motorcycle wheel, where a big tire handles bumps/crap much better than a small wheel but slightly harder to turn?
2) Are Mammoth blue runs wildly different than local Baldy/Snow Valley runs?
3) Do Sportlegs pills make a difference? I know part of it is my technique, but at the end of the day I can feel myself getting sloppy due to laziness and leg pump. I want to last at least 2 days.
4) Is it bad etiquette to make short turns on black diamond runs?
5) Do the fog properties of goggles really differ among models, outside of the one with an electric fan?
6) What is the snow like at Mammoth compared to Socal? And not just quantity?
Thanks for reading this,