Originally Posted by LiquidFeet
Yes, the grace of a tele skier who makes smooth turns is amazing. The most memorable I ever saw was a 40-something fit guy in a gray pin-stripe three-piece suit and fedora doing tele down a bump run, smooth smooth smooth in oh-so-many-ways. But impressing others is not why we ski, is it?
1. Tell the community here what it is that you love doing on a snowboard when you're alone and no one is watching. What keeps exciting you after 20 years on a snowboard? What's missing that makes you want to change your gear? Remaining enthusiastic when you're on that learning curve is essential when you're a newb who can't do anything right at first. Are you on a race board speeding down groomers, or in the park most of the time? Doing aerials, bumps? Or are you off-piste exploring backwoods territory???
2. What bores you when you watch alpine skiers moving down the hill; what important stuff is missing in what you see? Who are you watching, the terminal intermediate recreational skiers who ski 10-20 days a year, or excellent skiers playing the mountain? Are you only watching people on groomers?
3. Most important, tele lessons are scarce in some parts. Here in New England you're not going to be able to rent the gear at the mountain (in most places) to see if you like it, although renting is possible if you go to the right off-mountain shop. Finding someone to give you lessons can be done but you don't just show up and ask; there may be only one instructor at the mountain and that person might be off that day. Are you in New England, the Mid-Atlantic, or West Virginia? The lesson situation might be much much better in your neighborhood. Are you in Utah? Have you looked into the logistics of getting tele lessons yet?
4. How many days on snow do you usually get now? This matters when a learning curve is being discussed. Sounds like your ultimate goal is to spend time in the backcountry, skinning up. How many days per season are you shooting for, after your first season inbounds?
First, I'd like to thank you for taking the time to write such a great reply, and you address some great points, and I'll do my best to answer your questions.
1. I enjoy snowboarding because it's just fun making turns on a board. I'm no speed demon or park person, I just like being in a nice place and in a visually awesome setting and making fun turns, love powder, and the occasional run through the trees as well. The main reason I want to change gear, and transition from boarding to skiing is versatility and accessibility. I hate crowds, and really want to work toward getting into the backcountry for touring, hut trips and eventually some fun descents. I prefer quality over quantity, meaning that I'd rather spend the day in the back country skinning to get one super fun run in, than spend the day in lift lines at a crowded resort. I personally think split boards are stupid and a big hassle, and don't see the attraction personally. All that work just to have a snowboard in the backcountry, when it's much more practical and efficient on skis. I had been an ice climber and alpine climber for years, and always wanted to learn how to ski to make approaches easier and quicker as well. It just seems like skiing is the more obvious choice over snowboarding if your goal is touring and getting into the backcountry.
2. What bores me with alpine turns? I dunno, I just think snowboard and tele turns are more visually pleasing to my eye is all. Alpine turns seem very stressful and akward, while snoboarding seems more graceful and intuitive (coming from a surfing and skating background), and although tele turns don't seem to be intuitive in my mind, they are still graceful (when done properly). I'm never really impressed by the alpine skier who bombs down the hill making super quick turns, just to see how fast they can get down the hill. That's not my style (but this could also be said for tele skiers and snowboarders I guess!). When the conditions get steep and gnarly I'm impressed by anyone, regardless of what they are on; board, tele, AT or alpine set ups, as long as they do it with style and it looks good.
3. I'm in Colorado, so I'm guessing that it would be a little easier to get tele lessons out here, but obviously not as easy at AT/alpine lessons.
4. I work three days a week (full-time hours, some weekends, which means I have a lot of days off during the week) and have 4 days off a week. I have an Epic pass and plan on getting out as much as I can. I live in Denver, but have places to stay up in Summit County, so that makes things even easier. I am also considering picking up a set of cross country skis just to mix it up on days I want a change or to get a workout early in the morning or to avoid crowds.
Thanks again for the awesome reply!