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Improving my skiing at small local hill ?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

I bought a pass for my local hill 250 vertical feet with the hope I can improve my skiing and fitness for ski trips to large resorts. I find if I just do ski trips its tough on the body. It is very close so if I go a few times a week for a couple of hours my hope is it will let me get more out of ski vacations. Has anyone else found this to be true?

post #2 of 31

Some very fine skiers have come from very small hills. It's all about getting out and loving easy access. Kids? I'd rather mine learn at a little local hill with night skiing than only get in weekends at a big hill. It's all about frequency. If you can't improve your skiing on 250' vert, you're not trying hard enough. :)  

post #3 of 31

If they have a rope tow USE it instead of the chairlift.

post #4 of 31
Thread Starter 

They have chairlifts and I will go midweek in the day when it is mostly empty. My usual Ontario winter was 1 or 2 local days and maybe 1 trip east or west. This has left me a lifelong intermediate so at 50 maybe I can get a little better?

post #5 of 31
+1 on markojp comment about frequency. In the twin cities there are several hill 20-45 min drive and the ability to go during the week when it's empty is huge. Seems like you are in similar situation and doing that, but using that time to practice skills learned from a class, book, etc is great.

I signed up for a 4 wk group class and found it very helpful specially since I could turn around few days later and practice w/ little disruption. If that is an option highly recommend it.

If you have the option of several small hills in your area i suggest buying pass at favorite hill, but pepper in random days at other hills for a change for scenery and not end up skiing in a sort of tunnel vision at just one.
post #6 of 31

If you really go a few times weekly for a couple of hours you will improve, as long as you practice doing things correctly.  You might find that you dramatically improve.  250' of vertical is plenty.

post #7 of 31

I improved while practicing for trips out west on 70 acres, with two 850 ft vertical runs, 15-20 days a season.  It's all about how you use the slope available.  Helped to work with a Level 3 instructor to learn how/where to practice certain skills like pivot slips.  Started skiing a long time ago, but had a long hiatus and didn't start doing lessons until after age 50.

 

Might find some relevant ideas here:

http://www.epicski.com/t/122941/how-to-get-better-as-a-dc-mid-atlantic-skier

post #8 of 31
Lots of improvements can be made on little local hills. I frequently go to the old 88 olympics ski jump and bobsled location for night skiing here in Calgary. When I'm there I mostly do a lot of short, deep carving turns. If they have the slalom gates up, I do a few runs through those as well. The idea is just to put as much g force into your turns as possible to work those muscles and still keep technique clean. Pays off well on steeper terrain in mountains.
post #9 of 31

Get a pair of good SL skis and work on the short radius turns.  There are all kinds of drills you can do on a small hill that translate to solid skills that will serve you well in bigger, badder terrain.  Find some steep areas along the sides of the trails when coverage is good and learn your hop turns there.  Work on one footed skiing, get good on both legs individually.  You can also get pretty good at skiing switch at a place like that. 

post #10 of 31

I guess I'll go ahead and beat this dead horse too. I think you're in a good position to be able to improve your abilities for your trips out West. If you're used to seasons where you're only skiing when you're on vacation, you're definitely going to be a bit rusty out there. If you're skiing a few times a week though, you'll be building muscle memory and your whole experience on snow will be more instinctual than anything. As markojp first said, it's more about frequency than the vertical. Just think about your first day on snow every winter... chances are thats the day when you feel most uncomfortable on skis because you're relearning. If you're a frequent skier this Winter, you'll have way less relearning to do on your ski vacations, and you'll be able to get way more out of your trip. 

 

The only other thing I'd mention is: Don't focus so hard on getting ready for these vacations that you forget to have fun out there! Honestly I find that when you're just out skiing and having a great time is actually when you learn the most. Too much focus usually causes me to overthink things and burn out on something. It's when you're being confident and natural that you really develop your skills.

 

Anyways, good luck out there this season!

 

Matt @ Skiessentials.com

post #11 of 31
Yep can't beat the mileage, the local bump (pretty sure it doesn't even qualify as hill) is only 400 ft but close enough that I go 3 or 4 times per week, probably improved more there than anywhere else.
post #12 of 31
First of all, you will be getting sport specific training to increase muscle strength. You will get that muscle memory working in no time. So this beats anyone that is staying home on the couch waiting for a better Hill or better snow.

Who cares if you're only getting 500 vertical per run? It's only the total mileage per day that counts.

Stand back and watch a few instructors teach class, learn a few drills, and go practice practice practice.

We used to train the same patch of moguls in the early season, take off our skis and hike to the top again. Great conditioning and focused training.

Have fun. You will not regret it.
post #13 of 31

Yes, you will improve.   Get a short radius ski (13 or less m radius) and work on those short turns!

post #14 of 31
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input sitting on the beach in Negril reading about skiing. My wife thinks I need help!

post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomkat1 View Post
 

Thanks for the input sitting on the beach in Negril reading about skiing. My wife thinks I need help!


Tell her you're sacrificing several rocky mountain ski trips to offset the cost of a Grand Lido/Sandals/Hedonism (wherever you are there) vacation and will be happy "making due" skiing more at the local hill.  It's pretty comparable to her opting to give up Jamaica and spend more time at the local lake or river instead:newkeyboard:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KIDDING, do NOT say anything like that if you want your trip to be even remotely enjoyable hahahahaha..

post #16 of 31

I coach at a smaller mountain.  With the addition of a new hi speed quad last year, we are up to 1016' and 100 acres.  Biggest change everyone noticed last season was they were exhausted by lunchtime because they were getting so many runs in.  What used to be a 12-15 minute ride to less vertical dropped to 3 minutes for more vertical.  A few colleges caught on to that and love it because they are on a time crunch and need (just like everyone else) mileage.

 

Do a simple mental exercise.  Picture yourself on a trail at a resort out west skiing and make a turn.  Ask yourself how much vertical you used up to make that turn.  Does your home mountain have at least enough terrain to do that a few times in one run?  There's your answer.

 

I've never skied out west and don't really have a big desire to.  Mostly because I don't care for traveling and I'm perfectly happy skiing where I'm at.  I always thought that aside from steepness and variety, the only thing a big mountain gives you with regards to training, is endurance.  You might need to make 4 runs to equal one run out west, but you'll probably make 6 or 7 in the time you can do the one out west when you add lift line waits.

 

Your body doesn't know where it is skiing.  Don't tell it.  Ski your turns with the focus you would if you were at a big mountain.  All turns should count.  Don't waste one ski length of snow.  It is there for you to take advantage of, not ignore.

 

Have fun,

 

Ken

post #17 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post
 

I coach at a smaller mountain.  With the addition of a new hi speed quad last year, we are up to 1016' and 100 acres.  Biggest change everyone noticed last season was they were exhausted by lunchtime because they were getting so many runs in.  What used to be a 12-15 minute ride to less vertical dropped to 3 minutes for more vertical.  A few colleges caught on to that and love it because they are on a time crunch and need (just like everyone else) mileage.

 

Do a simple mental exercise.  Picture yourself on a trail at a resort out west skiing and make a turn.  Ask yourself how much vertical you used up to make that turn.  Does your home mountain have at least enough terrain to do that a few times in one run?  There's your answer.

 

I've never skied out west and don't really have a big desire to.  Mostly because I don't care for traveling and I'm perfectly happy skiing where I'm at.  I always thought that aside from steepness and variety, the only thing a big mountain gives you with regards to training, is endurance.  You might need to make 4 runs to equal one run out west, but you'll probably make 6 or 7 in the time you can do the one out west when you add lift line waits.

 

Your body doesn't know where it is skiing.  Don't tell it.  Ski your turns with the focus you would if you were at a big mountain.  All turns should count.  Don't waste one ski length of snow.  It is there for you to take advantage of, not ignore.

 

Have fun,

 

Ken

Ken, I have only been out west once but I can tell you that you are missing something big.  The snow is different, since most of it falls from the sky.  The terrain is very very different.  The whole experience is different.  For getting better technically at skiing on hard snow, where you and I ski is as good as anywhere.  Or even better, because what doesn't kill you makes you stronger... or so they say.

 

But for learning to ski off piste bowls and glades, for skiing soft bumps, for experiencing OMG moments, Summit county (my only trip so far) trumps anything I've encountered here in New England, and that includes Tuckerman Ravine.  I love New England, and here I'll stay for the duration, but New Englanders need some ski trips out west every now and then to appreciate how our special situation fits into the broad spectrum of skiing in general.  


Edited by LiquidFeet - 11/17/13 at 3:06pm
post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

Ken, I have only been out west once but I can tell you that you are missing something big.  The snow is different, since most of it falls from the sky.  The terrain is very very different.  The whole experience is different.  For getting better technically at skiing on hard snow, where you and I ski is as good as anywhere.  Or even better, because what doesn't kill you makes you stronger... or so they say.

 

But for learning to ski off piste bowls and glades, for skiing soft bumps, for experiencing OMG moments, Summit county (my only trip so far) trumps anything I've encountered here in New England, and that includes Tuckerman Ravine.  I love New England, and here I'll stay for the duration, but New Englanders need some ski trips out west every now and then to appreciate how our special situation fits into the broad spectrum of skiing in general.  

 

I'm sure on the "event experience" I am missing something but the thread is about conditioning the body for big places at little places.  I don't disagree about the technique changes you might have to make either.

 

I'm happy at home.  Maybe some day I'll do a ski vacation out west but there is so much here just in NH I have experienced yet.  Remember I've only been skiing a few years.  I still get to experience new things around here.

post #19 of 31

Yeah, I know.  Want to go up Tuckerman with me in the spring?  Have you done that yet?

post #20 of 31
^^^ Way I read this, the NE gathering is going top be a stepping stone for him on the way to France, by way of Wyoming. smile.gif
post #21 of 31

qcanoe, you want to go too?  We can have a Tuckerman group in May.

post #22 of 31

Yes. Never done that. Need a kick in the pants and a mentor.

post #23 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

Yeah, I know.  Want to go up Tuckerman with me in the spring?  Have you done that yet?

 

Yes "but" I'm not sure I can stayed married and do that.  That's where I lost my first ACL. It is also what motivated me to learn how to ski.  I went up in 2008 thinking I was a pretty good skier (stemmed turns, used upper body rotation, way in the back seat and boots were "On SALE" and three sizes bigger than current boots).  Though I got hurt, it was one of my favorite skiing experiences. 

 

Maybe I'll skin up, hang out in the bowl and do the Sherburne trail for the way down.  I've been thinking about going back.  It was such a great experience (other than getting hurt that is).

post #24 of 31

In May!  We can do it.

post #25 of 31

Tomkat

 

I grew up in Ohio a short distance from a few ski areas with around 250 vft.  We always had a blast and found ways to make it fun...i.e. more challenging.  Ski the hell out of those 250ft!   Any conditions, that crappy re-frozen man made stuff on the sides of the trail, join the race club, ski the moguls over and over and over and over.   We eventually just took off one ski and skied whole days like that to make it harder!  Now i see the local race teams doing drills on one ski and i realize that we were learning balance, edging and developing some core strength back in the old days.  

 

so, yes, skiing the local hill will help prepare for the big trips if you use it like a gym...vary what you do, do "sets" of different movements and drills, work to master all conditions.  Just don't go on perfect days and make the same ol' radius turns at the same ol' speed and expect the learning curve to keep bending up (that's why they call it the "intermediate plateau"!)

post #26 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

Ken, I have only been out west once but I can tell you that you are missing something big.  The snow is different, since most of it falls from the sky.  The terrain is very very different.  The whole experience is different.  For getting better technically at skiing on hard snow, where you and I ski is as good as anywhere.  Or even better, because what doesn't kill you makes you stronger... or so they say.

 

But for learning to ski off piste bowls and glades, for skiing soft bumps, for experiencing OMG moments, Summit county (my only trip so far) trumps anything I've encountered here in New England, and that includes Tuckerman Ravine.  I love New England, and here I'll stay for the duration, but New Englanders need some ski trips out west every now and then to appreciate how our special situation fits into the broad spectrum of skiing in general.  

 

 

here is what I do not get. You can not ski the hardest line in tuckermen's ravine(do not worry I can not ski the hardest lines in tuckermen's ravine either), so how does western terrain which the stuff inbounds in summit county is nowhere near as gnarly as the gnarly lines in tuckermen's ravine.

 

tuckermen is steep and people think it unique but the only real unique thing about the white is true above tree line skiing. You can get IMO better skiing mid winter in bunch of place in the northern greens for less effort that it take to ski tucks.

 

also if you going to summit country to experince better snow I seriously think you have it wrong. LCC,  certain areas in Lake tahoe, jackson, steamboat and the PNW should be call. You would have been chance of powder day Stowe/smuggs then you would at Keystone, or copper.

post #27 of 31

because whenever someone commits the slightest 'slight' the east, you can find Josh's defense of his home turf answer like clockwork in any post. One word for you J, LaGrave. :)

post #28 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post
 

because whenever someone commits the slightest 'slight' the east, you can find Josh's defense of his home turf answer like clockwork in any post. One word for you J, LaGrave. :)

 

 

 

 

I never complain about terrain, my guess is most people who complain about terrain are actually either unskilled or uncreative.  I also just really like flowly fun skiing that is pretty unrisky, i have no intention of going to La Grave and if I did, I could honestly do stuff here that is like mini la grave, but I do not because really I am jsut looking for soft snow in the woods with fun transition to hit.

 

https://vimeo.com/78836845 like I said LF is not skiing the hardest line in the bowl at tuckermen's so why should the terrain out west thats even harder be mentioned....

 

mark you seem to forget there is a 1500 vertical foot cliff in the notch that people actually ski though.

 

http://www.famousinternetskiers.com/trip-reports/10-11/the-other-winter-carnival-part-i-unconvential-terrain/2/

 

if I wanted La Grave style skiing it here, but I actually do not want that.  I have skied some line that rarely skied or never skied at all, and its cool to do but honestly I would take 12 inches of pow in moderately steep glade any day over you fall you die stuff, which we have a plenty here.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6ncD74IzD4 at 2:43 I am in chute that was skied by one other person the entire year. its actually a hanging snow field that go off to skier right at an angle nearly as fast it falls down the "fallline" to the right is cliff /steep hill that I am certain would kill.  honestly an entirely unenjoyable experince, I probably will never go back there.  the stowe locals can tell you just how hard those 4 turns would be for anyone in that spot on the mountain.

post #29 of 31

Josh, lighten up. Tuckerman's should be on any skier's to-do list. Even better if it's a 'honey do'. :)  I'm with you. Give me a long expanse of steep powder without death zone exposure, and I'm VERY happy. If it's above the tree line, even better... I like the view.

post #30 of 31

My point was that even on groomers the skiing is different in Summit county than it is in New England most of the time.  The snow is different.

If you want the hardest things to ski, yes, you can find difficult lines here.  

Most people are not searching for the hardest skiing, however.  

Most people, but maybe not you Josh, will enjoy going somewhere where the groomer snow is not subjugated to freeze-thaw all winter long, and where there is not a lot of man-made on the trails.

They will appreciate lift-served bowls (the climb up Tucks is the issue for many who are not graced with youth) and long bump runs of various pitches all over the mountain.   

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