Who has some great strategies and techniques for handling very low visibility conditions? Is there a good way to cope with this and still ski effectively, other than sticking to the trees?
Last weekend, I was in a wide open bowl with no trees in sight. It had been snowing heavily all day, and I refused to leave my power wonderland because of something silly like visibility. Suddenly a heavy cloud bank rolled in as well. Complete disorientation...no horizon...swimming in milk. At one point, and I actually stopped to get my bearings, and suddenly fell over out of nowhere: I'd started sliding backwards in the powder and didn't feel or sense the movement until I slid into a bump.
This is by no means the first time this kind of thing happened to me, but it was the most dramatic, and it was the first time I gave some real thought on how to do it better.
It was actually kind of fun in a perverse way...skiing essentially by feel. It adds an entirely new dimension to how you experience the feel and sound of skiing, because that's all you have, and it becomes extra important to be 100% aware of your balance and positioning over your skis in preparation for unexpected terrain changes (since they are all unexpected).
This doesn't happen particularly often in CO, so I suspect we can learn something from our PNW and NE brethren who run into heavy fog more often!