You probably wouldn't call yourself an intermediate skier, right?
Nerves play a huge role in fatigue. Highlands Bowl has a lot to make a first time skier nervous, even a capable skier. It is huge, it is steep, you stare at it the whole way up, and that ascent has stuff like a steep bootpack over a knife ridge.
You get to the top, you start your descent nervous with the muscles a bit rigid, maybe a little backseat, and by 1/3 down your quads are screaming. By the Temerity chair, they are toast.
It happened to me, and I consider myself both a confident and decent skier, one that is also acclimated and routinely hits up hiking terrain.
Without the mental aspect, multiple laps in a day are definitely workable, but for that first time, ESPECIALLY for somebody that isn't an expert skier, I would caution them to be in the mindset that 1 lap of Highlands may wipe them out for the day.
I agree with all that, and I can see now that my earlier posts had too much of a cheerleader tone. For me, Highland Bowl is all about the skiing, not the hike, but anxiety and altitude can be a serious consideration for a lot of skiers, and it's not for intermediates in any case. What Bob Barnes wrote is all that needs to be said. I actually did all the things he recommends. The first time I skied it was the second day of an extreme terrain clinic for Aspen instructors. Except for the kick turn thing. I haven't been able to do those since I was 25 years old.
Edited by Bode Klammer - 1/4/15 at 9:14am