It's been over 10 years since I've been on the slopes. And back then it was on a snowboard and only for a couple of seasons (including a five month stretch of bumming it full time ). Now I'm back, on skis.
After a few days getting the basics down and feeling confident at stopping and maneuvering quickly, I really wanted to start carving. For some reason I hate the feeling of skid turns. Just feels all wrong. I hated it snowboarding and it feels even worse on skis.
Well, carving wasn't as intuitive as I thought it was going to be. It's not really a simple matter of charging harder and leaning over more. Had my wife video me and I realized my body position was all wrong. I was really bumed to say the least.
After watching and reading everything I could get my hands on, I spent my next day on the slopes learning to edge my bonafides. There were a few high speed crashes where my COG was going one way and the skis another, but by the end of the day, I was railing it top to bottom.
I went back yesterday and the snow was harder and faster, but softened up nicely as the day progressed. Each run I worked up a little more speed and lean. Enough to drag my mitten in the snow, at least on the right hand turns, at about 20mph.
The light was flat all morning, but by late afternoon the sun came out. It was time to see just how far I could lay it over (now that I could see where I was going). The run featured a nice extended steep section with a fairly flat run out. I was hitting 38mph at the bottom and laying it over as hard as I could into a 90 deg right hander. Bottomed my hip in the snow attempting to tighten the turn even more, putting me in the back seat as I lost my edge... heading straight back up hill. What a ****ing rush. No way would my old snowboard (ride timeless) hold an edge like that on a groomer. I kept at it for a few more runs, finding the right balance without bottoming out on the snow.
Not bad for day eight on skis! I love corning and it's been my passion on two and four wheels for the last 15 years or so. Laying it over never gets old.
Over dinner last night, I was asking my daughter about her ski lesson. She said she was riding the lift up and the instructor was telling her to pick out the good skiers and watch how they ski...
"See that guy in the yellow jacket? Watch how he turns."
"Hey, that's my dad!"
Anyway, I hope this long winded post doesn't come across as an ego fest. Days like this only come so often. It's hard to put the feeling into words.
I think on Sunday I became an ex-snowboarder. Skis just do so much better in typical on piste conditions.