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Getting back on the slopes after years off [going to ski in Europe]

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I need to know what I'm about to deal with after years off the slopes.  I'll try to be semi-succinct, if possible...

 

* Learned to ski when I was 5-6 in Italy.  Move to the states when I was 7 and then didn't ski again until I was 15 on a trip to Italy

* After that trip at 15, I started going skiing more frequently but typically only a week a year

* Despite limited time on the slopes, I advanced to the point where in college I would take on the occasional double-diamond and can tick off Pallavicini at A-Basin.  To this day, A-Basin is still my favorite U.S. resort.  I used to have a blast on the blacks off of lift 6 at Breckenridge and some of the

* Starting in about 1999, I started going less frequently... went to Heavenly, Squaw, A-Basin, Winter Park a few times and would take on blacks.  Not sure if my guts are there for double diamonds. 

* Last ski trip was in 2006 to Park City and The Canyons.  Still felt fine on blacks and can still remember one of my more aggressive mogul runs in years at the Canyons.  Felt really good!

 

BUT, that was my last ski trip.  We're going to Courmayeur (and hopefully will go to Verbier and Chamonix) soon.  The Valee Blanche is definitely on my list.  I am in better shape today than I was in 2006 which will help me from a stamina perspective, thanfully.  How long will it take to get my ski legs back.  Should I take a couple of hours of private instruction to get jump started?  My skiing style tends to be more aggressive and I love to have fun on the slopes - I enjoy turning more than just pointing my skis down the fall line.  I think the last time I skied, I was using something like 177s?  Not sure.  Back when skis were longer, I was on 190s.  I am 5' 8".

 

Ok... so, now what?

 

Mod note: moved to Ski Gear

post #2 of 11
Thread Starter 

For reference, skiing in 2006.  This was one of those "let me take a picture of you skiing people" at Park City 

 

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

 

Last pic.  This shows the type of skis I was using and no way those are 177 if I am 5' 8"

post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by ItaloSkier View Post
 

I need to know what I'm about to deal with after years off the slopes.  I'll try to be semi-succinct, if possible...

 

* Learned to ski when I was 5-6 in Italy.  Move to the states when I was 7 and then didn't ski again until I was 15 on a trip to Italy

* After that trip at 15, I started going skiing more frequently but typically only a week a year

* Despite limited time on the slopes, I advanced to the point where in college I would take on the occasional double-diamond and can tick off Pallavicini at A-Basin.  To this day, A-Basin is still my favorite U.S. resort.  I used to have a blast on the blacks off of lift 6 at Breckenridge and some of the

* Starting in about 1999, I started going less frequently... went to Heavenly, Squaw, A-Basin, Winter Park a few times and would take on blacks.  Not sure if my guts are there for double diamonds. 

* Last ski trip was in 2006 to Park City and The Canyons.  Still felt fine on blacks and can still remember one of my more aggressive mogul runs in years at the Canyons.  Felt really good!

 

BUT, that was my last ski trip.  We're going to Courmayeur (and hopefully will go to Verbier and Chamonix) soon.  The Valee Blanche is definitely on my list.  I am in better shape today than I was in 2006 which will help me from a stamina perspective, thanfully.  How long will it take to get my ski legs back.  Should I take a couple of hours of private instruction to get jump started?  My skiing style tends to be more aggressive and I love to have fun on the slopes - I enjoy turning more than just pointing my skis down the fall line.  I think the last time I skied, I was using something like 177s?  Not sure.  Back when skis were longer, I was on 190s.  I am 5' 8".

 

Ok... so, now what?


Welcome to EpicSki!  Are you living in the U.S. or Europe?  Planning to rent during the trip or buy before you leave?

 

Can't provide any advice about ski (I'm a petite older woman) but as for taking a lesson . . . definitely a good idea.  Have talked a few friends who were advanced skiers as teens decades ago into having a lesson to find out how to adjust to current ski length and design.  Even one 2-hr lesson (semi-private with 1-2 other friends) makes a huge difference in making the transition easier.

post #5 of 11

Welcome to EpicSki.  I agree about taking a lesson, a lot has changed in skis in the past 10 years.  You don't mention what you are doing about gear, but if you are planning to purchase gear, buy boots first.  If you are planning to rent, I suggest you buy your own boots because rental boots are always awful.  Only buy boots from a competent boot fitter, not just some random person who work in a ski shop or sporting goods store.  Head over to the "Ask the Boot Guys" forum and read the wikis about terminology and fitting so you have some idea of what a shop should do to fit you properly.  Then check the "Who's Who" to see if there is a fitter near you.  If there is, call and make an appointment.  If there isn't one, ask here and someone will likely be able to recommend a good fitter.  There is also a facebook group, World;s Best Bootfitters that has quite a few members in Europe if you need someone there.

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

My question was less about gear and more about what I should do to get me back on track once I arrive so I'm not sure why this got moved but, ok.  Anyway, we're flying from overseas and given that I am the only passionate one about skiing in the house, I don't know that I'm going to buy boots right now or carry them with me with kids in tow.  I will rent my gear.  I may go ahead and rent higher quality boots but, again, my question wasn't so much about gear.

 

So, I contacted the ski school about a lesson.  I figure I can take a 2 hour clinic with an instructor, do a couple of runs to see where I stand and then see what I need to work on.  If things look good, maybe I can get the instructor to take me off piste.  That would be ideal.

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by ItaloSkier View Post

My question was less about gear and more about what I should do to get me back on track once I arrive so I'm not sure why this got moved but, ok.  
I don't know where your originally posted, but a moderator probably saw your questions about ski length after the standard info people usually put down when asking about gear, and assumed that was your main issue. A lot of us tend to be a wee bit gear obsessed, and a lot of questions from returning skiers start with gear rather than technique, so it probably seemed like a reasonable assumptions. Anyhow, a lot of us browse the forums using the "new posts" function, so your thread will still be seen. IMO it could be moved somewhere else, but I'm no moderator, and like I said, you'll get plenty of info.
Quote:
So, I contacted the ski school about a lesson.  I figure I can take a 2 hour clinic with an instructor, do a couple of runs to see where I stand and then see what I need to work on.  If things look good, maybe I can get the instructor to take me off piste.  That would be ideal.
Welcome to epicski!

Good on you for setting up the lesson; it should help re-orient you to sliding around on snow. Chances are your instructor will leave you with drills or specific things to work on. If you like him/her you might consider scheduling a followup lesson a few days later, after you've got more time on the snow and have a better idea of what you think you want to work on.

As for how long it'll take to get comfortable, it depends on your current fitness and how much skiing you do. Obviously you shouldn't start by straightlining the longest hairiest run on the mountain; take it easy the first day, enjoy the process of getting a feel for the skis and snow, and work your way up to safely skiing the way you want to.

How long is your trip?
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by ItaloSkier View Post
 

My question was less about gear and more about what I should do to get me back on track once I arrive so I'm not sure why this got moved but, ok.  Anyway, we're flying from overseas and given that I am the only passionate one about skiing in the house, I don't know that I'm going to buy boots right now or carry them with me with kids in tow.  I will rent my gear.  I may go ahead and rent higher quality boots but, again, my question wasn't so much about gear.

 

So, I contacted the ski school about a lesson.  I figure I can take a 2 hour clinic with an instructor, do a couple of runs to see where I stand and then see what I need to work on.  If things look good, maybe I can get the instructor to take me off piste.  That would be ideal.


Sorry, was reading to fast and too late.  Moved back to the original location.

 

I've found it useful to have two lessons during a ski week at a big mountain.  For me, it works well to do the first on Day 2 and then again on Day 4 or later.

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

Admittedly ski lengths have changed a lot since I first started skiing and we would all try to figure out how we could get longer and longer.  When I was in my prime, I liked bumps, turning as much as possible, finding jumps, etc. so the concept of long, skinny skis is not as appealing as it used to be.

 

How much skiing I do is the problem - it's been 9 years.  On the bright side, I'm stronger and in better shape than I was 9 years ago.  I'm 43 but the last time I skied, I had just started getting back into shape so I am essentially fitter today at 43 then when I was 21 years old.  I know that will pay dividends.   Just need the muscle memory to kick in on the slopes.  

 

I like the idea of considering a second day of lessons - maybe it will be a guide to go hit some different places as a way to learn.  Time will tell. 

 

Thanks, everyone! 

post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by ItaloSkier View Post
 

Admittedly ski lengths have changed a lot since I first started skiing and we would all try to figure out how we could get longer and longer.  When I was in my prime, I liked bumps, turning as much as possible, finding jumps, etc. so the concept of long, skinny skis is not as appealing as it used to be.

 

How much skiing I do is the problem - it's been 9 years.  On the bright side, I'm stronger and in better shape than I was 9 years ago.  I'm 43 but the last time I skied, I had just started getting back into shape so I am essentially fitter today at 43 then when I was 21 years old.  I know that will pay dividends.   Just need the muscle memory to kick in on the slopes.  

 

I like the idea of considering a second day of lessons - maybe it will be a guide to go hit some different places as a way to learn.  Time will tell. 

 

Thanks, everyone! 


Italo Skier,

 

Like yourself, I was a away from the sport for a good number of years and only started to get back to it on regular bases this season. Not sure about the equipment you were using in the past, but the new equipment makes things a lot easier, you just have to change your technique to optimize their use. If you can afford it, by all means lessons are fun and should help. I found a ton information here and on you tube, selected pieces that I need to work on and spent the first few days just practicing fundamentals. Happy to report things have clicked!

 

Have fun!

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

There's no doubt the new equipment makes a big difference.  I remember the last time how the skis really felt like they popped.

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