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Quality Vs Variety & Carvers Vs Skidders

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

When skiing, do you prefer quality or variety? I ski almost every day with people who also ski almost everyday. Some of us, like me, would rather ski the same run all day if it has the best snow. If I find a perfect run for the skis I'm on, I see no need to change. With the right skis on the right snow on the right run, I can be all that I can be. When I find that, I don't want to leave.

 

Others love scenic variety and would rather never ski the same run twice. They are willing to risk skiing bad snow to find slightly better snow or just for the challenge of skiing bad snow. Normally this isn't much of a problem with one exception. Some times skidders don't understand why carvers don't want to leave a run with perfect conditions.

 

Examples:

 

*Lets leave this good carvy edgey snow and go to a run that is too steep for carving but not steep enough to be interesting. 

 

*Lets leave this great winter snow and go to the sunny side where there might be some adequate Spring snow.

 

Apparently I have an issue with skidders who don't realize how fun carving is and don't understand why I don't want more variety.

 

Have you been on either side of this issue?  

post #2 of 21

Variety is the spice of life

post #3 of 21

On a good day I can find enough runs with good snow to not ski the same run twice--but then I've skied them all dozens if not hundreds or even thousands of times where I usually ski. On a powder day if i can find a run that's particularly good and where I can keep making new tracks I'll do a half dozen laps before moving on. Those days are becoming increasingly rare. On a bad day I ski what's worth skiing--at least 10 runs--and go home. More if I'm skiing with friends. 

 

Carving is only one kind of skiing. Carving groomers, skiing bumps, skiing powder, skiing heavy snow, skiing ice, and skiing steeps all require different techniques. They are all fun, all challenging, and none is more "proper" skiing than any other. Part of the skill of skiing is matching the technique to the conditions, often changing from turn to turn.

 

If you're happy skiing the same run with the same technique all day I won't try to convince you to do otherwise, but you're not being all the you can be, particularly around Tahoe. 

 

I do try to ski winter snow as much as possible and postpone spring skiing until spring; that's been challenging the last 5 years.

post #4 of 21

I'll double down, but no triple plays!

 

Carving is wonderful, but so are moguls, crud busting, and tricky steeps (I will not denigrate these options by referring to them as skidding -- they are so much more than that).

post #5 of 21

I like to mix it up now.

 

Years ago, I used to just stick to a couple of runs where I cold access the most speed, unless I was skiing with folks who could not handle those runs.

 

A couple of factors helped that development along: being restricted most of the time where speeds achievable bombing the hill were not exciting, deciding to learn how to properly ski moguls about ten years ago (instead of just carving through them like a run-away train), joining ski patrol and needing to patrol all the runs and therefore being exposed to finding ways to enjoy beginner runs (drills, challenge self to tighter cleaner carved turn, notice the scenery etc.).

post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by dtraub1 View Post
 

 

 

Others love scenic variety and would rather never ski the same run twice. They are willing to risk skiing bad snow to find slightly better snow or just for the challenge of skiing bad snow. Normally this isn't much of a problem with one exception. Some times skidders don't understand why carvers don't want to leave a run with perfect conditions.

 

 

Sometimes people can skid, carve, slarve, pivot, stivot, steer, smear and everything in between, and don't want to be stuck doing the same turn over and over. 

 

Variety. Even if I ski the same run twice, I don't ski it the same way twice. 

post #7 of 21

I am always searching for the best snow on the hill.  WIll spend some runs looking for it.  Will ski the same run a few times but not over and over again...  Not an obsessive carver or technique guy.

post #8 of 21

If I find one run that's got much better conditions than everything else, I'll do it over and over. But those cases are rare. Most of the time I go for the variety.

post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by dtraub1 View Post

 

Have you been on either side of this issue?  

 

I've never skied with a chronic carver.

post #10 of 21

Heck,

 

I don't even like to make the same type of turn more than twice in a row.

 

Those "carvers" that are doing the "then right, then left, lather and repeat" just appears so monotonous! (And is for me)  Carving does tend to carry speed however.  Somewhat of a two edged sword in "variable"  situations.

post #11 of 21

I do have to plead guilty to wandering all over a chute looking for the best snow instead of just skiing the fall line, which I'm perfectly capable of doing.

post #12 of 21

post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abox View Post
 

 

I've never skied with a chronic carver.

Lucky you.

post #14 of 21

I'm all about the quality. 

I skied Rayburns DD gated terrain, five times in a row each Friday, Saturday and Sunday this weekend. 

Because that's what was soft a 10am.

post #15 of 21
Fortunately, not at a hill that requires a choice. Had some time Tuesday to free ski. Found some lovely medium angle soft crud, some steep soft crud, some challenging crunk (lightly sun baked crust under some soupy stuff), some nice groomers for an arc party, something steep and icy, a steep, narrow technical'ish chute, a steep open bowl of lovely cut up soft, and even some fun little bumps off to the side of a couple things. The only things that was 'one and done' where some hard, large bumps that lacked any rhythm. Some days are better for off piste. Others for groomer laps, but most serve up a variety. Often where I go depends on who I'm skiing with.
post #16 of 21

I'm definitely on the opposite side of the debate from the OP (I'm strongly on the "variety" side).  I will carve a handful of runs every time out, but generally never the same run twice (that doesn't mean I won't ski it twice, but I generally won't carve it twice).  

 

I view carving groomed runs vs "skidding" (which is really "everything else") as kind of like NASCAR vs Rally racing.  Certainly, a ton of people love NASCAR, but I view it as a bunch of nearly identical cars going in a boring circle constantly turning left.  Yes, there's technique to passing, and yes, there's strategy as to when to pit, just as there's technique in carving and strategy in tuning skis.  

 

But to me, it absolutely pales compared to jumping across a dry creek bed on a dirt bike, drifting through a crowd of people (hopefully without hitting anyone) in a rally car, and picking your way across boulders in a jeep.  The skiing equivalents to those (to me) are a lot more interesting, more fun, and 1000x harder than carving.

 

I'm going to apologize in advance here for being a little condescending to carvers.  I ski with a number of ex college racers, who are excellent carvers, but really can't do much beyond that.  I have yet to find an expert big mountain or bump skier who cannot also carve very well.  Sure, if you were to put them on a course, they might not be able to run gates quite as well, but on a normal run, carvers aren't generally skiing at max speed, and the difference to the bottom (assuming a carving specialist and big mountain skier who is carving) might be a couple of seconds.  Put them in a mogul field, tight trees, a steep chute, etc, and the difference is going to be incredibly dramatic (ie. minutes).  Kind of like trying to offroad in a Porsche GT3.  

 

Carving, to me, should be one piece of an expert skier's toolkit.  There are certainly skiers who, due to health reasons, really can't do more than carve.  But if you're able, I think the way to progress as a skier is not to carve the same groomed run over and over again (no matter how exquisite the snow), but to move around the mountain, and practice skiing all kinds of terrain, techniques, and conditions.  


On the flip side, skiing should be fun, and is all about the zen between you and the mountain.  If that exists carving corduroy, more power to you.

post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reisen View Post
 

I have yet to find an expert big mountain or bump skier who cannot also carve very well.

Generally true, but I definitely ski with two amazing guys in particular that just destroy the off-piste, but couldn't carve their way out of a paper bag -- and couldn't care less.  If the snow isn't soft, and at least sort of new, they aren't that interested.

 

What I don't understand is people's need to diminish the segments of the sport they don't prefer.  Heck, I have NO interest in running gates any more, but I think it's great when I see a group of masters guys out there padded up, seeing how close they can get their hips to the snow!

post #18 of 21

There is a saying that we use when fishing......."Never leave fish to find fish".  So you know my position on this subject :)  

 

Now, if it is good everywhere, well that is a different story.  

 

Pete

post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reisen View Post

I'm definitely on the opposite side of the debate from the OP (I'm strongly on the "variety" side).  I will carve a handful of runs every time out, but generally never the same run twice (that doesn't mean I won't ski it twice, but I generally won't carve it twice).  

I view carving groomed runs vs "skidding" (which is really "everything else") as kind of like NASCAR vs Rally racing.  Certainly, a ton of people love NASCAR, but I view it as a bunch of nearly identical cars going in a boring circle constantly turning left.  Yes, there's technique to passing, and yes, there's strategy as to when to pit, just as there's technique in carving and strategy in tuning skis.  

But to me, it absolutely pales compared to jumping across a dry creek bed on a dirt bike, drifting through a crowd of people (hopefully without hitting anyone) in a rally car, and picking your way across boulders in a jeep.  The skiing equivalents to those (to me) are a lot more interesting, more fun, and 1000x harder than carving.

I'm going to apologize in advance here for being a little condescending to carvers.  I ski with a number of ex college racers, who are excellent carvers, but really can't do much beyond that.  I have yet to find an expert big mountain or bump skier who cannot also carve very well.  Sure, if you were to put them on a course, they might not be able to run gates quite as well, but on a normal run, carvers aren't generally skiing at max speed, and the difference to the bottom (assuming a carving specialist and big mountain skier who is carving) might be a couple of seconds.  Put them in a mogul field, tight trees, a steep chute, etc, and the difference is going to be incredibly dramatic (ie. minutes).  Kind of like trying to offroad in a Porsche GT3.  

Carving, to me, should be one piece of an expert skier's toolkit.  There are certainly skiers who, due to health reasons, really can't do more than carve.  But if you're able, I think the way to progress as a skier is not to carve the same groomed run over and over again (no matter how exquisite the snow), but to move around the mountain, and practice skiing all kinds of terrain, techniques, and conditions.  


On the flip side, skiing should be fun, and is all about the zen between you and the mountain.  If that exists carving corduroy, more power to you.

It's not really worth arguing about but I have never encountered a high level racer who couldn't ski the crap out of anything. Moreover, the majority of pro big mountain skiers have strong racing backgrounds for the simple reason that, as a youngster, that is where the decent training is to be found. You don't think they learned this stuff from the average resort instructor do you?
post #20 of 21

I'm with the OP, assuming it's my home mountain on a powder/semi-powder day - I'll just lap the same lift all day and not feel compelled to wander around the mountain. If it's a groomer day, spring slush, etc., I move around a bit more. Also move around more if I'm visiting another resort, although if I find something really good, I'll keep lapping it. If it ain't broke ..

post #21 of 21

I'm somewhere in between. If a run is good, I'll lap it a few times. But I would typically ski a different line on run #3 or 4. I almost never ski the same LINE more than twice. So, if a run has many different lines, or a lot of twist and turns, I would ski it quite a few times. But if it's just one wide avenue with no feature, I don't do it more than twice. 

 

It's not so much I'm bored. I just KNOW there must be other runs having as good condition. In a typical mountain, you'll always find other runs of similar aspect, similar grooming condition. So they all ski similarly. Is it worth moving around? Yes, because the next run over maybe about the same, or not quite as good, or slightly better. There's almost no risk of finding something crappy if you know how the runs are laid out and groomed. Unless, of course, you're looking for something DIFFERENT for the sake of it that is.

 

It's all very personal. Some people drink the same beer the whole evening. Others try different ones. Granted, if a beer is good, most people would order at least ONE refill.   

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