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Mass Skiers: Run for the Hills!?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
To all Massachusetts (and RI) members:

Do you do any "apres work" night skiing at the local hills (Blue Hills, Nashoba, etc.) to work on technique? If so, do you find the exercise valuable?

I know Kevin races at Nashoba, but I am really looking to find out if anyone finds value in repeatedly carving out 6 or so turns on 300 foot runs.

I think I am going to give it a shot this season, even if for no other reason than to practice pivot slips and see how far on edge I can get my skis without falling over. But I would love to hear from others on this topic.
post #2 of 26
I've been almost a strictly night instructor at Nashoba for years, and this year will be on snow skiing and teaching 4 nights a week minimum. To answer your question, yes, there is value in working on new skills even on small hills (especially when they are not crowded - mid week nights are usually pretty quite, Sun night - Thurs night).

One key advantage I've found with working on smaller hills is you can work on more physically strenuous tasks without worrying about tiring out by the bottom (or getting lazy), plus with the greater recovery:work ratio your legs (and body depending on what you are working on) can last longer.
post #3 of 26
Hi Joe, I live 15 minutes from Wa Wa Chusett and have a pass there. If you wanted to meet there for some training, I'd do it.

Steve
post #4 of 26
As a guy that grew up skiing at a smallish 1000 vert hill, I think there is huge value in skiing a 300 footer. Get in some gates, or get some good slalom skis and see how many turns you can make. Great workout.

Alternatively, hit the terrain park up. That will teach you some new tricks and you can have fun doing it. Some of the sickest jibbers are coming out of tiny areas.
-Garrett
post #5 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz
Hi Joe, I live 15 minutes from Wa Wa Chusett and have a pass there. If you wanted to meet there for some training, I'd do it.

Steve
I live 20 minutes from there and also have a night pass...let me know

Laurie
post #6 of 26
I patrol a 700 foot plus hill every Monday evening, you'd be surprised what you can do to occupy your time on a small hill. I used to do a Saturday night as well and that was even more fun because we could challenge each other for that first fall that guaranteed a pitcher of beer when the night was done. Can't do that on a week night tho.

Seriously, someone mentioned runs that get as meny turns in as possible---count them---keep challenging yourself. All sorts of drill are out there. One ski stuff can be fun, ski switch too.

I usually don't get tired of the terrain until March most years, earlier if the snow has been bad, never when the snow is great.

Don't discount a short hill ever. It is only as "Bad" as you let it be. It can be a very valuable tool for gaining mileage.
post #7 of 26
I concur.
post #8 of 26
Route 2 sucks though
post #9 of 26
Not for me it doesn't and I commute on it every day.

Coming down 93 on a Sunday after skiing is worse!
post #10 of 26
Taking Route 2 from Boston which is where Roto and I live is painful on a weekday night.

Going from Storrow Drive to Fresh Pond to Route 2 can take a little while even an hour or two after rush hour.
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
I am personally thinking blue hills. It's closest to me. Wachusett is a bit of a hike, like Scalce said. Scalce, do you ever go to bluehills after work?
post #12 of 26
No but I should since it's like 5 minutes away.

I heard something the other day that Blue Hills is the closest ski area to a major city in the whole US.

I wouldn't really call it a "ski" area but more like a sledding hill.

post #13 of 26
Yeah, I heard the same fact, Blue Hills being the closest ski are to a major city, the other day as well (on a local ski show put together with WNDS, NH, and the Egan brothers - and it looked like Ski Market has a big amount of input into the show as well).
post #14 of 26
As skiingman said, some of the sickest jibbers do come out of the smaller hills.
This year a handful of the smaller mountains (blue hills and a few others) will be hosting slopestyle comps open for skiers and boarders. This comp series is with the USASA and will offer one talented jibber a spot to the nationals in CO and possibly to the x-games. If anyone is interested you can get details at http://www.huckzone.com/compseries.php
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manus
and it looked like Ski Market has a big amount of input into the show as well
I would say that is an understatement.

It was called "Must Ski TV" but was more like "Must Buy From SKi Market"

It was lame because there was only like 3 minutes of any good NE resort info.
post #16 of 26
I love my commute, wake up, 10 minutes to work, after work, 5 minutes to Nashoba, and then after skiing 10 minutes back home.

But for Must Ski TV (thanks I couldn't remember the name), I definately understated Ski Markets commitment to the show, but my biggest gripe is the recycling of old footage. Granted the Egan's are great skiers, but I don't want to watch a new TV show about skiing and have them cut to 10+ year old footage of skiing on 200cm + conventional skis.

The funniest though was being in the Nashua Ski Market rummaging around in the boots as they were trying to tape. Needless to say, no sales person offered any assistance that day and I got quite a few looks because I didn't care that they were shotting, I just kept looking at the boots and checking out the attached documentation. - Good Times.
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manus
I love my commute, wake up, 10 minutes to work, after work, 5 minutes to Nashoba, and then after skiing 10 minutes back home.
Yeah, but I love my fiance, my house in the country and owning my own business so I can ski 50 days a year. Makes the long commute acceptable to me.
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz
Yeah, but I love my fiance, my house in the country and owning my own business so I can ski 50 days a year. Makes the long commute acceptable to me.
well if you put it that way. I just think it'll be comical when I put my SKI MORE, WORK LESS sticker on my truck and park it in my companies parking lot.
post #19 of 26
One thing I can say after instructing as WaWa for the list six or seven years is that skiing a few hours twice a week does a heck of a lot more to improve your skiing than skiing 16 hours on a weekend (to try to get your $65-75/day worth) several times a season. Frequency is more important than volume, especially as you are not skiing til you are very tired and therefore not pushing inefficient movement patterns into muscle memory.

As far as getting from Boston to WaWa on Tuesday nights, I work a few extra hours here and there during the year and then screw outa at 2:00PM. Much later than that and it would be pointless to even make the drive. It's really only eight or nine weeks a year and I've gotten away with it so far. I more than make up for it with deligent work the rest of the year.
post #20 of 26
Does Wachusett even have any bump runs?
post #21 of 26
don't know about currently, but typically they have a few with some decent bumps
post #22 of 26
No bumps as of today, but that will likely change. Wachusett can be a little harsh to get to from in Boston on a weeknight, but getting on ski's with regularity is key.

I used to patrol at Blue Hills (still do on a secondary basis). Little places give you plenty of room to work on technique, but you need to do that, work, to get something out of it. Gates, or drills, or the park, if that's your style. Ski on one ski and alternate feet each run. Whatever works for you.
post #23 of 26

Bumps at Wa

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scalce
Does Wachusett even have any bump runs?
Wachusett grooms in bumps on one section of 10th Mtn trail once there's enough snow. It's only a few hundred feet of vertical but it's enough to get a little practice in. It's a black trail but not really that steep. Without the bumps, it would be a blue trail up north.

Condition on the bumps can vary. If they get skied a lot, go through a few freeze/thaw cycles, and they haven't made snow in a while, each bump islike sliding down a sheet of ice into a jersey barrier with each bump.

They also groom in a couple hundred feet of bumps on Hitchcock, which is an easy blue trail by any standard. Still, it's a fun little section to work on technique. If you want something to try to zipper line where you won't go ballistic, it can be a nice set if it hasn't gotten too slammed out.

If you want, I can post a report when they are groomed in.

Ken from Wa
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manus
I've been almost a strictly night instructor at Nashoba for years, and this year will be on snow skiing and teaching 4 nights a week minimum. To answer your question, yes, there is value in working on new skills even on small hills (especially when they are not crowded - mid week nights are usually pretty quite, Sun night - Thurs night).

One key advantage I've found with working on smaller hills is you can work on more physically strenuous tasks without worrying about tiring out by the bottom (or getting lazy), plus with the greater recovery:work ratio your legs (and body depending on what you are working on) can last longer.
Look at what training on a small hill did for Ingemar Stenmark! And since it was near the arctic circle he learned a lot about "feel' skiing in the dark.

Small hill training is good to develop skills. You have too much fun on a big mountain to work on skill development. Maybe that is a rationalization from someone who lives in a part of the country where the trash hills offer the biggest terrain relief but I think there is some truth in it. Lots of great skiers started out on small hills in the midwest or east.
post #25 of 26
Experience kills, i was in the austrian OSV program and because I started when I was 4 vs. 3, even though I skied even in summers, I would never catch up to the experience (or so the theory went).

So if you lose a year skiing b/c you can't get up north, the little hills can be a goldmine like others said.

That said you do reach a point (if you're not terrain parks since it doesn't matter where those are) where a hill will just put you back in the groove at least in terms of enjoyment.
post #26 of 26
Essentially you all are discussing night skiing. Most folks I know go night skiing because it's a great way to ski for a couple of hours after work - exercise, fun, blowing off steam. Some folks do it for the race leagues.

Given this, it's not about the diversity of terrain or height of a hill. It's about being free to ski any ole time.

I have taught at Wachusett for a few seasons - their Thursday am Women's Program. Wachusett is a great hill for instruction. There is a little bit of everything (steep, bumped, narrow or wide trails and terrain parks/half pipe. Very easy greens, blues and blacks are wonderful places to practice technique and are super confidence builders. The place even gets re-groomed every day for the night skiers.

Give it a go sometime!
kiersten
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