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Whats Your Ski Story? - Page 3

post #61 of 86
Great story Kneale, reading it was a wonderful way to start my day today!
post #62 of 86
It was 1968, and I had a hot pink ski jacket with a groovy, psychodelic pattern. I was 13 years old, and my parents took me to a small resort in the Catskills (New York) for the weekend. I spent two or three days being (literally) dragged up a bunny hill by a rope tow and falling on the way down (and come to think of it, on the way up, too). I remember crying quite a bit. I hated it. But my sister was better at it than I was, and I wanted to beat her at something, just this once. After that, my dad started taking us to various ski areas throughout the northeast. And I finally stopped crying.

Then I went to college and met my (now) husband, who didn't ski at all -- well, he skied a bit as a kid, but not much -- and was NOT interested in getting started again. So my skiing sort of slowed down. We graduated college, got married, had a child, and I eventually stopped skiing completely. This lasted about 15 years. Then one day he suggested we go skiing -- Lord knows why. This was like handing a crack pipe to Marion Barry. We went over to the local hill, and I wondered why in blazes I ever gave this up. I was hooked but good. And this time my husband went with me. This was about 10 years ago. Since then we've bought a house in Vermont where I stay all winter (we're trying to move there full time). And I began, the internet ski forum for women.
post #63 of 86
Skiing has been a part of my life as far back as my memories go...

My dad was a skier of some repute in north central Vermont in the 1950's. Back then, they raced alpine and Nordic. He still claims that ski jumping was his favorite part (he hated the X-C races). Unfortunately, a serious injury kept him from competing to be a part of the 1960 Olympic Team. Four years later a Kidd that he skied with at Stowe made some pretty big waves in the 1964 Olympics.

My dad was attending Norwich University when he got hurt and his injury didn't keep him from entering the Army in 1961, so my life as a gypsy began (I was born in 1960). We stayed in Vermont while he completed his initial training and my brother and sister were also born in Barre. As the Berlin Wall and international tensions went up, my dad got assigned to Germany. Once we realized that WW III wasn't about to start, our family moved to Germany to join my dad in 1963. I have seen the 8mm movies of me on my first pair of skis at Garmisch. We even went to the Olympics in Innsbruck in '64 but I barely remember that.

My dad decided to stay in the Army and we went to various assignments back in the States (none of them even remotely close to ski country), but we always made it home to Vermont for the holidays and continued to ski (usually at the Barre City ski area, Skyline). In 1966, my dad got the news that he was headed to Viet big worry was whether or not I had to get more was a big shock to me that we would not be going with him. We moved back to Barre to be close to our family and I really got to ski quite a lot that year. My dad came back unscathed and while we were sorting out where we were going to live, he got sent back over for a 2nd tour (1967-68). I missed him alot, but we were pretty content to be home and skiing. A note on the weather. In January 1968, the temperature never rose above 0 Fahrenheit in Barre - ever - the highs for every day that month were below zero! We skied at Skyline (T-bar) and Northeast Ski Tows in East Corinth (rope tows....we used duct tape on the mittens).

Once my dad made it back from his 2nd tour (again unscathed), we had a great life. We lived in Maryland (skied at Charnita - now Ski Liberty), Hawaii (we hiked Mauna Kea and saw snow, but didn't ski), Korea, Tennessee, and Kansas. Not a lot of skiing, but we generally ended up back in Barre for the holidays...there were a lot of long drives through the night in the back of a station wagon...I remember getting stuck in a huge lake effect event outside of Buffalo...the only time I remember staying in a hotel on those trips. We always used hand-me-down ski equipment from my dad's friends because we didn't have much money and it didn't make a lot of sense to buy equipment when we kids were growing so fast and skiing maybe 5 days a year. We didn't know any better or care. I had forsaken the big 3 sports (baseball, basketball, & football) and had started my life as a competitive swimmer so I never thought skiing would ever be anything more than what we did when we went to Vermont for the holidays.

It wasn't until I was a sophomore in HS that we moved back to the dad got lucky enough to be stationed at Fort Devens, MA. We skied at Nashoba Valley and Blanchard Hill most of that first year, but my new friends dragged me to Sunapee, Waterville, Loon, and Pat's (Flats) Peak. I had been bitten by the ski bug. I was loving skiing, but swimming took up a lot of time and weekends. I was getting good enough in swimming that colleges were looking at me with scholarship offers.

I decided to accept the swimming offer from West Point (they claim there's no athletic scholarships there - wrong). For a graduation present (early) and because I was going to school Scot free, my dad took me to Alta in early April 1978. It was phenomenal!

We had to start at West Point in July and undergo some pretty rigorous indoctrination and military training and I had to also train with the swim team. I ended up doing quite well that summer and, at the end of summer competition, I beat some pretty big names (HS All Americans) to win 2 events. Somehow, though, the swim coach decided that I was going to be on the JV team for my first year. Stay with me, this leads to skiing....You have to understand that Freshman at West Point get abused (or at least they did back then) - I had already lost 20 pounds and felt I was starving. Freshmen that made varsity teams got special privileges (more food), but the JV teams didn't offer this perk. I couldn't keep swimming on the amount of food I was getting, so I quit.

I lived next door to a beneficent sophomore that was on the ski team and he heard about my experience. He asked if I skied (I had told him I was from Vermont). I told him yes and he suggested that I try out for the ski team. I made the team and my skiing progressed more in the next 3 months than it had in the previous 18 years. We skied every day on widely varying conditions. On weekends (when there weren't ski races) the ski club went on trips to Bellayre, Windham, & Huntah. I was having a blast and was doing pretty well at the races. Then, the school decided to drop ski racing as a sponsored NCAA sport. I didn't really like the academics there (I made the dean's list, but hated every minute of it), didn't like the atmosphere, and wasn't so sure about the social life (3,500 males, 200 females) either.

My swimming buddies from HS had heard about my adventures and many schools courted me again, but no scholarship offers since I had taken a year off from swimming. I wanted to go to Tufts, but my parents just couldn't afford it. We had maintained our Vermont residency, so I chose UVM because it was cheaper - and, oh yeah, the skiing! Although technically I didn't have to redshirt swimming that first year (NCAA rules say that if a school drops your athletic program - skiing at West Point - you're immediately eligible), the AD didn't want to do the work to get my eligibility validated. Another year off from swimming and no military crap to deal with! I went skiing.

I set my class schedule so that all my classes and labs were on Tuesday/Thursday and got a season pass at Smugglers. 2 things: (1) never have all of your classes/labs on 2 days - it's hell (2) There are no-snow years in Vermont - 1979-80 was one of those. I trained some with the ski team and was invited back for a second look the next year, but the competition was just too strong. I reverted back to swimming as my main sport and skied on the side. I lost my way in the academic department and made what I like to call "the dean's other list". I still free-skied with the UVM ski team guys and my skiing improved tremendously. We saved our trips to Stowe for the big snow days (it was just too expensive to ski there every day).

I also enjoyed great success in swimming and made Div 2 All-America status my senior year. Unfortunately, my dreams of going to med school were long gone. I conned the ROTC department into accepting me into their program based on my success at West Point and entered the Army in early 1983 after my "extra" semester to get my grades up. My assignments for the first 4 years were non-skiing assignments - Kentucky, Alabama, & Tennessee. I married my college sweetheart and we started our own family, so skiing took a hiatus. This part sounds like a lot of other stories here. Then, I got my dream assignment - southern Germany, near Nuremburg (how the English got Nuremburg from Nuernberg is beyond me). I had to go first to find a place to live before my family could join me. It took almost 4 months to find a livable spot, so I went skiing in Austria almost every weekend in 1988 (Jan - April).

We had daughter #2 in August of 1988 and had our first family ski vacation over Christmas (1988-89). I had rented a Ferienwohnung (vacation apartment - I guess we would call it a condo) in Lermoos. I skied with daughter #1 on my back and our baby stayed with the family that managed/owned the apartment building. We skied at Lermoos, Lech, St. Anton, and Ischgl. Life couldn't be better, right? One night the lady that was taking care of our baby mentioned that she thought she was getting sick (all in German of course). We took her to the small American military clinic in Garmisch and they rushed her off to a German hospital. She was pretty seriously ill and had to be flown back to the States for surgery at Boston Children's Hospital. I couldn't stay for her recovery, so I went back to Germany for another ski season as a bachelor. I got in 41 days in the Austrian Alps that winter, mostly day trips.

Daughter #2 ended up recovering fully and we had #3 shortly thereafter. I signed on for an extra year in Germany in July 1990. 3 weeks later Iraq invaded Kuwait and my last ski season in Europe was spent in Saudi Arabia, Iraq & Kuwait. As fate would have it, that was one of the biggest snow years on record in Europe. I got back in mid April and after some fast talking and making myself a general nuisance for 2 weeks, convinced the wife that I needed 1 more trip to the Alps before leaving Europe (I was scheduled to come back to the States near the following Thanksgiving). 2 buddies and I headed for Hintertux - we got snowed in and skied for 3 days on glorious late April powder. Turns out this wasn't the last trip. My dad and youngest brother came over in late October for another trip to the glacier at Hintertux. It wasn't powder, but it was pretty good skiing.

Back to the States for me (Alabama again : ) in 1992. My dad and I made it an annual ritual for the next 5 years to meet up in SLC for a week of skiing. That was it for a while. In February, 1998 I took my own family (now inlcuding a son, #4) on our first family ski vacation to Keystone. I invited my dad to join us and he did. We put the kids in ski school and we all had a great time. I also scored a "business trip" that included a day at Taos that year. By now, I had been selected to be a part of America's most elite military unit. My time was not my own and I didn't ski at all for a couple of years. Following my first tour in Afghanistan, I was able to get in 2 days at Snowbird with my wife in March 2002. It snowed 60" on those 2 days. Of course, our departure day was bluebird, but the skiing the previous 2 days in the snow was EPIC.

I left the military in late 2002 and took a job with the Federal government in Syracuse, NY. Holy crap does it snow a lot here...too bad there's no hills. We ski at a small family-owned area 45 minutes away and are enjoying it. I have gotten to Gore and Whiteface quite a bit and a short trip to southern Vermont in the last 4 years, but my interest was waning. This year I only got in 9 days at the local hill (granted it was a bad snow year and son's hockey limits our time) and I wasn't making much of an effort. I had a business conference in Sacramento the first week of April and extended it into a long weekend and stayed with my brother in law (a prof at UC Davis). I met SierraJim at his shop and we skied at Squaw and Sugar Bowl...suddenly I was infected again. I just bought my second pair of Tecnica XT17's from Gator and I'm thinking real hard about the Nordica AfterBurners that Jim put me on to round out my race ski collection. If I pull the trigger, it will be from Jim.

To be dad is 68 and still gets in more ski days than I do. I want to be like him! He is the central thread that my skiing life has been wrapped around. My greatest ski memories are always when I am skiing with him. He has said that he wants to try heli-skiing just once before he gets too old...maybe this year.
post #64 of 86
I started skiing when I was 10 years old. It was 1974. Our school had just started a ski club. We went every Tuesday evening, and I couldn't wait to take my patch program lesson every week to try to earn that coveted Expert patch. I remember sewing every single patch on my jacket, and was so proud of them all.

There were 5 kids in our family and my parent's couldn't afford new equipment, so every year we would go to swap meets or the Goodwill store. My first set of skis were old dark blue wood Head's with Cubcoe bindings. The boots were black leather ankle high Henke boots with three skinny metal buckles. This equipment should have been in the Smithsonian Institute, not on my feet, but I was skiing!

When I got to high school, I made the ski team. I did very well my first year, and was named the captain of the girl's ski team. We had a great season and had a blast. Over the summer though, I was in a very bad car wreck, and crushed my heel and ankle. It was two years before I could get my foot back into a ski boot. I raced again as a senior but my foot was still pretty messed up, and I didn't do very well.

I started instructing when I was 18 and going to college. I really enjoyed it and did it for 5 years before I started my career. I got married to a great guy, but had to convert him from a snowmobiler to a skier. We had 3 kids and turned them onto the sport.

Two years ago, my youngest started school full time, so I went back to instructing. I didn't realize how much I missed it. It's my passion. I read everything I can get my hands on to make my lessons better and to improve my skiing. It's amazing how much you improve on something when your teaching it!

I passed my Level I in 2006, and my Level II this year. I'm planning on taking my Level III next season and am hopeful that I'll obtain that goal. If not next season then possibly the next. Whatever happens, happens, but If I don't pass, I will have had the best 3 day lesson that money can buy! Wish me luck!

post #65 of 86
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
Started Skiboarding my senior year of high school with a season pass at Hidden Valley, the next year i bought twin tips and got hooked on the what were long skis to me. Skied 106 days that first year on skis and took instructor clinics. Next year i become a intructor at Hidden Valley, the new swiss ski school director ask me how long i have been sking before he saw me, and said there is noway in hell i should instrut, that was untill he saw me ski. Learned alot that year went from a strong aggressive 7 to like smooth 9, ski instruting will improve your sking like nothing else. 103 days that year with my first taste of real terrain in VT. Didnt ski everything in vermont this time. This last year in my 3rd full season of skiing, got some real skis Metron B-5, and some real boots Salomon Xwave 10 and i was in business. I felt so much better with the non park rat skis and boots. Only skied 70 days this season, but rented a condo out and found love this year. Went to VT and conquered all i could find(could of looked harder though), i can ski bump great now, trees and/or steep are my favorite, but still enjoy the rollercoaster ride of carving.

So yeah 279 days in 3 years 21 and now finially going to college, if you dont do it this year you will be one year old when you do do it.
hey looks it me 2 years ago alot has changed.

05-06 I headed up the Hidden Valley Race team and taught normal skiing and adaptive that year. IN april of that year I didnt know it but I made a lifechanging move to Sandy, Utah to work at snowbird for the month of april and ski till they would close in May. Made alot of new friends who happened to post on message board called TGR(I meet most in person first). Went back home just knowing I had to go back.

06-07 I returned to utah with a new passion and new drive, the drive is and was to enter freeskiing comps by next year, this will happen. I end up liking teaching more than I ever have, and ski 149 days in row from December to April. I ski with alot of maggots on a nearly daily basis. Even get to ski a couple times and get coached by "The Commander" Dean Cummings. They are teaching me tactics that PSIA would never touch. Chasing them around and helps me get better. End of the year I feel way better than ever on skis. thanks Guy and gals

I am now staying out here for the summer plan to ski tour and MTBt o stay in shape for when the first storms hit utah this year. Hopefully october this year!!!!
post #66 of 86
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post
1966 took my first trip to Tuckerman Ravine. A father from Petersburgh Pass took me and it was life altering. Went back every year untill 1977.
You took your first trip to Tuckerman Ravine the year I was born:
post #67 of 86
I'm 3 years old and my Dad gets called in to his boss' office and given a choice. He can either take the job offer in New Delhi,India or Lausanne,Switzerland.After Mom decides that she doesn't really want to raise her babies in India,it's off to Switzerland we go.3rd weekend there,a bunch of my Dad's co-workers take him skiing,he loves it so much that he takes me out the next weekend.Mom and my sister hit the slopes a couple of years later,and 44 years on we are all still skiing.

Mom and Dad both turned 75 this year,and each had over 60 days on the slopes.Most of my real close friends are skiers/boarders.Often wonder what life would have been like had Dad (Mom,really) taken the other fork in the road.The family that went to India had a blast,but I wouldn't trade the experience we had for anything.
post #68 of 86
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
I started in 6th grade. My school was offering an after school ski program at Camelback, 5 days for $35.00 inc lift, lessons and rentals. I thought the price was outrageous and that my mother would never go for it. She went for it and I was hooked from that point. Timber Hill was the local hill to me, about 4 miles from my house, they had a “Junior Instructor” program which got us out on the snow, I did that for about 2 years until Timber Hill closed. In the summer of 10th grade, a buddy of mine are out skateboarding and we see the Rossignol van drive by. We follow it up to an apartment building, and start BSing with the rep. I talk him into renting a cottage that my mother had, so for a year I had the Rossi Rep living at my house, I was BMOC in school that year. I got my first season pass at Camelback in my Junior year and all my buddies set up the “Mom will drive if your mom picks up schedule for the year. Senior year in High School, I skied 60+ days, I was in school three days in January, two of the three days I was late. I barely had just enough grades to graduate.

I got married at 21 and I got my wife into skiing. Her parents wanted to get involved so I set up a ‘family” trip to Mount Snow. I arraigned a place slope side and I got the whole family into week long lessons. Now they were hooked and every year since we do a family ski trip that they pay for, this has been going on for 20 years and they have since moved to Vermont because of their love of the sport. My Son, now 16 started on skis at 2 years. My wife was concerned ‘What if he doesn’t like it?” I replied, “Skiing is what we do in the winter, it’s like saying a fish doesn’t like to swim…It’s we do”. Now he is my best skiing buddy. I also have a group of guys that we do a boys trip with. For the past 12 years we go to Mad River Glen and stay at Betsy’s place.

I have managed ski shops, teched for manufactures and have had my own tuning business. I am also a self proclaimed gear whore and the founding member of F.L.o.A. I have gotten to the point in that I go for quality over quantity, I try not to ski the Pocono’s any more, it is just no fun for me (especially Blue ). With my in-laws moving to Vermont, the family invested in ASC passes for next year, I am hoping that I will rack up a ton of miles and hit Killington, Mt. Snow and Sunday River enough to really pay for the passes. If I can get the passes to less than $50.00 day, I will be happy.
Parts of this family vacation story sound familiar.:
Oh that's right, Lil (Phil's mother in law)shared this story with me on the lift at Okemo. Her version was slightly different.

Here you are 22 years later and skiing with the whole family. That is truly an awesome thing.
post #69 of 86
Originally Posted by trekchick View Post
You took your first trip to Tuckerman Ravine the year I was born:
Seriously, I thought it was '56.
post #70 of 86
Originally Posted by Ski Diva View Post

And I began, the internet ski forum for women.
Check my profile (Paula Jones):
post #71 of 86
Originally Posted by bjohansson View Post

My swimming buddies from HS had heard about my adventures and many schools courted me again, but no scholarship offers since I had taken a year off from swimming. I wanted to go to Tufts, but my parents just couldn't afford it. We had maintained our Vermont residency, so I chose UVM because it was cheaper - and, oh yeah, the skiing! Although technically I didn't have to redshirt swimming that first year (NCAA rules say that if a school drops your athletic program - skiing at West Point - you're immediately eligible), the AD didn't want to do the work to get my eligibility validated.
Les Leggett?

What stroke?

What HS?

UVM class of 76, swam for les.
post #72 of 86
Unfortunately, Les left the coaching ranks the year before I got there. He was a great guy (he stayed on in the PE department). A guy named Bill Nedde (his kids were soccer studs) took over from Les. He had no swimming background and for the 1st couple of years the inmates ran the asylum.

I swam 200 IM and 200 Butterfly but not by choice...I wanted to swim 200 Freestyle, but nobody else was competitive in the 2 events I swam. I ended up as a Div 2 All-American in both events in 1982, low 1:56's for both.

I went to HS in Chelmsford, MA...we had no swim team, so I swam for a private club but my brother and I swam in the State Championships representing CHS and finished 7th - it was tough with no relay teams .
post #73 of 86
There are some great stories in here.

Like some of the earlier contributors I was in my mid 20s when I first tried skiing. I was travelling through Canada in April 1990 after getting the bug to see the country from their excellent pavillion at Expo 88 in Brisbane, Australia. I had a couple of free days in the Banff area and decided to have a day at Sunshine Village to learn to ski. I had my lesson and ventured out onto the slopes - I was hooked from the first turn and by the end of the day was riding the chairlift and coming down to the village bowl without too many falls.

When I got back to Australia I was straight down to the mountains. I had a weekend at Thredbo with my cousin and it has been my 'home' mountain ever since. I've travelled to the US, Canada, New Zealand, France, Austria and Japan in search of new places to ski and have been instructing on weekends for the past three winters at Thredbo. I now do around 30-40 days a year - I wish I lived in a colder country!

(And in an attempt to prove the six degrees of separation theory) Kneale, being a Boyne Mountain local, do you know Rupert and Monika Winkler? Rupert was my instructor when I did a five-day improvement course at Thredbo in 1998. Monika was my trainer who prepared me for my instructor exams in Austria in 2005.
post #74 of 86

Sadness is.....

Reading all these stories is making me miss the snow already!!!

I need to move!!

Oh well......160 days to go.....and counting!!!!

post #75 of 86
Sidestepping carefully up the old snow, my leather boots were pinching my toes something awful. Despite the annoying pain I focused on the turns ahead. I was a little afraid of the severe pitch waiting for me. Worse yet; now there are people watching me, waiting for me to turn into the fall line. The pressure is on. The sky was a black backdrop behind blinding lights that lit up the thin layer of snow below. I pushed off into the artificial landscape. Three sweeping turns later I arrived at the bottom, amid cheers and whoops from the others above. I grinned. I remember that night smelled like leather, sweat, and sweet success.

This particular evening was actually in 1968 - and I was skiing in a flat parking lot at the local Sears. I was 5 years old. My father had signed me up for ski lessons. I had never skied before, and I was terrified. The Sears at the Westland Mall in Lakewood, Colorado provided the rental equipment and the instruction. Every year they erected a wooden “hill” in their back lot. They made it out of plywood and lumber. The hill dropped a whole 8 vertical feet along a 20-yard run. Then they covered it with man-made snow. Not the modern icy, snow “flakes “created through a jet engine to create huge, whopping whales of snow. Instead it was something more akin to the soap flake snow used to dress up shopping mall windows at Christmas. The snow was tossed about and spread around on some sort of white carpet material. It must have worked for carving long, slow, wedge turns, because somehow that is where I learned the skill.

Mom and Dad would bundle me up in sweaters and coats and drive me down to the Sears. We would first go into the rental shop. The first thing I always noticed was the smell of leather and ski wax. Skis hung vertical along one wall in graduating lengths, like soldiers in formation for battle. My usual blue skis hung at the end, second from the shortest. Next I headed for the rows of leather boots. I chose a pair to fit and Dad would lace them up. Tying up each and every lace hook was another exercise in pain management. Most all of my early ski memories are clouded with foot pain.

I would then have to try the boots out in the ski bindings. They were your classic rattrap cable bindings. I always imagined I was putting my foot into one of those rusty beaver traps at the museums. The feat required superhuman strength that only my Dad possessed. I dreamed of the day when I could put on my boots and skis without any assistance.
I carried the skis out the door to where the instructors were waiting and prepping the “hill.” The night was cold, It was made colder by the dim parking lot lights. I would get the skis on by using the Dad method again and start to side step up the seemingly endless hill, only to ski it all away in a few short turns. It was like knocking down the castle of blocks after it was carefully built up, fun but hard earned.

I learned, early on, that my wool mittens became wetter from snot and sweat then they ever did from the snow. Eventually all the other tykes would join me as we head up the slope together. We were a chain gang, chained with skis, under constant supervision from watchful taskmasters. Too freaked out to talk we silently went about our lessons. Up the hill it was, sidestepping and wiping noses. A posse of preschoolers headed out for a big night of earning some turns!

These days, as I skin or fish-scale my way all over the woods, I utilize every muscle and ski-trick I own to propel myself through the deep snows. Amazingly I have found the old reliable Sears side step to be one of the most useful tools in backcountry travel. When the herringbone won’t do - or the skins start to slip, I can always rely on the side step to get me up that super steep spot. Sears taught me to overcome my fears, be polite to others, and most importantly; that skiing is kind of fun. Everything I need to know I learned in kindergarten ski class!

The boots are now the most comfortable boots I own, and I can get in and out of my bindings all by myself. I am way past that youthful urge to go as fast as I can, or jump off cliffs into powder. I have, instead, returned home to leather boots, cable bindings, and walking up the hills. The prodigal son returns, full-circle, back to where he began. So now, like the good old days, I gather up my posse of friends from Sears and we go side step up hills, wiping our noses, and skiing back down.

(My award winning essay from Backcountry Magazine)
post #76 of 86

my story just started

Well, my dad loved to ski, and I'm the oldest of four. I went on several family ski trips in Red River, NM and Taos, NM when I was a kid. Born and rased in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Decided to go to college at the Colordado School of Mines in Golden, CO. I bought a superpass for Winter Park and Copper mountain and soon remembered how much I loved to ski. I learned to get my **** done during the week and gave up partying on the weekend so I could wake up early and beat the traffic on I-70 in my retired police car. I found some ski buddies and skied as much as school would allow first semester. For and early x-mas present i bought my first pair of boots, *(lange crl 70s) I sustained my first skiing injury December 15 snapping my collar bone in half. Luckily it was bad enough to get a plate put across and it healed in about a month whereupon I started skiing again thank God. My birthday came at the end of February and I bought a pair of Karmas, I love them. I quickly became the resident skiaholic in my dorm building and can't wait to hit the slopes again. I'm having my third knee surgery next week and will start biking again so I don't sufficate when i get back to altitude later this summer.

Wow, that was drawn out, I guess I miss the mountains more than I thought. All this reminiscing made me drag my ski story out...Get me out of Oklahoma!!
post #77 of 86
Originally Posted by rugbyskier View Post
(And in an attempt to prove the six degrees of separation theory) Kneale, being a Boyne Mountain local, do you know Rupert and Monika Winkler? Rupert was my instructor when I did a five-day improvement course at Thredbo in 1998. Monika was my trainer who prepared me for my instructor exams in Austria in 2005.
I did not know Rupert. I was instructing elsewhere and only an occasional Boyne visitor during his stint at Boyne. Thomas Reitstatter was the director when I started teaching there. Rupert gets referred to frequently by those who do remember him, though.
post #78 of 86
Like DKN who has posts on this site, I started skiing at Nor Ski Runs in Decorah Iowa. It was awesome!!! $20 season tickets - night skiing on Wednsdays, I believe, and all-day on Saturdays and Sundays. The terrain was certainly limited - but the fun was not. Steeps, bumps, tree skiing, impromptu illegal jumps built up with a shovel, and corn-cobs sticking up through the snow in the parking lot. As an 8 year old who didn't know any better, I thought it was awesome. I skied there through high school, and now, with years of skiing elsewhere, I still look back on it fondly. When I returned there a few years ago for one last fling before it closed, it was still awesome. You can read a eulogy for the sadly now-defunct Nor Ski Runs here: c=H^CM^CR
post #79 of 86
Originally Posted by NorSkiRuns View Post
Like DKN who has posts on this site, I started skiing at Nor Ski Runs in Decorah Iowa.

As a fellow Nor Ski alumnus... and fellow small town Iowan.... let me be the first to welcome you to Epic! If you're like me, you will find that this forum can fan old skiing flames that haven't burned quite as brightly since our days at "Corn Cob Nob!"

See also your Private Messages.
post #80 of 86
I started in junior high; stopped during college. After 3 years of working in the "real world" my ex-girlfriend and decided to go on an extended ski vacation in Colorado.

I guess nine seasons and three resorts now makes me a professional ski bum.
post #81 of 86
What a great thread. I love Ott's tale of Sigi, I love all the Sigi stories..

Like one or two others, I started later in life, at 34. My early life involved no sports, much rebellion, and lots of, shall we say, partying. After years of some very hard living, I found myself a groggy, cleaned up punk rocker on a beach. A friend came by with a surfboard and taught me to surf. That winter, a hot chick (not, alas Sigi, but blond) took me skiing in Vermont for the first time. I loved it right off- it connected to some deep inner peace that I had known as a child growing up in snowy Wisconsin... and it was fast.
I went with some friends later that winter on a trip to Utah. Alta just blew my mind- I pledged to Odin (good as anyone) then and there that I would return every year for as long as I could. Living in NYC, I'd make one or two trips out West each year and drive to any frozen bump in reach on the weekends.
Then I finessed a "visiting professor" job at BYU for the winter season. The Mormon kids helped me kick the two packs a day thing and didn't mind my long hair. I skied Sundance all week and Alta all weekend. Took lessons at Alta and the Bird, got a real education.
Next I moved here. In those days, new Alta season passes were assigned by lottery, unless a family member had one, then you were in. My girl friend had one, so, what the hell, I married her.

I live in Park City now, twenty years since that first Vermont weekend. I make a fuss over my kid's learning to ski and talk like a happy gaper. I get in a lot of days, a lot of powder, and I woudn't trade it for anything.
post #82 of 86
You married for an alta season pass. Heck if she was good enough I would off to..
post #83 of 86
The first twelve years have been good. The marriage too...
post #84 of 86
long story short,

born, raised and lived in texas since birth thinking skiing was something only real athletes did and it was hard to do, get to and expensive.

then at 30, i started dating this great girl name Julie from portland who was on the high school ski team who liked the sun in the south that you dont get in oregon, but missed skiing. well, she never did take me and i lost out to a doctor beginning of summer.
so, that june i tried to ski a death ribbon with no lessons at abasin and couldn't figure out what the deal was; but is sure was nice to be in the mountains over the flatlands of south texas in june and not sweating thru your shirt in 5 minutes.
so, next year i came back; took a 2 hour lesson at keystone and was going from top to bottom the 1st day. i was hooked.

i average 10 days a year now, still ski open to close, live 1100 miles from the nearest lift, watch snowstorms instead of working every ski season and check for snowstorms and snow sites before checking email. i would submit that i'm the biggest ski-addict in texas.

(and 3 generations of family live in Houston, as well as the family business; so i wont be moving to the mountains).
post #85 of 86
I started skiing at about two and a half years old, although I don't remember a thing.

My very first memory of skiing was actually of going down my first black run. I am not sure how old I was, maybe four or five, but it was a bit of a powder day (more than a bit to little me) and I was skiing with my dad. Somehow we took a wrong turn and ended up on top of a black, with no other way back to the base.

Well, my dad freaked out, made me promise that I would only follow in his tracks and he pretty much switchbacked the whole thing. I remember thinking it wasn't that big of a deal. If I'd of been a little more rebellious I probably would have just skied off on my own, but I just followed my dad. To this day, I wish I would have just taken off, it would be a better story, but oh well.

After that, I grew up racing. I was never all that great at it. My technique was decent, but I could never get my line choice just right, and was always just far enough back to keep me off the podiums. GS was fun, I was never that fond of SL, but as soon as I skied a real Super G, and then a downhill, I realized I just loved to go fast.

Skiing was fun to me, but the pressure and focus of racing eventually became too much. My grades started slipping in high school, which meant I couldn't skip school to train. Then they slipped some more, which meant I couldn't go to any races. I pretty much just used this as the excuse I had been looking for to quit.

For the next couple years, my passion for skiing dwindled. I still skied a fair amount, but didn't really live for it, or try and push myself at all. Somewhere though, somethign changed.

My first memory of what I like to think of as the second chapter of my skiing was the first year they began opening up the Y zones of Highlands bowl. I didn't really consciously try to push myself, or focus on skiing faster, but somehow I just saw a steep run with no mogul on it and started making big GS turns down it thinking "Now THIS is FUN".

I was still skiing on my old race skis, 177cm rossi gs, and 160cm rossi sl, some of the first of the super sidecut sl skis. I was pretty ignorant about anything besides race skis, and initially bought into the hype that skis should be shorter for off piste.

I took a year off after high school and got a job in a ski shop, and bought myself a pair of 175cm scream xtra hots. I soon realized these were not enough ski for me, and since then, I have progressed steadily to wider, longer, stiffer skis.

After the screams, I got AK rocket swallowtails, and used them as a one ski quiver for most of a year. At the end of that season, I added a pair of 185 Armada ARVs, although I hardly used them.

The next season (this past year) I bought some 193 EHPs, and some Armada ANTs. I sold the Rockets and the ARVs, breifly had a pair of 193 m103s, before getting rid of those in favor of 194 Rossignol B Squads.

I have progressed from using 175 soft 85mm waisted skis, to several things including extremely stiff 104 waisted 194cm long 2X4s. I don't see my quiver changing much in the future, merely growing. I think this is the begining of the third chapter of my ski life. The first, my racing childhood, is over, along with the second, what I see as a transitional period. I'm looking forward to next season, I think in the next several years I might actually be able to become what I would consider a "good" skier.

Wow, thats a novel. I initially meant to keep this short, like one paragraph.
post #86 of 86
Originally Posted by MAGGOT View Post
I started skiing at about two and a half years old, although I don't remember a thing.

My very first memory of skiing was actually of going down my first black run. I am not sure how old I was, maybe four or five, but it was a bit of a powder day (more than a bit to little me) and I was skiing with my dad. Somehow we took a wrong turn and ended up on top of a black, with no other way back to the base.

Well, my dad freaked out, made me promise that I would only follow in his tracks and he pretty much switchbacked the whole thing. I remember thinking it wasn't that big of a deal. If I'd of been a little more rebellious I probably would have just skied off on my own, but I just followed my dad. To this day, I wish I would have just taken off, it would be a better story, but oh well.

Wow, thats a novel. I initially meant to keep this short, like one paragraph.
Nice Story!
With Father's day coming up, this is a nice tribute to his influence in your love for the sport!
Following in Dad's ski tracks
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