or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Favorite time to ski?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
Some people (like me) love to ride the first chair, gondola or tram. Others like to sleep late, get their first run in at noon and ski until the last chair stops. Still, others like the rush of night skiing under the lights. What do you prefer? As I said, for me, I want to be riding the gondola at 8:30am, ski thru lunch, and call it a day at about 2:00. I love the freshies, and want to be in the hot tub by the time the days pow is being washed out.
post #2 of 30
Well, it depends largely on the conditions, both of the slopes and of myself. If there is fresh snow, I will struggle out of my morning stupor early enough to hit the first chair, and new snow (especially if it's deep at all) seems to give me plenty of energy to ski until I burn out around 2pm (early season) or until the lifts close (mid to late season), but where I ski (Montana Snowbowl) the lifts are only open from 9:30 am to 4pm, so it is no great feat to ski the whole day once one is in shape.

We had way too many sunny days this year though, which left the snow very icy and unforgiving in the morning hours, so making it to the mountain around the "crack of noon" was often as early as I wanted to get there (though I did force myself to ski the icy snow some mornings just because I was up and couldn't wait for the snow to soften and to work on setting hard edges). Ah the joy of having a pass and living 12 miles from the lift.

I guess I would say my favorite time to ski is first chair after a dump, or whenever a dense powder cloud is dumping, and filling up the tracks soon after they are made.
post #3 of 30
I like to night Ski, less lift lines and snowboarders. I know that not all hills have night Ski so not all of us can but if you can try it.
post #4 of 30
My schedule is pretty much the same as Canyons - lift open -> 2 - partly because I usually prefer the snow conditions and partly because I'm usually out of shape and can't make a full day!
post #5 of 30
post #6 of 30
I've been a "first chair" person a long time, mainly because back East in the metro area, that was the best way to avoid crowds and get decent snow.

Now that I live where there are no crowds, it's not as much of an issue. But the place opens much later and closes much earlier, so I'm a start to finish gal.
post #7 of 30
I guess it depends on the time of year?

First chair in March with 12" of fresh powder can be great. However, a nice nooner in April with soft corn can be just as much fun. Sometimes I have to work late on the hill and it can be really nice going down about half hour after the last chair.

I really don't think there's ever a good reason to ski at night though. That's more of a midwest/east coast thing. I remember growing up and skiing at night after school. Really it just sucked - cold, snow guns blowing in your face, and solid ice/hard pack isn't very enjoyable. Though I guess a park could be fun at night.
post #8 of 30
Anytime that I am on skis, is my favorite.

Night skiing does have its perks and I've had alot of fun bringing my younger brother and sister up at nights, as well as some fun memories skiing with the ski club in middle school.... but the night time limits you to the lights around the piste.

For me, the first run of the day is refreshing, like being with an old friend again. The fun really starts around the 5th run when I tighten my boots down, I'm warmed up and I've scoped out the snow conditions. Then its time to rock.
post #9 of 30
First chair on a powder day, natch!

On sunny days in the spring, when the light is lingering till past 5, I've lingered also at the top for a few minutes after the lifts close, letting last pulse of skiers go down before taking a leisurely last run. Sometimes there's alpenglow. It's sort of like a poor man's patrol sweep.
post #10 of 30
It´s a silly question for skiers visiting crowded resorts. The only chance is the first chair or, even better, the time before.
I have "my" lifts operated by a company I used to work with (friends remaining!) which run earlier than the official time. A quad has the chairs parked overnight and it takes an hour to arrange and check them properly. It´s 7-8 a.m. Then there´s a surface lift with 8-8:30 "lifties and friends only"-operation. The first people can ride up at 8:30 so that at least till 9 it´s safe. That way I have at 10, which is the really bad hour on the worst days, 3 hours of skiing. When training, 7:30-10 are the hours as well, at 10 the poles must be away.

Springtime or even summer is the same. There´s no question when: as early as possible. If I had a lift of my own I would be skiing from 5.

The only time I can ski later is when I´m privately on a glacier at the beginning of December. It´s the off-season there, few people, it´s cold and the sun low. It´s almost no difference between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. If I happen to be there I enjoy the luxury of skiing noon-4 p.m. They are the only late-start days I can have. The rest is like working shifts in a non-stop factory.

Do I like it? Getting up as early as at 5 is what I normally hate and fortunately don´t have to do. With the prospects of the perfect slope with no people around I really don´t mind.
post #11 of 30
I enjoy the full day - but weirdly enjoy the last run home at night immensely. Guess it's trying to get the most out of the final turns of the day - trying to hold it all together as knackered and the thought of the beer and chicken wings at the end of it all...
post #12 of 30
Originally Posted by vinn
I really don't think there's ever a good reason to ski at night though. That's more of a midwest/east coast thing. I remember growing up and skiing at night after school. Really it just sucked - cold, snow guns blowing in your face, and solid ice/hard pack isn't very enjoyable. Though I guess a park could be fun at night.
There's a night time beer race league I participate in. I'm not so sure it's all about the skiing though in that case. It is a compelling reason to ski at night though.

Some of the most memorable times I've had on skis were at night actually with the snow guns blasting or on the edge of the trail where the lights haven't really illuminated things very clearly. It does teach you some things about learning to ski by feel.
post #13 of 30
Favorite time is dead of winter, cold, lots of snow, and from first chair to last chair every time I ride!!!
post #14 of 30
post #15 of 30
Depends on conditions. When we were at Jackson Hole, the snow didn't soften up till 10ish, so there was no rush to get their early. Powder day, first tracks. Spring skiing, I would get a later start so the snow softens up and the bumps grow.
post #16 of 30
I like to start early (I can access with patrol, ski team or ski school at 7am) and finish early (2pm or so). There are those days when the skiing is too good to quit early. Last lift to the peak and end the day doing Khyber can make the beers taste even better.
post #17 of 30
First chair, everything else is a waste of good snow.
post #18 of 30
First chair and eat lunch about 1PM then finish the day about 15 minutes before the bottom lifts close
post #19 of 30
During a storm...

Freshies early...

Empty trails late...
post #20 of 30

Not sure

I actually take first lift. Midweek, never weekends where I ski differently. Haul for a couple of hours, snow conditions don't really matter 'cause I just deal with it. Bail. Go home and do other things.

BUT. There's something neat about the last run down. Into a village where folks are already partying. Sure the mountain is beat up, and if I've skied all day I'm pretty beat up too. But the last run is quiet, relaxing. Just some stragglers.

Weekends are kind of fun too. In a passive sort of way. The mindset, for me, is to relax. Watch folks having fun. Enjoy the excitement in the lift lines. Chat to folks. Show visitors some 'secret' runs. Help make their vacation. Hike a run or two.

So for me the best time is spring, midweek, first lift. Plenty of other things to do when I'm done skiing. Life is good.
post #21 of 30
On a powder day, I get up at dawn o thirty and skin up the first ridgeline, make a descent and repeat until the lifts open. Then I go home or to work with the smug feeling that I got the best of the goods before the first-chair crowd even reached the lift line
post #22 of 30
Originally Posted by KevinF
Okay. That makes two reasons.
post #23 of 30
FIrst chair (unless its April and I'm waiting for the eastern hard pack to soften), if conditions are good no lunch (I carry a water pack to stay hydrated) right through to the last chair. With ideal conditions I try to time it so that I can get on the single at 4:00 pm so none of the day is wasted.

Winter is too short to get up late or quit early (or eat lunch if its snowing)
post #24 of 30
first chair unless the conditions are bad then i dont care when i get there
post #25 of 30
I agree with the post above "Winter time" is an excellent time .

I have been skiing for many years and I still have not mastered the art of skiing in foggy white out conditions with no visibility. I enjoy a challenge and practice every chance I get to ski when zero visibility conditions are available. Folks in Wyoming are always saying visibility is over rated. Maybe, I should make special goggles that simulate white out conditions for east cost skiing and patent it. I have seen baseball caps with a hand dangling off the lid of the hat for basketball players to simulate shots with a hand in their face. Why not simulate white out conditions. :
post #26 of 30
July is nice.
post #27 of 30
Canyons, I'm on the same page as you. I'll line up a bit earlier for fresh when it's big.
post #28 of 30
First chair. You made the effort to be there . Go skiing. If its a freeze thaw period, something was groomed that is skiable. I drive back and forth on the weekends and its become my habit to get there for first chair and leave early usually experiencing the best conditions. On trips west, I can't sleep in and with the time change being an easterner I'm ready to go at 7 AM.

Everything is a compensation , I'm sleeping early in the evening while many are out and about having a good time.
post #29 of 30
Ditto the time change deal, I'm always fresh @ first chair out west!
post #30 of 30
I like to leave a mountain feeling like I skied the most I could have in a day. There's no better elixir for technicolor dreams than the exhaustion after a great day on the slopes.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion