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differences in ski perspectives/expectations, Euros and Americans - Page 2

post #31 of 53
The US peso is so cheap that we now have British Holiday companies buying some of our resorts. Locallly, a British company just purchased Blue Knob:


post #32 of 53
Originally Posted by Lisamarie
The instructor, like many people on the mountain was in 210 straight skis, and rear entry boots. But the ski clothes were quite beautiful, much more attractive than our kaki colored michelin man jackets. I did find it odd that the women change into fur coats for apres ski, but chacun a son mishagos!

The lifts are quite an "interesting" experience. Lots of poma lifts, and they go on forever! Warning: Sometimes you hit a bump! To ease discomfort, ladies may want to place themselves behind some guy in tight pants with a nice.... sorry!

That's priceless for sure. Bormio is a stone-old town - so is everything around there.
If you really emphasize good instruction go to the Arlberg and join classes there, best you can get in Yurp.
Furthermore, lots of resorts elsewhere offer far better lift service and challenging descents (vertical measures of 6000 ft. are really competitive though).
post #33 of 53
Originally Posted by johnfmh
3. Equipment. Many Europeans have new equipment b/c they rent, and rental equipment in Europe is quite good. They do this because they often ski just 1 week a year, use trains or busses to get to the slopes, and do not have space at home (often an appartment) to store their "ski kit."

The real truth behind it is simply that as long as skiing just up to two weeks annually it is often way cheaper to rent than to buy. You mostly get deals/packages which are sometimes ridiculous beyond belief. To give you an idea you can rent 2.5 - 3 weeks annually over 5 years to break even the expenses on own equipment.
post #34 of 53
Americans do tend to focus more on the activity of skiing than the experience/lifestyle of skiing that is common in Europe. Maybe it's due to the shortage of vacation time vs. the europeans, but is probably an extension of our more frenetic culture. It also has to do with the layout and terrian of most US ski areas where all you can do is yo-yo up and down a limited number of lifts and trails vs. the broad expanses of pistes and powder in Europe.
I also find that while Europeans may start up the hill later than we do in the US, they tend to stay on the hill longer. It's not uncommon (in fact it is the norm) to see a steady flow of skiers scoming off the hill at 5-6 PM in Europe. Long lunches and long late afternoon stops at on mountain sundecks for a few cold ones keep the Euro skiers on the hill longer.
After many ski trips to Europe, mainly to avoid the obscene US lift ticket prices, I've gotten over many (but not all) of my US skiing habits and have taken the time to enjoy the total skiing/cultural experience that Europe offers.
post #35 of 53
I agree with choucas. The best part of skiing in Italy, was when it's time for apres ski, you're in Italy! Before I got into skiing, I used to travel all over the place. Then, everything was spent on weekend New England trips, that often cost almost as much as a week overseas. Skiing in Europe satisfies 2 needs.
post #36 of 53

I agree with the price issue on rentals but quality is also another factor. In Europe, you can find next year’s models in the rental fleet. That quality factor makes renting in Europe more palatable for advanced skiers. Heck, I often rent when I ski Europe for the sake of convenience.

Lisamarie and Choucas:

Ski Magazine tries to pretend that American resorts are more about a ski lifestyle than skiing per se but I agree with you two: Europe can teach us a lesson or two about subject. I think part of it is our hyper competitive culture, where we feel the need to prove ourselves by skiing the toughest slopes and logging the most vert. But as Chouas alluded to, it also has to do with how are resorts are laid out. In America, most services on a mountain are either owned or closely controlled by the resort. In Europe, the resort operates the cable cars and private venders run most everything else—hotels, huttes, restaurants. As a result, Europe oozes with charm and quirkiness that seems to be conducive to relaxing and having a good time. To put it in another way, why would I want to stop skiing early to have a beer at a typical, dark, musty, poorly constructed American lodge? In America, the only real reason to ever go into the lodge is to blow ballast and get warm. Otherwise, the action is definitely on the pistes.

By contrast, the thought of stopping at a mountain hutte at Ischgl to have a quality Weissbier with a lemon slice on it is appealing. Why? It’s not the beer (in fact I usually hold on beer until I take my skis off for good) but the sun, tunes, and people watching opportunities available on those nice sun decks high up on the mountains. If I feel like it, I might have a Zachar Torte or chat with people or I might just sit back and take it all in—the views, the people, the music.
post #37 of 53
Europeans also seem to rarely venture off-piste, and are content to stick to well traveled routes while ignoring huge expanses of lightly touched ski terrain.
Off-piste skiing is very popular with many UK skiers, and more and more of us are wanting to venture into the wilderness in search of virgin, untracked ski terrain. This last decade has seen an amazing growth in ski clinics wanting to specialise in ski touring, ski safaris and off-piste powder, entire holiday's are organised around such activities.
One such ski club (SCGB) is foremost in this field, obtaining notoriety throughout the brit ski fraternity and some Euro ski resorts for its illegal off-piste shenannigans. Many a time has seen a ski club rep bring the ski club into disrepute by breaking the ski resorts rules by venturing way off-piste without a qualified and registered resident mountain guide.
We have a great many hardy hardcore skiers in the UK who would do nothing else but off-piste skiing. Many of them are hard-bitten loners with weather-beaten features and slitted eyes (like the desert travellers in your old wild west, perhaps ) Their ski gear has usually endured about 50 seasons use and unwashed. They will possess a season ski pass but rarely use it except in an emergency. They'll be up at the crack of dawn to catch the first lift whilst swallowing a chunk of mouldy cheese and half of a french stick. Spend all morning hiking up and across a wilderness of hostile mountain terrain with a local mountain guide so as to be at one with Nature.. Bless them..
post #38 of 53
Euros think if 6 of them are getting into a 50 person tram they all need to be first.

Euros think walking all over the back of the skis of the person in front of them in the lift line will get them up the hill sooner.

Euros think Americans are rude and self centered.

Euros put their boots on at their car because the resort built the lodge at the top of the mountain
post #39 of 53
Snowdog, I see from your location, you are now claiming to be Irish.
post #40 of 53
As a matter of fact, there is a good dose of spit and vinegar in the soup.
post #41 of 53
Originally Posted by Ron
Yup, it is stereotyping, are you saying it's only "some kids"? Keep in mind the statistics regardng obesity and inactivity in American children we have some of the worse stats in the world. I have offered all of my nieces and newphews free skiing, only one took me up and he goes if he can get up at 6:00 on Saturdays and Sundays. Usually he can't. I bought him a new $600 Trek and it sits in his garage. If it quacks like a duck and waddles like one.... Nice to see there are few good ones out there, don't be so sensitive.
Sorry to hear about your lardass family. By the way, stats are for losers.
post #42 of 53
Originally Posted by Bridgeman
Sorry to hear about your lardass family. By the way, stats are for losers.
Yes, I think you were the one who told me that 83.25795% of Americans say that...
post #43 of 53
Originally Posted by Wear The Fox Hat
Yes, I think you were the one who told me that 83.25795% of Americans say that...
LAME...Embarrassingly so. Very sad.
post #44 of 53
No matter where you go in the world, I have found that you get treated the same way you act. While I have been abroad, I have at time been embarrassed by my fellow countrymen who want where ever they are to be more like home. I always go to enjoy myself, the culture, and the people. Stereotypes are bogus usually I have found. Just my .02

post #45 of 53
Thread Starter 
Spoken like a wiseman Beerman.

Though I've been skiing almost 40 yrs I just took my first ski trip to Europe in 2003. It was a great experience raising curiosity in me about topics like those discussed in this thread. The skiing was thrilling and I greatly enjoyed the cultural exchange aspect of the trip.

One trip anecdote: my ski buddy (a guy) and I joined up with a 60ish Austrian gentlemen one day. He was a fine skier and former instructor. He gave us a great tour of his home mountain. My buddy is not the most aggressive skier, so the Austrian and I often had to wait for him to catch up. My buddy is also nearly a teetotaler, but still a humorous guy and good company. The three of us ate a late lunch in a very nice midmountain hutte/restaurant. Being from the older generation, our Austrian host was big on schnapps. He bought us some pear schnapps to start lunch and kept offering more every 10 minutes. My buddy took a sip and turned his nose up at first. Meanwhile the Austrian and I continued with the schnapps thing, while also working on some beers with our meal. Near the end of lunch another round of pear schnapps was brought to the table. This time my buddy joined in and took a pretty hearty gulp bringing tears to his eyes. I suppose he was inspired at the conclusion of a memorable on-slope lunch in the Alps. As we stepped away from the table the Austrian caught my ear and laid a wicked wisecrack on me. "Good" he said, "in Austria it is good luck for the women to drink last." To this day I have yet to share this quip with my buddy. I guess I'll save it for the next time we drink schnapps together.
post #46 of 53
Not sure if anyone mentioned this, but I've found Americans to be on average better skiers than Europeans. The people in the Alps just seem to be much more layed back about the whole performance thing. Far fewer carve tracks on Euro slopes than on a US slope. A lot more steering going on. We seem more driven to excell. There it's more just about being on the mountain. It's about the experience, not the score. Anyone else have a similar observation?
post #47 of 53

I experienced it strongly depends on the resort and time of the season.
During the holidays you definitely see a lot more beginners/intermediates/families than advanced/expert skiers on the European slopes, living up to any prejudices you like to assign. Go off the peak seasons and to the right areas and you will see an entirely different picture.
Generally there are no less of good skiers here, bear in mind that in Europe a significantly higher percentace of the population is skiing. That also means more novices/intermediates just by numbers.
post #48 of 53
Thread Starter 
post #49 of 53
jamesj - You have been found guilty of dredging up long-dead threads and I hereby sentence you to a month of answering 'what length skis should I get' questions.
post #50 of 53
The best lifts in the world are in France -no question.

My favourite ski hotels are in Switzerland.

Best snow probably Cottonwood canyons.

Best ambience in a ski resort Europe - usually Austria or Switzerland.

Being a European it is easier and cheaper for me to holiday in Europe unless I go for a fortnight (which is European for two weeks).

Americans are friendly people but so are most of the Europeans I meet.
Some people find a common language an asset but I often have more in common with other nationalities. For example, I remember waiting for a TRAX train in SLC and getting lumbered with the local loony who asked all sorts of questions about the state of the economy. In contrast, the next day there was an Argentine and a good conversation about football was possible. I don't even pretend to fathom some of my relatives who were born in Europe but moved to the US and went native.

Some Americans are obsessive about skiing in a way I will never understand, like the bloke on a chair at Sierra who was counting the number of times he skied one particular run. I just do not understand that

I would like to try Colorado one day but I can definitely wait until there is poor snow in Europe and the exchange rate is still favourable..
post #51 of 53
Originally Posted by kiwiski
jamesj - You have been found guilty of dredging up long-dead threads and I hereby sentence you to a month of answering 'what length skis should I get' questions.
Agreed. Do it again, and your sentence will be quadrupled, and you'll be required to make every other post in all the PSIA vs PMTS threads that come up and battle Uncle Crud in a political debate.
post #52 of 53
I've skied europe and american extensively, and love your posting of contrasts. good stuff.
in general, europe seems to have many pomas and gon-doobies, and fewer of all in-between.
remember, when you mention european skiing, you're really saying 'skiing the alps', as opposed to, say, the beautiful carpathians, or their spur, the tatry, or spain's sierra nevada, etc.
if the alps can be paralleled to our rockies (by comparison in terms of relevance to national piste identity), then the carpathians are europe's
(tahoe region) sierra nevadas, with much steep, gnarly, zany stuff, and with an equally offbeat, 'not-quite-right-in-the-melon' skierdom.
forget about exchange rates and alpine apres ski, and head right for bohemia, poland, slovakia, romania, etc., and experience a true hardcore
ski existence...
i've found that by living and working in bohemian resorts such as spindleruv mlyn and harrachov, (race -coaching and ski school training), i can save enough cashish to afford nice trips every fortnight or so to kaprun, ischgl/samnaun, scuol, etc., and keep my senses very much on steep alert....
oh, yeah- the beer in bohemia's way better than anything in the alps, as are the ladies......
post #53 of 53
Originally Posted by gerathlete 1

North America.
Much higher regard for personal safety of customers (litigation of course!).
This is an American thing, not a North American thing.
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