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ski Questions

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for advice about skiing out west. Trip booked to Breckenridge the 3rd week of March. This will be my first ski trip out west. I have been skiing off and on for the past 25 years but only in the east. Three years ago we bought a condo on the slopes in Wintergreen, VA and now ski about 30 days a year on hardpack. There is almost never fresh snow but I still love it. Now I'm eaten up with skiing and want to get much better and start skiing different terrain. I plan to get lessons the first day I'm out there.

Now my questions. I'm 5'10 and 195lb. Pretty good shape, run, eliptical and weight train atleast 3-5 days a week. Hard to say what kind of ski ability, easily ski all slopes in east and ski them rather fast since it's all ice. I have 2 pairs of skis, Head 1400 in 170cm, these are stiff and great for skiing hard pack and a pair of 169cm Volkl karma's. Hoping to learn to ski trees or bowls and powder out west and want to know if the skis I have will work or should I be looking for something longer, fatter or whatever. Boots are Tech Diablos and I think they are 115 flex.

Thank you for your help and responses.

post #2 of 11
My advice would be to stick with the skis you have as you venture off the groomers. Take a lesson to enhance your adventure. If you do get a powder day, then by all means take a lesson. On the skis you are used to skiing, so you get the most out of it. If you determine you want more float on a good powder day then rent a good pair of wider skis. But as I said, I would suggest a lesson on your own gear first, before renting anything.

Your technique will hold you back more than your skis will, and your skis (probably the karmas) are just fine for all but over the boot powder.
post #3 of 11
JBB111, welcome to EpicSki!

Your equipment is fine. C'mon out, and look around here on EpicSki for recommended instructors. Set up a date with one of them, and get the hang of the off-piste. Breck has some great hidden treasures, even a few days after a storm.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 


Thanks for the replies. Would you have any suggestions on good instructors at Breckenridge?
post #5 of 11
Originally Posted by JBB111 View Post
Thanks for the replies. Would you have any suggestions on good instructors at Breckenridge?
You might want to check out our Instructors and Coaches list for Colorado.
post #6 of 11
Hi JBB111--Welcome to EpicSki!

RicB gives you good advice about equipment and I second his recommendation to take a lesson or two. I don't see any Breckenridge instructors on the list Steve linked to, but there are many great ones at Breckenridge, and several post here now and then. Gates Lloyd, Becky McDill, Chuck Creen, Jane Tarlow, Randy Brooks, Dave Tyrell, and Jonathan Lawson come quickly to mind--you can't go wrong with any of them. (That's about 200 years of teaching experience in that group alone!)

Breckenridge has great bowls and trees, and powder when nature provides. If the powder bug bites you and we get some real snow while you're here, consider a day at nearby Keystone skiing Independence and Erickson Bowls from the powder cat (Keystone Adventure Tours).

If your technical fundamentals are sound, with good offensive skiing habits, you'll find that powder and "trees" (never ski trees--ski the spaces between them!) aren't that difficult. Yes, it takes some getting used to, if you're new to these conditions, but good technique works everywhere! A good instructor will be able to get you on the right track, and help you adapt to the soft snow.

Have a great time, and stay in touch with us here at EpicSki. We'll be looking for a trip report!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes

PS--We are in the midst of our first big storm of the season right now. It's been a bit dry around here for much of the early season, but it looks like winter now!
post #7 of 11
Thanks for catching my oversight, Bob... I was thinking Keystone when I pointed to it! Oops!!!
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

Ski size?

Thank you for the advice. I have been thinking about selling my 169 karmas and buying a longer ski for out west. What do you think? I'm wondering about if we did get good powder that I won't be able to float or learn easy on 169's. I will probably be in the 190 lb weight range. Thanks again for your help.
post #9 of 11
169 in the Karma is a bit short for your weight, I would agree.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Should I start with the 177 or go right to the mid 180's. Thanks
post #11 of 11
Given your size, speed, and level of fitness, I'd suggest the longer skis. The real focus should be on your ability to bend the skis; as long as you can decamber them nicely, you're in good shape.
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