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post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Plato says that passion is love, and that we love what we lack. Impassioned skiers, especially at this time of year when areas are closing, feel the pangs of a lover whose beloved has gone away. We never love skiing so much as when it is unavailable.

When you're crazy in love with something, to have it is more than satisfaction, which is the purely sensuous pleasure in a casual pursuit. For a passionate skier, the intense skiing experience is fulfillment--a profound sensation of harmony between self, place, and action. Ah, we say, THIS is why I was born!

I was skiing last week in Canada, on a seldom-skied but much-talked-about-and-photographed run called Run of the Century in the Selkirk Mountains, on a bluebird morning. We stopped at the bottom and looked up at the next group descending. I said to one of the guys, "Aren't you glad you learned how to ski?"

He said, "It's a shame that people don't realize how amazing it really is."
post #2 of 33

- The Choir
post #3 of 33
Thread Starter 
This is for PowderJunkie and Ryan in the Choir:

My brother was in another group on that trip. He reports hearing this conversation between two skiers:

"Wow. I think this group is really coming together!" said one skier after their turn down the Run of the Century.

"No, I don't think so," said the other skier. "I came up there."

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ April 08, 2002 12:00 PM: Message edited 1 time, by nolobolono ]</font>
post #4 of 33
wondering if said skier shared the moment or kept it to him/herself....

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ April 08, 2002 01:26 PM: Message edited 2 times, by ryan ]</font>
post #5 of 33

Thanks. Made my day.

And some people don't understand why Please Come, Come Again and Sea Wolf are called "the come runs".
post #6 of 33
Thread Starter 
Endless Journey must have been a multiple then: 1500 meters of godly consistent steepness crowned with 8" of whipped cream. Oh boy!

Another quote from little bro: Heli-skiing is the only thing I've experienced that has lived up to the hype--and then some.

Do I hear an AMEN?
post #7 of 33
Hey, Nolo -

I needed that. Came off a not-so-great day of training (still) for my level three certs... Couldn't buy a turn on Look Ma, then got slammed in my movement analysis clinic (taught turn completion rather than bump aborption).

Sometimes, you just need to remember WHY you do this. I love this sport. Had a great run down Apres Vous, Milt's Face and Ricky's Ridge. Delightful crud, skiing with some great people, including the wonderful Inge Franberg. I just need to keep focused on that, right?

post #8 of 33
So- we are talking about fulfillment? Today was #104 teaching at Vail. Tomorrow will be my last as it's time to change uniforms and begin evaluating how well our training has gone this season. Like most of our staff- I'm beat.
But the day was awesome- my 3rd day with a pretty cool guy, who has really been struggling. I was pulling out all the stops, and really digging out some of my older tricks to get him moving. Today it happened! He got balanced, he turned, he controlled himself with very little effort. In spite of the heavy snow, in spite of the heat, in spite of his fatigue, this guy had on one of the largest smiles I've seen all season!
I was asked over 28 years ago why I wanted to be a ski instructor. My answer today was to see that smile! :
post #9 of 33
Thread Starter 
vail snopro, I feel you have expanded on my idea to include the intense teaching experience with the intense skiing experience I have touched on. This is okay, but please do not lose sight of my point: that we learn to ski to experience something quite unique and amazing. In other words, look at the profession as facilitating the achievement of that kind of personal fulfillment. As VSG noted, this fulfillment is not tied to a particular place or type of snow or even the company you keep. It is simply a convergence of time, place, and action that is also known as the SNOWGASM.

All along we have suspected that our sport is sexy. Some confuse the issue with stretch pants and thongs, but they are mere plebes. If we want to excite people about snow sports, we need to better understand and facilitate snowgasmic experiences.

It's a moving target: as you gain ability, you gain mobility. That reinforcement keeps our casino open. Eventually, like me, you discover the backcountry. Maybe it's from a helicopter, maybe under your own power, but the understanding is that we ascend to descend in such fashion as we may ascend again. That takes a wee bit of savvy and technique.

Those who have S&T, people like us, have a product that is in great demand. Dr. Ruth never had it so good!
post #10 of 33
LOL!!! [img]smile.gif[/img] [img]smile.gif[/img]

I could be wrong, but I believe Nolo uses Kegels in her teaching??
post #11 of 33
Yes, nolo. Yes snopro.

Doing it. Sharing it.

Dang! This IS a sexy sport.

And it doesn't have to be in the backcountry. I had as fine a turns as I've had all my years on spring-snow-turning-to-morning-cream and high speed slush.

Gordon Briner, manager at Taos, used to have a great tongue-in-cheek statement: The reason we ski is to make the mountain look better.

I love that.

post #12 of 33
Dare I believe that it's just, uh, "coincidence" that this thread pops up RIGHT ABOVE my post on "Firm forebody - staying out of the back seat" or words to that effect?!

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ April 09, 2002 05:34 AM: Message edited 1 time, by oboe ]</font>
post #13 of 33
Oboe: [img]smile.gif[/img]

Nolo, you may be on to something. There's a section of a trail at Sunshine, that has a series of relatively steep downhills, followed by some longer than usual, and steeper uphills.

Even if you are in shape, those uphills ain't too fun. Your only choice, and not to be crude, is to let go and 'ride it out'. Feels like multiples.

Okay, nuff'said! [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #14 of 33
Thread Starter 
I am glad to see others apprehend the thrust of my post. (Pun is intended to please the prurient on this panel.)

I believe that SNOWgasm facilitation is a powerful alternative to the lingering "technique Nazi" impression our profession has earned with the ski press and the public whose opinions they influence. Truly, sound technique is a means to snowgasm, not an end in itself.

We do this sport to "GO THERE!" just as the original Nords intended by inventing it. "There" is one thing to a beginner and another to an intermediate and so on. Going there makes us push the boundaries of our present limits, let go of the need to be in control, and trust the body to do what comes naturally.

Weems is right: snowgasm has little to do with size and scope. It has everything to do with readiness.
post #15 of 33
I remember trying to explain to friends who hadn't really experienced a snowgasm that slipping into waist deep powder at the top of a steep chute gave me the same feeling of tingling anticipation as slipping into a hot tub.


<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ April 09, 2002 08:18 AM: Message edited 1 time, by PowderJunkie ]</font>
post #16 of 33
Lisamarie: Your only choice, and not to be crude, is to let go and 'ride it out'. Feels like multiples.

That is not crude, it is sexy! [img]smile.gif[/img]

Seriously, the "orgasmic feeling" discussed on this board is the reason we do something we love. It can be skiing, cross-country running, yoga, hang-gliding and even bodybuilding (remember Arnold's sexual innuendos when discussing "the pump" in the Pumping Iron documentary? [img]smile.gif[/img] ).

And just like in skiing, you have to have a certain level of skill to get to that feeling. So I agree with nolo's thrust of this post, but I hope everyone agrees that skiing does not have a monopoly on this.
post #17 of 33
Oh yeah, the famous Arnold video!

He says "I'm coming in the weight room, I'm coming in bed. Its orgasm all the time."

He's actually very nice in person!
post #18 of 33
Thread Starter 

We love what we lack, each of us determining what that is. Skiing isn't my only thing, as I doubt it is yours. The point is, a very important part of LIFE is finding pursuits that allow us to lose ourselves in them, to quiet the doubting mind, throw off the parents' conditioning, and enable us to be FREE AGENTS of our own fulfillment.

We are not being coy to bring sex into it! What is sex but regeneration, re-creation, and self-expression? Sex happens to be a great metaphor for the act of skiing. Even the movements of skiing echo those of the two-headed beast with two backs.

As teachers, we must recognize that we can frame the experience as trivial or profound, but (as I learned from a guru) we are in the fundamental position of a mother trying to get her child to eat the strained peas through the motivation of the applesauce. We must offer a few tastes of the applesauce to get through the strained peas.

I hope I have accurately portrayed the basic instincts behind the genesis of passion.
post #19 of 33
Nolo, amen to the heli experience.

I'm sitting here now with a concussion (feeling like Soupy Sales) and a torn back muscle trying to figure out how I'm going to ski at Whistler later this week. We are a crazy bunch.
post #20 of 33
Somewhat pertinent, re Dolores LaChapelle, author of Deep Powder Snow: Forty years of Ecstatic Skiing, Avalanches, and Earth Wisdom:

It's about the Mountains...
post #21 of 33
Thread Starter 
"most religions have their beginnings in the mountains"

That is amazing.

Thank you, Ryan.
post #22 of 33
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by nolobolono:
If we want to excite people about snow sports, we need to better understand and facilitate snowgasmic experiences.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The off-season fitness thread recommends kegels.
post #23 of 33

I'm jealous-I'm assuming the particular "Run of the Century" you are referring to is out of the CMH Gothics lodge. When I skied there a number of years ago "Century" was deemed too unstable for us to ski. It still makes me long for my CMH days. I still have a picture of it in one of my guest rooms.
post #24 of 33
Thread Starter 

That's the run. Three groups got three trips down. On the second trip, I lost my left ski. I didn't fall, it just clicked off. The ski traveled downhill at a fair clip for 150 meters or so. The guide tried to race it down, which was quite a ride for him at that degree of pitch. Luckily, before he hit terminal velocity or was speared, the ski flipped to a stop with its tail in the snow. So, I skied much of the run on one ski. Again, being able to link one ski turns down a steep run in a few inches of powder is thanks to many days on one ski back at the resort.

You know, I'm trying to lock the whole experience in my head but I feel it slipping away. Soon I will lack it and be driven to have it again.

Such is love, driving passion, making me spend my children's inheritance on helicopter rides...
post #25 of 33
I have already sold my children into slavery in exchange for heli trips.
post #26 of 33
Weemsical- How is it you can always put the ideal spin on things to make them understandable, yet funny? I envy that... :
post #27 of 33
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by weems:
I have already sold my children into slavery in exchange for heli trips.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Weems, Just wait a few years and the situation reverses. When climbimg in the back country I always wonder if my 2 teenagers might give me a little help over the edge. With my term life insurance they could go to heli-heaven for at least a few years!
post #28 of 33
Thread Starter 
Has anyone been to the Monashees? I have two spots the 2nd week of April 2003. Is that kind of late in the season or is my frame of reference too southern?

It says "only strong, experienced heli-skiers" allowed. One of the Gothics guides told me that when a weaker skier holds up the group in the Monashees, they bus them to a lesser lodge, regardless of family, friends, what have you.

I have seen high intermediate skiers enjoy a week of heli-skiing, but it just about kills them physically from the movement inefficiencies. Better to prepare yourself in fitness and technique before spending that kind of dough.

Did you notice the line in Ryan's article where Doris LaChapelle is referred to as "the best female powder skier in the world"? What's that? Have you ever heard of a "best MALE powder skier in the world?" No: the concept boggles the mind. Frankly, I am insulted when I read this kind of compliment, as though the female pickings are so sparse that singling out "the best" is no big thing. I know the author was quite impressed with his subject, but I can think of scores of women skiers who would put his assessment to the test.

Still, of the 44 guests on my trip, six were women.
post #29 of 33
For sure, Si.

I'm toast.

They're sixteen and they say things like, "Hey, Mom! Is the geezer home?" (I love that!)

But I'm toast.
post #30 of 33
I've skied the Monashees almost exclusively (aside from trips to Gothics, Revelstoke and Galenas) since 1976. About 20 trips over the years.

My personal preference is mid-February. I prefer steep trees with lots of snow. That is what they target during the January to March timeframe. In mid-March through April (what they used to call the Monashees Second Season) they target the glaciers and more open terrain at higher altitude. While I've had some great glacier runs there, and we do get to ski lots of wide open treeless terrain in February, it's just not the same as playing tag through the trees on Steep and Deep, Everglades, Big Red, Please Come, Come Again, etc., etc. Having the guide turn you loose at the top of 1500 vertical meters of trees and face shots all the way saying "you come to a big thing with a spinner on top, you wait for me there..." is unforgetable.

But to each his own snowgasm...

I've got literally thousands of slides from Mica Creek. I'll scan a few and post them although it will probably be next week.


Finally read the rest of your post. I have seen weaker skiers in the Monashees but do not remember ever seeing anyone bused out. First of all, where would they bus them to? Gothics? Revelstoke? Most of their areas are fully booked and they would not have space. I have seen them add a "fifth group" if there is a skier who will hold back even the slowest group. Fifth group is a guide and the stragglers. They'll get in fewer runs, may have to wait for a lift depending on space and may not get to ski everyday. If a skier is falling into the fifth group they are usually lacking the skills, experience and/or stamina to keep up and appreciate the opportunity to at least get out on the mountain.

For many years we organized our own full group to avoid the problems of wide variation in ability. Organized from people we met skiing in the Monashees so we knew each others abilities, temperments and skill levels. The last few trips we have gone with a core of 4-6 and relied on Roger to match us with another core group.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ April 10, 2002 09:14 AM: Message edited 2 times, by PowderJunkie ]</font>
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