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How long is your ski day?

post #1 of 85
Thread Starter 

I only get to ski 10-15 days per year but I see many on this site ski 50 to 100 days per season.  When I ski, I usually go bell to bell as I am always wanting more.  If I logged 50 or more days a year I doubt I would have time to ski 8 hours each day.  For those of you who record your season in weeks not days, how long do you typically ski each day?


Also, do daily drills to hone technique help?  Golfers go to the driving range and the practice green to improve technique in hopes of having more fun on the course.  Does this make sense for the recreational skier or is it better to  just go ski and have fun?

post #2 of 85

Good question -- I know some people only get in a couple hours and call it a "day".  My ski days are normally 6-8 hours.

post #3 of 85

I certainly don't ski 50 days in a season but I do ski 5 or 6 hours straight when I do ski.......15 times a year.

post #4 of 85

It varies, depends on the conditions, how I feel etc.  This year I've been going late into the day with little fatigue.  I lost 40 pounds and feel great!  Skiing well too!!


post #5 of 85

Typically more than 4 and less than 7 including breaks.  I usually want to go longer but have learned not to press on when I really start to get tired.  When I had jobs that allowed me to be on my feet all day (and before turing the big 40) my ski days were pretty much wire to wire, and I still had enough to dance at the clubs afterwards

post #6 of 85

i pretty much always ski til 4:00.  the better it is, the earlier i go.


i began this "last chair" philosophy about 3-4 years ago and it completely changed my appreciation of skiing.  last chair is now my favorite part of the day. 


give it a try!

post #7 of 85

If i make the drive to the ski hills I like to get my full 8 hours in, but usually the drive is so long i'll be late and only get in around 6 hours.  I also like to head up the night before, go night skiing (4 t 5 hours) then get up early for a full day of skiing the next morning.  Often, I only have a half day available, and i'll still go for the 4 hours when that's the case.  


In years where I'm closer to a hill (last season I was in Canada working, Decmeber and january), and I hold a season's pass, I will try to go every day I can even if it's only for a couple hours.  Once again, trying to get at least 3 hours in to make the effort to get there worth it.  When I have a pass and have time (not weekends every), I will also often go and ski day/night.  I did that at least three times while i was up in Canada last year, balancing out the 3 hour days.                   

post #8 of 85

^^^Yeah, that last hour of the day is like having your own private mountain in my experience.


My ski days tend to come in groups.  I'll often ski 15-35 days in a row.  Sometimes it's difficult to get motivated for first chair.  This year I've discovered race skis, so that helps on days when the bumps start out hard and icy.  I've had a few days already where I mach the groomers until the bumps soften up a bitThumbs Up


I guess on average I ski 6 or so hours a day.  If I'm solo lunch is 15 minutes or so.  If I'm with friends I go with the flow.



When counting ski days though, any day I boot up and click in is a ski day.  I had one this year that consisted of hiking 100' on a closed Michigan bump..... hey, I was there and would have skied all day if they had been open!

post #9 of 85

Bell to bell. 

post #10 of 85

Of course it varies by conditions. And it varies through life.


that being said, the age of the skier is a major factor. the older you get,the more difficult it is to recover from a hard ski day. through the week (I ski mid-week ), I get increasingly fatigued, the exhaustion builds up and I lose some of the pop in the legs. sucks.


skiing my whole life, 54 years of skiing now, I always wanted to go bell to bell. . It gets harder and harder to do, and I'm not happy about it.


and the old platitude proves true, most of my serious falls happen between 3 and 4. a limiting factor when considering another run.  In fact I find  the only way that I can have a fairly easy day is to show up late. no self contol to go easy.


Mondays and Tuesdays I'm still 16 years old, hard lines all day, legs like a tiger.

post #11 of 85

I find my stamina for skiing is inversly related to the length of drive home I have following the ski day.  If I have a room in town or close I'm likely to take a second snack break around 2 and ski a few more hours.  If I have a 4 hour drive to get home then unload all the gear I'm probably outta there by 3. 

post #12 of 85

Isn't it about the type of terrain and the number of vertical feet you skied rather than the total number of hours skied per day. 4 hours in big bowls or steep moguls, where you log 25,000 vertical counts as a very full day for me. Plus I have time for other activities during that same day. I don't think just skiing a full day counts for much unless you log significant vertical, say 35,000 plus. However, I know you can't do this at an area that does not have a lot of high speed quad lifts. I am just sayin.......


What kind of vertical do you log in a day? anyone?

post #13 of 85


8,000 per hour isn't hard at squaw...


my ski journal says i've averaged 27k per day so far this year... haven't really started pulling any long days yet, tho (plus i have a few short rain days).  hopefully we start getting some snow and that number goes up!


you can keep track of stuff like this in your own ski journal at SkiLogs.com...

post #14 of 85

9 til 4 standard,

post #15 of 85

My "ski day" can be anywhere from a few runs to before dawn til after dusk. I'm lucky, I live at the base of the mountain and have my days available to ski. You can think of my lifestyle as the opposite of a visiting tourist that feels it important to get the most out of every day that they get to ski.

I always find it funny when a family is waiting for the lifts to open in the spring when it's rock-hard frozen slush until noon. Ouch!  

post #16 of 85
Originally Posted by jahroy View Post


8,000 per hour isn't hard at squaw...


I hope that's true, and it's something you know and care about so it probably is, but I can't get the math on it. Take KT or Headwall, at about 1K vertical each. about 8 minutes for the ride, 2 minutes to ski. that's 6K per hour vert. All these numbers are approximate, as I'm not getting out the stop watch and trail map, but are they way off?  I bet you know the lift run times at ave speed, and that's good data when you're planning the last few runs.

It is definitely a mountain we can get 40K vert. on a decent day, so let it snow!



post #17 of 85

I typically get 15k vert in a typical "day", but I get a lot of those days. As soon as I feel the leaft bit tired I tend to leave though. I can do a 50k vert day easily if I ski how most people seem to, that has always been a poroblem of mine though. I mentally have a hard time not skiing at 100% of what I am capable of, which will wear you out fast.

post #18 of 85
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

I hope that's true, and it's something you know and care about so it probably is, but I can't get the math on it.




KT and Headwall are both about 1750 vertical feet.


KT seems to be running at about a 7.5 minute ride this year (it can do 6)... unless the conditions are incredible, i won't try for another lap unless i get dropped off at the top before 3:57.  obviously the route in question is either west face or the chute.


i think 70k in a day is feasible at squaw... i've heard people talk about doing 60k+.  i bet there are close to 100 people there logging more than a couple million vert per year!!!



post #19 of 85

for the record i don't go out of my way to rack up vert and CERTAINLY am not skiing groomers...


i started tracking this stuff last year when i made a goal of 2,000,000 vert for the season... i never added it all up, but i know i destroyed it.  figured i wanted to ski the equivalent of 100 days @ 20k per.


the end result of all this was the creation of SkiLogs.com.  i've only logged 53 of my days from last season, but they average about 26k.  i still haven't entered february or march, which would've been my biggest months.


edit:  davluri, i wonder how many times we've ridden KT together!!

        karpiel, i think the way most people seem to ski means skiing all day to log 15-20k!


this is pretty interesting (from SkiLogs.com)


january 2008 vs january 2009:


 stats from SkiLogs.com

average vert differs by 3 feet per day!! 

Edited by jahroy - 2/8/2009 at 07:41 am
post #20 of 85

I used to knock off around 2 or 3pm, and take frequent breaks.  But since getting into better shape over the summer, I'm able to ski bell to bell most days.  I do try to avoid challenging terrain in the late afternoon, however, as the risk of injury rises with fatigue.

post #21 of 85

I am the same way as the OP, I dont ski nearly as much as I would like to, so as a result I'm there open till they shut down the lifts.  There are times when I am either too cold or it gets too dark that I might leave a little earlier.

post #22 of 85

Depends on where I am. At our home mountain, I'd say 6-7 hours with one or two short breaks. Today, for example, we'll start around 8:00 AM and beer time will be around 2:30-3:00 or so. If we're out of town on a ski trip, I'd say almost bell to bell-gotta take advantage of it while you're there!

post #23 of 85

If I skied my home mountain bell to bell (8:30 am to 10:pm during peak season) or even bell to bell in early/late season when they close around 5, I'd be bored out of my mind. I've skied around 24 times there so far this year -- the shortest being about 3 hours, the longest around 6 or 7.  It's just not big enough to ski 8 hours or more each time I go -- and in the last two weekends there have actually been lift lines forming by 1:00 as the bigger crowds roll in and get their rental equipment.


Out of town -- bell to bell.

post #24 of 85

Home Mt - 8-11 or 12 (15 min ride with kids).


Ski trip (usually Overnight Fri to Sun am"  Sat 8-2or so with few breaks running laps as fast I I can.


Sat + Crowded+cooooks+tired = hurt.

post #25 of 85

First chair until closing. Only have a few opportunities to ski each season, and I already know how to drink.

post #26 of 85

This has changed for me this year as well.  I used to do a lot of early mornings until 12 or 1 because that's where my fitness was.  This year I'm far more fit (and almost 40lbs lighter) and skiing all day doesn't hurt like it used to.  Actually, I can think of 3 or 4 days this year that I've quit before 3 (which is drop off time when I'm coaching). 

post #27 of 85

2-5 hours, everyday

post #28 of 85

For me, it depends a lot on the time of year, conditions, and family committments. In spring, I sometimes don't go until 11 or even later, because of freeze/thaw. And in real late spring, the sweet spot of the day may only be from noon to 2 or something. In early winter, I sometimes quit by 2:30 or 3 as the light starts to fail.


If I have to deal with kids, I sometimes stop for an hour or so midday, so my day might be runs from 8:30 to 11, dealing with kids to noon, then back up until closing.


I always get up early to ski, though don't always leave the house right away. Sometimes, even first-tram intentions get sidetracked by family.


When I ski alone, conditions permitting, it's usually bell to bell, which at my hill is 8:30 to 4. No lunch.


On weekends, I probably do about 7000 meters vertical per day. My best day (a weekday) this year I logged about 13000. About 12000 of that was hard bumps and I was on soft twintips. Next day felt much better on race SLs.

post #29 of 85

I have been thinking about re-evaluating the way I track ski time in a given season, or maybe just drop it all together.  I normally shoot for 25-35 days a year, but the quality of those days varies quite a bit.  A day of local skiing in the mid-Atlantic might rack up 50-60K vertical feet, but the terrain can be boring and a series of laps on 700-1000-1500 vertical feet can start to feel repetitive (don't get me wrong, I still love every minute of it).  If there's a powder day locally, that cranks the quality/enjoyment up significantly.  When I travel out west, a full day out there is an order of magnitude more rewarding and enjoyable, and if I hit a bluebird powder day out there, it's off the charts (feels like a lifetime experience -- in fact I can still remember all those top days over the years).  


So clearly, just counting days doesn't really gauge the season or provide an accurate measurement of what I get out of individual ski days.  I think if this were to be done right, there would have to be a weighting system that captures what I feel in my head/body after each day.  Still, how do you rank those life-experience days?  I could have just one of those in a season and call it done!  Really makes me think counting days is pointless -- there needs to be more focus on satisfaction/enjoyment.  On my last day (#24) at Alta last April, skiing was so good I knew it was time to put my season to bed on a high note.


I hear those of you mentioning fitness/fatigue/endurance considerations.  I normally ski bell to bell, but if it's the last couple days on a western trip, I will start to feel a bit beat by the late afternoon.  It's an oddball combination of still wanting to ski, but knowing I am asking for trouble if I ski complicated terrain -- may not be able to get my legs moving fast enough to hit moguls for instance.  So I have taken to skiing easier terrain at that point, which ends up being a great way to end the day and transition to Miller time.  Last year during one trip at Alta, I planned my last run on some green trails as an easy way to get back down to the base, and I stumbled upon loads of untracked powder.  That last run turned into another 4-5 runs before the chair closed, as I went nuts eating up all that easy powder.  It was a great way to end the day on a satisfying, but relaxing, note.

post #30 of 85

If I'm going to drive 5 hours RT to go ski, then I will ski from when the bullwheel starts turning till at least 3pm. If conditions have held up well, I'll certainly stay till the end

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