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Notes from the field, 12-23-01

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
"This note's for you".

1) Lifties.
Quit asking me; "Are you having a great day"? "How is it up there"? "How ya doin"? I know they tell you in meetings to smile and act like you do really care, but we all know you don't. So, go back to sneering at me - I liked you much better then.

Speaking of which, why are lifties even needed? I should be able to ski up to a gate, and scan my pass or ticket myself. Then, I wouldn't have to have all these faux conversations with lifties. It'd also eliminate the scan nazis.

2) Overheard.
Instructor yelling up at the class, "Look where you're going". So, the whole class is looking across the hill. No counter, and each and every one of them, their tails were falling in front of them. Then, they go to make a turn and it's a big surprise - splat! Right into the side of the bump. Why? Because they were looking across the hill, not down the hill.

Nonsense. I'm going downhill. The phrase should be "Look downhill". If you look downhill, you get a counter, and you're feet will follow.

3) What's up with all the foreigners?
A lot of foreign instructors. This makes me think they're taking up jobs that should go to Americans.

4) $4 bucks for a Gatorade?
Ouch! At least tap water is still free. I wonder how long though.

5) Cloud seeding.
Sure, I'm getting milk runs all day. But at what expense? I was talking about it with a long time resident. This fellow raised an interesting question, talking about the chemicals in the air. "Is the air in Denver better"?

6) Gear matters.
I saw someone riding up the chair with one ski. Apparently, they had given up trying to find theirs in the pow pow. That's an expensive day that would have been saved by $5 powder cords.

Guess they didn't have any with a Spyder logo on 'em.

7) Snobbery is alive and well.
Everyone always asks me if I work on the mountain, no one ever asks me if I own it. Hmm. Guess that's because of the duct tape on my gloves.

8) 97%
After watching instructors teach at one of the most popular hills in the land, I'm convinced that 97% of ski instruction is terrible at best. There are some great instructors out there. Problem is, no one knows who they are, or they're booked solid until 2005.

9) Everyone is a great at the bar.

10) Falling short, casualties in the pow pow.
I saw it for myself. Turned by a bunch of 'em. Most of 'em had those short skis. Was it the short skis or no skills?

Judging by the marketing that's going on and the lousy instruction that's so prevalent, it's probably a combination of both.

11) Most ski less than 20 days a year.

Sorry folks, no instructor, camp, video, or book is going to make them any better unless they're willing to up the ante.

12) Snowboarders.
According to my eye, they make up about 30 to 40%. So without 'em, where would we be? Some areas would be broke and costs would be higher, eh?

Besides. I've come to appreciate slacker wear. It's a slap in the face to the snobs. And like I say, they always have great tools.

13) When I catch myself not skiing for myself, I know it's time to call it a day.

14) Sure, there's snobs, but there's lots of great people on the mountain -- I talk to 'em all the time.

Like the guy in the lodge who drank his lunch. He was waiting all damn day to talk to someone who didn't care he was tanked -- Merry Christmas friend.

And a Merry Christmas to all of you.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ December 23, 2001 09:50 AM: Message edited 1 time, by SCSA ]</font>
post #2 of 23
I differ from you on point one. In Europe, most of the lifties struggle to talk or look at the punters. I, as a European, like the friendliness of the US/Canadian lifites.
When I'm getting on the lift, I try to see there name badge, and if I can read it, I'll say hello by name to them. It was something I used to do in my days in sales. It makes the person feel a bit more wanted/loved, and it only takes a couple of friendly words.

Lifties are our friends. Be nice to them. One day one of them could be me...

post #3 of 23
Point by point:
1. I like lifties. I just with they would go a little farther and start beating the young slackers who like cutting in lift lines. Snowboarders seem to be the most guilty of this, but they're not alone. I guess it's a cultural thing these days.

2. I don't know if "look downhill" is appropriate, either. Maybe "look ahead" or "look around" would be a better phrase. Beginners tend to look at their feet to make sure they don't fall off, so any phrase that gets them to make them aware of their surroundings probably is a good thing. Besides, you don't see much countering when people are performing liftline navigation maneuvers (or whatever the current term for wedging is).

3. If the instructor is a 19 year old nordic goddess, who am I to complain? Besides, some people like that Austrian accent. Makes them think they're learning from someone who should know. Looking at the World Cup standings, maybe they're right.

4. Ouch. I know what you mean. I can barely afford to eat near, much less at, the mountain anymore.

5. No experience with cloud seeding.

6. Just wrench your bindings down a bunch and follow the bloody trail to where your ski and lower leg went.

7. I don't like seeing people sit on the hill. They should be sliding. Does this make me a snob?

8. I'm convinced that 97% of the people on the hill haven't taken a formal lesson beyond their first. A lot of excellent ski instructors leave the fold for better pay/benefits elsewhere, leaving less trained, motivated, and/or talented instructors behind. Don't blame PSIA for that, blame the corporation that owns the mountain. Economics at work. Why pay top dollar for experienced/dedicated professionals when you can pay bottom dollar for slugs? 97% of the public will never know the difference. My hat's off to the true professionals that stick with instructing despite this.

9. I'm great at the bar until someone notices all of the snow crammed down my collar from faceplanting.

10. Short skills. A skier with solid technique can make 2x4 planks work well.

11. Who can afford $4 Gatorades more than 20 times a year? If they're happy with how they ski and they are in control and know their limits, who am I to complain? It's supposed to be fun, remember? I agree, though, you have to do the work to get the results.

12. I ski primarily with a snowboarder. The only time I see him sit is to tighten his boots or on the lift. I tell him he boards like a skier, which I consider the highest complement. The only complaints I have with boarders is their general ignorance of proper slope etiquette (i.e. skiers code) and their distain for formal instruction (their buddy taught 'em). I get hit by more boarders than skiers. Other than that, baggy gortex is more comfortable than stretch pants...

13. Good motto. It keeps the enthusiasm up.

14. Merry Christmas right back at you.

post #4 of 23
A comment for Alaska Mike-
On the skiing with a boarder thing... I do almost all of my skiing with a boarder as well. I love the guy. He does the same thing. Tightens the bindings on the lift and off we go. My buddy does one more thing. The guy rides with poles. He's the sickest boarder I know. Never have to wait on the uphills cause he pushes as fast as me. Its great. Boarders aren't bad, dumb one's are.
post #5 of 23

Maaaattteee Today was perfect. How can you critic blue skies, new snow, plenty of perfect groomers, soft round bumps, so few people and all of them happy? Lunch for free; great company, postcard views and I get paid for it. At days end a beautiful Instructor from Argentina opened the SS locker room door for me with a smile to light up any room. Even the boarders seemed invisible today.

Reach out, pick up that beer and let the alcohol melt the critic gene and party.

Point on Foreign instructors is that the work is just too hard for many of you Nancy boy Yanks ... two beers and home by 10:00pm. (see WC results)

Thank you lord for the beautiful Colorado Alpine environment and letting me be part of it. I am a Ski Instructor not a Super Bowl Football coach.

Merry Christmas to you all. Rage on regardless.

(The next person that says "Happy Holidays" to me gets a Rossi boot to the shins ... and a smile ... politically incorrect but heart centered.)

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img] : : :

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ December 23, 2001 04:42 PM: Message edited 1 time, by man from oz ]</font>
post #6 of 23
If you look downhill you get a counter?

Would that be Geiger or Formica?
post #7 of 23
custom wood with half round edges?
post #8 of 23
you seem so down on your fellow skiers. maybe your skiing at the wrong hill. ski kt at squaw on a weekday and you'll start questioning that 97% thing. IMHO, their are so many more good skiers around than any time in the past. I've skied 100+ days a year for the last 12 or so, and I am amazed at how many skiers are raising the bar. Anyway, maybe you need a change of scenery to help ease you out of your negativity.
Make it a great day,
PS after all these days, i hit my head today for the first time ever (on a tree, no less) It's been kindof a bad couple of weeks, seperated shoulder last week, and concussion with a trip to ER this week. Maybe i need a desk job after all.
post #9 of 23

You may have hit the nail squarely on the head.


Vail\BC are big "holiday mountains" There are few really challenging runs, in fact IMHO the mountain is one big beautiful patch of blue and green runs. Vail\BC are not where all the hard a%$e skiers are to be found. The cliental predominantly is intermediate family groups. Not withstanding there are many good skiers around these resorts .... but many more are to be found in places like Squaw, Jackson, Snowbird, Red Mountain etc, etc. Save up for a trip to Verbier, Chamonix, or Alaska and blow your mind.

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #10 of 23
I had three lifties tell me the bottom buckels on my boots were unbuckled today. One of them actual tried to bend down and buckle them for me until I asked him what he was doing.

Friendly and helping? Yes.

Annoying after the third time?. . . Yes.

But hey, I give them a break. The have one of the most boring jobs on slow days, and probably one of the most annoying when they get stuck working the kiddie lifts. That reminds me, the liftie who tried to buckle my boots said he gets so used to having to buckle the little kids' boots that it just came as instinct when he saw mine where unbuckled.
post #11 of 23
Lifties must have one of the worst jobs in the resort - hours and hours of boredom watching other people go skiing followed by the odd burst of excitement. Don't get rid of them though - yes, I could manage the gate by myself as well, but sometimes something nasty happens & you need somebody there to stop the lift fast and sort it out. If you're in a foreign country, you also need them there to sort out ambulance etc in the language.

I've just got back from my first trip to France (Val d'Isere) and I was amazed at the lift attendants - they all smiled & said 'bonjour'. French resorts have a dreadful reputation for surliness but didn't live up to it at all. Maybe they're all in a better mood early in the season.
post #12 of 23

It seems that most of your posts include YOUR opinion that ski instruction is a useless thing, and the worst expenditure of ones money at a ski area. In your last post you said, "97% of it is terrible at best" And there's also the comments that lifties should keep there mouth shut. You sir, have a bad attitude in my book. If you think you have a better solution on how to teach someone how to ski, then write a book. Or God forbid, actually try and teach skiing for a ski company if you ski well enough to get on.

I've been teaching folks how to get the most out of there skiing for over a quarter of a century, and have the privilege of working with some of the best ski pros in the business. What we do is not terrible, and what we do DOES make a difference in peoples skiing. On the most part, this forum is a place for pros to talk about there trade and new ideas. And I for one do not think there's room for someone who criticizes and does not offer anything constructive in return. I also take offence to someone saying that what I do is useless, and I would think that there are many more in this forum that feel the same way. So SCSA, take it elsewhere. Have a Merry Christmas.------------Wigs
post #13 of 23
Oz -

"Point on Foreign instructors is that the work is just too hard for many of you Nancy boy Yanks ... two beers and home by 10:00pm."

Amazing you didn't get jumped on for that one. But I've played Aussie rules football, (in Australia) and would back you all the way .

Story goes that when they introduced soccer to Australia the intro went somewhat like this....

"All right lads, now the objects is to kick a round ball into the net at the other end of the field, or kick the other fellow's shins. As soon as the ball arrives, we'll get started".

To which the Aussies replied "Why wait for the #@**!!!# ball?"
post #14 of 23
I've skied 100+ days a year for the last 12 or so, and I am amazed at how many skiers are raising the bar. Anyway, maybe you need a change of scenery to help ease you out of your negativity.

Whoa, Holiday... are you speaking too quickly here? I don't see skiers raising the bar on skiing skill or technical skill. I see them raising the bar on acrobatics. There's quite a difference. I think this subject has been hammered in other threads by reference to the park'n'pipe crowd and their inability to do anything but switch and jump and spin... couldn't carve gates if their lives depended on it.

The truest top skiing is not advancing by acrobatic phenomena. As far as I know, all the best skiers in the world started as racers, not as jibbers. Have I misread your point?


SCSA, I don't understand the rather blatant contradiction in your points (1) and (14). How is it you know the lifties are being unctuous sycophants? At my home ski areas, if they say "hey" to you, they are being genuine and friendly. Maybe I need to visit Plastic Frontrangeland Skimegalopolis.

post #15 of 23
SCSA - a person can be a snob whether it be for the like of the finer things or the disdain of the finer things.

Remember when you point a finger at someone you are pointing three at yourself (quote from my third grade teacher )

Why not just try and enjoy the day? How can you stand being so darn angry? Take that energy and put it into some turns and let others do as they will.
post #16 of 23
Isn't this the point where that crazy woman (forgot her name) submits an out-of-control rant about how much she dislikes SCSA? What happened to her? Was she banned from the board or did she mutate into Sugar Snack?

Do they actually practice cloud-seeding in Colorado or is that just a nasty rumour?
post #17 of 23
SCSA, you need to have a Manhatten or two

Live and let live... ...Ott
post #18 of 23
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jamesdeluxe:
Isn't this the point where that crazy woman (forgot her name) submits an out-of-control rant about how much she dislikes SCSA? What happened to her? Was she banned from the board or did she mutate into Sugar Snack?

Do they actually practice cloud-seeding in Colorado or is that just a nasty rumour?

Ahhhhhhhhhh that would be a big "NO" James. I actually like SCSA - sounds like he's having a bad day though. Next time you want to go accusing someone of being a formerly rude poster why don't you search for their posts and review the tone of them.
post #19 of 23

Here's a challenge.

Go down to Lionshead SS and request Franz Fuchsberger for a private. One hour will do you. When you can ski with the style, subtle touch and speed of this man then you are skiing. There are many, many others, you just rarely see them open up .... they need a challenge.

Oz :

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ December 26, 2001 08:25 PM: Message edited 1 time, by man from oz ]</font>
post #20 of 23
I'm talking about numbers (there are more skiers you watch and say, wow that guy (girl) rips.), speed in skiing the natural snow (meaning no grooming), and line creativity. these young skiers, and some not so young are getting loose and it's fun to watch. Anyway, acrobatics, whatever, skiers are better. Thank the skis, thank the race or bump backgrounds, thank the ski schools. Anyway, it's all good. Cheers, Wade
post #21 of 23
Sugar, my sweet:

That was a joke. Your posts are, without exception, measured and cheerful in tone... very rare to see you get upset and take someone to task. (But that's what SCSA wants, isn't it?)

That said, I did agree with him about the glib lifties. During my trip to Colorado two weeks ago, I repeatedly fell into their trap and actually gave honest, detailed answers to their queries about the great conditions, the fine weather, my last run, my equipment, and my love life... then kicked myself ten seconds later when I realized that they are instructed to engage in idle banter with all guests, and could probably care less.

Or maybe it's a cultural thing. When I moved out to Colorado to go to the university, I was always confused when I ran into acquaintances on campus. As we passed one another, they would always look straight into my eyes and say with utmost sincerity, "Hi! How are you?" And like a trained seal, I would always stop to tell them, but by that time, they had already disappeared into the crowd. It took me almost four years to train myself not to answer their question -- they didn't want to know how I was... they were just making social noises.

Perhaps we should send some of our surly (but sincere) east coast lifties out to Vail for SCSA. It's also very rare to see "John Smith - New Zealand" on their nametags back here.
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 

You got it all wrong, Fosters breath.

If I'm going to challenge your boy Franz, shouldn't he be paying me?

Said goodby to an old friend.
God I'll miss my old friend.
post #23 of 23
zi he he (austrian laugh)

You want to take on the 3 time world powder 8 champion etc etc ????

Stick with me. Turning soon.

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]
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