or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Are skiers becoming weenies and spoiled?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Are skiers becoming weenies and spoiled?

post #1 of 59
Thread Starter 
Maybe it is just me, but I can remember a time when skiers really, really looked forward to skiing.  They would wait all summer and fall for that first snowfall, and jones at the chance to get skiing as early as possible in November, and keep skiing throughout the winter.  After all, what else is there to do in the winter in Oregon?  Sit at home in the rain?  Sliding on snow used to be a big deal; all the kids wanted to ski each weekend (remember the ski bus?) 

The past few years, I notice fewer and fewer people really getting excited about skiing. Sure, there are the people that identify with skiing as their lifestyle, but many, many more people I speak with these days just don't seem like they really are all that interested in skiing.  Our mountain has been open over a month, and we have had several nice powder days, a few weeks of high pressure, sunny skiing (a rarity here in the PNW this time of year) and a couple of days of crappy rain.  Overall, it has been a great start to the season.  Yet, I know more than a few season pass holders! who have not yet skied a day this year.  Here is the range of excuses I have heard so far at points during the season:  "oh, I hear it is crappy up there" (what is it you don't like?  The sun, or the snow?), "I heard the snow is too firm" (grippy and cold, definitely not East Coast ice, and awfully fun), "not enough of the mountain is open" (4 full-length chairs with 1300 vertical average on each chair, I bet PA skiers would like to trade), "I might damage my skis" (we had a 3-4 foot base earlier, now 4-5 feet; again, plenty of people would kill for that base in December), "we haven't had a storm in a few days" (guess you don't like skiing except on a new snow day? Don't get many days in, eh?), "not enough grooming" (ONLY 70% of the mountain; or you can learn to ski and ditch the groomers altogether). 

It isn't so much the excuses that bother me, it is that not many really seem to be that enthusiastic about skiing these days.  When I was a kid, Bend had 6 full service ski shops and a population of 10,000: now we have 70,000 and 1 full-service shop, 1 shop that only sells softgoods and tunes, and 1 that tunes only.  The mountain seems downright empty. I skied today (Christmas break, Saturday, sunny and 30 degrees), I expected the mountain to be packed, and the only time I waited more than 30 seconds for a lift is when it had stopped due to a blown breaker.

Have we just become too spoiled?  People don't like to cope with the elements, the physical strain, the cost, the logistics of skiing?  They would rather spend the day in a mall, buying stuff they probably don't need and won't use?  Or, has skiing lost some of it's luster?  The images of the alpine cottage in Switzerland and the gorgeous women in stretch ski pants sipping toddys have somehow become less an image that people view as a bit of an attainable pseudo-reality when they ski?  Or, are people simply lazy and would rather get exercise on the Wii?  Skiing itself, if anything, has become more enjoyable for those who don't do it regularly, and is just as addicting.
post #2 of 59
It seems to me that when people can ski whenever they want (i.e. live by a ski area or something) they start to take it for granted and become much more selective about when they go.  I don't really understand how but that's probably because I live in Illinois...
post #3 of 59
 Dawg, I tend to agree to a great extent.  
I find myself  getting excited about skiing, waxing my skis with care and loving the feel of brushing the bases as I get jonesed about heading to the hill, but those around me are,.....eh, I'll meet you out there when I get around to it.  
Sup with that!?
post #4 of 59
I think you guys are right, when it is in your backgarden the "special" is a bit gone.
I live in a lake district, the harbor where my boat was just 5min walking.
But i sold my boat years ago when i noticed that i did not use it enough. I was more time working on it to keep it floating as using it. In the end it was more practicall/cheaper to rent one on those nice days...

On the other hand I love skiing, and the alps are between 800-1200km from here depending where i want to go, this distance makes it special, it is also expensive overhere a week pass of over 200 euros 300usd is common so a week trip will easily total around 1200-1500 euros making it even more special.
post #5 of 59
 You talk about when you were a kid. Lots of us felt that way when we were young, but some of us grew up, that's all (not me ).
 
You will find that skiing spirit among the snowboarders. Young people who are passionate about sliding on snow seem to prefer snowboards. I see it as different styles of skiing. Riders have embraced our sport, not abandoned it, in my view. 

The wii is evil though. I took my niece skiing on the 24th and I made a little video of it. She got wii for Christmas and was playing it pretty much non-stop the rest of the day. She didn't even stop to look at the video. Last year, we sat and watched and relived our ski day. She only skis one day a year, so it's kind of a big deal, but it pales in comparison to wii!

She developed tennis elbow or something after several hours, so switched to her left hand and kept going...
post #6 of 59
dawg.....the core skiers will always ski. The local pass holder types may well go through periods of "burn out" and need something to bring the perceived fun back into their daily routine. Could be a different mountain when possible or new skiing friends or a different style (tele, AT), or even new terrain challenges.

For me the most important part is to ski (or cycle, hike, whatever) when I want too. That means almost only mid week skiing for me. Less people equals more fun. I love to ski but by many peoples standards don't ski very much at 25ish days per season. After 40 plus years of sliding on snow it is as much fun now as it ever was......that works for me
post #7 of 59
I have not noticed the trend you mentioned in the general public.  There are still plenty of local youngsters taking the bus up to the mountain every weekend, and lots of young folks hitting the hill on powder days. 

The big difference is among my contemporaries.  As I get older (56 now) more and more of them become pickier about when and where they will ski:  "Oh, I don't ski at Mt. Baker any more, the snow is too heavy, or there are too many snowboarders, or the runs are too short, or the lifts are too slow, or I don't like the drive, etc..  I'll only ski at Whistler (or Sun Peaks, or Big White, or Silver Star, or...) on sunny days with no more than 6" of light powder."  And these are members of my ski club!

My generation is turning into a bunch of spoiled wimps.
post #8 of 59

Are you talking to me? I've got 17 days in @ Mt.B and 2 days at other resorts. 1" of new and snowing this AM @ 24F see ya up there dawg.

post #9 of 59
I haven't seen it here in the East. The early season liftlines have been as packed as ever, even during the rain we got the last few days.

My guess is that, in some areas out West where snow is plentiful, it might be easier to become spoiled and not want to ski on certain types of conditions that are not typical for the area. Where I ski, we get so much of everything that everyone is used to variable conditions and the hard, icey stuff that predominates around the resorts. If you want to ski out here often, you can't be picky and you just decide to go skiing that day and take whatever you get.

I have heard some people grumbling about Copper or Jackson Hole not having enough snow -- I'll take it ! What they already have beats what we get around here most of the time.

  
post #10 of 59
All I ever want to talked about is skiing. Unfortunately for me the people I am talking to either don't know a lot about skiing or don't really care. I love the sport so much its my life.
post #11 of 59
Like everything else, skiing suffers from trends.

25 years ago, few skiers had the interest and skill to ski powder or other off-piste conditions. Today, many skiers avoid hardpack and only ski deep powder on bluebird days. Or so they say.

Do skiers have unrealistic expectations? Some do, for sure.

Heck, I'm happy to ski any conditions any chance I get. But then, I'm an avid skier who is also a tourist.
post #12 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post

Are you talking to me? I've got 17 days in @ Mt.B and 2 days at other resorts. 1" of new and snowing this AM @ 24F see ya up there dawg.


Have to work, so yeah, put me in the "whiny" category today, no skiing for me
post #13 of 59
 My kids are growing up in sight of three ski resorts and skiing is often the last thing they want to do. I started them when they were two...they have no idea what it's like to live in a concrete city...they whine about the cold, the gear, pretty much everything. but once they're up there, they become laughing, screaming semi-guided missiles. I can't wait for the day when it clicks and they drag me  up the hill. I do have a plan with my eldest. We are skipping work/school on the next powder day.
    People are put off by the cost. Locals get spoiled and only ski bluebird days. Our town is very crowded this week, in spite of the near zero weather, so there are still some enthusiasts out there. The recession deals are helping, no doubt.
post #14 of 59
Ah, I found another Bend person!   You know I don't like flat light, so I do go mostly on sunny days.  I rocked out some skis early, but since I can fix them, it's no biggie.  I paid 160.00 for a used pair of Teneighty's, now they are rock skis!  

Now for the truth!  Dawgcatching, will you please vote for me in the Contest for EPIC SKIS?  Please.  I'll let you ride them if you want if I win!    http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/89627/the-finals-contest-for-the-epic-skis  Please have your friends vote too!

I too hear people (friends) say "the snow isn't that good"  Etc.   Look I rode the chair with a 70 yr. old German man.   He's been skiing Bachelor for twenty yrs., and he said the snow is always good there!   He has skied all over the world! 

Yes I like the sun, but you don't hear me whine about the condition of the snow, because I think I know how to ski!  I am an addict!

Just for the record : Jacques has skied 
TOTAL (14 days) 108 turns 138,853 ft
post #15 of 59
Most of us Bears and their friends tend to  be diehards, i.e., slider has 14 plus days in already.  Me 11 days, ski Bud Van 17 days, John 12 days and I will meet them up there today.   My 2 cents, cost/$ for a family can be very prohititive,  computers have grounded and made couch potatoes out of a large percentage of our youth, obese middle aged americans can't get their fat asses off the chair next to the TV and Refrigerator.  Too easy to watch TV, play computer games, go to a movie, hangout, eat, visit etc. than drive up to the mountains-$50 gas, food, lift tickets, maybe rentals, food on way home, traffic, waits on hwy etc.

REAL SKIERS - NO WHINING ALLOWED
post #16 of 59
14 days is diehard? I've got 32 in and I took a few off.
post #17 of 59
I have always been a fanatic, since learning in Alaska in 1955 at seven years old.

Fanatic behavior?  :
At 7, learning to ski rotation method in Alaska.  Big heavy clothing. Long, painful rope tows. Freezing temps. lousy light, simple gear. And the most favorite thing I had ever done.
at 8, skiing by myself under the lights the ski patrol lit on Chrismas eve at 25 below.
At 13, traveling around Europe on my own with clubs to lodges at ski areas. After dinner, in the dark, I would go out and build a kicker next to the hotel and ski it over and over until I dropped.
At 14 raced for a team in Garmish and therefore had free Austrian method coaching for many years. Returned to the US and kept up the race coaching on a So. Cal ski team.
At 60+, I ski every day, no matter what, except rain that is forcast to last all day. If nothing forces me to take a day off, I get more and more fatigued. At about 15 days in a row, my legs are tired before I cross the parking lot. I almost always ski hard runs and work on my skiing all the time. Not saying it isn't fun. I just want to ski better.
I own about 5 pairs of skis so the snow is always perfect with one set up.
I have all the storm gear, mask, puffy, goretex, jacket with great storm collar, so that the weather is always perfect. (Flat light is just a perfect day in the trees)

My 18 year old son, skiing since 3, not so much, for all the reasons, but mostly he moved back to the bay area to go to school where there are more girls (his ski community school was pretty small, a fishbowl society if you have a girlfriend at that age.)

My contemporaries, as you say DC, are half and half. A group of total diehards, dawn patrollers, 100 to 300 days a year (down under). And skiers that I believe get bored because they don't ski fast, take chances, improve their skills, ski storms, jump a little, don't ski off piste enough. If I skied like that I'd probably be a bored weenie too.




Quote:
Originally Posted by WILDCAT View Post

Like everything else, skiing suffers from trends.

25 years ago, few skiers had the interest and skill to ski powder or other off-piste conditions. Today, many skiers avoid hardpack and only ski deep powder on bluebird days. Or so they say.

Do skiers have unrealistic expectations? Some do, for sure.

Heck, I'm happy to ski any conditions any chance I get. But then, I'm an avid skier who is also a tourist.
 
post #18 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by iWill View Post

14 days is diehard? I've got 32 in and I took a few off.
 

You are either an employee, who has to be there, or no, you are a true Die-hard!   I know many who only like to go when it's snowing balls!   Where have you got in all those days?   My hat's off to you! 
Now, would you please vote for me in the Finals for the EPIC SKIS?  http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/89627/the-finals-contest-for-the-epic-skis    Although I am not near your Die-hard level, I would appreciate your vote!
post #19 of 59
When I was a young whippersnapper like you there weren't no chairlifts! We walked five miles up the hill in -30 weather into the teeth of a blizzard every day! And we liked it, by gum! Wolves were nipping at our heels.  And bears! But did we complain! No, dagnabit! We grabbed those wolves by the tail and swung 'em round and round our heads till they were dizzy and their tails tore clean off! We kept them tails and wound -em round our high-top lace-up boots to keep our feet warm. And we throttled them grizzly bars with our bare hands, and squoze the bear grease out of 'em and used it to grease the hickory boards we carved out of the trees on the back 40 with hand tools! And we liked it , I tell ye!!!  Gol durned whippersnappers complainin.....
post #20 of 59
I've noticed the same thing. As the years pass, the buddies I rely upon to join me on the slopes is getting thinner.
post #21 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques View Post
 I think I know how to ski!  I am an addict!

Just for the record : Jacques has skied 
TOTAL (14 days) 108 turns 138,853 ft

You're averaging less than 10,000 feet per day at Bachelor, which is covered with fast, groomed runs and has very little knarly stuff.  You average a turn every 1286 feet, so you really must be moving fast because those are LONG turns.

An easy day of groomers for someone skiing normally fast is well over 20,000 ft.  What do you do with all of your free time?
post #22 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by goblue View Post

When I was a young whippersnapper like you there weren't no chairlifts! We walked five miles up the hill in -30 weather into the teeth of a blizzard every day! And we liked it, by gum! Wolves were nipping at our heels.  And bears! But did we complain! No, dagnabit! We grabbed those wolves by the tail and swung 'em round and round our heads till they were dizzy and their tails tore clean off! We kept them tails and wound -em round our high-top lace-up boots to keep our feet warm. And we throttled them grizzly bars with our bare hands, and squoze the bear grease out of 'em and used it to grease the hickory boards we carved out of the trees on the back 40 with hand tools! And we liked it , I tell ye!!!  Gol durned whippersnappers complainin.....


I love it!  Great story. 

A few years ago, I was talking with this guy in "The Over The Hill Gang" from Mt. Bachelor, and he made me feel really soft core.  He said he had to ski as many days as his age.   He said he skied over 80 days that season!   Not hard to do there, if you go anytime.  He had to ski in the crap to get his days!   My hat's off to those old(er) folks!
post #23 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post

Maybe it is just me, but I can remember a time when skiers really, really looked forward to skiing.... After all, what else is there to do in the winter in Oregon?  Sit at home in the rain?  Sliding on snow used to be a big deal; all the kids wanted to ski each weekend ...

...Have we just become too spoiled?  People don't like to cope with the elements, the physical strain, the cost, the logistics of skiing?  They would rather spend the day in a mall, buying stuff they probably don't need and won't use?  Or, has skiing lost some of it's luster?  The images of the alpine cottage in Switzerland and the gorgeous women in stretch ski pants sipping toddys have somehow become less an image that people view as a bit of an attainable pseudo-reality when they ski?  Or, are people simply lazy and would rather get exercise on the Wii?  Skiing itself, if anything, has become more enjoyable for those who don't do it regularly, and is just as addicting.

There's some of everything you mention.
But then there's the fact that snowboarding is really what the 'young' want to do these days. My 2 days at one Local SoCal spot - Mtn High - has re-inforced how much a dwindling breed skiers are on the overall population which might have snow time access. Skiers were maybe 1% of the day's on hill crowds.
That's one thing.
Another different perpsective I might offer is - money, economy.
Skiing has always been either diehard or affluent. In the 70's it was hip and many put up with the inconveniences and cost to do it.
Maybe not so much now.
Lets say you're not living real close to the Mtn and not a local figuring to buy aseason pass.
Lets do some rithmatic. Cheap new skis with Binders (not sourced out thru some great local or online deal) $500+ (unless you go with a Sports Authority package, then knock off $100 or so).  Boots minimum $200 more likely $400 to $500.
Clothes, well, do what works... spend or pull somehting togehter from your other sports gear (which is actually a great idea).
Now Skiing - one day - Lift ticket $70 to $90 or more. You're driving a minimum of 100 miles to the mtn. Thats gonna be a minimum of $30 in gas (not counting other auto expenses, like winter tires and chains).
 You eat cheap  - $30
ANyway you get the idea...
Now do that for a family of 4 (snowboarders and skiers)

Do an over night - you;d think it would be cheaper for multi-day. Actually it ramps up incredibly.

We're in a huge economic slump, worst in 80 years...

Can't imagine that even 'diehards' with families will find other diversions?

The costs are not unreasonable. It takes huge expenditures to make our modern mtns what they are these days. Snow making for many areas. Grooming to maximize the 'experience'. Bigger and faster lifts to pack as many in as possible. Its an expensive project if you want any chance of making a profit out of an uncertain wather forecast.

I'm stoked to see all these young people taking to the hill on snowboards. Yeah, a lot are just doing the skateboard thing on snow. But I think a significant number are also realizing the special side of being in the mountains in winter.
Being a 'local' in a mountain town' can give a very narrow view if you let it happen. Most people, skiers/boarders included, are far more dimensional than a day on the hill.
The old guard of skiing is getting old and being replaced by fewer young. Maybe it will cycle back up again.
 It will be interesting to see how things progress
post #24 of 59
There are too many distractions for the young. When I grew up (I was born in 1957, 52 years ago, exactly) I could either ski or skate. Sitting around watching TV wasn't an option.

Today, there are rec centers, video games, hundreds of channels of TV. Cost would certainly be a factor, too. There is a lot less disposable income these days.

As for the older folks, anyone I know that skis wants to ski more than they do. No wimps in my circle of friends.

I live in Summit County with bus service and the gondola to get me to Breck. I aim to go out every day I can this season but with the WROD and the crowds right now, I'm focusing on getting work done so I can get out when the skiing is better. I do have a job that lets me ski pretty much whenever I wish so I'm making the decision to bank the work for future ski days.
post #25 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoontasan View Post

I've noticed the same thing. As the years pass, the buddies I rely upon to join me on the slopes is getting thinner.
Rally, dudes. Be there when it's going off.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post




You're averaging less than 10,000 feet per day at Bachelor, which is covered with fast, groomed runs and has very little knarly stuff.  You average a turn every 1286 feet, so you really must be moving fast because those are LONG turns.

An easy day of groomers for someone skiing normally fast is well over 20,000 ft.  What do you do with all of your free time?

 

I ran the numbers also and saw a discrepancy.
I once took it down to typical vertical per turn and  extrapolated turns per day. My uncle and I were skiing and he is an engineer. forget the number.





money a problem? skins, bindings, and avi gear, one time purchase. rally in the BC
post #26 of 59
I quit golf quite a few years back because I didn't want to keep score, but Ifound my Wife has keep score of my skiing days & reminds me when I bitch about cutting the grass of how many I have had. As of today I have 19 days & I can't wait for my next day. Not bad for the northeast this season.Also not  bad for a 83 year old. And I also don't hold up the lift line as some of you have suggested.
post #27 of 59
I feel like  'm losing enthusiasm. I didn't go this AM because the conditions were groomed granular and frozen granular. Anybody enjoy skiing on marbles?
post #28 of 59
Wimps! I've got about 35,000 MILES under my belt this year. Not vertical miles, but 'over the Pacific' air miles to ski the US from January-April 2009, Australia every Friday-Sunday from June to September, New Zealand in Sept and October, and the US over January-April 2010. Ski cheap, ski often, is my motto.

Our club's membership halved to 900. We're now back on track. The manager and I introduced amateur races with decent prizes, indoor $18 bbq steak dinners - the steaks don't fit on a plate - and happy hour drink prices. Prizes are donated  by the ski school, the lift company, banks, Ripcurl, Travelplan, Mogul Ski Travel, Elan, ski shops and others. There are free ski arounds with an instructor and lift line priority. Kids and teens make new friends. Likwise with the parents. We also opened honorary membership to mountain staff, instructors and patrollers. There is now a solid core of people who book accom every weekend and for 4 weeks of school holidays. Next step are overseas trips to New Zealand for a heli ski movie we'll put together, And the US and Japan if air and deals don't vanish. Financially we're profitable now, so Kids stay free on many weeks and weekends. : our kids and parents demographic has trebled. Most importantly, we offer the  'old' lifestyle of mateship. People to skli with. People to party with. Kids to meet kids, and teens to meet teens. Old Fahts too.

In short, we changed from a cheap building to sleep into a real club where people get together and have fun.

We've lined up reciprocal rights in NZ and with the Ski Club of Great Britain to ski with locals in overseas resorts.  

When in Rome, live with Romans rather than a sterile Hilton or dining on MuckDonalds. And 2 'romans' in San Fran were fabulous to us so they've got a free Xmas Week in a 3 bedroom condo at Heavenly: they're trustworthy enough for us to give therm the keys.  

Meantime though, I meet other 'cheap accom' clubs. Their directors are lazy and they're souless boring places without a solid core of regulars. The members complain there are no regulars, just cheap guests after cheap beds. So they're dying. I've just read the results of their survey where the members ski 1 week a year at one lodge (rather than the other 2 on 2 other mountains).They have no desire to go overseas or do anything exciting. And their directors won't spoon feed them with opportunities. they're brain dead too imo.

Meantime I'm planning on catching up with locals at Squaw, Kirkwood and Heavenly, and in LA. We'll have a great time by not staying in a sterile hotel room on our own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoontasan View Post

I've noticed the same thing. As the years pass, the buddies I rely upon to join me on the slopes is getting thinner.
post #29 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrski00 View Post

I quit golf quite a few years back because I didn't want to keep score, but Ifound my Wife has keep score of my skiing days & reminds me when I bitch about cutting the grass of how many I have had. As of today I have 19 days & I can't wait for my next day. Not bad for the northeast this season.Also not  bad for a 83 year old. And I also don't hold up the lift line as some of you have suggested.
dude, in two years you can ski free at Squaw.  unless they raise the age to 95, and even then it sounds like you're gonna make em pay. right on, man. I so want to rip in my 80's. any secrets to your enduring health and passion for the sport?. how do you keep living the dream?

need any help setting up a vacation at Squaw, p.m. me for sure.
post #30 of 59
Well, when my Dad was in college they all went to Stowe and the lift broke down.  They jumped off the chair and most people climbed to the top.  They hiked for turns for two days.

When I was a kid, skiers stayed in old farmhouses, packed junky motels near the ski areas etc.  We skied ropetows and t-bars.

Now those same motels are empty.  Everyone wants slopeside condos, and then complains what the sport costs.  Yep, it has changed.  Goblue isn't so far off.

Most of my days have been XC skiing so far.  The Bachelor has not been at it's best, but I've been up there a bit too.   When the visibility is less than a tower, I'd rather be on the xc skis, and I'm not fond of crowds, but good powder or nice solid ice is all good with me.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Are skiers becoming weenies and spoiled?