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post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
OK...new member to this forum so please forgive me if Im out of line...

Just wanted to share...51 y/o living in Austria (near Vienna)...I took up this 'hobby' of sliding down hills on 2 bits of wood in Feb this year.  Day1 on a very small nursery slope at a hotel in the High Tatras in Slovakia - got the basics of standing and sliding using tow lift etc... fell - a lot!  2nd day mastered basic turns, stopping (snow plough of course!)... fell some more!  3rd day....very gentle Blue (I think this is the equivalent of Green in the US?) and started linking turns...becoming more confident...fell a bit less.  Totally 'hooked' by this time and went to the local Salomon shop and bought boots... after trying arounf 10 different types bought Mission 5's.  Went for broke and also bought skis (Fischer Xfire Carbon)....all on the advice of a really helpful guy in the shop...another day on the Blue practicing...so after 4 days felt very comfortable.  Instructor very good!

since then...had another 6 days (split between Slovakia and Austria)....first 4 days limited myself to practicing what I had learned and also developing a bit more 'style' (use of poles etc etc etc...)   Then I found this site - which really helped me think about what I was doing and why!   Ignoring all the stuff about carving, high speed, ripping etc - I still learned a lot.  Last weekend (9th day of skiing) I tackled first Red...with no issues. I am certain that the purists would not be very complimentary, but I strictly followed the code, took my time...and really enjoyed.  So much so that I spent the whole day on the Reds, was happy with my speed, did not hold anyone else up, felt totally in control.  Day 10... took to the reds again... now getting more and more confident.  Mastered the hockey stop, all turns linked, no leg jamming, facing down the fall line as much as possible.  Instructor then winks at me and says...OK...lets try something a bit more difficult.... and takes me to a Black.  I look down and first thought is OMG!  But.... I get from top to bottom without falling, at a reasonable rate and also in control.... to some applause from other skiers who were waiting at the bottom.  Turns out they were pals of the instructer who told them I had only been skiing for 10 days!  So...with a suitable inflated ego I go back up...start the run down...and 80 m from the top hit a big patch of ice... lost the edges and fell..... and slid around 150m before figuring out the only way I was going to stop before reaching the bottom (around 800m away) was to use the pole as a brake.


I was 'lucky'...no injury.. just a bent pole and ego.

I have to admit tho.... I skiid 1 more Red after that and went back to the Black... it was not going to 'beat' me... and skiid down OK once more.  

Now I am done for the season...and I cannot wait for the next.  Next trip I hope to be able to post some video.. Final comment.... this forum is great!
post #2 of 21
That's some mighty fast learning you've been doing! I'm also new to sking this season with probably the same amount of days out. No way will you catch me on the blacks yet

Just this last weekend I was rocking some of the more difficult blues at my local mountain. But when the winds came up and the visibility went to about 10 feet in front of me I realized just how much more I have to learn.

Best piece of advice from any of my instructors so far "have fun first...worry about getting better second."
post #3 of 21
Welcome to EpicSki! It's really great to know that you learned stuff here that helped you advance so quickly. 
post #4 of 21
Alen thanks for sharing your newly found love and excitement in your progress. You should be proud .

You understand that this a a lifelong affliction and your are blessed to be addicted to this sport for life.right ?

Welcome to Epic and please keep in touch so we can follow your progress and somehow help in some way .
post #5 of 21
Alen,  nice story , quite a few of us here at Epic can relate to your enthusiam.   Thanks for joining us here on Epic.  Have a great summer and join us here on epic for your winter stoke even if it is July or August.  Anticipation is a great part of life and living.
post #6 of 21

That's a great story with which I share some of your experiences in common, albeit, to a much lesser degree. I've skied so far, only four days, during the last four consecutive Saturdays. Every time, when I think I'm getting "real good," I take on a challenge that's a bit too much, then suddenly begin to pee my pants, and fall like . . . a beginner going beyond his skill level. My final run last week, when I was getting real proud of my carved parallel lines in the snow, I crashed . . .  right into a snowmobile! (It was parked.)
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hi Studio460.... Ouch!!!  But I ve gotta say full marks to you if you were carving!  Not felt ready for that yet!  Any damage to the snowmobile? ;-)

Did you forget the 'code'....you must give way to 'things' below you 
post #8 of 21
I was going rather slow at the end of my run, and I was trying to hockey-stop, but it was just too icy (and me, too lame), and I ran straight into a parked snowmobile, with my right ski (and right leg!) heading right between its front skis. Yes, I'm actually carving (I'll take photos of my train tracks next time to prove it!), but I'm only doing it on a bunny hill! Kudos to you for your rapid progression down the blues and blacks! Those still scare the hell outta me!
Edited by studio460 - 4/24/10 at 8:49pm
post #9 of 21
Sounds like you are both having a good time.  Watch out for those snowmobiles and in skier/boarder jargon they're "sleds" and pull us skiers all kinds of cool places.  Good exchanges - that is why we have a Beginners Zone.  Welcome to Epic nice to have you.


IMG_0507.JPG Access
to closed area on good skiing on Montana/Idaho border.  railroad access road.  Gary on L sled owner and great boarder, me in middle, Van my main ski bud on R.  Just came down from area on the R.
post #10 of 21

Funny! Yes, I'll definitely give right of way to "sleds" below me from now on!

Pete No. Idaho:

Thanks for the welcome! I finally made it down a blue hill today!
post #11 of 21
 Good stuff, guys. Welcome to EpicSki Alen, SnowAddict, and Studio460--and to the greatest sport on earth!

Your stories are proof-positive that real success is less about the end result than about the learning, discoveries, and accomplishments along the way. There are no mistakes--there is only where you are now, and what you're going to do next.

I have infinitely more admiration for a beginner who is actively learning than for an "expert" who has died, er, I mean, stopped learning. All great skiers are beginners. You'll always run into something. With learning, it just won't always be the same snowmobile!

Best regards,
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks Bob!

I looked through a lot of the latest trip reports posted here...  and I am jealous as hell!  Seems that the 'best' skiiing is on your side of the pond!  Still....I mus'nt grumble - after all....I live in the spiritual country home of Alpine skiing....

I've got to say I am really soaking up as much info as I can at the moment....Think I've read every post in the beginners section and a lot more besides.  Will continue the 'study' until the fly fishing starts properly here...and then I'm off to chase the trout and grayling!!

Great combination of hobbys! (or maybe I should call them passions, obsessions or whatever!)
post #13 of 21
Originally Posted by Alen View Post

Thanks Bob!

I looked through a lot of the latest trip reports posted here...  and I am jealous as hell!  Seems that the 'best' skiiing is on your side of the pond!  Still....I mus'nt grumble - after all....I live in the spiritual country home of Alpine skiing....

I've got to say I am really soaking up as much info as I can at the moment....Think I've read every post in the beginners section and a lot more besides.  Will continue the 'study' until the fly fishing starts properly here...and then I'm off to chase the trout and grayling!!

Great combination of hobbys! (or maybe I should call them passions, obsessions or whatever!)

Alen, see you are a fly fisher too.  Heres a Western slope Cutthroat trout taken on the St. Joe River last season.  Fish a 2 nymph set up. Caught on a flashback nymph size 14.


Sorry not a very good pic. color in pic doesn't do trout justice.
post #14 of 21
 Welcome to Epic, the greatest site for the greatest sport on earth. 
post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
Nice fish!   I know this is not really a topic for this forum... but I'm originally from Scotland so most of my fishing experiences are from there.  I relocated with work about 4 years ago...first to Germany and now into Austria.  The fishing here is not that good... and very expensive (more expensive than skiing!)...a day ticket is around 60 Euros (if you can get one!) so I tend to head into Slovakia and have to 'make weekend of it'!  Challenge for me now is that my wife does not fish...and does not ski... so getting out is a bit of a challenge sometimes!  Having said that.... she is keen to have a go next season!
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thought I would share some pics!

Day 1:  The bunny hill

day 3: A real slope!  Bachledova Dolina (Slovakia) ...I'm the nerd in the white hat! Instructor following me...

Day 4: Bottom of same slope...

Unfortunately no more pics until day 10   and the last day this season - Hochkar (Austria).  Me and my 'ski pals' just before heading off down the Red on the right.   The black (where I 'crashed and burned' is in the background left just above the kids head.)....And yes I am the only one wearing a helmet!
picture 055.jpg

Pics 1 to 3 taken by the missus with my Nikon D60,,, last pic with a pocket something or other!  Having spent the last hour or so looking at pics I can feel that 'itch' again dammit!  Its gonna get scratched big style next season!!
post #17 of 21
Thanks for the pictures, nice to see someone having fun.  Sounds like you caught the Ski Disease pretty good.  this is one thing almost all of us here on Epic have in common.

Thought I'd include a pic too.   This was taken from the top of Gran Targhee on the Idaho/Wyoming border (over the hill W. from Jackson Hole), the view is looking towards the East and the Teton range.   The skier barely in the pic. is my ski bud Van from St. Maries. This was taken during the Gathering of Epic Bears in 2009.  Van paused to consider the rope duck and where to go.  duck he did but then ducked back into the area as the skiing looked good to skiers L but didn't know if we could get out.

Alen glad to see how much you enjoyed your lst season and it will even get better.
post #18 of 21

Looking good, Alen! You guys look cool in your skiwear!


Oh . . . my . . . God. That just looks . . . AMAZING! Can't wait until we can ski a "real" mountain range like that someday! We're waiting until our skill levels improve before we invest in a trip further away from home.

Here's a picture of us on our very first day of skiing (this is before I bought her a sexier pair of "real" ski pants, instead of the big-box store, discount-bib she's wearing):

2010 Spring Skiing, Angeles National Forest, Southern California.

Unfortunately, we don't have any "action" photos . . . yet! The camera that took this photo (Nikon D70) is on a self-timer, and is balancing on the seat of a parked snowmobile, teetering on my backback as a support. I'm going to bribe a photographer friend of mine to go skiing with us someday and take some decent long-lens photos of us actually skiing.

It's so warm here, I don't get to show off any of my new ski jackets! Yeah, I went nuts at all of the end-of-season sales. I mean, NUTS (" . . . but, Honey, I saved so much!"). I bought her ridiculously expensive, white Descente jacket (above) at like a million-percent-off, end-of-season sale at Dick's Sporting Goods* in El Segundo, California.

*[If you have a Dick's in your area, this is their first year here in Southern California, and they had some aggressive promotions during their roll-out. Their post-season sale, which was supposed to last only one week, extended for more than a month. Already-discounted items were all 40% off, resulting in real discounts in excess of 50%. Dick's completely slayed all competitors' "sales" (e.g., Sports Chalet, REI, etc. only offered 20%-30% off, on completely un-discounted items). Only three weeks ago, it was very definitely, "end-of-season," yet I paid full price ($142) for her ski pants at a local Sports Chalet--no discount at all.]

We caught the bug very late in the season, and have only skied five times over the last six weeks (every Saturday except one). I literally woke up one Sunday, seven weeks ago, and said, "Let's go shopping for ski stuff and learn how to ski." It took us the entire following work-week to figure out the whole boot-fitting thing.

After no luck with local shops for my boots (hers were no problem), I had to FedEx-overnight (priority, mind you, since we needed to get the bindings fitted by that Friday afternoon) my 104mm-last, Dalbellos, since no one had any in stock that wide in the entire region. Our last time up was last Saturday (April 24, 2010), and is sadly, probably our final trip for the season.

But, we're both extremely happy with our progress and can't wait for next season!
Edited by studio460 - 5/2/10 at 1:11pm
post #19 of 21
 I am verklempt reading about some of the new members. It is great to see people embracing the sport. 
post #20 of 21
STUDIO 460.  
 Glad you and the wife had such a great SKI experience.  Great sport, life style etc. Nice to have you here on Epic and enjoy the Stoke in the off season.  Come Sept and Oct the ski blood will get flowing.  Skied Mt High once and have skied Mammoth probably a total of over 100 days.  Nice to know you maybe someday we can make some turns together. Here's my bride and I at Panorama in British Columbia a couple years ago.


post #21 of 21

Thank you for the warm greeting! Hope I DON'T see you on the California slopes (until I get out of the "embarrasingly-lame" stage). Just kidding. You guys look awesome in your skiwear! Love the red and black jackets!
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