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Where will you grow up to be a better skier? - Page 2

Poll Results: East or West, Which is better to learn?

Poll expired: Nov 14, 2010  
  • 37% (10)
    East
  • 62% (17)
    West
27 Total Votes  
post #31 of 48

If you learn in the West, you will never be able to ski in the east, but you probably will not want to.  If you learn in the east, you will quickly adapt to skiing in the west.  

post #32 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterGoa View Post

I am going to go ahead and claim that, if you have a 2000 footer near where you live,

WHO you ski and learn to ski will have much more bearing on how good a skiier you

are...That was my opinion...

 

I disagree with the first part of your statement but do agree with the 2nd.  I learned at a 750' hill in Western PA (Seven Springs) and by the time I got out west for a ski trip,  I surprised myself at how well I was able to handle the more difficult and varried terrain.

 

Skiing in the east taught me how to handle varried trerrain and questionable conditions.  And it taught me how to use those shiny strips on the bottom of my skiis.  I think they are called edges.  LOL   I can't tell you how many times I have been out west with marginal conditions by western standards with some hardpack and everyone is yelling ICE ICE watch out for ICE when in reality it is eastern powder LOL.  I get up on my edges and carve my way through and the local folks are looking at you as if you are a Ski God.  Of course really good western skiers, not the fair weather I only ski with 12" of freshies skier, but the ones who ski every chance they get regardless of the conditions handle the hard pack and ice easily as well.

 

I think what happens is that western skiers get spoiled because good conditions are so prevalent that they don't need to learn to ski crappy conditions, they just take the day off.  In the East you ski no matter what the conditions because if you wait for perfect conditions you will never ski.

 

For that reason for most skiers, it is easier for an eastern skier to learn to ski out west than for a western skier to learn to ski the east.

 

Rick G 

post #33 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

How they do it is with rope tows.  Ski the course, grab the rope, ski the course, grab the rope... all day/night long...makes strong little racers.  Also have had fantastic coaches.

 

My home hill just tore out their superpipe to put in a race training hill exactly like this. They also replaced the handle tow with a high-speed rope tow.  We'll see if we get any national caliber talent out of it.

 

To answer the OP's question, you'd first have to specify what you mean by "better". Better at what?  If you're planning to race, then spending a lot of time on Eastern Firm will probably do more for you than living in the west. If you want to ski bottomless fluffy powder, you won't ever get the chance in the east. 

 

But at 15 you are probably not in a position to make the decision anyway, so make the best of whatever hand you're dealt.

post #34 of 48

 

wait a minute, what about those who grew up in Texas ? I remember all the great 3 days of winter in the last 10 years and we would put the skis on just as soon as the overpasses froze. you'll really learn to make good cuts on icy over passes.

 

seriously though, i have relatives from the east; and theyre the best as they did learn to ski on icy hills, not fluffy western powder.

 

btw, KEYSTONE IS OPEN !(real point of me posting).

post #35 of 48

Hey, hey,,,,this reminds me the first place I 'downhill' skied was at 6 down a hill in our back yard in Kansas City, MO. My life has been ruined ever since. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skicougar View Post

 

wait a minute, what about those who grew up in Texas ? I remember all the great 3 days of winter in the last 10 years and we would put the skis on just as soon as the overpasses froze. you'll really learn to make good cuts on icy over passes.

post #36 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt View Post



 

My home hill just tore out their superpipe to put in a race training hill exactly like this. They also replaced the handle tow with a high-speed rope tow.  We'll see if we get any national caliber talent out of it.

 

To answer the OP's question, you'd first have to specify what you mean by "better". Better at what?  If you're planning to race, then spending a lot of time on Eastern Firm will probably do more for you than living in the west. If you want to ski bottomless fluffy powder, you won't ever get the chance in the east. 

 

But at 15 you are probably not in a position to make the decision anyway, so make the best of whatever hand you're dealt.


 

never get the chance to ski bottomless fluffy powder in the east? Saying you can never ski bottomless powder in the east is like saying the west never gets hardpack or ICE.

 

someone who clearly doenst ski the east enough. 

 

I guess this isnt bottomless powder

 


Edited by BushwackerinPA - 11/5/10 at 9:41am
post #37 of 48

There was an interesting presentation at a recent PSIA seminar, where a certain instructor from Alta told a bunch of ski instructors to tip it all on it's side and look at it from another point of view.

 

His contention was that the definition of "expert skier" requiring expertise in all aspects of skiing; so a racer or a park skier or a big mountain skier couldn't truly be an expert if he or she did not cross-over.

 

Further, he contended that competitive freeskiing was therefore the closest thing to a recognized expert competition.

 

Of course, he had the bias of being involved in the Alta Freeride Development program, but some of those points do carry into a conversation like this. If you aspire to be a racer, and deem that racing is the definition of expert, then a hill with a good racing program is the place to be. If you deem that park skiing is where you want to be proficient, then find a mountain with good facilities. I will say that professional instruction in that field lags behind other aspects of instruction. Most ski instructors are fuddy-duddies. If you seek to be big mountain/freerider, then one of the few places like Alta, that has such a program, and has the snow and terrain to develop those skills.

 

It's not accurate to say that geography doesn't matter; hard to develop skills living in Texas. It matters, because access to the mountain, the length of season, the amount of snow all play into an ability to become an expert skier, just as good coaching does. And some hills will be better than others for all those reasons. For example, Mt. Baker doesn't turn out top level racers; 50% of race training ends up being snowed out, so the kids go and freeride. Does that mean they don't become damn good skiers? Heck no, in many ways they become better all-around skiers that strict race training would allow.

 

post #38 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt View Post



But at 15 you are probably not in a position to make the decision anyway, so make the best of whatever hand you're dealt.


What if OP's parents split with one is in the East and the other out West?

post #39 of 48

I agree with TeddyO for the most part. I think skiing in the east CAN make you better skier for a couple reasons: 1.) the "snow" is much less forgiving and doesn't let you get away with bad habits, and 2.) when the mountain is small sometimes you get bored if you aren't focusing on making awesome turns or making things interesting with a racing program (at least in my experience). This leads to skiers (at least those are willing to put up with it) who are more balanced and have more solid technique, and who are better racers. Whether or not that is the kind of expert you are looking for is a different story.

 

I am biased of course - I learned on the east and recently moved out west where I am pumped for the season to start. If the situation was reversed, I would probably not have even taken my skis with me.

post #40 of 48

Good points about being able to develop well on small hills under good instruction. I would agree to a point. However... 

 

Some people (like myself) can be blockheads. We need a clear "sign" to put our skiing into perspective, or we stagnate. For example, I started at a 600' vertical hill with no glades and a pitch no steeper than an easy Western blue. After my first season of skiing, I noticed that aside from the two bump runs, there wasn't much left to conquer, so I considered myself to be pretty good. Then I went to Whiteface and skied the steep summit runs. Suddenly I realized I had a lot more to learn. 

 

I think in the absence of a race program, it's helpful to have some kind of external barometer for your skiing to really draw attention to your deficits. Also, exposure to varied terrain builds your skills as well. I'd say the average person who doesn't have access to a race program would develop more through exposure to a varied mountain than on a 200' vertical groomer.

post #41 of 48

If ice doesn't let skiers get away with bad habits, why are there so many crappy skiers, east or west. you have to create drills on the ice to learn from it, not just flail all over the mountain and say you skied ice. you probably didn't, you flailed ice. a good drill is to keep your chest downhill 100% of the day on ice, letting your skis slide as far as they will in the turn without turning your shoulders. drill. ice. drill.

post #42 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lfshammu View Post

East Or West, just want to know some people's opinion on this one. As being 15 and living in the east I am just wondering if this is hindering my full potential to learn how to ski. Will living in the east help me deal with poor conditions better?

 

Thanks

Liam


My problem is I don't want to grow up!  I am having a good time out west though!
 

post #43 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques View Post




My problem is I don't want to grow up! 
 

+1
 

post #44 of 48


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

 

I think in the absence of a race program, it's helpful to have some kind of external barometer for your skiing to really draw attention to your deficits. Also, exposure to varied terrain builds your skills as well. I'd say the average person who doesn't have access to a race program would develop more through exposure to a varied mountain than on a 200' vertical groomer.


Very fair statement.  Also, even at a 200' vertical hill, there are often little terrain variations and choices that a lot of recreational skiers ignore that would a) be more fun for many if they tried them and b) while they wouldn't make them a technically stronger skier or rider, would help them deal better with other varied terrain.  Kinda similar to trying different types of food for the palate, I guess. 

 

But, to really learn to cook, you need to spend a lot of time chopping onions and suffering.  For piano, you have to sit and play scales.  For skiing and riding, while a race program is not a necessity (some of the very best snowboarders ever have never raced, though many have; there are an increasing number of skiers for whom this is true) the laps on the 200' groomer or its equivalent kinda are.  You can do it in NJ or in Minneapolis or in Vail (east versus west is irrelevant, though it helps to be from Finland or Sweden on a per-capita basis, and being from England may be a handicap too big for anyone to overcome...) but getting the laps in is critical.  Racing is most efficient though; if you don't race, just avoid regular ski lessons until you know enough to know who in the ski school can really ski, and think critically about you own skiing or riding and take it from there.

 

 

post #45 of 48

Anybody else here skated across frozen ponds on downhill skis?  I remember some back country hills that ran out on to ponds where we also played hockey and cutting across them was the easiest way to get to and from them from home.  I guess the East and Midwest doesn't have a monopoly on pond skating, but ponds probably aren't common in the Rockies, we see more streams there.

 

That's it!  Minnesota back yard skiing rocks way more than East and West combined

post #46 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

Anybody else here skated across frozen ponds on downhill skis?  I remember some back country hills that ran out on to ponds where we also played hockey and cutting across them was the easiest way to get to and from them from home.  I guess the East and Midwest doesn't have a monopoly on pond skating, but ponds probably aren't common in the Rockies, we see more streams there.

 

That's it!  Minnesota back yard skiing rocks way more than East and West combined


It's probably fair that the likelihood of having a pond around in the greater Minneapolis area is higher than just about anywhere else in the the country, so the chances for pond-skating are gonna be there.  smile.gif  Particularly ponds with reliably safe ice mid-winter.

 

But, based on the skiers consistently produced out of there, your last statement may also be right.  Funny thing is there have also been some really good skaters and BMX riders out of there...there may be some social factors at work in addition to the great program at Buck Hill and the pond ice in producing great movement sport athletes.

post #47 of 48

You need to start out on a sloped skating rinks with rocks and narrow trails, then when you are fairly good at skiing that arc-to-arc as fast as gravity can make you go, go searching for speed thrills on a steeper mountains that have real snow on 'em.

 

Flawed Poll.

 

You need to ski both. 

 

The east has the ice, the west has the steeps and the deep snow.  Jay Peak is in a pretty good snow belt and is probably the exception that proves the rule with 355 annual snowfall inches (but a lot of melting in between snowfalls). 

 

If you are in a race program, you will most likely develop your skills much more quickly than if you just go and ski.  A good race program will override other factors.

post #48 of 48


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post




 

never get the chance to ski bottomless fluffy powder in the east? Saying you can never ski bottomless powder in the east is like saying the west never gets hardpack or ICE.

 

someone who clearly doenst ski the east enough. 

 

I guess this isnt bottomless powder

 


The wall ride was pretty trippy.  Some sweet tele turns also in there.  Thanks for posting that one.

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