Info, conditions and gear related to skiing or riding Colorado Peaks, including the 14ers! Ski/Ride Trip Reports
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Re: skiing??

Postby slopestyle » Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:52 pm

You should definitely take it slow to make sure you learn good technique at a ski area. Work on progression at an easy level for need to rush it. Another thing I recomend is maybe take up some Nordic Skiing to mix it up a bit, I actually like to do a bit of Nordic every once in a while just for fun. Like Bill said though, you need to have more than adaquate experience and skill before you even start to think about skiing in the backcountry. One of the most necessary things you need to do is get some instruction on avalanche safety before even thinking of attempting to ski down a slope, in my experience skiers/boarders trigger more slides than snowshoers......

But once you get better at skiing it will add a very fun and rewarding aspect to your backcountry experience.
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Re: skiing??

Postby thunderinacircle » Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:22 pm

With all the group gatherings/hikes, I'm surprised no one has initiated a " ski lesson" at one of the resorts. I know it is a lot cheaper if you take the lessons as a group, and I'd assume you'd feel more comfortable (ie less stupid) in the company of other like-minded folks in the same boat as you. Might make for a pretty fun time actually! If not, you can always just get drunk afterwards :P
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Re: skiing??

Postby ajkagy » Mon Feb 18, 2008 10:18 am

mrtex wrote:ajkagy, thanks for the response. double blacks huh? wow. i have a ways to go.

i am starting to realize that i was under the wrong impression. i assumed wrongly that you would typically ski down the route you came up. i suppose that may be the case at times. it sounds like from everyones advice, if i am reading into it correctly, that thats not always the case.

Double blacks are just a relative comparison of conditions you might possibly face in the backcountry. the backcountry isn't all hardpacked nicely groomed wide runs as in a ski could have snow conditions that would make even an easy slope feel hard. Obviously you can ski backcountry without being comfortable on a double black, but it would be a good idea to be.

I wouldn't fret about being a newcomer to skiing, everybody was a beginner at one time or another. The learning curve for skiing is very face in my opinion, I was able to ski double blacks without falling in 2 months after I started skiing, but the time it takes to learn varies for person to person. I would definatly take a lesson to start yourself out on the right foot though.

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Re: skiing??

Postby cheeseburglar » Mon Feb 18, 2008 10:37 am

I agree with the folks here to some extent. But I think they are approaching it from the standpoint of skiing off the summit.
Usually if a slope can be skiied, it can be glissaded which is a knee saver when done correctly.
You can get a backcountry set up of some sort and ski only the trail portions below timberline, leave the skis and climb ridges to the summit. If you encounter something too steep to descend comfortable, you can walk or leave the skins on to slow you down.
This would really only be applicable in the winter because most of the long slog, knee busting trail sections into the mountains will be melted out by the springtime. And winter climbing has some other issues!

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Re: skiing??

Postby JayMiller » Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:50 pm

cheeseburglar said:
You can get a backcountry set up of some sort and ski only the trail portions below timberline, leave the skis and climb ridges to the summit. If you encounter something too steep to descend comfortable, you can walk or leave the skins on to slow you down.

Keep in mind that the hiking trails are actually really narrow thru the trees. If you can't make short powerful braking turns and handle tree skiing, which are an advanced techniques, you will be forced to snowplow down these trails. I really, really, REALLY wouldn't want to snowplow for 2 or three miles.
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Re: skiing??

Postby Rockymtnhigh69 » Mon Feb 18, 2008 1:11 pm

Bottom line is that no novice skier should be skinning up a 14er or skiing in the BC to begin with. Please take note of what Bill Middlebrook and others have said. Tune your skills at a mountain resort first for a few years. I have been skiing for 30 years and I am always humbled by what the Colorado BC can throw at you.
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Re: skiing??

Postby Bean » Mon Feb 18, 2008 6:02 pm

I've experienced some great snow on the 14ers, but I've also been surprised by conditions so bad I wouldn't have even thought it possible. As has been said many times, learn what you're doing before you get out there.
"There are no hard 14ers, but some are easier than others." - Scott P

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Re: skiing??

Postby ccunnin » Mon Feb 18, 2008 8:58 pm

A 14er's ski lesson?
What a great idea. I've only skiid(?) down two and I know that I could still use a few lessons here and there. It is nice though. Makes that climb up more fun with the anticipated ski down.
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Re: skiing??

Postby Jim Davies » Mon Feb 18, 2008 9:00 pm

Warning: trying to teach somebody to ski is a good way to make an enemy. It's better to let the ill-will flow onto a paid instructor.
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Re: skiing??

Postby bustaheel » Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:36 pm

Jim Davies wrote:Warning: trying to teach somebody to ski is a good way to make an enemy. It's better to let the ill-will flow onto a paid instructor.

Read: pissed off girlfriend.

Some of the most comic things to watch at a ski area. A boyfriend trying to teach his girlfirend to ski.
Probably nowhere but in Boulder would one encounter strippers who spend there vacations trekking in Nepal.

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Re: skiing??

Postby cougar » Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:50 pm

this is another option but may be more work going up:

not sure how the class ratings go with this

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Re: skiing??

Postby mrtex » Tue Feb 19, 2008 4:10 pm

cougar, thats just silly. the concern would no longer revolve around my knees coming down the mountain but rather my back trying to carry the kayak up the mountain. i can just see the ultralight enthusiast cutting the handle off his fork and replacing the foam cushion in his waist and shoulder pack straps with his extra set of socks, carefully counting every ounce, and then lugging 50 lbs worth of boat up the mountain.


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