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skiing -- how to start without resorts

Tips, tricks, workouts, injury advice.
 

Postby OJ Loenneker » Thu Feb 04, 2010 1:21 am

catullus wrote:
In most sports, I like going up more than going down anyway (mountain biking, climbing, road biking, running), so I figure I'll like going up just as much as going down w/ skiing too.


Hmm... Skiing has a way to make you look at this differently. It's all about the DOWN!
:P :P :P :P
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Postby ktnbs » Thu Feb 04, 2010 1:47 am

Would be like learning to play tennis by yourself with one ball in a vacant lot.
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Postby sneakyracer » Thu Feb 04, 2010 2:37 am

Hi, Skiing is easy to learn but tough to master.

You really need a few days of good quality instruction at one of the good resorts available. Choose one in your price range and location with a decent school. You dont need nothing fancy.

First learn how to stop and turn. It takes a while to be fully comfortable with the heavy plastic boots and skis.

I would say that after 30 full days of skiing (not consecutive obviously but try to get a few consecutive days from time to time) you will be quite able to deal with most smooth slopes quite well and have fun in a wider variety of terrain. Handling bumps on steep terrain will take a bit more. Practice makes perfect. Take a class from time to time as you advance.

In the backcountry you can get in trouble real fast while skiing so its best to be quite a good skier before you adventure into tricky unmantained terrain.
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Postby welle » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:13 pm

sneakyracer wrote:Hi, Skiing is easy to learn but tough to master.

You really need a few days of good quality instruction at one of the good resorts available. Choose one in your price range and location with a decent school. You dont need nothing fancy.

First learn how to stop and turn. It takes a while to be fully comfortable with the heavy plastic boots and skis.

I would say that after 30 full days of skiing (not consecutive obviously but try to get a few consecutive days from time to time) you will be quite able to deal with most smooth slopes quite well and have fun in a wider variety of terrain. Handling bumps on steep terrain will take a bit more. Practice makes perfect. Take a class from time to time as you advance.

In the backcountry you can get in trouble real fast while skiing so its best to be quite a good skier before you adventure into tricky unmantained terrain.


very well said. and don't listen to the DIY video proponents, I already know two people this season alone who tore their ACL and meniscus trying to teach themselves how to ski. Nothing worse than wasting not only your snow season, but also a climbing season ahead. Yes, you may be a rare prodigy and gifted with excellent memory and brain-muscle coordination, but I don't think you want to chance the opposite...
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Postby OOG » Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:01 pm

don't listen to the DIY video proponents, I already know two people this season alone who tore their ACL and meniscus trying to teach themselves how to ski. Nothing worse than wasting not only your snow season, but also a climbing season ahead. Yes, you may be a rare prodigy and gifted with excellent memory and brain-muscle coordination, but I don't think you want to chance the opposite


I'm sorry but I just have a hard time believing someone with avalanche certification, winter mountaineering experience and knowledge of self arresting would seriously injure themselves trying to snowplow on the bunny slope. Some of the best skiers that chimed in were self taught.

Again, regardless of resort a first time ski lesson will teach you three things, that you should never cross your skis, how to load a lift and how to snowplow. Most first time lessons will be in a group of around 10 people. Of those 10 about 3 figure out pretty fast that the sport the not for them, and most of instruction will be spent waiting for them to catch up with the rest. I've observed the same thing at five different resorts; Mt. Ashland, Mt. Shasta, Donner Ski Ranch, Boreal and Sugarbowl.

A “turn seminar” type intermediate lesson, where a ski instructor gives you individual feed back like, “put more weight on the downhill ski”, or something like that is probably worth it, but learning how to snowplow should take around 20 minutes on your own, and that's the extent of whats covered for a first time lesson.

Snowboarding might be a completely different story, I don't know because I've never done it and I never will, so I don't feel qualified to give advice on that.

I'm just trying to save you some cash here, as one pennyless bastard to another, don't waste your time or money on a first time lesson. I guess at the end of the day you'll decide for yourself which random internet people are worth listening to, if any, but if you do shell out 50 bucks for an introductory ski lesson could you do me a favor? Just as a personal reference could you watch the video I put up in my last post and let me know if it does an accurate job capturing the overall gayness of your first lesson. - Thanks!
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Postby Sierra Ledge Rat » Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:30 pm

welle wrote:Get a part-time job at a ski resort. Teaching yourself to ski is a recipe for disaster. On East Coast, they have all sorts of beginner packages that include lift tix, rentals and lessons that are just over $100 for 3 days, some even throw in season passes at the end. Would you rather pay that or medical bills and impede your climbing? Usually, lower mountain (bunny slope) lift tix are cheaper or free if you want to hike up. I would still pay for lessons unless you have a friend that is willing to teach you, even then it does not compare to qualified instruction.


Great advice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You an learn a lot about sking by going out into the backcountry and skiing around.

But if you are trying to learn how to rip turns on the downhill, it will be 1,000 times harder and take 100 times longer trying to learn by climbing up and skiing down an ungroomed hill.
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Postby 96avs01 » Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:56 am

OJ Loenneker wrote:But what do I know, I prefer to ride a Splitboard... :P :P


u r very wise 8)
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Postby sneakyracer » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:03 pm

OOG wrote:

Snowboarding might be a completely different story, I don't know because I've never done it and I never will, so I don't feel qualified to give advice on that.



I tried it about 10 years ago. I already knew how to ski quite well and though humm that looks like fun so a 2 friends and I went to a rental store and got us boots and boards. And up we went. We watched people get on and on the lift and basically did what they did. We managed to do that no problem. Then down we went. We caught a LOT of edges and fell quite a bit but had a lot of moments of good carving with some sliding mixed in. We decided since we were in an expensive resort and only skied 10-12 days a year that that was enough for us and went back to skis the day after so as not to waste any more time learning a new sport from zero.

One thing I hated about snowboarding is being tied to the board with fixed bindings that dont release the board. Also, faceplants suck!, they are much more common on a snowboard!
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Postby John Duffield » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:00 am

When I was in the Army, I went to Kleine Scheidegg with some friends for Christmas. They continued to party while I went and crashed. First thing in the morning, I took my very first ski run down from the hotel. The Artillery Sergeant with me, packed it in right there. Around lunch time I reached the gondola. I'd had misadventures that were unbelievable. Sailing off cliffs etc. The lift took me up above the hotel. Sometime in the late afternoon, I got back to the hotel. I'd spent the day being pulled out of snowbanks by Swiss children who gave me little pointers on how to ski. Interesting, but not sure I'd recommend it.
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Postby dskoon » Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:46 pm

John Duffield wrote:When I was in the Army, I went to Kleine Scheidegg with some friends for Christmas. They continued to party while I went and crashed. First thing in the morning, I took my very first ski run down from the hotel. The Artillery Sergeant with me, packed it in right there. Around lunch time I reached the gondola. I'd had misadventures that were unbelievable. Sailing off cliffs etc. The lift took me up above the hotel. Sometime in the late afternoon, I got back to the hotel. I'd spent the day being pulled out of snowbanks by Swiss children who gave me little pointers on how to ski. Interesting, but not sure I'd recommend it.


Sounds innocently fun.
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Postby drpw » Tue Feb 23, 2010 2:46 am

Not sure if this has been mentioned or not yet, but resorts can be really cheap, but you have to be unscrupulous. Two methods, both require you to get to the resort a little later in the day (around 11 or 12):

First, get a friend to check to see if they are even checking tickets at the lift. A little later in the day and some times they are just over checking tickets.

Second, hang out at the parking lot and clip tickets from people leaving. Don't approach families, as some older folks are prone to let you know how bad of a person you are for cheating the resorts.

Now, this is all very bad to do, you are essentially stealing from the resort, but if you don't have any other alternatives, just get them back later by buying season passes later in life when you have more $$$.
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Postby AlexeyD » Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:55 pm

drpw wrote:Now, this is all very bad to do, you are essentially stealing from the resort, but if you don't have any other alternatives, just get them back later by buying season passes later in life when you have more $$$.


How is using the ticket of someone who is done for the day stealing from the resort? From the resort's point of view it makes no difference whether a ticket that they sold was used by one person for the whole day, or by one person part of the day and another person the other part. On the other hand, sneaking onto the lifts is another story (as well as using other people's season passes, etc.) is another story, however - not only ethically questionable at best, but it can get you into considerable trouble if you get caught.
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Postby Clydascope » Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:23 pm

AlexeyD wrote:From the resort's point of view it makes no difference whether a ticket that they sold was used by one person for the whole day, or by one person part of the day and another person the other part.


In California it's known as Defrauding an Innkeeper, CA Penal Code Section 537:

"(b) Any person who uses or attempts to use ski area facilities for
which payment is required without paying as required, or who resells
a ski lift ticket to another when the resale is not authorized by
the proprietor, is guilty of an infraction."

http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/537.html

http://news.sierrawave.net/eastern-sier ... -penalties
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Postby AlexeyD » Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:11 pm

Clydascope wrote:
AlexeyD wrote:From the resort's point of view it makes no difference whether a ticket that they sold was used by one person for the whole day, or by one person part of the day and another person the other part.


In California it's known as Defrauding an Innkeeper, CA Penal Code Section 537:

"(b) Any person who uses or attempts to use ski area facilities for
which payment is required without paying as required, or who resells
a ski lift ticket to another when the resale is not authorized by
the proprietor, is guilty of an infraction."

http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/537.html

http://news.sierrawave.net/eastern-sier ... -penalties


I'm not at all surprised by this, since I would expect the law to generally take the side of the service provider in situations like this. Morally and economically, however, asking to use someone's one-day lift pass after they are finished for the day is NOT equivalent to stealing by any stretch of the imagination, at least not in my book. But, if that sort of things keeps you from sleeping at night then you probably shouldn't do it.
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