Skiing is a long time passion / obsession of mine. My skiing career started out as the typical east coast skier skiing 20 days a year on very small hills surfaced mostly with man made snow. My home hill was Bristol Mountain in upstate New York. At about 1,400 vertical feet, Bristol won’t be confused for the Swiss Alps but it does have the distinction of having the most vertical in upstate NY.
After my brief introduction to east coast skiing I had the opportunity to ski Moonlight Basin and Big Sky Resorts in Montana. This really opened my eyes to what skiing could really be. I returned to New York more focused on improving my skills. Shortly thereafter, Lisa was accepted to the University of Utah for her PhD program and we moved westward.
For those who don’t know Salt Lake City is home to several world class ski resorts (Alta, Snowbird, Solitude, Snow Basin, etc) and is purported to have the “Best Snow on Earth”. In fact we moved to Utah on July 2nd, 2005 and skied at Snowbird the next day. I can truly say that Salt Lake City is where learned what skiing was all about. The first day of the skiing in the 2006 season was a typical Alta powder day with about 16 inches of fresh snow. I immediately trade in my skinny sticks for some fat boards and never looked back.
I was quite content with the big mountain resort skiing I was doing, but several of my friends we into back country skiing. With backcountry skiing you are ascending the slope under your own power instead of riding the lift. You are also skiing in unpatroled terrain, which means that ski patrol has not done any avalanche control and there is no one there but you and your team to help you out if you get in trouble. The pay off is now crowds, fresh lines and a connection with the mountain that you just can’t get skiing in the resort.
In 2007 I got an alpine touring ski setup which allows you to ascend up the mountain using climbing skins. Basically, you have a friction surface affixed to the bottom of your skis which (combined with the free heel AT binding) allows you to shuffle your way up the slope. Its like snowshoeing but more efficient. After a season of AT skiing I decided that for touring I was really interested in getting a Telemark set up. In 2008 I bit the bullet and started to learn to Tele. It was definitely a challenge, but also a lot of fun. I am now a hybrid skier between tele and alpine.
On last notch in my skiing belt is the freestyle training I did up at the Olympic Park in Park City, UT. They have a series of freestyle jumps made of an artificial snow surface that land into a pool of aerated water for a soft landing. There I worked with several US Ski team coaches and members to learn how to do some basic and advanced free style tricks. Admittedly I have not taken everything I have learned there to snow but I have taken quite a bit.
So you can say my skiing is rather eclectic. I do Alpine and Tele, I do resort and backcountry, and I do freestyle on both alpine and tele. I haven’t done a heli skiing trip yet, but that’s on the list too.
Places I Have Skied:
- Bristol Mountain (NY)
- Labrador Mountain (NY)
- Brantling (NY)
- Hunt Hallow (NY)
- Kilington (VT)
- Alta (UT)
- Snowbird (UT)
- Brighton (UT)
- Solitude (UT)
- Snow Basin (UT)
- Big Sky (MT)
- Moonlight Basin (MT)
- Black Diamond Verdicts w/ Volie Switchback Bindings
- Karhu Jaks w/ Black Diamond 01 Bindings
- Salomon Gun w/ Salomon912TI Bindings
- Line Prophet 100 w/ Salomon912ti Bindings
- Salomon1080 w/ Salomon 910 Bindings
- K2 Silencer w/ Marker Jester Bindings