Author Topic: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?  (Read 1631 times)

smackboy1

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Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« on: October 22, 2012, 05:17:01 pm »
I have a desire to go heli skiing but my lack of any powder experience is a bit of an impediment  :-[

I see operations like CMH have Powder 101 trips for the powder challenged. http://www.canadianmountainholidays.com/heli-skiing/firsttime It looks great but it seems a bit of a waste to drop that kind of coin on a learning trip.  The other thing is that I don't want to end up stuck in a lodge in the boonies because bad weather has the helicopters grounded. So I'm thinking cat skiing might be a better way. Anybody have any tips or recommendations where to go and which operator to go with?

I consider myself an fairly advanced northeast skier and I'm pretty comfortable anywhere inbounds. Steep boilerplate ice? No problemo. The light white bottomless fluffy stuff? Not a clue.
I'm not a ski instructor, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.


HighAngles

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2012, 03:44:31 am »
If you can manage an unplanned/spur of the moment trip in your work schedule, I recommend heading to SLC when the snow is falling.  The SLC area has the most convenient access combined with incredible mountains with great deep snow skiing.  I've done this often myself since the trip is so easy (it's also fairly inexpensive).  You can stay down in SLC at the foot of Little Cottonwood Canyon and ski Alta or Snowbird (and Solitude and Brighton are fun too).

Also, it's not like the Northeast never gets deep snow - you just have to be willing to time it right and go where it's snowing.  Watch the snowfall predictions and make it your mission to get some. but I have to admit that even though I skied the NE for 12 years I don't think I ever found more than 6" due to my ability to time storms and actually get out to ski.  In my first trip out West I hit 2.5' of the deep stuff at Alta.  Once I experienced that I realized that there was a whole "other" sport I was missing.

I agree that "dropping coin" on a big heli trip, if you've never really skied in deep snow, is definitely a bit risky.

bushwacka

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2012, 06:27:40 am »
the thing is learning to ski deep powder is a catch 22 in so many ways.

I have never met anyone who has ever been taught how to ski deep powder, not that I do not think it can be done its just the people that learn to ski deep powder are generally doers and have done everything in their power to ski deep powder, whether or not is was skipping,working school, hiking/skinning for it, getting the right ski, waking up early to get first chair they have done everything in their power to ski deep powder and over the years have learned to ski it.

First thing what ever is stopping you from skiing powder is actually a flaw in your everyday skiing! "its not that you can not ski the powder, its that you cant ski and the powder proves it". If powder gives you problems your trying to twist a ski to much, or are just entirely off balance some way. If you have an video of you skiing I can tell you exactly why its happening.

now on to where. It really doesnt matter where it does matter when.  big storm cycle about to hit SLC? drop everything and get out there and ski brighton/solitude? wyoming about to get hit? get to Grand Targhee as fast as possible. North Easter coming up the cost? Pick a small mountain in its path and get there. Lake Effect coming of lake champlain? get your ass to stowe and enjoy snow while no one in the north east even knows its snowing...

HighAngles last year was a bad year but if you drove to stowe every weekend and skied saturday/sunday you would have powder many days including one day that was absurdly deep.

these pictures were taken at 3pm on saturday at stowe mountain resort. Inbounds lighter snow that could ever been found in utah....





this was taken the next day just out of bounds at about noon



everywhere in the northeast got this storm. There was really no valid excuse IMO to miss it. I talk to several western who were at stowe that day just to ski powder.

Stowe on average has more powder days than snowbird they just generally are not as deep and more of the public misses it since the lifts open at 7:30.... and they open at 7:30 so the locals can ski its out before the tourist can wake up;)






LivingProof

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2012, 07:03:56 am »
Check out the Revelstoke Mountain area of British Columbia where there are a few powdercat ski week services. Seems to be a reasonable blend of good powder plus terrain to enable learning to ski in deep, untracked, freshies. Steamboat also has good powdercat services.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCZsx93MWss

But, as Bushwacker states, if you want to ski powder, it has to become your prime goal. On the east coast, that means watching for storms and being there while it's coming down. First chairs are sooo important. Last year, I was in NY with Gary and we got 6-9 inches overnight, and, Gary had us at the mountain early enough for him to be first in line. That was hero snow that most can do very well in while on groomed.

My experiences when in big mountains during major drops are very mixed. I was totally unprepared for the deeper, heavier snow I experienced in Tahoe last year. There is a learning curve and there are a lot of variables.

bushwacka

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2012, 07:34:16 am »
Livingproof I would have struggled on a 94mm waisted ski in sierra cement.

I would rather hit the easy button and be able to float on less than Ideal powder. getting stuck in heavy snow or crust is not my idea of fun.

with that said floating on true powder is impossible even a on the biggest powder skis. Just look at my pictures and realize everyone was skiing 185cm + 110mm+ skis. The idea of skiing 'on powder" is purely a myth perpetuated by people who simply have never actually skied powder on fat skis before.

smackboy1

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2012, 08:28:03 am »
the thing is learning to ski deep powder is a catch 22 in so many ways.

I have never met anyone who has ever been taught how to ski deep powder. . .

So true. Nor have I ever met anyone who was anything but self taught. But I'm constrained by family/work obligations which is why if I'm going to figure out powder it will have to be like everything else in my life: planned, scheduled and paid for months in advance. Which is why I'm thinking cat skiing might just be the ticket compared to lift served resort or heli. Higher probability of deep powder and less affected by uncooperative weather or masses of powder hungry local skiers.
I'm not a ski instructor, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Gary

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2012, 08:32:07 am »
Smackboy1...from my personal experience....get some time in 6-9 inches...get a feel for skiing two footed.....tiping, being more upright, more centered, timed pole plants....and if you're outwest...get a powder lesson. It will save you numerous sommersauls on a knee high pow day.

Also, I highly suggest you try Powder Cat skiing before heli.....you'll get more runs, feel less intimidated and have more experience in the variety of conditions you just might encounter from a heli skiing day.

As for what width underfoot for what conditions....I too think wide is better in deep snow...but your height and weight do have impact on the width underfoot you decide on. Skiing pow on todays new skis 98 to 115 underfoot offer great versatility and for sure make skiing the big pow days much more pleasant.

I can say for sure and for me...skiing rocker skis in wet, dense, packed snow...sucks. The more traditional skis cut through, carve around much better...but that's for me.

Skiing powder in my mind is the most fantastic experience ever...keeping me longing for more. And like LP said...being 1st in line for a inbounds pow day...rules.

Wishing you great success in your future pow days....G

bushwacka

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2012, 09:08:32 am »
I can say for sure and for me...skiing rocker skis in wet, dense, packed snow...sucks. The more traditional skis cut through, carve around much better...but that's for me.



packed yes....but un packed wet dense snow aka Sierra Cement. Rockered all the way.

Philpug

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2012, 12:13:40 pm »
I was with Mike the day he was on the 94's, while the conditions were heavy, they were far from "sierra cement" but more like typical eastern powder. Where Mike (and others) ran into many issues was the snow (REALLY firm "snow") underneath and were bottoming out. We DO get other snow here than sierra cement, saying otherwise is like saying that everything on the east is always ice. Mike, when we skied Mt. Rose for the demo day, we had some very good snow there in depth and quality, what skis did you ski?  I don't recall.

As far as where to learn powder, it is almost more WHEN to learn. When the conditions are right and as Josh eludes to, having the right tool to make the learning process more enjoyable and rewarding.

smackboy1

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2012, 12:29:29 pm »
When the conditions are right and as Josh eludes to, having the right tool to make the learning process more enjoyable and rewarding.

So what are the recommended tools? Are there skis that make skiing powder feel like just another day on groomed runs? I've noticed that most, if not all heli and cat ski operators will recommend using their rental fleet.
I'm not a ski instructor, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

bushwacka

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2012, 12:47:27 pm »
I just want to point out that at least Stowe Compared to Mammoth(tahoe in theory is probably similar further north but lower elevations), WHEN it is snow falling our snow is actually lighter.

So eastern powder should be taken as really good stuff not quite as good as steamboat smoke, or alta fluff but for sure better than on average than the Pacific Coast.

blue is Alta, Red is Mammoth, White in Mansfield aka Stowe.



science doesnt lie

What phil is mentioning is very valid. a 6 inch heavy snow day can ski 'bottomless" on the right skis where as other people are hitting hardpack underneath.  Also skiing powder never feels like a groomer....bigger skis just make it easier.

IMO for an average adult male a ski 180-185cm with 110ish mm underfoot and some slight rocker is good enough in powder with out making them feel hopeless otherwise. If it wasnt easier we wouldnt use them....
« Last Edit: October 23, 2012, 12:48:34 pm by bushwacka »

bushwacka

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2012, 01:18:13 pm »
so what skier would have more fun Max? Which one would learn to ski powder quicker....


skier a and B are physical the same and have same skiing skills call them clones

skier A. could not ski powder with out fat skis ends up at resort with 24 inches of new snow, rents skis and is falling very rarely

Skier B.  again could not ski powder out fat skis, but DOESNT rent fatter skis. Falls constantly every run, ends up going back to the most packed snow so they can actually ski something.



remember PMTS is the authoritarian dictatorship of ski instruction.... its clear that when someone post technique first over equipment in a situation that equipment makes a huge different even to an expert skier that their instructional system maybe misguided.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2012, 01:29:06 pm by jim-ratliff »

jim-ratliff

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2012, 01:35:45 pm »
I removed a post by Josh.
The topic is giving "Smackboy1" suggestions on where/when/how to go to learn powder skiing, not about "assessing" or "denigrating' fellow forum members.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2012, 01:48:48 pm by jim-ratliff »
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Philpug

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2012, 01:45:43 pm »
So what are the recommended tools? Are there skis that make skiing powder feel like just another day on groomed runs? I've noticed that most, if not all heli and cat ski operators will recommend using their rental fleet.

As far as THE only tool? there is no one, there are nuance differences in many skis that all could be great. A lot depends on how you want it to fit in your quiver, where you are skiing, how aggressive you are skiing and how the snow is where are you skiing. There are ones that turn like you would on a groomer. As far as the heli ops providing their own rental fleets, you would be surprised what people show up with on trips let alone the people who just want to come and not even own a serious powder ski

smackboy1

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2012, 02:08:45 pm »
The topic is giving "Smackboy1" suggestions on where/when/how to go to learn powder skiing, not about assessments of other skiers.
And, I believe, his constraints were expressed in such a way that he's currently focusing on tools and locations?

Thank you  ;D Couldn't have said it better myself.

So far I've found and/or been recommended a few alternatives:

http://www.selkirkwilderness.com/dates_rates/intro_to_cat_skiing_boarding/

http://www.bigredcatskiing.com/

http://www.steamboatpowdercats.com/level-one-snowcat-skiing/

Shhh, don't tell anyone but I'm a blue level PMTS skier. I ski on Head Icon TT80's and just bought a pair of Movement Jams. The only PMTS thing I don't own are the special limited edition PMTS carving underpants. So 'nuff said about that  :P

« Last Edit: October 23, 2012, 02:10:30 pm by smackboy1 »
I'm not a ski instructor, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

jim-ratliff

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2012, 02:44:22 pm »
My opinion. What Gary and Phil said.
6-9 inches to learn in. Not Heli skiing first time. Look for a group that tries to match you up with like skiers. You don't want to be the only first timer in a group of 10. Later in the year ensures overall better coverage. I remember Ron and Gary went cat skiing from Steamboat in December one year and the lack of early snow coverage was a challenge.
Ignore all these pictures of the good skiers in waist deep conditions. I don't think you want to be there (I don't). I know there are powder cat operations from Steamboat, Little Cottonwood Canyon, and Powder Mountain north of Salt Lake City. I'm sure there are lots more.
If possible, be aggressive about getting to your local mountain on 4-8" days before the snow gets tracked up (Gary's comment about first tracks, but that may be a challenge from NewJersey).
« Last Edit: October 23, 2012, 02:54:19 pm by jim-ratliff »
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Liam

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2012, 04:45:34 pm »
 just watched a bunch of youtube 'learn to ski powder' videos which are all really just promos for their respective Cat and Heli guided trips.  From the videos, it looks like most serve up pretty shallow powder (1 foot) on intermediae slopes to fairly pedestrian skiers and that 'powder lessons' are a big part of the experience.  It seems regardless of skill level, the heli outfits are designed to get just about any skier a slid powder experience

 I think it's a pretty specific set of outfitters who are putting folks in 'waist-deep' snow and an even more specific grop of skiers who really want that.   

My advice:

1. Get a hold of the Deslaurier's ' Ski the Whole Mountain'--it was a game changer for me, lots of familiar Ideas if you already like PMTS, but with a few focused tweaks that just make a lot of sense and are fairly easy to put into practice (also, the whole segment on 'Pedal Hops and Pedal Carves is worth the price of the book, that taught me more about maintaining flow in real steeps than any other technique I've attempted to learn).  GReat photos and step by step instruction.

Nothing replaces time in the snow-but you need to have a plan of attack before you head out...I suggest the one spelled out by Eric and Rob Deslaurier.

2. What everyone else said, what you need is a FLEXIBLE SCHEDULE.  No matter where you ski, you get powder days, the key is you have to be able to take advantage of them when they show up.  Often, smaller, more off the map ski areas (in the east we're talking about) are better because the powder hounds and the crowds don't sniff them out and you can find unbroken lines late in the day (especially on weekdays).  I ski mostly at a small (1100 ft vertical) Massachusetts mountain...check many of the videos I posted, it get's powder days and typically, you don't share it with very many other people (in a good year I get 10-12 days over 6 inches, with 3-4 serious storms, even the occasional 30 inches-and I usually still ski unbroken lines all the way to closing).  If you can get up to nothern, VT or Maine, you do even better.   But really you have to watch the weather and let work/ family know, 4 inches or more falling within driving distance-you're gone.

3.  Deep Powder...good luck getting enough time, That truly bottomless feel is something really hard to find at almost any in bounds resort:   The Pacific Northwest can deliver (but bottomless at Mt. Baker maybe one of the few times even a good skier will think 'man, this is too deep!') and a pineapple express in the Sierras is something to behold, but that's the stuff legends are made of.

 The Northeast gets it once in a while in bounds with the help of wind drift after a Nor 'easter. (Once at killington I made 1o-15 turns in waist to chest deep snow off the side of outer limits), I've had the occasional 3 foot of snow, but I think you got to go hike and prowl with guys like bushwacker to find truly 'deep' snow consistently in the east. 

jbotti

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2012, 08:50:22 pm »
For just pure quantity of snow it is very tough to beat the Sierras and or PacNW. Squaw gets 400 inches in a bad year. As well the dumps are big (usualy 2-3 feet at a time). It is definitely heavier snow but if you learn to ski it you can ski powder anywhere because everywhere else will be easier. I learned to ski pow in it. Unfortunately a trip to Squaw or Mammoth does not guarantee that you will get dumped on while you are there but the odds are greater in the Sierras or Pac NW than anywhere else in the country. (Some seasons Cottonwwod Canyon in Utah gets as much and the snow is lighter there).

What Liam said is also key. When I was learning how to ski pow, when Tahoe got 2-3 feet I found a way to play hooky from life and drive up there for the day and ski in it. It's a 3-4 hour drive each way but it was well worth humping it up and back on 8-10 pow days per year.

Not sure where you live, but there may be some nice spots you can drive to when a big dump shows up. Small out of the way resorts with more modest terrain are definitely the best places to learn to ski pow. Steeper and better terrain attracts skiers in droves when it snows. You often can ski fresh lines at smaller resorts for much of the day especially if they are close to the big ones where all the people go. And to learn you don't need the steepest and most challenging terrain.

Gary

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2012, 08:29:43 am »
Smackboy1...I say again...before you throw yourself down the mountain and put your cash into the toilet bowl, LEARN to FEEL powder beneath your feet...ankle high will do to start. As romantic as skiing deep pow looks, ya gotta know THAT FEELING and be able to recognize the difference between carving and floating.  Being at the right place at the right time to encounter big snow is either luck or ya pay the big bucks to get it FOR SURE...like on a heli trip somewhere in Alaska or cat skiing in the Canadian Rockies.

FEEL the pow and it will set you free!!!   ;)  G

LivingProof

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2012, 07:22:54 am »
I was with Mike the day he was on the 94's, while the conditions were heavy, they were far from "sierra cement" but more like typical eastern powder. Where Mike (and others) ran into many issues was the snow (REALLY firm "snow") underneath and were bottoming out. We DO get other snow here than sierra cement, saying otherwise is like saying that everything on the east is always ice. Mike, when we skied Mt. Rose for the demo day, we had some very good snow there in depth and quality, what skis did you ski?  I don't recall.

As far as where to learn powder, it is almost more WHEN to learn. When the conditions are right and as Josh eludes to, having the right tool to make the learning process more enjoyable and rewarding.

Just to stay on focus with respect to learning to ski powder:

The day Phil described happened at Alpine Meadows during lasts years's Epic Gathering. During the night, 12+ inches of snow fell onto the Sierra's which had not had any new snow in weeks. The base was ice and I'm not sure if most would have skied if the snowfall had not happened. It was overcast, windy and snowing all day. I struggled with the heavy snow over, but, after a run or two, figured it out. And a big thanks to Phil for helping me get a ski back on when the frozen snow. What did help me from a technique standpoint was just pointing skis down the mountain and using Harbian counter acting to initiate turns. Honestly, in the heavier snow that day my 94's did not suck.

The day I was totally overmatched was 3 days later in Squaw when I skied with John Botti and High Angles. On our first run, snow was waist high and heavy. High Angles had the right skis, John and I would have preferred something far wider. I can't blame the skis that day, it was all about being out of my league. Very quickly, I let them ski the steep and deep, I stayed on the groomers. In my life, it was the first time that I wished for a 110 plus waist ski just to see if it would help. HA and JB are much more competent skiers than I am, powder or no powder!

During the MT Rose demo day, the ski that worked best for me was the Dynastar Cham 97 in the morning powder, but, by afternoon and skiing the cut up powder, a Kastle lx82 rocked my world.

High Angles said of that week's skiing that it was the best deep powder experience of his life...and he lives in Denver. He stated the Rockies get a lot of small snowfalls, not much depth in any one storm. The powder conditons we experienced changed each day. It was a great learning experience, one that has me rethinking what ski I should bring to Big Sky in late March.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2012, 07:30:47 am by LivingProof »

SnowHot

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2012, 08:21:42 am »
I was with Mike the day he was on the 94's, while the conditions were heavy, they were far from "sierra cement" but more like typical eastern powder. Where Mike (and others) ran into many issues was the snow (REALLY firm "snow") underneath and were bottoming out. We DO get other snow here than sierra cement, saying otherwise is like saying that everything on the east is always ice. Mike, when we skied Mt. Rose for the demo day, we had some very good snow there in depth and quality, what skis did you ski?  I don't recall.

As far as where to learn powder, it is almost more WHEN to learn. When the conditions are right and as Josh eludes to, having the right tool to make the learning process more enjoyable and rewarding.

I agree on all of this post but would  like to touch on the part about learning...
I was fortunate enough to be at an ESA Big Sky during an amazing powder week.  Squatty was a great coach and the conditions were incredible. 

If someone has an opportunity to take a lesson on a powder day, do it.  But I'd encourage you to demo some powder skis so you have the right tool to take to class.
Sometimes you just need to let your Bad Self ski!!
~nolo

Gary

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #21 on: October 25, 2012, 09:14:27 am »
WORD!   ;D

LivingProof

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #22 on: October 25, 2012, 02:59:27 pm »
I agree on all of this post but would  like to touch on the part about learning...
I was fortunate enough to be at an ESA Big Sky during an amazing powder week.  Squatty was a great coach and the conditions were incredible. 

If someone has an opportunity to take a lesson on a powder day, do it.  But I'd encourage you to demo some powder skis so you have the right tool to take to class.

Snow Hot,

Nice to hear from an Epic 30,000 poster on our little forum.

Best thing about an instructor on Pow days is.......getting directly to the front of liftlines! Thanks John Botti for a great experience at Squaw! High Angles and I owe you, big time.

BTW,
Demoing on Pow days? I've mixed results, so far. Did it one day at Jackson, and, felt like I took $50 and burned it for all the good it did not do.  It may be better to ski the ski you know. For sure, if I bought a 110 mm waist, I'd want spend time on it in an attempt to figure it out and then take it into pow.

Skiing powder is a journey, but, what a great journey to take.

jim-ratliff

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #23 on: October 25, 2012, 03:41:35 pm »
Stopping while skiing in the powder and just marveling at the quiet and beauty among the trees is a nice journey as well.

"If you're gonna play the game boy, ya gotta learn to play it right."

HeluvaSkier

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #24 on: October 25, 2012, 09:46:04 pm »
The best place to learn to ski deep powder is deep powder.

Sure practice elsewhere before you get there, but the real test comes when you're there. Don't push on your skis once you get there and you'll be fine. Funny thing is, if you're not pushing on the skis, there is a bunch of other things you'll need to do in order to make them work. That's the stuff you should practice elsewhere.

Cheers.
All-Mountain: A common descriptive term for boots or skis that are designed to perform equally poorly under a variety of conditions and over many different types of terrain.

Gary

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2012, 07:27:55 am »
Hey Jim....DON"T STOP IN THE DEEP POWDER  :-\...MOMENTUM   ;D

Hoping we all get a taste this season!  (OK>>>>I know Bush will)

But yeah...on an inbounds pow day....you sometimes gotta stop and smell the flakes and BREATH in the moment!

To add to Gregs comments: feel the float in transition, feel the feet tipping together, keep the legs relaxed and keep the poles working to start each turn.

Gesh.... I'm drooling!

G

Liam

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2012, 07:45:54 am »
Just for a reference:  at what is powder'deep'-consistently above the knees?

jim-ratliff

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2012, 07:58:30 am »
Just for a reference:  at what is powder 'deep' -consistently above the knees?
Liam, I think it is a personal variable. It's at whatever depth you find yourself thinking "damn, this is really deep powder."  I'm sure that thought comes to my mind a lot sooner than Bush.  :D
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Philpug

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #28 on: October 26, 2012, 08:31:32 am »
First day of the season for us had 8-10" of fresh.

jim-ratliff

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #29 on: October 26, 2012, 09:02:41 am »
First day of the season for us had 8-10" of fresh.
Phil: Congratulations, but I think this post shows a total lack of respect and consideration for the rest of us that are not even close to being on snow.
As such, I am pretty sure the moderators will intervene.  ;)
« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 12:17:06 pm by jim-ratliff »
"If you're gonna play the game boy, ya gotta learn to play it right."

bushwacka

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #30 on: October 26, 2012, 11:36:11 am »
I just want to call out how lame the southerns are going to be.

The left overs from Sandy could bring feet of snow to the Western Appalachians(SW PA, Western Maryland, West Virgina). Whats their excuse for not being down there? It should make the Tahoe opening look weak.....

I am hoping I can pull off getting down there.

I actually do not care how deep snow is, I would rather have a couple inches of cream cheese and not hit bottom vs a a couple feet of fluff and hit all the ice bump. To me bottomless is more important than deep.

Liam

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #31 on: October 26, 2012, 04:20:55 pm »


I actually do not care how deep snow is, I would rather have a couple inches of cream cheese and not hit bottom vs a a couple feet of fluff and hit all the ice bump. To me bottomless is more important than deep.
[/quote]

What do you mean?  Are you referring to rockered ski performance???   Or are you referring to another way snow can be bottomless without being deep?

bushwacka

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #32 on: October 26, 2012, 06:57:09 pm »
both....

basically as long as I am not skiing the base underneath to me is a powder day. Anything else is dust on crust even if its feet on crust...


HighAngles

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #33 on: October 28, 2012, 04:18:01 pm »
Just for a reference:  at what is powder'deep'-consistently above the knees?

This comment/question brings up a whole other topic about "tuning" your quiver for depth of snow.  When skiing my Wailer 112RP skis in a foot of snow I will barely get a face shot even in CO dry powder.  Given that we rarely get storms in CO that dump more than a foot at a time I decided to pick up a narrower powder day ski that still has some rocker, but not as much float.  I want the face shots back, but still have the more playful feel of a ski with some rocker.

Clearly if you want to ensure that the fresh snow is always going to be at least "above the knees" then all you need is your skinny skis...

epic

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #34 on: October 28, 2012, 06:43:39 pm »
I want the face shots back, but still have the more playful feel of a ski with some rocker.

Good problem to have!

smackboy1

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #35 on: April 13, 2013, 12:23:58 pm »
Figured I would report back after my Powder 101 heli skiing trip to CMH Bugaboos in early March.

I basically jumped in the deep end of the pool and found myself on a helicopter in search of deep powder with a bunch of other newbies. It was an excellent adventure! The only downer was that we had 2 down days out of a possible 6.5 due to bad weather (Pineapple Express came through).

Here's the trip report I posted on Epic

http://www.epicski.com/t/119789/tr-cmh-bugaboos-lodge-powder-101-intro-to-heli-skiing-march-2013

« Last Edit: April 13, 2013, 12:30:17 pm by smackboy1 »
I'm not a ski instructor, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Gary

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #36 on: April 15, 2013, 11:18:21 am »
That bowl looks beautiful and the snow looks amazing. I did one heli trip in Whistler in April a few years back...the snow was variable ...but it's so peaceful.

Glad you enjoyed!

Best, G

LivingProof

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #37 on: April 15, 2013, 12:51:25 pm »
Smackboy

Wow, what a great trip. Props to you for doing it the right way via the Heli trip...I would not have predicted that your original post would result in this outcome. You did your dream, something we all should aspire to do. Could you describe how much you improved in powder over the week? Did you feel overwhelmed at all?

Your description of the great time you had with the others, who were strangers at the start,  reminded of skiing with the people at the Epic Gathering. Skiers just seem to bond with one another, it's much more about the thrill of shared experiences rather than individual accomplishment.

What will you do for an encore?

Svend

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #38 on: April 15, 2013, 04:19:08 pm »
SB -- good on ya for jumping into the deep end of the pool.  Well done.

Too bad about the Pineapple Express.  That stuff happens.  We skied just a bit east of where you were (Banff) about a week later, and missed the Express by just a day or two.  The tail end of that left some very nice powder for us to play in, though.

If you ever go back there to do it again, just a quick word on timing.  March in the Bugaboos, Purcell Range, Kootenays, etc., can bring some warm weather.  Elevations are a bit lower than, say, Banff, so it can be hit or miss with the weather in those parts.  Next time, try going in mid- to late-February.  Not as bitter cold as January, more reliable snow, and temperatures should never get above freezing.

Hope you've got the bug and get to do that again.

« Last Edit: April 15, 2013, 04:20:32 pm by Svend »

smackboy1

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #39 on: April 16, 2013, 12:38:40 pm »
Could you describe how much you improved in powder over the week? Did you feel overwhelmed at all?

It was a ton of fun, but occasionally overwhelming. Keep in mind I'd never even looked at powder that deep before and it felt bottomless in some places. The CMH Powder 101 is not so much a ski school as it is a support group. I got a lot of tips and help, but it was learn by doing. I can honestly say that the only thing that could have prepared me for skiing in deep powder - is skiing in deep powder. I would say that there were 2 opposing forces at work through the week: my skills improved as I got my powder legs; but my body was getting more tired. Getting up from falls took a lot out of me. Also, later in the week the snow got heavier and wetter. The last ski day was right after the rain so the snow was heavy in the trees where we skied. I never felt that I didn't have the technical skill to ski a run (they kept us on mellow terrain), but my body was just out of gas (I could have used more cardio fitness).

What will you do for an encore?

I'm hooked! Maybe heli trip to another CMH lodge (or maybe try Wiegele) or a cat trip or a resort like Steamboat (I'm studying Gary and Ron's TR with interest!).

The other thing is I used the same rental skis all week: 171 Atomic Access 129/100/121. In hindsight maybe I should have demo'ed something longer and wider.  I'm seriously considering adding a new pair of skis to chase my new obsession.
I'm not a ski instructor, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Gary

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #40 on: April 17, 2013, 07:31:43 am »
Great experience and awesome report. Yes...a stronger cardio especially at elevation is essential for sure. I had to chuckle cause I know too how much work it is getting out of deep snow after falling...".ya just wanna wait there for someone to bring ya lunch!" ;D

I don't know your height and weight but I can say emphatically...some thing 105 to 115 underfoot and wider shovel would have helped keeping you upright.

I can see from here the pow hook is set!!!! It's something we can never get enough of!

Also...I really shouldn't speak for Ron...but I know how much he loves his mountain and to introduce people to his "tree zones"....if you're ever out that way....let him know...he's a great guide and knows the area like the back of his hand....ALSO...he's a powder magnet!  :D

Best, G


smackboy1

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #41 on: April 17, 2013, 11:16:20 am »
I don't know your height and weight but I can say emphatically...some thing 105 to 115 underfoot and wider shovel would have helped keeping you upright.

5'10" 189 lbs. 171 cm long, 100 mm wide worked fine in the open alpine. In the trees where the snow is deeper and the speed slower - not so much. Also, coming from hard pack I found it wasn't easy to break the 1 footed skiing habit.

Our tail guide (who I became well acquainted with) estimated that getting up from every fall was the equivalent of skiing an extra run.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 11:22:02 am by smackboy1 »
I'm not a ski instructor, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Gary

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #42 on: April 18, 2013, 09:01:55 am »
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOO.....t he tail guide is a wise man.....

I'm curious,  did the Heli Co offer for any skis to use and if so, what were they?

The reason I ask is on my heli trip, I was on a brand new pair of my own Head 78 underfoot... :o..what the heck was I thinking....this is back about 8 years ago...when 78 was considered a mid fat ski. I worked WAY to hard in the 4000 vertical bowl conditions we had that day.

Anyways, the Heli Co was putting people on Salomon 100  underfoot...conside red their wide pow ski then....I should have jumped on one of those if I knew then what I know now....indeed sometimes wisdom seems to only show up when we're sweating, horizontal and trying to find footing!  :D

I hear ya on that 1 footed skiing habit...more time in the crud using both foot, downhill and uphill edges simultaneously has made it for me "on demand" when needed.

You know it's there....you'll find more places to use it now.

Best, G

smackboy1

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Re: Where to Learn to Ski Deep Powder?
« Reply #43 on: April 18, 2013, 01:08:34 pm »
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.....the tail guide is a wise man.....

The tail guide, Kiwi, has been heli guiding since 1966, which is pretty impressive considering heli skiing only started in 1965. He also trained and coordinate SAR teams in BC. When he talked I listened.

I'm curious,  did the Heli Co offer for any skis to use and if so, what were they?

Other rental ski options were:

Atomic Ritual
K2 Sidestash
K2 Pon2oon
Atomic Century (women)

Their recommendation was for first timers to use the Atomic Access.

http://www.canadianmountainholidays.com/heli-skiing/faq/equipment

I'm not a ski instructor, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.