Author Topic: Skiing with Ron  (Read 516 times)

Gary

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Skiing with Ron
« on: April 15, 2013, 11:35:42 am »
Hey gang....I just returned from a week in Steamboat skiing with our friend Ron. I arrived on Sunday and our first day on snow was Monday. We had a warm day and buttery smooth spring snow. Tuesday we were hopeful for fresh snow but the mountain was 98% closed due to high winds. Overnight, 2" fell and it was over boiler plate....never had that there before.

The gift came Wed into Thursday. We had 6-8" of powder fall and what a time we had. I must start out by saying Ron skis trees so smoothly...I mean killer tight trees, stuff that I won't even touch. He is very comfortable in there and skis with total control. I felt more comfortable in glades on more blue terrain. Ron gave me some awesome instruction on skiing this kind of terrain and it's so different than anything I've ever learned before...AND it really works. He was a great coach and very supportive.

Below was one of the better turns in a  beautiful Steamboat Aspen tree glade. Thanks to Ron for his patience my past fear (due to hitting a tree skiing thin coverage) faded away and by end of day Thursday I really started to have a much nicer rhythm in that environment.

Friday brought more fresh snow with warming temps....we ended up in some trees and some creamy smooth snow. I made sure I got a chance to hit some of their nice wide runs with broken pow and soft bumps to play in. It was a fantastic week as Sunday was Steamboats last day open. Ron, still there was treated for all his efforts with me to another 6 inch powder day. Last I heard, it's still dumping there...

I've added a pic of Ron jumping into a more dense tree section...snow in areas was over a foot...take a look at his wake!

Best, G

« Last Edit: April 15, 2013, 12:24:58 pm by Gary »


jim-ratliff

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Re: Skiing with Ron
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2013, 03:28:11 pm »
Great pictures. Is it too early tip start thinking about next year?
"If you're gonna play the game boy, ya gotta learn to play it right."

Svend

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Re: Skiing with Ron
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2013, 04:26:37 pm »
Sweet pics. G! Thanks for posting.  Sounds like you had a fantastic week there.  And great to hear that you got over the mental hurdle of skiing in the trees.  I know you had a bad injury a few years ago from doing that.  Must have taken some fortitude to chuck yourself back in there again.

I gotta say, those glades look really nice.  I wish they had those in Banff.


Gary

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Re: Skiing with Ron
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2013, 05:39:10 pm »
Right on Jim....next season will suffice...but I can say it was a great experience...adding some new tools to my ski skill bag.

Thanks Svend...Hmmm, didn't I see Maren skiing in similar glades in Norquay?

I have to say if it weren't for awesome snow conditions, I would have not gone in there. I started with baby steps until I could get a repeatable rhythm going. Lots more work to do but it's nice to know I own a basic solid foundation that helps navigating glades.

Sad to see this season fly by but it was a wonderful ski year.

Best, G

Svend

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Re: Skiing with Ron
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2013, 05:45:38 pm »
Thanks Svend...Hmmm, didn't I see Maren skiing in similar glades in Norquay?

That would be Nakiska.  They have a very nice glade area now.  And we were all in there....several times....  :)  But they are all evergreens.  There is something ethereal-looking about the aspens in the snow at Steamboat, that just isn't the same in an evergreen glade. 

LivingProof

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Re: Skiing with Ron
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2013, 08:27:46 am »
G,

Consider me to be officially jealous. I thought my season ending trip was great as I did 3 new mountains.....you went to Banff, Summit Co and then to the Boat. Glad you got some time in trees, and, had a great time with Ron. My son, who is now 39, was 1 year old the only time I spent any time at the Boat. Need to return, for sure.

All,
Gary and I were speaking about trees and bumps following his Steamboat trip. We both ski small, very groomed eastern mountains, and we concur that the environment where one skis the most, does shape your skiing. We need small steps to get into big mountain skiing.....Montana's Big Sky taught me that very quickly. Gary mentioned that Ron's skiing has just improved so much since his adoption of Steamboat home-site, at least on a part time basis. Confidence, even for solid eastern hard-pack skiers, just rules when jumping into big mountain conditions. I've got to do some thinking about how to improve this aspect.

Gary

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Re: Skiing with Ron
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2013, 09:15:53 am »
Mike.....MOVE OUT WEST!   :D :D :D

OF course I know that may not happen...but we certainly must spend more time on bigger mountains if we want to experience more and gain that confidence.

Having said that, seeing what Bush, Laim and others are skiing at the east coast larger resorts...some pretty tasty stuff there. Skiing with good friends west or east, there tons of great terrain to challenge our skills.

Here's what I realize, I love skiing pow, I love skiing the crud and pushed up mush or corn along the edges, I love carving groomers, I love soft rounded bumps, ........KNOW THYSELF!

I can have fun in the trees but learning to love them, like you said....all about baby steps. I just want to keep that big ass smile on my face as often as possible!

Best, G
« Last Edit: April 16, 2013, 09:17:20 am by Gary »

Ron

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Re: Skiing with Ron
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2013, 05:54:35 am »
We had a great time and got to ski everything across-the-board. Even got to play around with some skis like the 105 which I now own   :D  (fantastic ski BTW). Skiing trees or tight steeps or any other technical line requires varied skills; both skiing skills and ability to read the mountain and snow, confidence in yourself and the willingness to fail (including getting hurt) you can't ski this stuff without understanding the risk. Its part of the game.  I give Gary a lot of credit to be open to using some unconventional (to this gang) methods and tactics and picking up on them quickly.  Changing foot work, arm position, body position, planting tactics and even working in some pivot slips when needed, modified stems and much more active flexation and absorption. I remember when Gary figured out that keeping your arms in, elbows almost touching your body and pole planting straight forward makes a huge difference in control in the trees!  There is nothing better than skiing Aspens on a powder day.  Next time we'll take it up a notch!  :P




Gary

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Re: Skiing with Ron
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2013, 07:16:29 am »
Hey Ron...welcome back...your skills speak for themselves as I can attest. I can however take total credit for the latest ski in your quiver....the Rev 105. Ron skied mine for 2 days while I was on the kastle FX84's. He skied them on spring buttery snow and then on 2" of fresh over boiler plate. His purchase supports his test results. He also got a run on them in the trees after he knocked me down and took them off my feet... :o.....nah...we traded and I got on his DPS 112's which are a superb pow ski.

I"m sure we'll have much more opportunity to talk about the technique Ron state here and yes, I had to let many technical concepts I use outside the trees and watch and learn some new that really gave me greater confidence in a glade environment.

Again, thanks Ron for the technical and moral support last week.

Best, G

Ron

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Re: Skiing with Ron
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2013, 07:33:40 am »
That 105 is amazingly adaptive. It almost seemed to morph to the conditions I was skiing on. The biggest surprise was on the hardpack where I thought the soft tip would flap and the wide ski would not grip well. At SIA, I tested the 105 mounted at the recommended point, I hated the ski, I mean hated the ski.  Mounted at +2.5 this ski was superb. At this point you have a lot of control over the shovel of the ski allowing you work the edges and shovels for carving and bumps/varied terrain (edge-to-edge and pushing the tips down in bumps and troughs). The tail is actually fairly firm and has a nice turn up. It was very easy to work as well when on steeper terrain to either leave in the turn or to release and drift. We were on Storm Peak north (a black) with about 4" of wind affected dense snow with very hard frozen underneath (not groomed) the 105 made this very easy to ski. The dampness was very effective with the management of the soft/hard/rockhard snow in each turn.  On the hard stuff it has excellent grip and was incredibly damp instilling confidence to ski faster and harder.  On the soft spring snow the 16.5 TR was absolutely a blast to rip out super short radius carved turns. You can feel the entire ski hookup underfoot and skiing cross-under, when releasing he edges and retracting the feet was stupid-easy-fun! Such energy! I could ski with less effort and input. In the 8plus inches of more dense snow in the trees, they were a bit more work than the DPS's but once you adjusted for a flat tail, the turns were precise and predictable. A trait you want in the trees. These will be my every day ski next season. Something I can take to Copper and A-basin and ski steeps and more technical lines with confidence.  They were fine in soft bumps too. With the nice sidecut and flat tail they were easy to ski.  I didn't really take them into firm bumps but on the soft and crudded up piles (2-3') they were more than adequate.  No ski is perfect so you have to find the one that best meets the conditions at hand. The 105 is one of those ski's for western soft snow skiing.  Phil has some left at a amazing price of 359.00 shipped
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 07:49:00 am by Ron »

Liam

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Re: Skiing with Ron
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2013, 07:56:44 am »


I"m sure we'll have much more opportunity to talk about the technique Ron state here and yes, I had to let many technical concepts I use outside the trees and watch and learn some new that really gave me greater confidence in a glade environment.

Again, thanks Ron for the technical and moral support last week.

Best, G
[/quote]

On a technical/historical note--that's pretty much what Bushwacka said here and elsewhere.  Some terrain, specifically tight, challenging glades requires a somewhat unique and varied set of skills to really ski and enjoy them. The woods are different:  And that is their appeal as well as their challenge.

Glad you guys had a blast..the pics are great.  Seems like the 105mm ski is the new 98mm!   ;D


Ron

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Re: Skiing with Ron
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2013, 08:13:58 am »
not really the 1-0-somethings vary greatly in their capabilities as do the 98's but all are not equal.  Too much focus on width of ski and not on overall build. 

Gary

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Re: Skiing with Ron
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2013, 08:28:10 am »
Hey Ron...nice to have your thoughts back here....and nice review of the 105's...spot on from my experience too.

Liam...I like the word you used..."unique"...certainly specific to the terrain......Keepin g an open mind and watching good skiers just take total control in a glade or treed environment is amazing. I just look at it as adding more ski tools to my ski bag. I may never become a "tree rat" but there IS something very magical about the beauty, peace and challenge of being in the trees. NOT to mention it's less rutted up and there's usually more pow holding in there. Time and opportunity will help improve my skills there, this I know.

Head has a new ski coming out this season that's 98 underfoot...should be interesting. I did demo the Head 90 and did not like it at all...I thought it lacked energy and there was way too much vibration coming through the ski...it's way different than the 105.

The only thing I determined with my 105 in a 181 length. For open bowls and resort trails with pow and/or broken snow, that length was fine. But when I got into the trees and bumps...the length was just more to handle than I needed. At 5'7, 149lbs...I decided I'd purchase the 171 length...waiting on its arrival.

MAN...feel like I should go ski something right NOW!   :-\      Best, G


Ron

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Re: Skiing with Ron
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2013, 08:59:34 am »
yeah, the 90 when skied on the same run against the 105 was TOTALLY different. Maybe on groomed stuff it would fine (I did demo it at SIA on groomed and it was a nice ski) but skiing in challenging conditions it was fairly miserable. The 105 ruled that terrain and made it totally skiable. this was not the kind of snow you would find normally; dense wind settled pockets settled into frozen, irregular craggy bumps on high 20's* pitch.

I can think of a few 98's that would have performed just as well though.  (but not as overall versatile though)


Gary ski's the 180 in the open artfully but once it got tighter and more technical, the length worked against him.  Just more work than necessary. 
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 09:01:51 am by Ron »

Gary

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Re: Skiing with Ron
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2013, 08:50:43 am »
Thanks Ron....certainly the 105 is a fun versatile ski....I just got talked into the longer version....by the guys in the shop...crap!

In comparing the Rev 90 to the Kastle 84, yes the Rev had a wee bit more underfoot and probably as nimble in soft snow but the 90 transmits way to much vibration through the ski compared to the Kastle when the snow is stiff or firm. I actually was considering replacing the Kastle with the Rev 90 but that whim has passed.

That width ski has to be my most versatile ski in my quivver...so far in my demo's....for me, it's hard to top the Kastle 84.....SO FAR!  ::)

Best, G

Ron

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Re: Skiing with Ron
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2013, 11:42:21 am »
Agreed on all points Gary. The 90 carves well and may be fine again on softer groomers but it did fail miserably on the stuff we had it in (arguably rare situation) but it rattled and was not anywhere near as good as the FX84. I did ski Gary's FX84 on another part of the mountain on some snow that was pushed/piled and frozen the night before and as it was becoming softer; the control and dampness of the ski was markedly better. Even though Gary's 168s are too short for me, it was easier to ski on the 84's and much more enjoyable too. 

I am still amazed at how versatile and enjoyable the 105 is.