The Ski Guru Blog

Set youself up for success

One of the most valuable pieces of mountain advice I've ever picked up is: “put yourself in a position to be lucky”, but “don't put yourself in a position where you rely on luck”.  It comes from Mark Houston and Kathy Cosley's book, “Alpine Climbing: Techniques to Take You Higher”, and was written with climbing in mind. This little nugget of wisdom has proven invaluable to me in the world of backcountry skiing, and life in general though.

Whether it was my day at Mad River Glen last week, or one of the many successful days I've had in the whites, all were possible because of a willingness to keep an open mind about the day ahead. When reading the weather forecast or deciding when to set the alarm for the morning, keep in mind that you'll never know what the conditions are like unless you go check them out yourself, the more you're willing to take a chance on a rain storm, or drive to the mountain even though the weather service hasn't reported anything new snow, the more likely you are to enjoy a good day. Who, in all honesty, has ever had a truly bad time skiing? Every cloud has a silver lining, every rainy ski day has fun slush to ski and, if you do manage to encounter one of those exceedingly rare, and truly bad days, you’ll at least have a good story to tell everyone.

Here is a link to “Alpine Climbing: Techniques to Take You Higher”, it’s a good book if you're spending a lot of time in the backcountry and want some tips on moving faster. Be forewarned though, it’s not very ski oriented.



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