What does the Ski Guru do when it is Icy? He goes to a shop and has them put an edge on his skis. Ice in New England happens. It is a fact of skiing and the main reason why many, from all parts of the country, will tell you that the most skilled skiers do in fact come from the East.
The guns were on @ Killington
Shop Employee: Can I help you with anything?
S.G.: How long will it take you to throw an edge on my skis?
Employee: 5 minutes
Walked out to the Jeep and grabbed the burred up sticks. No need for wax or a base grind. After five days with this guy as a polite, the ride was ready for a shave (akin to an edge job).
Seven minutes later…
S.G.: How much?
Employee: A fin. Then told me the edge still had some burrs in it (because of the way my sticks and built one should not run the entire edge through the machine) which I appreciated.
S.G.: Spotted the employee a sawbuck which more than likely went straight into his pocket.
Got a new edge!
THE REPORT: The New Years weekend was icy—no doubt about it—and also wicked awesome. I am well aware that this screams insanity. Look at challenging conditions as a chance to excel on the mountain. When things get firm and quick is when a person’s level of ability can be distinguished.
Skiing well on ice requires a mix of confidence, aggression and savvy. Own up and dig your edge into the surface as hard as you can. The trick to skiing on ice is not turning on it. If you are wiling to ‘man up’ then ski straight over the glaring parts and dig in the edge where you reach the ‘Styrofoam.’
That my friend is carving.
S.D. shredding at Okemo
You are also skiing fast and need to be on top of your game. Most injuries happen on the mountain when icy conditions are present. They can make the self arrest very difficult if you fall and start to slide down a steep portion of the slope. If you are out of control and hit an object that does not move (i.e. lift tower or tree) then you may be in a world of trouble. So be careful out there, do not ski above your own ability.
Main Entry: carve
Inflected Form(s): carved; carv•ing
Etymology: Middle English kerven, from Old English ceorfan; akin to Old High German kerban to notch, Greek graphein to scratch, write, American (Bostonian) cah-vin to ski well
1 : to shred with precision – carved
2 : to make or get by or as if by cutting — often used with out – carve out a line
3 : to cut into pieces or slices – carved da gnar
1 : to cut up and serve snow
2 : to work as a skier, sculptor or engraver
– carv•er noun
Killington was the best bet (IMHO) on Saturday. I steered the crew I was with up that way from our home base in Weston, VT. Patch House
After a week during which we witnessed two major rainstorms decimate skiing in New England, then followed by cold tem…well…things were going to be interesting. We were poised for the best Holiday season in years (conditions wise) and it went downstream before our eyes in a three day span; this guy was bumming.
Why Killington? I took my own advice for a change and targeted the areas with the best snowmaking and grooming operations. Thus from Saturday to Monday I skied Killington, Okemo, and Stratton. I had fun at all of them. I personally thought conditions were fantastic at all three resorts.
Okemo was a blast. I have not visited the area in years and they have done an incredible job with the operation. The new Jackson Gore base area has the look and feel of a western resort. Some of the new terrain provides more challenge than Okemo has ever offered in the past.
Okemo is a great family resort – the leash
Stratton is always a treat for me. I have a ton of friends there and the mountain was pretty much fully recovered from the bad weather the week prior by the time I arrived to ski on Monday. World Cup has a ton of new snow blown on it!
Steeps of WC at Stratton
The conditions, although far from my favorite (powder), allowed me the opportunity to really bond with my new skis. I was able to push/punish them and see what they were made of on the firmer surfaces—completely satisfied with the results. I felt like I had the sharpest knife in the drawer and was after the holiday turkey.
Grand times, there is no better way to ring in a new year than with friends and skiing.
THE REALLY GOOD NEWS
Things were not nearly as bad as I expected. I think we are out of the woods and all this ice is behind us for the remainder of this season.
Translation: Soon we will be skiing in the trees.
The areas in ME/NH/VT have all picked up new snow. Snowmaking is back online and this should be a great weekend to ski in New England. I would imagine that the mountains will not be all that crowded either.
Get out there and enjoy!
photos – S.G.