The Guru’s got Mail

Thank God for the Winter Olympics. The coverage is saving my skiing soul right now. Here is the real deal. Conditions in New England are NOT that BAD. Places with the best snowmaking and grooming operations will have a product of superb quality. The will be levels of terrain for all abilities. You will be able to get out there and have fun.

My issue is that most of my favorite lines do not have snowmaking coverage. It is tough for me to ski around on trails and look at the places I really want to be. So close, but unattainable. The trees are slim pickings, not recommended. The steeps are icy, if open. Tough stretch, but the snow will arrive. I will be ready and am already filling up my March ski calendar in anticipation of some legendary days on the mountains.

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Thinking about Powder turns.

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If you have a snow question or comment, send it to the Ski Guru.
Name: Lia
City/Town: Brookline

which resort have ski and stay deal/packages for the winter brake 18-26 feb?
S.G. Sorry Lia, I am a little late on the draw with the answer to your question. However there are still a ton of great deals available for the remainder of Presidents week. Below I have included some packages and other information from resorts. Hope this helps.
If you are thinking NH you need to check out this link to the Ski NH website. Click Here! It is a hidden page that contains all sorts of different Feb Vacation packages.
Sunday River, ME
President’s Week
February 19 – 23, 2006
Special ski and stay deals:
Snow Cap – $89.95
Grand Resort Hotels – $119.95
To book, call 800-543-2SKI
Sugarloaf, ME
Home mountain of Seth Wescott, Gold Medal winner of the Men’s Boarder Cross—Congratulations!
They have extended the $99 February weekend package to include all of vacation week and President’s Day weekend. The $99 package is per person, per night and includes on-mountain lodging, lift ticket, fitness center access, and adult Perfect Turn clinic. Complete details are available at this Link or call 1 800 THE LOAF.
Ascutney, VT
February 17-23, 2006 with 4-night minimum. Packages are priced per person per night.
(2 or 3-night stays available for arrivals on February 17)
4-Nights or 5-Nights Adult $169 Junior $144
2-Nights or 3-Nights Adult $185 Junior $159
Mount Snow, VT
Starting at just $130 available Feb 17-24, 2006, Great Holiday Getaways packages feature 10% lift ticket savings. Contact a Reservations Specialist today at 800-498-0479.
*2 day minimum on lift ticket for 10% savings; 2 night minimum, or more depending on the lodging facility. Valid only on above dates. 48 hours advance notice is required to book a package with lift tickets. On-line reservations must be booked 48 hours prior to arrival.

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Name: Deihlia
City/Town: Harmonyville, VT

Ethan dude, where is my picture. this site is imposiible. -deihlia
S.G. Deihlia; my bad… Hope all is well, looks like you guys picked up some snow out of that Blizzard last Sunday. We got nailed here in the Hub, whatever good that does. I got your pictures. Stop bashing the site! I will see you soon, Hello’s to all for me…
This is my friend D – she rips at Stratton, VT. John (a.k.a. Cameron) is her E-brake, never used… Great job! Watching her on the slopes is truly impressive. I had trouble keeping up…

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Name: Steve
City/Town: Melrose, MA

Are you aware of any ski area where they offer sledding runs with a lift?
S.G. Yes, and it is called Snow Tubing. It is a blast and has become extremely popular in the last few years. Most places that offer tubing have surface lifts that hook up to the snow tube (sled) you will ride down on. You will have to purchase a lift ticket (not expensive) to use the facilities. Note: there are height and weight restrictions if you plan on bringing children, check with your destination.
You can find snow tubing facilities at tons of different mountains all around New England. I would figure that you are thinking day trip, so here is a rundown of short drive destinations.
In MA: Check out Nashoba Valley in Westford. They operate until 10 PM. It is the largest Snow Tubing operation around. They boast 15 lanes and 4 lifts, groomed to perfection. If you are looking to get a little further away think Bousquet in the Berkshires. The ski area is in Pittsfield and easily accessible from the MA Turnpike. They do a very nice job with their track.
In NH: There is a ton of options within a reasonable drive for a day trip. I am going to point you to this website NH Snowtubing. It should have all the information you need.
Have Fun! Dress warm.

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Name: Michael
City/Town: Eliot

Hey Ethan,
I just skied for the first time in 6 yrs since having 2 ACL’s replaced in the right knee. It was just as much of a blast as I remembered. However, the shop put me on some 153 cm rentals that could turn on a dime but were real shaky trying to carry any speed downhill. The last pair of skis I bought was 7-8 yrs ago and they were 204 cm K2 GS race skis with a 10 mm sidecut. The best ski I ever skied on. The bindings were MRR’s cranked down and the boots were the bright orange Technica TNT’s.
My question is what would you recommend for a setup for me: 6 foot, 200lbs, 38 yrs, athletic, surgically repaired knee with a penchant for speed, but would like an all mtn ski.
Ethan, I would appreciate any info you could give me. It’s overwhelming starting to look into new skis with all the new designs and brands.
Thanks, Mike
S.G. They put you on skis that are much to short. A good rule of thumb to stick to with shaped skis, for all mountain use, is that they should line up somewhere between you mouth and eyes in height. I am also six feet and ski on 178’s. There is a learning curve (not a steep one) when making the transition from straight to shaped skis. I am sure this had something to do with the chattering you experienced when letting the skis run. With the shaped skis you always want to be carving (edge working in the snow surface) at high rates of speed.
If you have a pension for speed there are a few brands I will mention that make exceptional all mountain skis. I strongly recommend you demo, at least a couple of pair, to find out the best fit for your style. Most shops will whack you around 25 bucks a day and take it off of the price if you purchase skis form them.
Here is short list to start from. Another useful resource in your research will be on SkiingMag.com and check out the Gear Finder.
K2 – Apache Recon (w/ binding)
Völkl – Unlimited AC3
Rossignol – Bandit B3
Fisher – AMC 76
Salomon – Scrambler Hot
Head – Monster I.M 77
Personally, I picked up a pair of Dynastar 8000’s at the beginning of this season and I love them, could be the perfect all mountain skis for the East. I ski aggressively and on all terrain. They preformed much better than I anticipated in the powder and on the steeps during my trip to Montana. I was going to go ‘bigger’ and demo a fat ski, but I had no need to. I have recommended these same skis to many friends, never heard anyone complain about them.
You are probably in luck. It has not been a great season for the shops and they will be looking to unload inventory soon. You should be able to get a good deal this spring.

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Name: Jack
City/Town: Northwood, N.H.

My wife and I are going to try snowboarding for the first time. Which ski area in N.H. offers the best value, all things considered, for first time riders?
S.G. For the first time snowboarder looking to hit the slopes of NH there is a page of all the packages on Ski NH. Find the one that works best for you.
http://www.skinh.com/learn.cfm
Just remember that you don’t need to go to a big mountain to learn. Start at a smaller area closer to home (Pats Peak, Crotched, Gunstock). Furthermore, if you do not get to the hills this year, do it early next season and go to an area that offers one of the 3 or 4 day learning packages where you get a season pass when you’re done. That is an awesome deal! Get it done early in the season; you still have the rest of winter to use your pass. This has been a popular option for folks just starting out.

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Name: Kevin
City/Town: Braintree

What is the longest in-bounds Beginner (Green Circle) downhill ski trail in New England? What is the Length and the Vertical Rise (while you’re at it)?
S.G. Not sure, never really thought about it. Do not really care to ski it either. But for what it is worth I am stumped. If I had to guess I would say Juggernaut at Killington. They used to boast it as the longest trial in the east, something like 7 miles… But much has changed around that resort. We are talking circa Sunrise; those were the days of glow.
I will try and find out for you…

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If you have a snow question or comment, send it to the Ski Guru.
Keep thinking Snow folks, there is still plenty of ski season left in the next couple months. It will happen, be ready…
pics ~ S.G.

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