Earn Your Turns

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Self-powered skiing and snowboarding

Blowing Out the Cobwebs

Early Season Training 4 - Dynamic Balance

I'm always a bit rusty at the start of each ski season. Preparation starts in my closet as I swap cycling gear for ski equipment. Bags and bins are dumped to assess the condition of gloves, socks and shells. Skis, boots and poles are checked to see which will serve one more season, get sold at the local ski swap or recycled. I don't buy new gear often, but it's fun to add new boards to the quiver and replace battered boots.

Bridging the Gap to Winter

Pep Fujas skinning the Tordrillo Mountains

At the southern tail of the Rocky Mountains the mornings have turned crisp and leaves are starting to turn gold. It isn't winter, but we can feel it coming. Here's a little ski stoke for your Autumnal Equinox.

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Pep Fujas

Tordrillo Mountains

Roughly Translated ~ Castle Hill

Cerro Castillo mountain, Chile - from Powerderwhore Productions

Here is the Cerro Castillo segment from Powderwhore Productions' 2013 film "Adventures Chosen". Skiers Jason Thompson, Drew Stoecklein, Chuck Mumford and Forrest Coots made the trip to Chile and shot some impressive footage. The Powderwhore's skiing is excellent, but their Spanish translation needs some help.

The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek

Wellington, WA 1910 avalanche debris field

On February 19, 2012 a group of expert skiers were caught in an avalanche at Tunnel Creek, just outside the Stevens Pass ski resort. Three skiers, Johnny Brenan, Jim Jack, and Chris Rudolph died in that avalanche. Unfortunately, skiers getting caught in an avalanche isn't unique or extraordinary. But, understanding how and why this group of skiers were caught is very important for any backcountry skier to understand.

Turns are Turns

Skiing at the Great Sand Dunes National Park

Backcountry skiers often say "Turns are Turns." While I've had some tough days on skis I agree that any skiing is better than none. If you haven't tried skiing on sand dunes, you're missing out on some great turns. Bring your old un-waxed skis or snowboard (preferably with a harder sintered base material) and gear that can survive the sand. Hike up to the top and slide down. Telemark skiers can even "skin" up the dunes on their dry skis. After a few runs you'll have clean ski or snowboard bases, a good workout and a LOT of fun.

Mountain History on Wheels

Inspiration Point by Wende Cragg

We are well into the heat of summer in the Northern Hemisphere (I hope the skiing is great South of the Equator!) and warm weather mountain sports are in season. Heading to the mountains is a great way to escape the heat and find other ways of earning your turns. One of my favorites is Mountain Biking, just a whippersnapper compared to skiing, but it has been around since the early 1970's.

Don't Go it Alone

Backcountry, sidecountry, slackcountry. Call it whatever you like, it's skiable terrain that is not managed by a resort or patrol organization. Once you duck a rope, step through a gate or start skinning up a slope you are taking a risk with the snow you will slide down.

Let's Be Careful Out There

Ice Pack on Knee

Patience is a virtue, or so I have been told. Unfortunately, I don't always have much of this patience thing. Fresh snow has a powerful pull on skiers, and that can lead to skiing 'Early Season Conditions'. Early season conditions generally indicates rocks, trees and stumps poking through snow on the mountain. Perhaps it would be smart to stay on runs with better coverage or even wait for more snow to fall.

For now, I'll apply a little RICE and hopefully serve as an example (of some sort) to others.

 

The Joy of Telemark

Ski tracks in afternoon sun

What: 24th Annual Tony Forrest Telemark Workshop
When: January 29 & 30, 2011 from 10 am - 3pm
Where: Ski Santa Fe, 505-992-5084

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