There comes a time in every season where 3 or 4 inches of snow just doesn’t get me that excited to strap on the board and head out into the cold. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not bored with snowboarding. Even though I know it will be great out there, sometimes I need a little push to get amped on getting out of bed. For me, that comes in the form of skiing. When I strap on skis, I immediately transform from an expert snowboarder to an alright skier. As if by some magic, all of the little things that I take for granted on a snowboard become fun again on skis.
Today is a perfect day for a mediocre skier like myself to work on progressing and learning new skills. Three inches isn’t enough to call a powder day, but it isn’t a groomer day either. It was just enough snow this morning to soften up the runs and create little push piles to plow through. In other words, it was a baby powder day. Our first runs were all off the Sundown lift, and you pretty much can’t go wrong over there. One O’Clock, Two O’Clock and West Side were all in great shape this morning and had just enough snow on them to feel soft yet grippy under foot.
If you are an intermediate skier, then you will probably find yourself struggling to keep your form a bit once the new snow gets chopped up. After all, those push piles are great for catching a ski and sending you cartwheeling down the run. I find that it helps me a lot to keep my mind on pressing my big toe into my boot as I make turns through the chop. This will keep your edge engaged and allow your skis to cut through the piles like they were designed to do. It also helps to make sure you keep your hands in front of you. By pushing your center of gravity forward, you can keep more weight over the parts of your skis that you turn with.
After a few foggy runs on Sundown, we headed over to Storm Peak face and some steep soft turns on the groomed part of the run. From there, the snow was great all the way down to Rainbow Saddle and Lower Rainbow. The snow fell pretty evenly across the whole mountain last night, so don’t be shy when it comes to the lower mountain. I took runs on Vagabond, Upper Valley View and See-Me on my way out, and they were all in great condition. Soft enough to be forgiving, but groomed well enough to carve.
The conditions today aren’t epic, but it’s the perfect sort of day to work on improving your skills. It’s just deep enough to be challenging in spots for a beginner but also soft and fun to play around in. It should also create a great base for the storms coming in over the weekend to add to.
Have fun out there!
Dan Tullos, snowboarder