Wow...the skiing in Mammoth this past weekend was spectacular. Mother nature was even kind enough to dump 6" of fresh powder the evening before our last day at the mountain...nothing better than skiing in pristine fluffy fresh powder. We've moved! Please join us at: Ariel Yve Design
Anyway, as the most experienced skier in my family, I'm always the one they look to for pointers. I'm sure a lot of you enjoy skiing as well, so I thought I'd share a few of my quick tips/reminders for you to get the most out of your next ski experience:
1) Keep your weight over your toes. You can't have fun without control and relaxation. When you are in the correct position, both are easily achieved. Skis and Ski boots are are designed to have weight distributed in the center of the equipment. Out of either fear or inexperience, novices often lean back. Leaning back puts weight on the backs of your skis, which drives them forward and faster (Olympic Super G racers tuck back in their position to gain speed). I know it seems counter intuitive, but if you lean forward, pressing all of your weight into the front of your boots, you'll achieve control over your skis as well as balance (allowing you to relax your quad muscles).
2) Keep your hands up and more importantly, keep your uphill hand, slightly higher and farther out in front of you to keep your position and balance from falling backwards.
3) To make #2 more automatic, practice keeping your shoulders parallel with the base of the slope. Only the bottom half of your body needs sway from side to side.
4) If you're new, don't worry about your poles...you really only need them to push yourself forward on the flat and to help drive your balance forward as you traverse downhill (as mentioned in #2 above)
5) Timing is everything. If you're planning a winter ski trip (temps below 32 degrees), plan to ski early in order to avoid afternoon ice. If you're planning a spring ski trip (temps 35+ degrees), the snow will start off icy, and then loosen up as more skiers/snowboarders chop it up as the day goes by. The best times to ski in the spring are typically between 10-noon. If you want to get even more technical skiing with your spring skiing strategy, just follow the sun. Start your day on the slopes where the sun shines first and then make your way over toward the shadier runs as the day progresses. Do this and you'll avoid the dreaded spring snow slush.
I know, if you're a bit rusty or just stating out, this is a lot to remember. If you do nothing else, for the love of Geraniums, keep your weight forward and over your toes...your muscles will seriously thank me.
For more info on skiing in Mammoth or to get in on their current Spring Skiing deals, visit http://www.mammothmountain.com/. They've had so much snow that their ski season is set the last through 7/4 this year. Please note that only the slopes nearest to Mammoth Mountain Inn are open at the moment, so I strongly recommend staying onsite to avoid having to drive over to the resort every morning. Have fun!