Wednesday 30 December 2009

Fat Christmas

Finally getting a chance to work my way through the new Scott skis in our rack since our Christmas guests are not real freeride material:

Crusairs - as light as you could hope for and incredibly helpful in dodgy snow, even breakable crust; they turn for themselves which takes a bit of getting used to.
Punishers - match my cold weather outfit really well (an orange theme) and they go very nicely, though I'm not really a twin-tip sort of person, generally aiming not to go backwards or to get airbourne without very good reason.
Pures - four hours hooning round the mountain in shin-deep fresh snow and heavy chop on the way down to Zinal (there's more snow than average above about 2000m here but recent warm temps have left it less good down below) was more fun than should be allowed; a much easier ride than expected, and neutral balance that never put me in the back seat. Guests will have to be very persuasive to make me hand over these ones. But if I'm going to ride them all day, I'll need to get some bigger thigh muscles from somewhere.

It snowed overnight and like crazy today - complete whiteout - so it could be perfect super-deep conditions to try the Stunts tomorrow. Quite excited? Just a bit.

Monday 21 December 2009

Winter Skills: how to stay warm and have fun

Chilly temperatures (down to -20C) made skiing more of a challenge than usual this week. Boot-fitters always stress how important it is to have feedback from your feet when skiing, and for that it's important you have all your toes a) still attached and b) not frozen solid. On the plus side, the cold preserved the powder, giving our Mountain Tracks ski group and instructor Claire Summers plenty of fresh tracks all week despite no significant fresh snow for 10 days. A bit of skinning provided the perfect warm-up once in a while, as well as access to the best stuff, though we steered clear - on local advice - of the tempting descent to the dam; the way out would have been a quick way to wreck everyone's shiny new skis.
If I can work out how to post a video, I'll put up one of Kathy's acrobatic extravaganzas next.