Ski Trip

I don’t think they’re nearly as obsolete as merry makes them out to be. AC30’s are still fantastic skis–and a great all-mountain ski. Volkl makes a neat, wide-waist ski called the Mantra that is excellent in deep powder and can handle trails decently well, but I’ve had friends tell me they’d rather wear a ski with a deeper cut for bumps and crud skiing than that.

FWIW, the best all-mountain skis for 2011 from Ski Magazine are parabolics with medium cuts. The powder guys will still swear by the wide-waist skis, and with good reason. For skiing “Front of the mountain” which means groomed greens and blues, I’d still recommend a deeper cut parabolic, and according to the ski writers, that’s what they recommend too.

For a beginner like the OP, a deeply-cut parabolic for the groomed-to-icy conditions (with bonus ruts) he’ll be skiing in would be my recommendation.

Definitely get wide waist skis if you are looking for new gear. Parabolics are OK, but they are outstripped in every catagory by wide waist skis. They cut through crud, float in powder, are flexible enough for bumps and stick on ice as well as a parabolic.

The versatility is amazing. I used to need 2-3 pair of skis for varying conditions, now the one pair covers all my bases. Believe me you can absolutely fly down the mountain on these things.

Parabolic might do more of the work for you turn shape wise, and they do a fine job on groomers for mid-long radius turns. If all you want to do is set an edge and arc out big turns than no need to upgrade. But to be honest I find that my wide waists are just as good at that as my Volkl 7 Stars.

However on more dynamic terrain (bumps, woods, crud etc…) the wide waists are vastly superior. You can transfer wight incredibly quikly, and they will still hold even with tremendous loads.

As for ski writers recommendations, they are mostly PSIA guys. If you ski with the PSIA style then putting an edge down for a while on a parabolic works well. However if you ski with a more active style utilizing faster weight transfer to get more input (allowing you to flow better with the mountain) on more…interesting…terrain than parabolics are a vastly inferior choice.

Drai, if you used to be a 50+ a year skier I really think you should give these things a try. Demo a pair one day and see for yourself. It really is a big difference for an all mountain skier.

I survived Ski Trip 2011 and had an absolute blast. Turning off the Blackberry and leaving the kids at home created the most carefree 5 days I’ve had in quite some time.

  • I understand why socks and well fitted boots are a must. We borrowed ski good ski socks, and the first day I had boots that just fit, but for whatever reason the second day the exact same sized boots didn’t. I started the day off on harder greens but basically fell down the mountain because i couldn’t turn. As for my wife, she unknowingly tucked in her ski pants into her boots on day 1. Bad idea. She wound up with bruises and basically bailed from skiing the second day (although she made up for it with tubing and shopping).

  • Copper Mountain is a great place to ski, particularly for beginners (lots of good greens). However, west of the Divide hasn’t seen much snow this year and the conditions were very icy and only 53 of 134 trails were open. Couldn’t go to the summit of Copper, either.

  • Skiing is like riding a bike. I did the 101 lesson, but it was a waste of time. I could have jumped right onto the slopes. And the parabolic skis and newfangled boots definitely made things easier.

  • Didn’t get Altitude Sickness. On retrospect, I probably spent too much time thinking about it. I starting taking a small dose (125mg) of Diamox 24 hours before leaving and kept it up for 36 hours after arrival. No side effects, but I bet I didn’t need it. We drank gallons and gallons of water, so much so that the trip’s theme was Forrest Gump’s “I Gotta P”.

  • I still can’t keep my skis consistently parallel. Since I ski so infrequently, I don’t know if I’ll ever get it. Still skied fairly well and was able to ski the harder greens (basically blue with the icy conditions).

  • I was never cold (except for my face), not even for a minute. In fact, with 3 layers on I was hot a good amount of the time.

  • Staying in Frisco is the way to go. Less touristy and lots of good restaurants (Boatyard, Backcountry Brewery, etc). And close to everything, Copper, Breck, Vail.

  • Spent a relaxing full day in Breckenridge. Bought souvenirs, ate at Breckenridge Brewery (the new thing is definitely microbrew restaurants), and did some wine tasting at D Vine Wine. Beautiful town and much needed R&R after 2 days of skiing.

  • Nearly got stuck in Denver last night. Didn’t land home until nearly 2am. Denver got 1+ foot of snow yesterday, but of course not much west of the Divide. The night before, we kept the local news on in the background and were stressed out thinking we were going to be stuck in Frisco (remember, we all left our kids at home). I-70 in to Denver was treacherous. We almost went into the ditch at one point. I felt sorry for the truckers on the 6% grades.

Thanks for all the advice guys. The next time I visit Frisco, I think I’ll go in the summer and do mountain biking, hiking, camping, and fishing.

I went skiing a couple years ago after a 15 year hiatus. I was doing great but on the final day on the FINAL run before I was heading out to the airport I fell and twisted my knee pretty bad. No surgery thankfully but the pain lasted for months and I still feel it a touch now and then. Not much to protect a knee injury that I know about. Maybe someone else does.

Edit: tldr: I loved skiing until I took a mountain in the knee.

Nice! Going to ski up in Sante Fe after Christmas.

I completely understand this. I noticed on the second day that my legs were just quitting on me. I decided to shut down a little earlier to risk injury. The rest of my body and breathing was great, but my quads were absolutely shredded. Another couple of trips down the slope and something would have snapped or popped for sure.

This is incredibly smart. Too many vacation skiers try to get as many runs in as they can, and wind up injured. Being smart and knowing when to stop is the best way to stay injury free.

Gald you had a blast, but I’m bummed you didn’t get much out of your lesson. Sounds like you took a “never ever” lesson which is a waste for someone with some skiing experience. A level 2-3 would have focused more on skiing parrallel and less on the very basics of turning and stopping.

Now if it would only stop raining and start snowing here maybe I could hit the slopes!

Well I wasn’t exhausted (only went out for about an hour in the morning on the last day) but I just fell at a bad angle. The snow not the soft pillowy kind.

Thanks for the great info, merry. I am heading up to Summit County this week as I have family from the midwest coming out to ski so I think I will demo a pair of the wide waists. It will be fun to try out a new set!

Yeah, sometimes shit happens too. But the vast majority of injuries on the montain happen late day. Not taking that “one more run” can go a long way toward minimizing the risks of injury.


Fucking snow already!!!

(and another reason for wide waist skis)

A fellow A-Basin fan I see! Alas, I don’t think I’ll be able to make it there this week as the fam will likely be wanting to stick to Keystone, Breck and Copper. Which is probably for the best since it has been a pretty bad early snow season here thus far.

Yeah, A-basin is ine of my favorites. Second to probably only Alta (which is my favorite mountain in the US).