Other Snow Seekers

Extreme SkiingWe’ve all gasped at pictures of skiers leaping off cliffs, plunging down snowy bluffs, hurtling between rocks from one patch of snow to another, or skiing a gradient so steep it’s impossible for any human to survive. But they’re doing it.

Who? The extreme skiers.

Of course, we seldom see personally those skiers ignoring all the laws of gravity to ski the unbelievable,

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Those eager to Work out with an Extreme Team clinic should heed Dan Egan’s Golden Rule: “Ski the mountain, don’t let the mountain ski you.” Here’s his advice regarding private ski practice that will help aggressive experts learn the basics of extreme skiing:

“Skiing

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An Extreme Team clinic follows this general pattern:

First morning: Ski the blacks and double blacks. Not hard, you know. This is not only to show off your skills but also to help instructors group you with others at your level.

First

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Snowboarding, despite the widespread illusion that it’s a wild sport indulged in only by wild-eyed teenagers hurtling wildly down mountains without sense or control, is actually a civilized and challenging winter pastime that’s an integral part of today’s ski scene. It has nothing to do with age, or attitude.

Teenagers snowboard. So do riders in their 50s. It was once an almost exclusively

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When the Winter Olympics are held on the snowy slopes of Utah in 2002, snowboarding competition will be included for the first time.

One manager of a major resort that admits snowboarders says many skiers complain about the attitude of snowboarders, accusing them of a disregard for the etiquette of skiing, being reckless on the mountain, cutting lift lines, and foul language.

At Wildcat

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For those interested in sampling snowboarding, the same rules apply as in skiing. Rent the gear. You can practice the basic elements by yourself, but to become proficient after that you’ll need to take lessons.

Rental shops generally offer beginners an all-mountain, or freestyle board with an easy flex and a slightly tipped-up nose and tail. The average length for men is from 150 to 170 cm; for women,

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Not anxious to spend the bucks for a snowboarder’s sloppy clothing until I became a confirmed boarder, I showed up with rented gear, wearing my
normal ski outfit, for my first snowboard lesson in the bright sunshine of a perfect ski day at Wachusetts, a gem of a ski area in Massachusetts. The instructor, a pert and enthusiastic young woman named April, asked me if I were “regular” or “goofy” - snowboardese for which foot I placed forward.

“Does

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We edged onto the slope, maneuvering our snowboards so they were at right angles to the fall line. Then, locking our free feet into the back bindings, we tilted the snowboards downhill and, lo, began to slide down.

April warned us to keep equal pressure on both feet as we slipped

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What pleasant, if slow-motion, excitement, interrupted only occasionally by all of us individually practicing getting up from the snow.

Class over. Now we were free to practice what we’d learned. Falling leaf glide. Getting up. Easy linked turns. Falling. Getting up. More turns.

For novice

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Boarders’ outfits have a sort of grunge look. Loose, almost sloppy. This is not a matter of smart-ass styling. It’s simply one of being suited for the occasion. The loose fit is essential because snowboarding involves a lot more twisting and turning and bending than regular skiing does.

Since riders frequently drag their hands in the snow, their

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The ancient grandfather of alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, is alive, healthy, and more popular than at any time in his 4,000-year history.

True, no longer do sturdy Vikings lash their fur boots to 10-foot - long slabs of wood with upturned points to travel snowy stretches of the winter countryside. Today, their descendants, like good cross-country skiers everywhere, don the proper clothing, slip their feet into low-cut

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First-timers can rent cross-country skis and shoes at the ski resorts that maintain trails, as well as at many ski shops. However, cross-country skis, poles, and shoes are relatively low priced compared to alpine equipment. It makes good dollar sense to buy your own equipment.

The cross-country shoe looks somewhat like a modem running shoe, with a sole that extends an inch

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When my family suddenly made a joint decision to take up cross-country skiing none of us really knew anything more about the sport than that we could do it 50 yards from our Upper West Side Manhattan brownstone in nearby Riverside Park, which stretches for miles along the Hudson River. Aha. Now we could whip out of the house and be skiing in five minutes.

The switch from downhill to cross-country

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Moving from an easy gliding step to an advanced is akin to going from a brisk walk to a slow run. To perform the advanced gliding step, use a strong push from your thrusting leg, keeping your knees bent so your weight is well forward, and, simultaneously, pushing vigorously with your pole. The glide should be long, with

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Remember, x-country is work along with fun. And work means working up a sweat. To stay comfortable when pushing and puffing across snowy countryside, dress casually and in layers.

Knickers, which snap just below the knee, are an excellent

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When there are only minor slopes, a beginner can have as much fun cross-country skiing parks, fields, and golf courses as any expert. However, remember that unless you’re skiing a wide-groomed run, you generally ski in someone else’s tracks. You’ll find groomed cross-country runs now at almost all destination resorts - as well as many of the small gems - far
more enjoyable. Not only do these resorts rent a variety of x-country skis for different

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A highlight of the cross-country season is the annual Ski Fest in early January, when more than 100 ski areas in 22 states and three Canadian provinces offer special incentives for first-time skiers. These include free introductory lessons, discount trail passes, and reduced-fee or free rentals. For information on locations, call Ski Fest at (603) 239-8888

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Disabled Competitions

Ski competitions for both standing and sitting skiers are held throughout the country and in Europe. Both Aspen Highlands and Mount Hood Meadows ski resorts…

Mountain Manners

in Kids
However, the fact that they did spend time in various ski schools did not eliminate what I feel keenly is the responsibility of all parents of kids on the…

Nonskiing Necessities

in Kids
Apres-ski boots: These are an important adjunct on a ski trip. The best are those that slip on quickly and are both warm and tolerably lightweight. Laceup…

CROSS-COUNTRY

The ancient grandfather of alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, is alive, healthy, and more popular than at any time in his 4,000-year history. True, no longer…

Whistler/Blackcomb - Part 1

Put two great ski mountains side by side, each with more than 5,000 feet of vertical - the most in North America - and you’ve got the first hint of what it’s…

Who Pays the Piper?

If a skier runs into serious difficulty skiing beyond an area’s boundaries, someone will be along to help him. In the United States, this task usually falls to…