A few of our customers have been caught by surprise by the difference between THIS ski season, and THE LAST FEW ski seasons. The skiing and boarding are still real fun, but with a thin snowpack, you gotta pay attention to your SPACE & SPEED a little different than you did last March. Here are a few tips:
“SLOW” versus “IN CONTROL”: EVERY SINGLE PERSON who crashes into somebody else assures us they were “in control” at the time. So that means they crashed into the other person on-purpose—essentially assaulting them, right? Wrong. They were out-skiing their ability to stop once they fell and were sliding on their clothes. Solution? Go slower near people & obstacles!
When it’s COLD & CLEAR you can see a long ways and it’s tempting to go fast. But you gotta remember that when there are little rocks & twigs, even the BEST of skiers can get tripped-up if not paying attention! And translucent icy patches look a lot like soft-snow thin patches, and all of a sudden your expert-level buddy face-plants right in front of you (or maybe YOU face-plant right in front of THEM) and you shred each others’ new North Face with your ski or board edges! Solution: Increase the SPACE between you and obstacles when you’re going fast!
Don’t be afraid to download the Gondola. We’ve had a few days of temperature inversion and the bottom parts of the more-advanced runs have been icier than usual, and Forest Queen & Rainier Express skiers & boarders are rightfully gripped when it’s time to go home! Solution: Feel free to up-load REX and download the Gondola to avoid icy and thin-snow conditions—and less-than-usual grooming—toward the Base!
KEEP YOUR EYES PEELED! We haven’t had enough snow to round-out all the little humps and bumps that occur in the natural environment. So keep your eyes focused on what’s ahead of you, and anticipate people in front of you making sudden moves to avoid hazards. Trust that little voice in your head that tells you to “STOP!” when you’re not sure what’s ahead of you.
Get out of your car carefully…there may be ice in the parking lots. Walk up to the base area carefully…be aware of vehicles in-motion if you choose to walk in roadways. Stop off to the side of ski trails and narrow areas, if you need to take a breather or to make plans with your friends.
And most of all–don’t stay away just because there’s not a ton of snow. Those of us who HAVE TO be here every day have been having a blast…but we’re used to the unpredictability of travel in the Back Country, so we’re used to practicing our “cautious skiing” skills. YOU CAN TOO!