What a Difference a Tune-up Makes

TwinPeaksby Skimum Denice

This summer I purchased a demo pair of Rossignol Soul 7 skis. I was pretty stoked about finding them since my husband bought a pair the season before and loved them!

The first day I took them out, however, I was pretty shocked and upset about my purchase. I could ski in the moguls okay with them, but as soon as I got on groomers it was like I had never skied before!  I had heard that they might be a little harder to ski on groomers, but I had no idea it was going to be this hard.  I wanted to go one way and my skis would go another.  My experience was so bad that on my drive down the canyon I had decided to sell them and hopefully get my money back.  My husband suggested that I go get them tuned just in case they weren’t done right. I couldn’t imagine a tune-up would make that big of a difference, but I decided to give it a try.

I took them to Twin Peaks, a local ski shop, and they had them ready for me the following day.  I went to Snowbird to give them one more try.  I literally was scared to death to ski on them, for fear of hurting myself in a fall.  Oh my goodness!!!  I can’t even tell you how excited I was as I took my first run down.  I could ski again!!!  Not only could I ski, but I felt like I skied pretty well.  The groomers were no problem at all.  I actually felt more
comfortable on them than I ever have.  I love my newly tuned Soul 7 skis. Needless to say, I am sold on regularly tuning your skis.

SKI ‘N SEE FREE DEMO DAY FOR SKIMUMS

IADxHGrZUQx475Zwh0rBLfLZ2xjU_A18Glu4BqW5ccUBy Jessica Osterloh, Ski ‘N See PR

CALLING ALL SKI MUMS! 

Ski ‘N See would like to invite you to use their demo skis (FOR FREE) from their Cottonwood Arcs location next Wednesday, February 25, 2015.  They’ve got everything from Powder to Carvers to All Mountain skis for you to try out. It will be a great day to shred on the new skis you have been envying this season. Please RSVP to josterloh@skinsee.com by 5:00 PM Monday night.  Their supply is limited, so if you are interested make sure to RSVP now so you are not waitlisted! Can’t wait to see you all next Wednesday shredding on some new sticks, it will be a great time!

Make Your Own Boot Warmers

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By Skimum Richelle

As we learned in a previous blog post, putting your ski boots on in the morning can sometimes be a chore.  A cold pair of boots can make it all the more difficult.  When cold, your boot’s plastic shell becomes very stiff.  Well, now that chore can be a bit easier.  In just a few short minutes, you can easily make your own boot warmers that will warm up your liners, and even your shells, while you are driving up the canyon.  Introducing Richelle’s (soon to be famous), home-made, microwaveable boot warmers!  Follow these five simple steps to make your own boot warmers.

Step 1

Find some scrap material.  I prefer a mid-weight fabric, like a light denim.  Something durable enough to take a beating, but thin and flexible enough to work with.  Cut your fabric into two rectangle strips measuring 5 x 16 inches each.

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Step 2

Fold your strips in half (inside out). Pin it if necessary.

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Sew two lines about 1/8 to 1/16 inch apart and about 1/8 inch from the cut edge of the fabric.  (I double or triple stitch everything on my boot warmers.  You don’t want your filler material to fall out!).

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Step 3

Turn the tubes right-side out.  You will now have to fold in one of your open ends, about a ½ inch (see photo below) and then sew it closed.  Boot_Warmers_Step_3B

I like to use a tight zig-zag stitch and then I run a single stitch on either side of the zig-zag stitch.  Be creative and come up with your own pattern.  I also like to use a fun accent thread color.

Boot_Warmers_Step_3CStep 4

Fill the bag about 3/4 to 4/5 full with your heating medium.  You will need between 1 and 1 ½ cups per tube.  I use a funnel to fill mine with rice (just regular rice).  Be sure to leave about 3 inches of room at the top.  I prefer rice, but I have also used wheat.  I’ve heard of other people using various dried beans, barley and even cherry pits.  You can also add some aromatics such as lavender, rose petals, ground cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, mint, or even, essential oils to make it smell yummy!.

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Step 5

Carefully fold in the open end about 1/2 inch, as you did in Step 3, and sew it closed with a series of stitches as before.

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But what if I’m not the best seamstress, you may ask?  Who cares!  They go inside your boots, for crying out loud!  It’s not like you are wearing them (although you will be tempted to – they are so nice and warm!).  The above photos prove that I’m certainly no artist with a sewing machine.  Make them as pretty or as ugly as you want.  Just make sure you at least double stitch everything to ensure you don’t end up with a boot full of rice.

That’s it!  Now go throw your new boot warmers in the microwave for about 2 to 2 ½ minutes on high.  Remove from the microwave and then carefully tuck the warmers inside your boots as far as you can into the toe area.  Your feet will love you when you slide them into to those cozy, pre-warmed boots!

Good luck.  Let me know how yours turn out.  Send me some photos!

Good Skiing Part 3

By Susi, Instructor at Snowbird Mountain School

5 Secrets to Managing Powder Gracefully

The Powder came right on time for our Wednesday morning coaching session.  The Skimums ventured out to lower Old Ladies (don’t read anything into the name; we don’t judge the guys when they ski Baldy) then to Hoop’s and found some nice creamy powder to play in!  Skimums found 5 simple rules to turned them into serious powder hounds.

1.  It’s all about the flow: Think about flowing down the mountain in a smooth line making round turns with little edge angle. Create a rhythm!
2.  Patience is key: In powder it takes more time for the skis to react to skier input. Steer your legs to create open round C-shaped turns, so that the skis keep flowing. Z-turns are harder to manage and interrupt the flow.
3.  Speed is your friend: The skis are buried in the snow which creates more friction compared to groomed terrain. Powder slows you down and you need speed to keep moving!
4.  Stay balanced over your feet: Contrary to common belief, you don’t lean back in powder. Ski in a balanced position (think “crouching tiger”).  Conditions change with every turn, so you have to work constantly to stay in balance!  Backseat skiing is not healthy for the knees and way too tiring!!
5.  Build a platform:  It is very helpful to narrow your stance, so that the skis build somewhat a single platform and are easier to turn.  Most importantly, to become great in powder you have to keep skiing powder!Hopefully, we get another powder opportunity this week and we can even explore other secret places on the mountain!!

Come out and join us for the last coaching session for the Skimums this season!!  RSVP by Tuesday afternoon so we can have plenty of Mountain School instructors there.
If you did not have a chance to join us, check out this video: http://youtu.be/SavrnMGIhzg
Sources: www.thesnowpros.org
PSIA Alpine Technical Manual

Good Skiing Part 2

RSVP TODAY FOR FREE GROUP LESSON #3 THIS WEDNESDAY.  Powder?!?

By Susi, Instructor at Snowbird Mountain School

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Skimum Nicole gains greater control by pointing that Belly button downhill, getting the weight on the outside ski and “schmearing”

 Leg rotation and skiing bumps efficiently  

Our technical focus in our second coaching session was turning our legs more than our upper body… What??? Yes, it is the truth: a turn starts with the body parts closest to the snow: the feet and the legs. Often times we use our shoulders or our hips to start a turn, we are twisting shoulders and arms uphill at the end of a turn, we flail with our arms to help us stay in balance… These movements are not very efficient and not always graceful  😉.

The Skimums worked hard to keep their upper bodies disciplined, rotate their feet and legs to steer their skis through the turn, while keeping their belly buttons – and other body parts – directed towards the tip of the outside (or downhill) ski. We realized that the release of the energy created by twisting the lower half against the upper half of the body made it much easier to start a turn and to point the skis in the opposite direction.

We also put our “schmearing” skills to use.  We’re not carving into the turn.  As Skimum Denice visualized, “It’s like spreading cream cheese on a bagel — the schmear.”  As we release energy placing weight on that outside ski, gravity allows the entire bottom of the ski to coast downhill. More contact means more control over our direction and speed.

To apply the new skills we found some crusty and then soft bumps, where we POINTED our belly buttons into the direction of travel, rotated our legs on TOP of the bump, SCHMEARED down the back side of the bump to control our speed, then GLIDED up the next bump!  Like magic, Skimums found they had total control.  Turning and shmearing, turning and shmearing… In control, with grace and efficiency!!

If you did not have a chance to be with us or you want to review turning the legs under a stable upper body and bump technique check out these videos

Sundance Hangover

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Locals can score a pass granting them unlimited movies for 10 days

By Skimum Paula

Contrary to what most people think, Salt Lake City is one big party the last week of January. Each year, tens of thousands come here from all over the world to attend the Outdoor Retailers Show, the state’s largest convention that showcases the newest and hottest fashions, gadgets and gear for the recreation industry, and they also come to a little old film fest called Sundance. Oh, yes, while the paparazzi flood Main Street in Park City, the theatres of Salt Lake, Ogden and Sundance are filled with film buffs on the ultimate celluloid (now digital) buzz.

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Paula compared Whiplash to open heart surgery — painful, terrifying but never felt more alive

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Expect to see this one in everyone’s Best Of lists

So, what Utahns give up in wine selection, we make up for in other adrenaline-filled endeavors – skiing and Sundance, for example. Not only can locals take a few ski runs and then head to work, but we can get tickets for movies everyone will be talking about throughout the year and into next year’s Oscar season. Whiplash? [sigh] Saw it at last year’s Fest. See what I posted on my Instagram account about it. Maybe I should be a Hollywood mogul! LOL Yes, Sundance is a highly addictive pleasure that many partake in but few recognize the dangers of.

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Jason Segel delivered outstanding dramatic performance in The End of the Tour and stayed around to discuss it with appreciative Salt Lake audience.

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Fake Bono!

There are many locals, including Skimums that indulge in Sundance in one form or another. Some are “Social Sundancers,” taking in a few movies and calling it quits. Others are “Sundance Stalkers.” You’ve seen them on the streets, iPhones in hand. These otherwise normal-looking people can have a wonderful time seeing movies alongside their favorite actors, directors and A-listers until they inevitably get sucked into and crushed by the “Fake Bono” experience. These folks usually recover, have a bellyaching laugh and move on with few after effects.

Many of us, however, have noticed this year a new phenomenon – the Sundance Hangover. It afflicts mostly local women who, not being on vacation, try to fit in a dozen or more movies into their already-packed schedule of work, school, and family… Oh, and there was some new snow! So, add skiing to that.

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Skimums Stephanie and Julie strike a pose at one of the many Sundance venues in Salt Lake City

Yes, I too succumbed. After skiing all day last Sunday, this Skimum raced down the mountain, picked up my teen from the tutor, dashed home, showered, fed the dog, threw take out at the kids, jumped into the car and headed to two different Salt Lake theatres to see a 6 o’clock movie and a 9:30pm documentary. I should mention that I had already consumed 4 movies since Friday night.

This did not end well …

The next morning, I did the slow roll out of bed and, eyes closed, made a desperate search for Advil and coffee. Two pills and two cups later, I managed to make the kids breakfast, make one of 2 sack lunches (oops!), get my 10-year-old dressed and to school in time for pajama day. Needing more sleep, I abandoned the laundry and snuck back into bed. [iPhone rings] “Mom, it isn’t pajama day. [sniffle]” Oh, $#1^!   [iPhone rings again] Son needs backpack and money and papers signed. Other child never calls about forgotten lunch.

Needless to say, things hit bottom before 10am. I think there was even an intervention by a family member at one point. More tears, more expletives. I put aside my movie plans for that evening.

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Maybe tomorrow night… After all, we live here.

I have recovered, as have the other Skimums that tried and failed to “do it all.” Because, you see, what I’ve learned over the years is – While you can have it all, there’s a lot of it I don’t want or need to make me happy, fulfilled, satisfied. I know what I like and what others seem to like about me, and I try to stay within those parameters instead of trying to do everything and getting very little satisfaction or benefit. No, I’m not going to abstain from Sundance entirely. I’m just getting pickier each year about what and how many I see. I try to see the ones I think won’t make it to the big screen, like Whiplash, and wait for the rest to hit HBO or Netflix. I don’t need to be the first to see it. After all, there is so much more to see in beautiful Salt Lake City and beyond.

Good Skiing: Pro Tips for Skimums

RSVP BY TUESDAY FOR FREE GROUP LESSON #2 ON WEDNESDAY, JAN. 28TH

By Susi, Instructor for Snowbird Mountain School

DSC02112What is good skiing? The definition of good skiing is different for everybody. I like this one from David Oliver, PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America) Alpine team member: “…. The idea of good skiing is about the ability to make a choice about where you want to go at any moment – whether its forwards or backwards or in the air, or moving down a race course at 70 miles per hour…”

Whatever the intended and desired outcomes are: skiing is based on a common set of fundamentals that can be universally applied.

What does that mean for the Skimums? During our ski lessons at Snowbird we are working on improving our skiing to enjoy this beautiful mountain and all it has to offer even more! In session 1 last Wednesday, we focused on directing our balance toward the outside (or downhill) ski. Why? The outside ski is our workhorse. With the outside ski we get stability and we control the shape of the turn.

If you did not have a chance to join us on Wednesday or if you want to review the one footed drills check out the video with Katie Fry and Nick Herrin.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSRk9dB8adk

Join us next Wednesday for more tips and tricks to improve your game!!  To make sure Mountain School sends enough instructors, please RSVP by Tuesday for the January 28th FREE Group Lesson (gratuity suggested) by sending comment below.  

IMG_2026Sources: www.thesnowpros.org, PSIA Alpine Technical Manual

FREE GROUP LESSONS START THIS WEDNESDAY!

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Snowbird Mountain School is once again offering FREE group lessons to Skimums for the next FOUR Wednesdays. If you’ve done it before, then you know how great Instructor Susi and her team has been.  Based on conditions, we decide what to work on.  This is for Int/Adv skiers.  If you’re a beginner or a “Returner,” then check the Mountain School website for some incredible new programs (that Skimums kind of suggested).
We’ll meet at the GADZOOM lift at 9:30am.  The lesson ends at noon.  As usual, some Mums stay, others jump into their pumpkins and head back down the mountain.

YES, IT IS FREE, but a gratuity is suggested ($10-20).  To help Susi get enough instructors, please, RSVP below by TUESDAY AT 6PM.  

YES, YOU CAN BRING FRIENDS.  We get a lot of new Skimums this way, and the Mountain School likes to show what it can do with grown-ups (the kids can’t have all the fun).

NO, YOU CAN’T FIND OUT ABOUT THIS ON SNOWBIRD’S WEBSITE.  Just here.  Email below if you have any questions.  See you on Wednesday!

Seriously, I Need A Tool For Buckling My Ski Boots?

 

SkiBootsWoman

2015 SKIMUMS GEAR REVIEW SERIES                

 by Skimum Richelle

*** See an updated product review and comparison at: Ski Boot Buckle Lever Comparison 2017 ***

It’s kind of sad when one of the toughest things about skiing is putting on your boots.  We can engineer a rover to land and drive on Mars but, somehow, ski boot manufacturers can’t design a boot that is easy to get on and off.  For years I strained and bruised my hands and fingers trying to buckle my boots nice and tight.

One day, while browsing the ads in the back of a skiing magazine, I came across a small ad for a plastic lever tool, promising to make buckling your ski boots a breeze.  It is called Ski Tool, sold by Ski Tool Company LLC.   I was a bit skeptical, but the price was right.  I ordered it from the company’s website and it showed up about a week later.

 Ski Tool™ Multipurpose Boot Buckler and Carrier

Ski Tool™ Multipurpose Boot Buckler and Carrier

Does it work?
Yes!  It really does make buckling those last couple notches MUCH easier.  No more bruised hands!  Yay!  It also is great for kids to help them buckle up all by themselves.  I do, however, occasionally have trouble with my older Dalbello boots buckles.  The tool will sometimes get caught in the buckle once it locks down.  Not the end of the world, but can be a bit frustrating.  It works great on all of our other boot buckles, however!

 Ski Tool™ Multipurpose Boot Buckler and Carrier

How durable is it?
My biggest concern when I purchased this tool was that, because it is made of plastic, it would break after a few uses.  Well, I’ve been using it now for 2 ½ years and it is holding up great.  I put some serious torque on this tool and it has the scratches and dents to prove it.  Even after all the abuse I have put it through, it has never failed on me.  Well worth the $10 spent.  In my opinion, the Ski Tool is a must for every boot bag!  If anything, I could use a couple more so we don’t have to pass it around so much when we are all putting on our boots at the same time.  Skimum Approved!

The Ski Tool can be purchased direct from the company’s website for $7.49 plus $2.95 for S&H.  Also look for it at your local ski shop.


***ARTICLE UPDATE***

Unfortunately, my SkiTool lever tool broke last year.  I have since found other boot tools  and have an updated product review and comparison at: Ski Boot Buckle Lever Comparison 2017  – Skimum Richelle


 

SOLUTIONS for 2015

Ski Mums Powder 2

A straight line doesn’t always get you where you want to go

By Skimum Paula

In 2015, I’m looking at things differently, as in, laying my head on the edge of the sofa and finding cobwebs under the table differently, and I’m starting with “resolutions.” Resolutions, a New Year’s tradition of making them on the 1st and failing to keep them by the 4th, are hard for most people. This year, I’m working on reSolutions instead.

A problem-solver by nature (What woman isn’t?), I can usually identify and tackle most practical issues coming my way. I’m taking that approach to other more personal things in my life this year. The trick with Solutions is being honest about identifying the actual issues and then recognizing the skills and resources I already have to solve them or, as friends and hubby often remind me, let them go. Even better, unlike resolutions, Solutions are flexible and expected to fail now and then.

My first Solution is to spend time on the mountain with friends in order to nourish my body and soul. Skimums will meet starting THIS WEDNESDAY, January 7th at 9:30am at the Gadzoom Lift. Hope to see you all there.