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!

I Can’t Find the Plug!

IMG_1322If Skimums preaches anything (and it doesn’t; well, not often), it’s to remember to recharge your batteries so you can give more to others.  This Wednesday is your chance to do just that before the last holiday push!  Snowbird is hosting a SkiTreat, a morning lesson by the Mountain School from 9-noon, lunch, spa tour and half-price access. The cost is only $40. #cheeperthantherapy (and a lot more fun).  RSVP to the Mountain School today at (801)947-8222.  This event will get you plugged in, charged up and ready to handle the holidays and the New Year.

Snowbird Offers Early Treat to Wasatch Women

DSC02112Snowbird invites Skimums and all Wasatch Women to take a break from the December madness at its first-ever Holiday SkiTreat on Wednesday, December 10th.  Work on your turns during a half-day group lesson with the Mountain School (9-noon).  Then, enjoy lunch, laughter and a chair massage in The Atrium at Cliff Lodge (noon-1). Cliff Sports will introduce you to the most-innovative and stylish gear for women (take pictures for your letter to Santa), and the Cliff Spa will give you a tour of its jaw-stopping rooftop facilities and let you stay for half-price (fyi — it rarely does this).

DSC02284This is a great day to catch up with old ski friends, meet new ones and, as always, enjoy the beauty of the mountain in your own back yard.  For Park City, Provo and Ogden friends, this is a terrific opportunity to come explore Snowbird with Skimums and other gal pals.  The cost is only $40, an absolute deal for lesson, lunch and other goodies.  Reserve with the Mountain School at 801-947-8222.

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It’s Time!

DSC01948By Skimum Paula

Snowbird Skimums will hit the slopes every Wednesday starting January 7th. If that seems like a long time, well, there were reasons. Primarily, because most of us live here and are not on vacation (no, I’m not bitter, not too bitter), the demands of the holiday season were not accommodating to our little ski rendezvous.

Same Time – Same Place. We’ll meet at the Gadzoom lift at 9:30am and ski until we have to go back to work or school or home to let the dog out. If the wind is blowing over 20 mph or the visibility is terrible (Julie says I can’t write “sucks” anymore), then we’ll pass. After all, we live here.

If you’re new, Skimums is a free weekly meetup group (more like a glorified play date) to encourage Wasatch Women to explore the Bird, make new friends and, hopefully, laugh like crazy. Women just show up and collectively decide where to ski. Yes, only women could do it this way and make it work.

Skimums March, 2014

Skimums March, 2014

Last season, Skimums ranged in age from 25-65. They came from all over the Wasatch Front, Back, and occasionally Texas. They were married, unmarried, divorced, widowed, mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts and friends. They were doctors, lawyers, nurses, bankers, entrepreneurs, homemakers, community leaders, students and, of course, ski bums. Yes, the curious husband and boyfriend occasionally showed up, but satisfied that we weren’t plotting rebellion or spending money, they skied off by themselves.

Skimums is intended for intermediate-advanced skiers. However, because of high demand (yep, the word got out, and all of our friends wanted to come), Snowbird’s Mountain School is working on a “Returner’s Permit” for former skiers who want to get back on the mountain. We’ll pass along information as soon as we get it. If you want a regular gig with an instructor, then register for the Women’s Wednesday Getaway (snowbird.com/winter/mountainschool), a four-week program designed to give you lots of attention and get you to the next level.

Yes, yes, yes, the Mountain School will again provide Skimums Four (4) FREE group lessons. They are scheduled for Jan. 21, 28, Feb. 4, 11. These have been very popular, and we’re working on an RSVP system to make sure we have even more instructors this year when necessary (they really, really like the Mums). Typically, the conditions dictate what we work on. Yes, these are really FREE lessons, but a $10-$15 gratuity is suggested.

We’re trying to put more Snowbird and Wasatch Front deals on the blog and Instagram (@skisnowbird) this season. Skimums like good deals and good gear, and there are a lot of folks in town that want to help the Mums with both (they’ve recognized the power of the purse). Support the Bird and local businesses. #utahfirst

See you on the slopes!

The Mountain of Youth

Skiing into your 50’s, 60’s and…

By Skimum Beckie

Snowbird Road to Provo Skimums Women Skiers 50'sSkimum Paula recently asked if I would write a blog post about skiing tips for women over 60. I politely refused, because, as I informed her, I am not yet 60 for a few months…So, what would I know? As she quickly extracted the ski boot out of her mouth and mumbled something about 50+ women, I laughed, relented and agreed so she could save face and we could get on the slopes.

This is my first season back on the mountain after a 7-year hiatus. Skiing was always what I was going to do when I had time, or when there was great snow, or when my house was clean, or when there were no lines, or when I had more money, … sunny day, bills paid, etc. It took until I retired from 34 years of counseling hormone enraged tweenagers in local schools and found a great group of skiing women for me to remember what I was missing.

OK, confessions of a skier over 50… When I met up with the Skimums for the first time in January I admit I was a bit anxious not knowing whether my body was going to meet expectations. I wasn’t the oldest on the mountain, but I knew many of these women and wanted to keep up with them — and I did. Like riding a bike (or my Italian scooter; yes, I ride a scooter off the mountain), my body remembered the flex, the balance, the movement required to glide down the slopes. It also occurred to me that in skiing (unlike sunbathing), gravity is your friend, and good skiers of any age take advantage of it. So, I didn’t try to do too much at first, because while skiing isn’t any different at 50 (or 40 or 30 or 20 – physics is physics), it woke parts of my body that have been hibernating for some time. So, I was a bit tired and knew when to stop, but I had a great time and was hooked. Each week, I’ve skied longer and better. Aside from the social aspects (these Skimums are very, very funny – must be the adrenaline), I felt stronger and more accomplished each time. In case you’re wondering whether I’m a triathlete, GOODNESS NO, but I do work out twice a week with a trainer and keep active with the typical Salt Lake pursuits, e.g., hiking, biking, meeting friends, things I know keep me happy and healthy.

The biggest difference between skiing when I was younger to skiing now is the equipment. I skied in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s…. I was the girl that skied in Levi’s and a matching jacket to look cool. I was cool – actually, freezing cold! Helmets were unheard of, and only geeks or racers wore goggles. Times have changed, fashions have changed, and technology has made it easier and more comfortable for people of any age to ski Snowbird. Today’s skis, for example, make flying down Path to Paradise or carving through Black Forest or floating through the powder in the Rasta Chutes much, much easier. Yes, I can do all of those things today, things I’m not sure I could do as well when I was in my 20s! My “old” skis (circa 2005) were straight, long and heavy, and the only “rocker” I knew of sat on my porch with the cats. So, while I considered myself a good strong skier in the past, the newer, wider parabolic skis have me widening my stance a bit, giving me more stability and, actually, more comfort, control and confidence. Yes, I needed to create new muscle memory, but the newer skis make it much easier to ski various terrain and are definitely on my wish list for next season.

The other big gear issue was that my old boots killed my feet. During one of Skimums’ lessons, our Mountain School “coach” said something incredibly profound, “It’s hard to ski, especially ski well, when you can’t see and your feet hurt!” Well, this may seem like a “duh” statement to most, but the only “duh” was why was I waiting to do something about it. Some Skimums introduced me to Chris at Incline Foot Science where he custom fit my ski boots, which may seem ridiculous for a non-competitive 50+ skier, but I’m exactly the person who benefits the most from a fitted boot (or liner or insole) in terms of comfort, warmth and performance – things that will keep me skiing into my 80s and beyond. After a few days on the mountain, they started to feel pretty good, and my skiing started to look even better.

Snowbird Women Ski Lessons SkimumsWhy is skiing so important to me at this time in my life? For three decades, I’ve been working with teens, and now hospice patients, and their families trying to help them find their power and positive paths during life and their dignity at the end. For me, living in a town where I can get on the slopes within 30 minutes, get to the summit in another 12 and just stop, breathe and sail to the bottom with friends, many of whose children I watched grow, fills me with a sense of peace and wonder. It’s like being a kid again. Skiing has brought this to my life. This is the Mountain of Youth.

Special Women’s Ski Camp Offer

Skimums Deal from the Snowbird Mountain School

From Mountain School (and Skimums Fan) Maggie

Ski_SchoolHello Skimums!

Hope you are all having a terrific time with Mountain School Instructors Suzi and Janell. Seems like your group is growing and growing!  We just wanted to make you all aware of the awesome opportunity and Skimums deal coming up in early March.

Our Spring Women’s Camp features Mermer Blakeslee as our guest coach.  Mermer is a nationally known ski coach, author and  ‘fear clinician’ based in Windham, New York.  Her book, In the Yikes Zone, really helps people conquer fear in skiing.  She helps women, in particular, figure out how to challenge themselves without over-doing it so they hate the experience.  We have been working with Mermer for quite a few years now, and she is an extremely entertaining presenter as well as a talented teacher.

The Women’s Camp runs from March 2-6 (Sunday evening through Thursday) and features a welcome reception, dinner, and massage from the Cliff Spa.  We have great coaches for this session, and Mermer gets out with each group as well.  You’ve schlepped the kids to classes all winter.  Now, consider a gift of four days of skiing for you!  We want to offer Skimums a great discount – the retail price is $735, but Skimums can attend the entire camp for $670!  That’s less than $170 per day and includes food and the spa!  You can’t beat this deal.  Space is limited, so book soon… Call the Mountain School office at 801-947-8222 for details, and identify yourself as a Skimum to get the special rate.

Again, thanks for being Skimums! We look forward to serving you and seeing you on the mountain!

All the best,

Maggie
Maggie Loring
Snowbird Mountain School Director

“STAY OFF THOSE EDGES” and other great advice

Lessons: Skiing the Bumps

by Skimum Julie

This week we kicked off our lessons with two fantastic instructors from Snowbird’s mountain school.  The mums loved working with Susi and Janell who decided it was perfect conditions for some training in the bumps.  Of course, who doesn’t want to look great on the moguls?  So, we channeled our inner Hannah Kearney and tuned into some excellent advice given freely by the experts.

First item of business, stay off your edges!  What?  Come again??  Is that even possible?  For those of us raised to the tune of “stay ON your edges,” this exercise was extremely painful.  But that is the secret to moguls.  I learned that if my edges are digging into the moguls, there goes my control.  Which makes perfect sense since I only look great for about three turns before I shoot out of my line.

What to do?  You need to skid into the mogul bays, by way of what we called “shmearing” (think cream cheese on a bagel).  After our instructors evaluated the mums’ less than stellar bump skills, they kindly led us into the corral off Big Emma for some shmearing practice.  Instead of keeping our weight leaning into the hill (think steep groomer ski race style) we were to practice moving down the hill with our weight all on our downhill leg, staying completely flat on our skis.  Believe me, it’s harder than it sounds and even harder if you need to break the bad habit of leaning into the mountain on your edges.

Once we mastered our schmearing, we worked on the pole plant and turn.  So, here’s the kicker: plant your pole and make your turn on the top of the bump, then skid (schmear) into the bay, all the while keeping your skis flat inside the turn (no edges) and your weight on the downhill ski.

Now, before this sends you into a panic attack as you stare down that next mogul chute, don’t forget the most important skill we learned during this lesson: BREATHE.  We tend to focus so hard on our skiing that we forget to relax and breathe.  We literally hold our breath while skiing through the bumps and eventually become so tight that we’re right back on our edges again and feeling out of control.  So breathe or sing a song as one mum suggested.

Of course, it takes practice, practice, practice, so get out there and conquer your ‘mogul anxiety’ and before long you’ll be riding effortlessly through the bumps to the tune of your favorite song :).

Skimum Secrets: Easier Way Down

By Skimum Richelle

With some of the tallest peaks and deepest powder, Snowbird is known for offering some of the best skiing in North America – making it a veritable Mecca for hard-core skiers and snowboarders. This hard-core, bad-boy image can, frankly, be a bit intimidating for those of us with (let’s call it) a more humble skiing skill-set.  Insiders know, however, that Snowbird has some of the West’s most varied terrain making it easy to find your comfort zone and, more importantly, find some unexpected fun.

Ski Trail Sign - Easy

Myth:  Snowbird is only for advanced skiers
Yes, Snowbird has a lot of advanced terrain and many runs have those ominous, black diamond or even double black diamond warning signs…but there are also miles and miles of green and blue runs to enjoy.  So, while “diamonds are a girl’s best friend,” you can still sparkle on some of these:

From Gadzoom Lift

  • Lunch Run, Big Emma (good warm-up runs)

From Mineral Basin Express and Badly Express Lifts

  • Lupine Loop (winding groomed trail on back side; great green run)
  • Powder Paradise
  • Baldy Express Lift (any trail; wide open runs, fun even when ungroomed)

From Peruvian Express Lift

  • Chip’s Run, then switch to Rothman Way or Who Dunnit (usually-groomed, wide blues)

From Gad 2 Lift (new)

  • Bananas (nice long, winding run; often groomed)

Better yet, just come ski with the Skimums and we will show you the best the mountain has to offer!

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Download Snowbird Trail Map (PDF)
Download Mineral Basin Trail Map (PDF)

Follow The Sun!

WHERE TO SKI AT SNOWBIRD ON A COLD DAY?

As you put your car in park you glance up at the outside temperature gauge on your instrument panel. 9 degrees…Brrrrrrrr!  For a brief moment you have visions of your nice warm bed, a cup of hot chai, and a few recorded episodes of Scandal waiting for you back at home. 

But the snow looks so good…it’s sunny…I can do this!

Mineral Basin - Snowbird, Utah

On cold mornings like this, trail choice can make all the difference at the Bird. If it is a sunny morning, my suggestion is to get to over the mountain into Mineral Basin as soon as you can.

Here in Utah, the winter sun hangs low in the southern sky for much of the season. Many of the north-facing slopes don’t get any direct sun until late morning. That can mean cold and icy conditions. Stay in the sun of Mineral Basin until the rest of the mountain warms up a bit. 

What lifts do I take?
The tram is the fastest way to sun and fun. From Gad Valley (Entry 1 parking), take Gadzoom and then switch to Little Cloud to get to the ridge line.  Peruvian Express with a quick trip through the tunnel will also get you to warmer slopes.

See you on the sunny side!

Click here to Download Snowbird trail maps.

I Love Homework At This School

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By SkiMum Denice

Today was Skimums last day with “Sherpa Emilia,” our terrific Mountain School instructor.

It was amazing how every Monday the weather was good and the skiing even better.  The “mom gods” must have been looking out for us.  With everything Emilia taught us over four weeks, we put it all to good use on our last day.  She pushed us to our limits (and then a bit further), and we had a blast!!

The final tip I took home today was to keep the lower half of my body moving and loose.  I need to absorb the bumps with my knees and hips, while keeping my upper body open and facing downhillThe facing downhill part is always a little intimidating, but with all that powder, at least I didn’t have to hear the scrape of ice.  I don’t know what it is about that sound that puts my whole body into a panic.

It all came together, and today proved to be my best day yet.  By the end, I actually felt I was skiing … like a real skier.  Add sunshine, powder, good friends, and a great teacher — What more could you ask for?