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

IMG_2085

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

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!

IMG_1978

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.

IMG_3325

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!