IADxHGrZUQx475Zwh0rBLfLZ2xjU_A18Glu4BqW5ccUBy Jessica Osterloh, Ski ‘N See PR


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 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!

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:
PSIA Alpine Technical Manual

Good Skiing Part 2


By Susi, Instructor at Snowbird Mountain School


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


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.

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:, PSIA Alpine Technical Manual

Lodging Deal for Powderhounds

DSC02306You’ve just checked the Wasatch Snow Forecast or Utah Ski Weather blogs (which are great and should be bookmarked on your mobile devices), and they’re geeking out over the GFS and the EC and a bunch of other things that we mere mortals will never understand, but their summaries all say “powder day,” which is like cooking bacon next to a Catholic on Good Friday at 11:55pm.  Bring It On!  What do you do? What do you do?

Hopefully, you bought a White Room at Snowbird before the Jan 1st deadline, which allows you to stay at the Bird for $99 (reserve up to 48 hours in advance; great for locals), get up the next morning, beat the crowds that are probably waiting for Avalanche Control to open the road after the monster storm, and make those first tracks down Regulator or the Bookends in what we know as “The Greatest Snow on Earth.”  This “buy now, use later” is a steal of a deal and can be used throughout the winter season and into summer.  Check the Snowbird website for details and restrictions (there aren’t many), and take advantage of this deal before it expires.

These Powder Lessons Give SkiMums a Healthy Glow

By SkiMum Paula

Classic Tram Close

Recent storms cleared the valley air and brought great snow to Snowbird.  Unfortunately, after snowplowing behind the kiddos since Ross loved Rachel[1], most Skimums were a bit timid to take on the Bird’s renowned deep powder.  So, we did what smart girls do – we asked for directions.

On a Monday following a monster dump, the Mountain School provided the Skimums a powder lesson with Emilia.  Heading toward Peruvian with fat skis in hand, we passed several guys with bigger, fatter skis sporting frozen beards, caps and hair.  Not a good sign, but we were not deterred.

Our group of eight caught the lift and spent the ride catching up on Sundance, star sightings (check out Julie’s Instagram) and good new restaurants.  Do we live in the coolest place?  At the top, we got down to business. Halfway through a warm up on Chip’s Run, Emilia stopped to give us a pep talk.  “Just butter the snow,” she said.  Whaaaa?  She explained that, instead of “carving,” you need to stay centered on top of your skis, and keep them a bit flatter on the powder.  In other words, your skis are like butter knives; just spread it on.  I’m not sure of the culinary physics, but the mental picture seemed to work.  Heading down Chip’s Face, we tipped those fat skis downward and gave it a try.  Butter the snow, wax on, wax off, I don’t know, but the picture of using the skis to spread the powder underneath seemed to work, and I was floating downhill.  We all were.  No yard sales!!  On to Mineral Basin.

Ski Mums Powder

A small aside…  Can I just brag about my Skimums friend, Valerie, for a moment?  Oh, she is going to bust me for this.  Valerie is my hero this week.  She knows her limits, but will press them to move forward.  I watched her that morning when she looked (like we all do occasionally) a little bit hesitant.  Tipping over the edge of Nash Flora, a solid black that dives straight off the cat track down into Mineral Basin, was one of those moments.  Unlike me, who, in those situations, will gladly traverse to that nicely groomed run over yonder, Valerie pursed her lips and plunged over the edge.  No, she didn’t lead the way.  Instead, she carefully watched another Mum or two and followed them down — beautifully.  Was it not wanting to be left behind, yelling at herself to “just go already,” or believing that her girlfriends would show her the way?  I don’t know, but suspect that it was a little bit of everything and more.  I know that feeling.  It’s empowering, and that’s what I love about skiing with Skimums.

After a few runs in the Basin (powder days are great days to take advantage of the Mountain School priority lines!), the clouds rolled in, and our stomachs started rumbling.  Time to head towards food!  On the way, Emilia gave us a few more things to visualize explaining that, as in yoga, finding balance is a big key to powder skiing.  Picture yourself standing on top of those skis (so you’re centered) with your big toe grabbing the bottom of the boot (so you’re not sitting back).  The body remains upright (or, as SkiMum Kristen aka “Park City Kristen” declared, “Boobs out front!”), and legs are slightly closer together (better to butter with).  Maybe we just needed something to focus on other than the unknown, but visualization was the big lesson of the day.  Whether it was learning to butter the snow or watching your girlfriends show you the way, success was found when we pictured ourselves tipping our skis over the edge and floating all the way down.

[1] TV show, Friends, reference.  My teen just gave me a quizzical look.  OMG