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



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!

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.

Where Are My Pants!

By Skimum Paula

Is there anything worse than getting to the mountain and realizing that your ski pants are still hanging in your closet?  No, as I discovered on a recent powder day at the Bird.  Most Skimums know that keeping your family members’ ski gear in individual bags is a great way to stay organized, but over the season, things go in, things go out, things get washed, things get lost… You know the drill.

So, after ending up pantless on a powder day, I decided to get organized and crafty designing the Skimums SkiTag, a simple laminated list attached to each family member’s ski bag to check off before heading out the door.  Feel free to download.  I’d hate to see you pantless on Peruvian.


Iron Man of Snowbird

By SkiMum Valerie

I had the pleasure this morning of riding up the Little Cloud lift with an
enthusiastic young man named Joe Wale.  His first words to me were, “Do you mind if I put the bar down?  My legs are killing me.”  Turns out I had actually seen Joe earlier that morning on my drive up little cottonwood canyon.  I had passed him near the Red Pine Trailhead as he was riding his bike up the road with his skis strapped to his back.  “That is one ambitious guy”, I thought to myself as I passed by.  Little did I know, that wasn’t half the story.  Joe explained that it had always been a dream of his to bike up the canyon and ski Snowbird.  In the early, early hours of  Friday morning  Joe decided to make his dream a reality.


It all started Thursday night when he and his friend decided to ski the backside of High Traverse at Alta.  They took off at 11:00 PM and got back home at 3:00 AM.  Joe slept for 30 minutes during the car ride home.  After collecting his ski gear, 3 liters of water and a pile of Cliff Bars, he took off on his 20-year old Cannondale mountain bike in search of snow.  It was now 4:30 AM under a full moon.  Joe reached the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon at 6:00 AM and arrived at the Snowbird Center at 8:15 AM.  After skiing for 2 hours, he loaded up his gear and headed back  down the canyon.  The roundtrip was 40 miles with a 4,600 vertical gain.  Impressive!

End of the story?…not quite.  I emailed Joe the photos I had taken of him at Snowbird.  He replied and gave me an update on his day.  After returning home from skiing he slept for 2 hours and then got a call from some friends asking him to go mountain biking with them.  Naturally, he accepted the offer and biked from 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM.

Date Night… In The Morning… Wearing Ski Boots

By SkiMum Paula

I mentioned to some friends last night that my hubby gave me exactly what I wanted for Christmakah, the multi-cultural holiday we celebrate (for what seems like the entire month of December) that makes my children spoiled rotten and my in-laws very happy.  I asked for Date Night coupons to be redeemed once a month for the following year.  Being a good guy (and recognizing the not-so-subtle hint), he stepped up and offered two per month.

If this sounds bizarre, then I’ll just assume you’re unmarried or newly married and don’t have children.  Just play along and tuck this away for future reference.

With hectic lives, little ones underfoot and, even worse, teenagers at the wheel, it gets harder and harder to carve out time for ourselves and nearly impossible to do so with our spouses.  Add finding a babysitter, bribing a sibling or, if necessary, flying in a granny, it’s a wonder that we ever get out with our mates at all.

Like Charlie with his Golden Ticket, I eagerly presented my coupon to ski with my sweetie at The Bird.  He was going to be there anyway for a meeting and said he had a few hours before he had to be back at the office.  So, after taking the kids to school (more like slowing down in the carpool lane and nudging them out), I bolted up the canyon and met him at the Plaza, where we took the tram to the top and skied down again and again as the sun burned off the morning clouds on the front and back sides.  There was an unexpected dusting of new snow and, being midweek, no crowds.  What a day!  What a date!

[Singing]  If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it. Anything you want to, do it; want to change the world… there’s nothing to it.  –Willy Wonka

And we talked.  Riding the lifts together in the center of the seat, we talked about the mountain, where we wanted to ski next, how I was skiing so well this season (thank you, Skimums), whether to stop at Mid Gad for hot chocolate, how we should come back in August to hike among the wildflowers.  What’s absent from this list?  All the stuff that consumes conversations down the mountain.  Good stuff, but stuff that, for a few hours could wait.

No, it wasn’t a date in the traditional sense, but instead of sitting in a dark theatre watching a Shoot ‘Em Up, Oompa Loompas or a Chick Flick — silently and passively, we were actually engaged in the activity and, more importantly, one another.  Hmmm, we could be on to something.  I’ll have to redeem a lot more coupons to test my theory.  Thankfully, the season at Snowbird is long.

But Charlie, don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he always wanted? … He lived happily ever after.  –Willy Wonka