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SeeinRed
12-20-2007, 08:42 PM
Its that time of year. Broken arms, broken legs, etc. I never used to ski. I always thought it looked fun, but I wasn't allowed to because our school basketball team had a rule against it from Junior High on up. Last year was the first time I have ever tried, and I went twice. I picked it up pretty quickly surprisingly, and despite my best efforts didn't break anything. I did manage to get run over by a Amish girl though over there at Perfect North. Long story. Anyway, I just wanted to hear some people's expirences and reccomendations on anything and everything. I really enjoyed skiing and I believe I have started a new winter hobby for myself.

BTW, I also would like to know if anybody knows anything about the now closed Spicy Run Ski Resort. It was out 32 quite a bit from Cincy closer to where I come from. I just want to know if they plan on opening it or if there are any future plans. Doubt anybody knows, but hey, this site is good for a lot of random knowlege so there is a chance.

Dom Heffner
12-20-2007, 09:51 PM
My advice to you to you is something you already know: learn how to snow plow.

Moving along on the snow while on devices designed to do so is not very difficult.

Stopping is an entirely different matter. :)

SunDeck
12-20-2007, 09:59 PM
Perfect's is a nice place to learn, but I advise trying to go during the week so you can avoid the long lines and the nutjobs who can't ski but just point themselves straight down the hill and go.
I have skied for 30 years, so it's hard to say anything about the learning curve. I really don't remember what it was like to learn because I was only a kid. But the one thing I can say is that lessons are well worth the money. I taught my wife how to ski, but without her going to some lessons it would have been hard for her to learn how to parallel.

If you want to make a vacation out of it, there are nice resorts within a day's drive, either in New York (Greek Peak is a hoot) or up in Michigan (Boyne is an old favorite of mine). If you have the time, inclination and the money to do so, I highly recommend a ski vacation. It will improve your skill immensely.

Anyway, so what do you want to know? Fire away.

GAC
12-20-2007, 10:02 PM
I live right on the foothills of Valley Hi Ski resort here in central Ohio.

Yeah, like I'm gonna strap two slick rails to the bottom of my feet and send myself screaming down a steep hill? That's like putting a blindfold on Chevy Chase and entering him in the Indy 500. :lol:

We go over and tube. My daughter wants to snowboard; but she's never done it, and as a Dad I'm somewhat wary. Every time we go over there they're carting somebody off in the squad for trying something stupid while snowboarding. I might let her try the beginners hill.

paintmered
12-20-2007, 10:12 PM
A few years ago, I was at Perfect North with a student group and I was skiing with a friend who had never skied before. Anyways, he gets the brilliant idea to take on Center Stage, goes into a tuck straight down the hill, biffs it about halfway down and ends up at university hospital with a broken clavicle.

I've seen some impressive wipeouts on that run while on the lifts. I saw one guy lose it at the very top and proceed to catch about 6 feet of air off every mogul on the way down. It took everything I had to not fall out of the chair from laughter.

SeeinRed
12-20-2007, 11:18 PM
A few years ago, I was at Perfect North with a student group and I was skiing with a friend who had never skied before. Anyways, he gets the brilliant idea to take on Center Stage, goes into a tuck straight down the hill, biffs it about halfway down and ends up at university hospital with a broken clavicle.

I've seen some impressive wipeouts on that run while on the lifts. I saw one guy lose it at the very top and proceed to catch about 6 feet of air off every mogul on the way down. It took everything I had to not fall out of the chair from laughter.

Yeah, I was stupid and tried one of the "experts only" runs. My girlfriend thought I would land on my butt, but I didn't. That was my second time skiing and she was mad because she was leaving butt marks everywhere. (Thats a technical term of course) She thought she would try to prove that I wasn't as good at it as she was. She proceeded to try and show off and take a little shortcut through the woods and promptly screamed some profanities followed by an I'm screwed. She hit a tree. Not a big one mind you. A little sappling. I told her if she is going to scream, next time the tree better be bigger. Anyway, I made it clear down every run that day without leaving any butt dimples in the snow. I was pretty proud of myself.

SunDeck, I'm sure that I'm not doing it anywhere close to pretty, but I got the whole weight transfer thing down. That was the biggest thing to learn for me. I observed and realized that there aren't many people going striaght down the mountain. An important point as far as my safety went. I was ready to go faster than any man should ever be going on a pair of slivers under his feet. Luckily, my girlfriend talked me out of trying to show everybody the fastest way to ruin a ski trip. The one part that I did have problems with the first time is that it felt like the end of my skis kept digging into the snow when I tried to make a turn. I think I might of fixed that by getting shorter skis the second time. I still had some difficulty with it though.

I found that 90% of my falling the first time was due to just not concentrating on balance and letting my legs stiffen. If I kept my legs loose and let them absorb the bumps, I had no problems at all. The other 10% were just because I was stupid. I haven't been taught how to do anything yet, but I would like to learn, so I might have to invest in some lessons. I do tend to pick things up on my own. I don't pick them up beautifully I'm sure, but adequetly. I also taught myself to bowl and now average close to 200. Its typical, I can do things OK, but I just can't get over the hump to do them well. Its always the same. I get stuck on some small detail that will put me over the hump and just can't figure them out. Somebody could probably teach them, but I love the challenge.

HumnHilghtFreel
12-21-2007, 12:02 AM
I got really big into snowboarding in highschool when I joined the ski club. I had gone once before that, and it was an unmitigated disaster :laugh: When you hear people on the lift going up say "I hope he's okay" you know things are going rough.

But I did four years in highschool and actually ended up becoming somewhat decent. It's been about 2 years since I've been now. I'm trying to get my brothers to help me plan a trip up to Mad River Mountain sometime soon though.

cincinnati chili
12-21-2007, 03:39 AM
Perfect North is to skiing what a squirrel's nose is to boogers.

oneupper
12-21-2007, 07:06 AM
After over 40 years of no snow in my life, I went with my sisters' family to Breckenridge, Colorado for skiiing.

We've done it four times since.

My advice: take the lessons.

I'm a "50 first dates" skier, that is, I forget what I learned the year before. So I take a lesson or two to "remember' and pick up something new.

I suck and always will, but when I get invited up to some blue runs, I can do it and not die.

Perhaps you're a natural, but it would probably serve you well to pick up a few essential "safety tips" just in case.

SunDeck
12-21-2007, 08:23 AM
Yeah, I was stupid and tried one of the "experts only" runs. My girlfriend thought I would land on my butt, but I didn't. That was my second time skiing and she was mad because she was leaving butt marks everywhere. (Thats a technical term of course) She thought she would try to prove that I wasn't as good at it as she was. She proceeded to try and show off and take a little shortcut through the woods and promptly screamed some profanities followed by an I'm screwed. She hit a tree. Not a big one mind you. A little sappling. I told her if she is going to scream, next time the tree better be bigger. Anyway, I made it clear down every run that day without leaving any butt dimples in the snow. I was pretty proud of myself.

SunDeck, I'm sure that I'm not doing it anywhere close to pretty, but I got the whole weight transfer thing down. That was the biggest thing to learn for me. I observed and realized that there aren't many people going striaght down the mountain. An important point as far as my safety went. I was ready to go faster than any man should ever be going on a pair of slivers under his feet. Luckily, my girlfriend talked me out of trying to show everybody the fastest way to ruin a ski trip. The one part that I did have problems with the first time is that it felt like the end of my skis kept digging into the snow when I tried to make a turn. I think I might of fixed that by getting shorter skis the second time. I still had some difficulty with it though.

I found that 90% of my falling the first time was due to just not concentrating on balance and letting my legs stiffen. If I kept my legs loose and let them absorb the bumps, I had no problems at all. The other 10% were just because I was stupid. I haven't been taught how to do anything yet, but I would like to learn, so I might have to invest in some lessons. I do tend to pick things up on my own. I don't pick them up beautifully I'm sure, but adequetly. I also taught myself to bowl and now average close to 200. Its typical, I can do things OK, but I just can't get over the hump to do them well. Its always the same. I get stuck on some small detail that will put me over the hump and just can't figure them out. Somebody could probably teach them, but I love the challenge.

Shorter skis will definitely help. I imagine the way you are learning to turn at this point is to "wedge" or "snowplow" as Dom put it. That means you point the tips of the skis inward and press down hard, forcing the skis to wedge into the snow.
That is the best way to start as a beginner.
In order to turn- and this is kind of the hard part to explain- you don't necessarily "turn" the skis as much as you turn your whole body, transferring your weight from one ski to the other.

From there, you eventually learn how to manage the weight transfer, and you incorporate a little "hop" which becomes your turn. At that point, you are learning to parallel ski, which is basically the art of changing your position on the slope using that hopping and weight transfer.

Not sure what point you are at along the continuum of moving from the wedge to parallel skiing, but I'll take a stab at the following advice.

1) Pressure- your legs need to be strong. Controlling your skis through a turn requires you to bear down on the tongues of your boots. When you are moving in a straight line, it doesn't require much from your legs, but turning well requires exertion. The more you learn to control the skis by pressing down with your thighs and knees the sooner you will parallel ski.

2) Balance- you may have heard the term "uphill" or "downhill" ski. If you are standing perpendicular to the slope, those terms describe your skis. The downhill ski is always the workhorse and turning well is the process of changing direction and moving your weight from one ski to the other, always to the downhill ski.

3) Rhythm- Whatever speed I am skiing, I try to do it with a pace and rhythm. You will see skiers planting their poles just before they turn, which is a way to maintain one's rhythm. A more advanced skier, plants the pole, sort of gets that little hop around it, then bears down, pressing their knees together, leaning into the hill to get their skis up on their edges to carve a line in the ice or snow. When you do it for the first time, feeling your skis carve instead of sliding, it's like a revelation.

Enjoy!

WebScorpion
12-21-2007, 11:45 AM
Perfect's is a nice place to learn, but I advise trying to go during the week so you can avoid the long lines and the nutjobs who can't ski but just point themselves straight down the hill and go.


Just because I've been sent to psychoanalysts by both the US Army and my therapist, (who I fired, by the way,) doesn't mean I am a 'nut job'. I have never understood the concept of slowing down on the slopes...I love to go fast! I also love to make that ultra-cool spray of snow at the end of the run when I jump up, turn sideways, and dig in my edges to stop. Snowplow shmoeplow! Well, when I first started it was hard to tell if I was trying to stop or just practicing my cartwheels...but hey, I learned from my mistakes and I'm successful about 80% of the time now. Speed is addictive. I have never hurt anyone but myself on the slopes...and a couple trees...and one of those snow blower nozzles. :D BANZAAAAAAIIIIIIII!!!!!! :cool:

SeeinRed
12-21-2007, 11:47 AM
Shorter skis will definitely help. I imagine the way you are learning to turn at this point is to "wedge" or "snowplow" as Dom put it. That means you point the tips of the skis inward and press down hard, forcing the skis to wedge into the snow.
That is the best way to start as a beginner.
In order to turn- and this is kind of the hard part to explain- you don't necessarily "turn" the skis as much as you turn your whole body, transferring your weight from one ski to the other.

From there, you eventually learn how to manage the weight transfer, and you incorporate a little "hop" which becomes your turn. At that point, you are learning to parallel ski, which is basically the art of changing your position on the slope using that hopping and weight transfer.

Not sure what point you are at along the continuum of moving from the wedge to parallel skiing, but I'll take a stab at the following advice.

1) Pressure- your legs need to be strong. Controlling your skis through a turn requires you to bear down on the tongues of your boots. When you are moving in a straight line, it doesn't require much from your legs, but turning well requires exertion. The more you learn to control the skis by pressing down with your thighs and knees the sooner you will parallel ski.

2) Balance- you may have heard the term "uphill" or "downhill" ski. If you are standing perpendicular to the slope, those terms describe your skis. The downhill ski is always the workhorse and turning well is the process of changing direction and moving your weight from one ski to the other, always to the downhill ski.

3) Rhythm- Whatever speed I am skiing, I try to do it with a pace and rhythm. You will see skiers planting their poles just before they turn, which is a way to maintain one's rhythm. A more advanced skier, plants the pole, sort of gets that little hop around it, then bears down, pressing their knees together, leaning into the hill to get their skis up on their edges to carve a line in the ice or snow. When you do it for the first time, feeling your skis carve instead of sliding, it's like a revelation.

Enjoy!

To tell you the truth, I never learned how to "snow plow" and turn. I just transfer my weight from on let to the other and kind of twist I guess.The hop is the part that kind of intrigues me because I found that I do best when I kind of jump off the right foot for a left turn and the left foot for ar right turn. I even stopped by sliding sideways on my first time. The whole snow plow thing just wasn't taught to me I gess so I don't use it. Poles at this point seem to hinder me more than help. I haven't had the revelation yet, but I will have try and pick up the techique this year. I am by no means a good skiier, I can just get down the hill without falling now. Thats a pretty big accomplishment for me. Thanks for the advice SunDeck! Maybe we'll run into each other on the slopes sometime. Then you can point at me and laugh when you see a ski sliding down the hill followed by a person trying to ski on one ski.

SunDeck
12-21-2007, 01:03 PM
You are learning European style. They don't teach kids to snowplow, they just go straight into the jumping from one ski to another.

I say keep it up- as long as you can learn to keep your speed under control, don't worry about snowplowing. And learning to stop by sliding sideways is in many ways the same thing you need to do in order to parallel ski. You stop by pressing on the downhill ski and leaning into the slope of the hill. Same thing, really. As you get better at it, you shift from a slide right, slide left, slide right pattern to one where you carve an "S" pattern down the hill.

Redlegs23
12-21-2007, 01:24 PM
My story is similar to yours SeeinRed. Played basketball in high school and was never allowed to ski. Went for the first time my freshman year in college and did fairly well. I went with a bunch of beginners, and never had lessons. I don't think I even fell the first time I went. I've been about 3 times since then, and I absolutely love it. I'd go once a week if I could afford it. I've gotten pretty decent just from teaching myself. Granted, I have many close calls every time I go, mainly when I brave the center stage. One really bad wipeout comes to mind. Anyways, can't wait to go again this winter.

SeeinRed
12-21-2007, 02:22 PM
My story is similar to yours SeeinRed. Played basketball in high school and was never allowed to ski. Went for the first time my freshman year in college and did fairly well. I went with a bunch of beginners, and never had lessons. I don't think I even fell the first time I went. I've been about 3 times since then, and I absolutely love it. I'd go once a week if I could afford it. I've gotten pretty decent just from teaching myself. Granted, I have many close calls every time I go, mainly when I brave the center stage. One really bad wipeout comes to mind. Anyways, can't wait to go again this winter.

That begs a good question. Would it be worth me buying a pass if I may only get to go 3 times this year?

Yachtzee
12-21-2007, 03:42 PM
I loved to ski. In High School I would visit Western NY when I wasn't working on ski patrol for the local ski area. Peak'n'Peek, Holiday Valley and Bristol Mt. were regular destinations. Spring Break was the time to visit Colorado. We particularly liked the resorts of Summit Co. Colorado (Arapahoe Basin was my personal favorite), as well as Vail and Beaver Creek. In Austria, I had the chance to ski at Bad Gastein, which was amazing. Unfortunately, my skiing days ended with ACL surgery. The farther I get away from it, the more I wonder if I can take a chance to see if my knee will hold up. But then I crouch down and hear my knee pop like the sound of velcro when I stand back up and I think better of it. I do miss skiing.

I was never one for speed. I always preferred to maintain a steady rhythm. My ideal skiing would be to make perfectly snaking curves through virgin powder.

M2
12-21-2007, 05:12 PM
There's some quality skiing in West Virginia at Snowshoe (http://www.snowshoemtn.com/index.htm) (48 miles south of Elkins). It's a legit mountain.

General skiing tips:

- Do squats to strength your thighs.

- Shaped skis are nice, but there's no sustitute for learning how to set your edges. Out west where everything's nice and powdery they don't have to worry about this so much, but anywhere in the eastern portion of the country ice is a fact of life.

- Lessons are essential. Pole plants to help establish rhythm, proper weight shift, getting a good bend in your knees - lessons will help you with that. Since it sounds like you're fairly athletic, two or three lessons should give you most of the pointers you'll need. Most mountains offer learn to ski packages, take advantage of that. It's usually a trememdous deal (I see lodging, rentals, tickets and lessons for $99 a person at Snowshoe).

- When your legs feel like rubber, don't go up the hill for one more run. That's how you pull a Sonny Bono.

On a side note, are the Amish allowed to use the lifts? I'd think that's against the rules.

Yachtzee
12-21-2007, 07:40 PM
On a side note, are the Amish allowed to use the lifts? I'd think that's against the rules.

Sure they can. They just can't operate the lifts themselves.

SeeinRed
12-22-2007, 11:35 AM
Well, technically most of the "Amish" you see in this area are actually Mennonites. They have different beliefs. The can even get a drivers liscense and drive cars in some Mennonite communities. The catch is that they just can't own the car. The Amish do in fact have strict rules in some cases but do not always outlaw technology. From wiki:

The Amish, especially those of the Old Order, are probably best known for their avoidance of certain modern technologies. The avoidance of items such as automobiles and electricity is largely misunderstood. The Amish do not view technology as evil. Individuals may petition for acceptance of a particular technology in the local community. In some communities, the church leaders meet annually to review such proposals. In others, it is done whenever necessary. Because the Amish, like some Mennonite groups, and unlike the Catholic or Anglican Churches, do not have a hierarchical governing structure, differing communities often have different ideas as to which technological items are acceptable.


Telephone booth set up by an "English" farmer for emergency use by local Amish families.Electricity, for instance, is viewed as a connection to, and reliance on, "the World," the "English," or "Yankees" (the outside world), which is against their doctrine of separation. The use of electricity also could lead to the use of worldly household appliances such as televisions, which would complicate the Amish tradition of a simple life, and introduce individualist competition for worldly goods that would be destructive of community. In certain Amish groups, however, electricity can be used in very specific situations: for example, if electricity can be produced without access to outside power lines. Twelve-volt batteries, with their limited applications, are acceptable to these groups. Electric generators can be used for welding, recharging batteries, and powering milk stirrers. In certain situations, outdoor electrical appliances may be used: lawn mowers (riding and hand-pushed) and string trimmers, for example. Some Amish families have non-electric versions of vital appliances, such as kerosene-powered refrigerators.

Amish communities often adopt compromise solutions involving technology, which may seem strange to outsiders. For example, many communities will allow gas-powered farm equipment such as tillers or mowers, but only if they are pushed by a human or pulled by a horse. The reasoning is that Amish farmers will not be tempted to purchase more land in order to outcompete other farmers in their community if they still have to move the equipment manually. Many Amish communities also accept the use of chemical pesticides and GM crops, forgoing more common Amish organic farming techniques.

The Ordnung is the guide to community standards, rather than doctrine that defines sin. For example, the four Old Order Amish communities of Allen County, Indiana, are more conservative than most; they use open buggies, even during the winter, and they wear black leather shoes even in the hot summer. The restrictions are not meant to impose suffering. In the 1970s, for example, a farmer near Milan Center, Indiana, was ordered by his bishop to buy a conventional tractor. He had severe progressive arthritis, and with no sons to harness the horses for him, the tractor was seen as a need, rather than a vanity. The rest of the community continued farming with horses.

The Amish will hire drivers and vans, for example, for visiting family, monthly grocery shopping, or commuting to the workplace off the farm — though this too is subject to local regulation and variation. The practice increases the geographic reach of the Amish, and decreases isolation: a horse can travel only about 25 miles, and then it must rest for a considerable period, restricting the Amish to a radius of 12.5 miles from home. Moreover, a horse and buggy can only sustain 10 MPH over an extended distance, and thus is impractical for emergencies.[8] Regular bus service between Amish communities has been established in some areas. Hiring a taxi is forbidden on Sundays (as is any transfer of money).

The avoidance of telephone technology is also often misunderstood. The Amish dislike the telephone because it interferes with their separation from the world: it brings the outside world into the home, it is an intrusion into the privacy and sanctity of the family, and it interferes with social community by eliminating face-to-face communication. However, some Amish, such as many of those in Lancaster County, use the telephone primarily for outgoing calls, but with the added restriction that the telephone not be inside the home, but rather in a phone "booth" or shanty (actually just a small out-building), placed far enough from the house as to make its use inconvenient. Commonly, these private phone shanties are shared by more than one family, fostering a sense of community. This allows the Amish to control their communication, and not have telephone calls invade their homes, but also to conduct business, as needed. In the past, the use of public pay phones in town for such calls was more common; today, with dwindling availability of pay phones because of increased cellphone use by the non-Amish population, Amish communities are seeing an increase in the private phone shanties.[9] Many Amish, particularly those who run businesses, use voicemail service.[10] The Amish will also use trusted "English" neighbors as contact points for passing on family emergency messages. Some New Order Amish will use cellphones and pagers, but most Old Order Amish will not.[11]




I come from an area with a Mennonite community near by. They are regularly called Amish by the locals, even though we know they aren't. They even market their products to be "Amish Made." Most of the candy is just repackaged an labled as Amish. The furnature is made in the same type of facility that all hand made furnature is made in. They charge more for it though. Just a personal beef of mine I guess. However, you will get a lecture about how they are different if certain people hear you call them Amish.

Back on subject, I'm going to Snowshoe in the next few weeks to give it a shot. Thanks for the info M2. We are also going to be heading over to Perfect North soon after Christmas. Now that we have talked about technique, I am curious about what gear I should invest in. What type of clothing should I invest in, would my own skis be a good investment, etc. My girlfriend likes to wear all the nice clothing because she thinks it looks cool, but what would be practical? I'm pretty sure that some of the stuff is just out there because people like my girlfriend will buy it. For instance, whats the difference between a ski jacket and a fully insulated jacket that I have in my closet from where I used to camp in the cold? Are ski pants worth the money? You know, what should I avoid getting just because it says it is for skiing?

SunDeck
12-22-2007, 03:06 PM
You can buy a good pair of snow pants pretty cheaply just about anywhere and a nice anorak or a nylon pullover with a wool or polartec sweater underneath is what I have always used. My wife looks like a super model, compared to me. I am partial to bibs when it's real cold.

I wouldn't buy equipment at this point. Best to wait until you are more accomplished skier so that you know what your abilities and limitations are. I say this because there are so many different combinations of skis to buy, depending on the demands your skills will require.

Dom Heffner
12-22-2007, 03:24 PM
They have different beliefs. The can even get a drivers liscense and drive cars in some Mennonite communities.

The owner of our best Amish restaurant in Sarasota drives a Lexus.

SunDeck
12-23-2007, 10:39 AM
Just how many Amish restaurants are there in Sarasota?