Looking Back at Another Ski Season

In my December blog, I was trying to see into the future and guess what the new ski season might bring.  If you read that piece, you might recall that I had no specific goal in mind. I was just going to “play it by ear” as I had done it for almost six decades. Now, peeking into the crystal ball is over. It’s time to look into the rear view mirror…

ball2

One truth I learned this season is that each ski day – just like our fingerprints or our irises – is totally unique. People often say, half-jokingly that there’s “no bad day skiing” and while I subscribe to this truth, I can also assert that each daily ski experience teaches us something remarkable, provides us with one-of-a-kind sensation and makes us constantly view the sport under a fresh angle.

When you live near a ski paradise like Deer Valley Resort, it’s very easy to become spoiled and only go out when all the ski planets and stars are in perfect alignment. It’s so easy to become very picky and, often times, far too demanding. If we don’t keep our attitude in check, we might surprise ourselves muttering “I only do perfect blue-bird days, and today there are just too many jet trails in the sky…” then dismiss another beautiful opportunity to make some great turns. Thank heavens, I have not yet reached that level of decadence!

This said, going out skiing when you live in a ski town truly requires a certain fortitude and discipline. Plus some extra tenacity that can make a whole world of difference between a fun-filled ski season, in which one can get up to speed and enjoy the sport to its fullest, and a succession of sporadic outings where the “ski legs” never seem to appear, even on closing day.  Like many, I love powder and was rewarded earlier in April when we received some 18 inches of outstanding new snow.  I was able to re-live the soft, forgiving and all-absorbing feelings that come with a generous cushion of genuine Utah dry powder.

Unlike the way I was used to (until last year) when I could get my fix of “pow” on a near daily basis, I made do this season with looking forward to the next snowfall and was quite appreciative when there were only six inches of fresh under my skis instead of the 24 I had come to expect. At this point, I would open a technical parenthesis and say that with the new, extra wide skis, “bottomless” powder has lost its seminal meaning.  Moderns skis won’t sink, but for a few inches, no matter how far the hard bottom actually is from the surface!

jfski

Of course, I’m not a “dyed-in-the-wool” corduroy guy either, and I remain more attracted by the rough and tumble terrain, the one that is peppered with hidden obstacles like trees, “Volkswagen bumps” and small cliffs, the one that also requires tight turns and accepts the occasional “friction” between rocks, stumps and ski bases.  I am talking about the kind of terrain that abounds on the west side of Lady Morgan, Daly Bowl and Chutes, and Son of Rattler, just to name a few famous Deer Valley spots!

Son-of-Rattler

All this to say that in a winter with less than average snow, skis used in that type of terrain generally take a beating and, to avoid it, I have overstayed the allotted time I normally use “rock skis,” and extended their short, transitional lives to almost a full season.  Of course, in March as the snow turns to spring quality, I had plenty of opportunities to try my brand new skis on Deer Valley’s legendary corduroy, but for the most part, I spent a season taming some very unruly and hard to control “rock skis”.

I do believe that adversity makes us tougher as well as better and this is precisely what this season did to me. After skiing on my sub-par skis for months on end, I had an epiphany when I tried the new boards I had set aside, on some groomed runs or tested them on the April 9, miracle dump! This means I wasted no time:  While agonizing on my old skis, I was just getting better and doing my utmost to push-back my own technical decrepitude!

Oh, yes, I almost forgot! There was another great lesson I learned this winter.  Early January as I was filming Heidi Voelker, the new snow was beautiful but had blown into the open areas, which combined with a low visibility made skiing tricky, if not treacherous. Filming a fast skier like Heidi on bumpy terrain with a helmet cam isn’t easy either as the main objective is to keep the head – hence the camera – steady, constantly aimed at the skier and of course, try my best to stay in control. Suffice to say that I took at least two spills that cost me tons of energy. I discovered that, at my age, getting back on my feet is much harder than it used to be!

In conclusion, while I didn’t quite make it to the century mark in terms of days I skied this season, I still came quite close to that number with quality and fun-filled skiing, and this is perfectly fine with me.  I had some wonderful moments, great memories, not one single bad fall and no collision either; my body is still whole. I am now ready to rest for a few months with the firm intent to do much, much better next season!

ball

 

Leave your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Facebook Feed

Deer Valley Resort shared Ted Ligety's video.

Ted Ligety
Ted Ligety, Deer Valley Resort's global athlete ambassador, training on Mountaineer ski run earlier this month.
... See MoreSee Less

Thanks @deervalleyresort for the awesome training this spring! New @head_ski 30m skis are a dream. #goprokarmagrip

Elizabeth Mahon, Debbie Meckbach and 429 others like this

View previous comments

Steve KuehnTed Ligety....one of the greatest world class skiers on earth skiing at my favorite place on earth!! Thank you!! What great technique, balance, speed, carving and weight on downhill ski!!!😀😀😀❤️❤️❤️😀😀😀😀😀

22 hours ago   ·  3
Avatar

Steve KuehnI wish I could ski that well!! I am good and focus on the basics and technique, but I am nowhere near that good....Heaven on earth to me is skiing and / or teaching people to ski every day!!

17 hours ago   ·  3
Avatar

Lisa K SimpkinsNo wonder my favorite run was closed 2 weeks ago. He was going so fast I never saw him.

11 hours ago
Avatar

Patricia Wollerok, maybe he goes a little, just a little faster than I... one think is certain, that is one of my favorite runs!

13 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Laura Nolle SpurlinEmily Spurlin Abby Spurlin this is my favorite run "mountaineer" !!⛷

22 hours ago   ·  2
Avatar

Tom ThomasVery impressive, Patty must be proud.

21 hours ago
Avatar

Ted ForbesBill Mitchell I think you can take him

22 hours ago
Avatar

Hideko ShimabukuroOMG that's so fast...! Made me dizzy watching it. 😅

13 hours ago
Avatar

Dan PeoplesBill Liguori this looks a lot like Marc D. Lewis without the aqua green, one piece jump suit.

24 hours ago
Avatar

James EvansLooks fantastic there at Deer Valley --- look forward to a Huge Season for Ted in 2017 / 2018 as well as the Winter Olympics . . .

19 hours ago
Avatar

Effie Baramso rad having the mountain totally to yourself....VIP treatment

15 hours ago
Avatar

Nikki GraceI want to go. Just not that fast.

17 hours ago
Avatar

Miguel CamposRenzzo B Namuche ese weon skia igual a mi csm jajaja

21 hours ago   ·  1

2 Replies

Avatar

Barbara JonesThis is one of my favorite runs at Deer Valley!

14 hours ago
Avatar

Kirk HoffmanI've skied that, but not quite in the same way!

21 hours ago
Avatar

Joseph HamiltonJet propulsion?

21 hours ago
Avatar

Michael O'SullivanYeah, and I would be just ahead of you 😜

19 hours ago
Avatar

Karl ByrneThe true mountain sport, pure speed

12 hours ago
Avatar

Arlen Gilbertpretty much how I imagine I look when I ski.

23 hours ago
Avatar

Rachel O'SullivanMichael O'Sullivan this is what I look like on that run

23 hours ago
Avatar

Billy GlosWayne Wilkinson is that you?!! Crazy!

12 hours ago

1 Reply

Avatar

Elizabeth HaleIt even feels fun 😁😁

17 hours ago
Avatar

Leigh Gallagher WaltersWow

12 hours ago
Avatar

Damian Benitez VillegasAmazing race Miguel.

5 hours ago
Avatar

Dienna Armstrong LehnerDon't forget to duck😜

20 hours ago
Avatar

Comment on Facebook

Twitter Feed @Deer_Valley