Revisiting the Measure of Skiing

Around the same time last year (February 9, 2010) I wrote a blog about how we might measure skiing. I offered a variety of tools from keeping track of actual mileage on skis (seemingly hard to do!) to counting the number of days, and my conclusions called for using what’s called in ski-jargon, “vertical drop,” the measure of a ski hill height times the number of descent. So the more “vertical” is tallied, the more skiing has been accomplished. This wasn’t a perfect solution; it didn’t take into consideration the number of miles covered nor the time it took. Another important variable not accounted for was the quality of the grooming – or its absence – as well as the type and quality of snow. My “vertical” yardstick wasn’t perfect but if we were to accept it, how can we keep track of it?

The subject has intrigued me for a long time and ever since, I’ve always relied upon remembering how much vertical rise was associated with each Deer Valley lift, then made a point to count how many daily rides I made on each lift I used. That way, my ski day over, I could easily enter these numbers, using a spreadsheet and finding out my “vertical skiing.” Perhaps a few other die-hard might go through this exercise, but the vast majority of Deer Valley skiers won’t see that daily accounting as their favorite après-ski activity!

Being the old geek that I am, I had thought of easing this chore by purchasing a wrist computer. The first that came on the market in the eighties was the Avocet Vertech, which took the rugged look of a sport-watch. The system was based on the altimeter that showed a barometric pressure and an altitude reading. The reading would change whenever there was a variation in elevation, or in the weather, and needed to be constantly adjusted, generally by matching the altitude to a known elevation. In addition to recording daily descent and number of runs, the Avocet also displayed elevation, temperature and time. One main drawback of that model was that it had to be sent to the factory for periodic battery change.

A decade later, Suunto, a Finnish manufacturer of liquid-filled compass, jumped in the all-in-one watch design by offering the Vector, also combining altimeter, barometer, and compass. Compared to its predecessor, the product was found to be more reliable, had user-replaceable batteries and was somewhat more stylish, so I picked it as my wrist-computer. It would become my trademark wristwatch. It proved to be quite sturdy albeit a bit larger than a normal watch; it displayed altitude, temperature and time, but most importantly was supposed to record my total daily ski descent. The biggest downside of that watch was the complexity of its controls. Not only was the manual required reading, but you needed it anytime you wanted to use a specific function of the watch.

In spite of my determination at understanding the inner workings of that device and reading its instructions on countless occasions, I could never figure out how to make it work and remembering the procedure for any length of time. I had in fact bought myself an oversized, $200 sport-watch and this frustrated me so much that I had made it my 2010 new year’s resolution to finally mastering that smart timepiece. I would try on several occasions and again, would end up throwing the towel. This was until I found a much better “mouse-trap,” but my story has ran long enough for today; I’ll introduce you to this brand-new device in my next blog, so just stay tuned…

Leave your Comment

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

Facebook Feed

Sunday, September 24, 2017 at Deer Valley Resort. | Video Credit: Instagram User @scottusa ... See MoreSee Less

Vincent Paguirigan, Helen Hayes and 23 others like this

View previous comments

Leon AllbrightWhere is that

6 hours ago

2 Replies

Avatar

Kim Wohleking-FernandezThat snow is for real!?

7 hours ago   ·  5

1 Reply

Avatar

Sarah BulverThat is beauty!!!!'nnnn

6 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Melissa BaileyMichael Bailey this is why they have moose on everything there 😂 still never saw my moose

7 hours ago   ·  2
Avatar

Jacob VincentRuth Arbagey apparently we needed to be at deer valley today!

7 hours ago   ·  2
Avatar

Meg McKownSuzanne Mckown Seeeee...Park City has all the cool animals too! Haha

7 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Dan PhelpsCourtney, could be a good season...

6 hours ago   ·  1

1 Reply

Avatar

Lisa Borgfeld WhiteGwenn Beaver, what a difference a week makes!

7 hours ago   ·  1

1 Reply

Avatar

Ged CarringtonHeather Sherry see they have moose in Utah lol

6 hours ago   ·  1

1 Reply

Avatar

Michela SeehusenShirley Hartlauer are you guys missing Utah yet???

7 hours ago   ·  2
Avatar

Alicia MoranAmanda Sanford, this is what we got today.

6 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Jessie JohnsonBeautiful ❤️❤️💜💜❤️

6 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Brenda Perry-KerrI wish I was there!!

7 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Patricia Davis LahnMy neighbor... just checking in(lol)

7 hours ago   ·  2
Avatar

Marie Benson PitilloAwesome!!! Can't wait!

7 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Sarah Kaul PettigrewI am so in love!

7 hours ago   ·  2
Avatar

Angie MattinsonBeautiful!!!

6 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Jill Catalano TrosoSnow already!!!!

7 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Eric PikeWow so early

7 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Janet Bissell MooneySooo beautiful

7 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Jeff NesslerThat's the smaller one, when we were up there on Saturday my wife had the bigger one walk right in front of her yeah that scared her

6 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Meredith Amelia BerlyColin Alexander Berly hey you who keeps up with deer valley's weather on a regular basis is it snowing this much there???? Already????

7 hours ago   ·  2

1 Reply

Avatar

Martha BurlesonAwww,,,How pretty! My daughter n family lives there in Park City,,,I just visted them few weeks ago,,,,Love Park City,,,We even lived there in Utah awhile...Snow was Always beautiful....

56 minutes ago
Avatar

Suzie GordonOh yes mam! Snowed all night and all day!!!

4 hours ago
Avatar

Carey O'Malia GrossWe are so lucky to call this home with these neighbors!

4 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Comment on Facebook

Today’s #DeerValleyMoment. | Photo Credit: @scottusa ... See MoreSee Less

Today’s #DeerValleyMoment. | Photo Credit: @scottusa

Mitchell Rowen, Pilar 'n Billy Cayton and 23 others like this

View previous comments

Amy DavidsonJudi Zarrella is it really snowing there??? I was seriously looking into moving that way..... but snow in September?!?!?!?

7 hours ago

11 Replies

Avatar

Eric AlexanderI swear only a week ago I was standing there drinking a cold beer and it was 70 degrees

10 hours ago   ·  2

3 Replies

Avatar

Jeff HallAnd to think, last week it was brown pow and perfect cycling conditions.

11 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Ed MccallOh Mother keep it coming, no more hot weather!

9 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Regan EdwardsMy 3 month countdown to Deer Valley is ON! ❤️👏Christopher Flint, I'm all about that base!

13 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Suzie Gordon...and it's still snowing now!

Attachment8 hours ago
Avatar

Jennifer StebenGoing to be another great season!

9 hours ago
Avatar

Tasha Spencer AgnewSimon Agnew, the countdown is on!! White stuff....yay!!!! 🎿⛷

11 hours ago
Avatar

Ed KliczewskiOMG Scott Scott Kliczewski, check out Park City!

8 hours ago   ·  1

1 Reply

Avatar

Melissa BremauerSue Wood yes yes yes!!! I have booked dinner for NYE at Cena, all confirmed 💃💃

9 hours ago

1 Reply

Avatar

Steve DawsonAnde Dawson need to sort out our plans

13 hours ago
Avatar

Angee Palmer DeanI'm so not ready for snow. We need to have fall first.

4 hours ago
Avatar

Wendy ChiojiI love this.

10 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Melissa Jane Ruberts GusemanNot yet, please

7 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Jeffrey HainesWinter is coming...

13 hours ago   ·  1

1 Reply

Avatar

Todd WallaceIt will be melted by next week.

8 hours ago
Avatar

Judi Zarrella

Attachment7 hours ago
Avatar

James RazerLove to see this in the snow!

9 hours ago
Avatar

Tina WeyersWow look at all that snow!

9 hours ago
Avatar

Staci HugginsSooooo, not right!

6 hours ago
Avatar

Rick KolminHere’s to nice powder all ski season.

6 hours ago
Avatar

Karen GrossmanAwesome!

10 hours ago
Avatar

Cindy CreteauToo early😬

6 hours ago
Avatar

Raquel Aliceayayyyyyyy!!!! 💙💙💙💙

4 hours ago
Avatar

John ThompsonSee you 2/25/2018!

12 hours ago
Avatar

Comment on Facebook

Twitter Feed @Deer_Valley