Getting Ready for Ski Season

One thing I have learned living in Park City is that you are ALWAYS getting ready for ski season. At the Fourth of July parade and celebration on Main Street, I bought my new ski jacket and in August, a Smart Wool sweater to wear under it.  In September, I picked up a set of ski pants so clothing-wise; I am well on my way.

Fitness wise, I am not so sure but am working on it. Try this:

1. Hitting tennis balls –  It’s winter but Park City Municipal Athletic Recreation Center known as “the Marc” has a “bubble” with several indoor tennis courts to keep you warm and dry. Once a week I hit tennis balls with a friend. Tennis is not only good for cardio and eye hand coordination but for ski conditioning due to the side to side movements you make when approaching the ball.

2. Rowing – The Concept 2 rowing machine is my best friend. I used to row crew with the Master’s so when on the indoor rower, I just close my eyes and imagine being on the water in the shell with 7 other women rowing in unison.    Rowing is also easy on the knees and also great for both upper and lower body strength — love it!

3. Circuit training – I read a blog on the best fitness apps and found my new best friend –Nike Training Club App. I am sure there are some other great apps out there but I am totally obsessed with Nike Training Club.

First of all, there are a hundred different workout choices –get lean, toned, strong, or “focused.” Each one has a variety of workouts by level.  You don’t need extensive equipment — just some weights and a medicine ball. I love how it just walks you through a workout – plank rows for one minute followed by Russian twists for one minute then mountain climbers, etc.  Frankly, its easy to follow since you don’t have to think about it – just choose a workout, decide on music from the iPad and get started.

I never thought I would care about this (or admit it in public) but they also award badges by level. Today at the end of my workout, a message popped up. “Congratulations, you have reached a new level.  You are a contender.”

Me?  A contender?  “Hey Honey, guess what? Remember when I told you I could  have been a contender? Well, turns out I was right! Nike says I am.”  It is silly, but actually it’s kind of fun.

4. Tracking my exercise and food intake. I use the My Fitness Pal app to track food and daily exercise.  Before I reach into the Chex Mix bag, I think about having to write in later that I just ate an extra 300 calories: this certainly helps me grab an apple instead.   I log everything I eat and drink as well as my workouts to help me stay on track.

My son, Rick, and his girlfriend are members too so we have this little healthy support community.  An added benefit of having my family online is avoiding public humiliation — a strong motivator that certainly works for me!

How are you getting ready for ski season?

Early Ski Season Routine

For every skier, each new ski season feels like a new beginning, filled with great anticipation, wonderful expectations, and in many ways, it seems like a “re-birth” of sorts, as it brings us back to our favorite playground. To make that experience even better, I have tried to compile a few tips that we all can use and that will make our return to the slopes that much more pleasant.

I would start with getting our gear ready, beginning with the right ski pass (not the one from last year, please!) the gloves, the balaclava, the helmet and the goggles. Don’t just attempt to gather that equipment minutes before hitting the slopes; do it at least the day before and by all means, do take all your time to do it right!

Can we find all of our gear? Aren’t these gloves looking a bit frayed right by the thumb? Why are these goggles all scratched-up? I’d continue with the ski boots and check that nothing fell inside them, that there’s nothing in the liner that feels crumpled and that the rubber heel isn’t so worn out that we won’t get into the bindings. Oh sure, I’ll get these boots out of the freezing garage now and put them inside the house!

Then there are the skis. Are these the brand-new ones? Are we sure we want to take them that early? If we take the ones we used in April, how do they look? I mean, not the dust on them, but are the edges okay, the bases clean and waxed? Are we sure the poles are matched-up or do we have a 44 inch long paired with a 46 inch?

Now, how are we going to dress? In doubt, always layer-up more warmly than not, don’t forget that most of today’s ski clothes have plenty of zippable air-vents if overheating were to be a problem!  Is the roof-rack or the ski-box back on top of the car yet, or are we going to fold part of the rear seat and slide all the equipment in? I’m looking forward to test-driving these new snow tires we just mounted last week…

Before we start the engine, mentally run the check-list: Ski pass or coupons, boots, helmet-glove-goggles, poles, skis, sunscreen, cell-phone and wallet. No, we won’t take the GoPro camera this time… We finally get to the resort parking lot. Found a great spot! Get everything out, walk to the lift. One more time: Is there anything we need that we could have left in the car?

We first click into our bindings and get ready to ride the chairlift, look around, feel the excitement building, no worries, we’ll start slow! We’ll try to register the sensations inside our feet and legs as we slide down the ramp, make a first left turn… That wasn’t bad was it?  Everything still works! Then we take it easy, we begin slow and try to just concentrate on the sensations, we’ll get reacquainted with a little bit of speed, appreciate the crispy sound our skis make on this season’s snow…

Now a right turn followed by another to the left; we’re skiing! Little by little our confidence grows, our speed increases, we absorb the little bumps as if we had never quit doing it and the tentative smiles we had earlier on becomes a permanent grin! We forgot nothing, it’s all coming back now, we let those skis carve for us, it feels even better than it did last March!

Naturally, we’re careful, we use the terrain astutely, and we follow the flow and the groups of skiers that evolve at a similar rate of speed. Sometimes we stay in the middle of the run and move with everybody, at other times we stick to the sides that often allow for a different rate of speed, but all along, we constantly watch what’s going on in front, around and behind us. We know that the rest of the skiers are still tentative and searching for their true selves early this season and we take it easy.

Of course, lunch time is not just a simple break today, it’s a genuine restoration. We take a bit longer, we use our time to savor the food and enjoy the warmth inside the lodge, and when it’s time to go out again, we carefully re-adjust all the buckles on each boot, we take the time to clean the goggle lens twice instead of just once, and when everything appears to be ready and that we feel in control, skiing resumes.

No, we won’t do this extra run that we would normally never miss.  We’re just careful, we’re totally willing to leave some great turns “on the table” today and end our skiing a tad earlier. No problem; we’ve got the entire ski season!


From a DV Lift Operator

Shytei Corellian, Lift Ops

Ever wonder what it might be like to be a first season Lift Operator at Deer Valley?

Me, too — and I was one.

This week sixty eight new Lift Operators begin their 2012-13 winter season the ones you’ll be seeing all day long and just might get to know on a first-name basis if you happen to ski a favorite lift most days.

My first year as a Lift Operator was back in 1990-1991. I was planning ahead for at least three months, getting fit, begging mom and dad to help me out with buying gear, and truly, honestly nervous.

It took about five minutes during my first day of training to be A.) entirely overwhelmed with the amount of information and expectation of being part of the Deer Valley Team and B.) thoroughly excited — the thought “Coolest Job Ever” kept running through my mind.

How many times I’ve had people say to me: “Nice Office” as they get off the chair at the top shack, I’ve lost count, but each time I smile and say: “Absolutely, can’t beat the view.”

I’m sure these new Lift Operators will share much of these same sentiments, and I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know them as you ski through the lift lines this season.

I guess I do remember what it’s like to be a first year Operator. Some memories are just too good.


Shytei Corellian, still a very excited Deer Valley Team Member

This season, 68 new lift operators started training this week.  With 21 chairlifts, Lift Operators are an essential piece of running Deer Valley Resort.  A week-long training program, with both classroom and on-site training, prepares Lift Operators from interacting with guests to safely operating chairlifts.