Skiing: Frequently Asked Questions

As a diehard skier trying to spend every day that I can on the slopes, I get a lot of questions. When it’s chilly out, I can never complain because people always ask “You’re a skier, don’t you like being cold?”

So I thought I’d do a little Q&A with the questions I frequently get from friends and family.

 

Q: Doesn’t being cold make skiing less fun?

A: I enjoy skiing so much that cold doesn’t bother me, but I don’t want to stand around in -10 weather.

 

Q: Isn’t it boring to ski green (easy) or blue (intermediate) trails once you are an “expert”?

A: I enjoy the advanced terrain, the moguls, the deep pow, but I also like a nice meandering trail with a view or a freshly groomed beginner trail with no one else on it. Skiing for me is about having fun – whatever the condition.

 

Q: Is ski racing an event where everyone lines up and tries to get to the bottom first?

A: That sounds kind of like skier-cross, which includes banked turns and jumps as well. I would totally give that a try. However, traditional ski racing is a little more organized and looks like this

 

Q: Doesn’t gravity do all the work for you? Why do you need to be get in shape for skiing?

A: Gravity helps, but there’s technique involved. It’s a workout, and the mountain sure knows how to kick my butt. Getting in shape helps make the ski season more fun.
What are the most common questions you get about your hobbies?

A Skier’s Dream Car

A Skier’s Dream Car

I’ve been looking into new (to me) cars, because mine is rugged and sturdy, but I want something that is actually fun to drive. Mine is going on 110,000 miles and I think now might be a good time to sell.

This one looks like a lot of fun, but unfortunately its top speed is 40 mph because it is meant for driving on ski slopes…

That one is out for practicality purposes.

Which brings me to these beauties, which unfortunately are also out for financial reasons, and possibly because they aren’t the best for commuting to work everyday.

And my car is pretty good in the snow, but no way could it ever do this.

I’ll probably settle for something a little less flashy and look into something a little sporty, a little practical, and a lot more fun to drive than my clunky old CR-V.

The Weekend is Almost Here

Who else is looking forward to some powder over the holiday weekend? I remember skiing small, crowded resorts on holiday weekends as our yearly family ski vacation. While it is nice to have the mountain to yourself, nothing beats having some friends stay for a long weekend, and skiing in a group, regardless of ability, or crowds. The ski bum life isn’t for everyone, but it’s nice when everyone can get together and ski bum it for a weekend!

Outdoor Enthusiasts to Watch

I started this blog to connect with fellow nature lovers, whether they too live in Colorado, are on the other side of the country, or even living out their own adventures elsewhere. I love to read about other people’s adventures, and get ideas for my (smaller scale) future treks.

Here are some of the places where I find my inspiration:

The North Face

Skiing Twitter

Team Makalu

Whether it’s skiing, climbing, hiking, or running for hundreds of miles, hopefully you can find some inspiration here too.

Throwing It Back to My Days As a Racer

So I never really thought I’d be a competitive skier, but I did have a few years of recreational racing in college. Mostly I liked it because I had a group to go skiing with at least 4 days a week, and people that didn’t mind skipping class for a day of fresh powder. Racing was always fun, and it made me a much stronger skier, but I never cared too much about the clock or how I was placing. 

So it is kind of funny to think that I might be racing in a rec league again this weekend! Pray I don’t blow a knee, I’m not as young (or reckless) as I used to be.

Another Instagram Adventure

Some more cool skiers to follow on Instagram:

Scrolling through my feed in the morning helps get me through a long day of work by pumping me up for the lines I’ll make on the mountain on the weekend.

Cody Townsend has got some sick pics that will make you crave the slopes. Check him out here.

 

 

Looks Like Winter is FINALLY Coming to the East!

Living out west was the best decision I ever made. Well, maybe second to asking my girlfriend for her number…

Mostly because I don’t have to carefully save my vaca days to get a nice week of skiing in.

But I have plenty of friends on the east coast. Heck I’ve been skiing out there quite a few times over the years. Mad River Glen is always an adventure.

But when you don’t live nearly as close to the slopes, a ski weekend isn’t always doable. I know a few of my buddies who moved to the Mid Atlantic are struggling to figure out how they are gonna get their powder fix. I tell them to visit me all the time! But travel and work and spending time with your family can be a tough balance. We all have our priorities.

How many days on the slopes do you guys normally get every year?

Brad’s Essential Ski Gear

Now that the holidays are over and everything is on sale, and winter has finally hit the east coast, you guys might be looking into some new gear!

These are my essentials for staying warm on those bitter cold days when sane people won’t even go outside.

Buff headwear. I don’t love being frozen solid while I ski, but I especially hate getting sweaty under all those layers. You get colder on the lift, and it just makes you uncomfortable for the whole day. These extra long, multi-use neckwarmers are thin and lightweight. They keep the frigid air out, but allow you to breathe and feel a little wind on your face.

Ski socks that are warm, but thin. In your tight stiff ski boots or snowboard boots, you need air to circulate to keep those feet warm. Layers of socks won’t help, but a high quality wool pair will. Spend a little more to get the good ones.

A windproof/waterproof shell. Seems like a no brainer right? You’d be surprised how many people I see out there in puffy down coats, or what looks like their everyday winter jacket. Down or synthetic is a great mid layer – but it won’t stop howling winds. Also down won’t stay warm when it is wet.

Glove liners. These changed my life. Seriously. My hands are the only thing that gets frozen numb. I added a pair of synthetic glove liners to my mitts, and I’m good as new.

When all else fails – go to the lodge and grab a hot chocolate, and maybe a beer. Then get back out there!

Brad Nierenberg’s Bucket List

Sorry all, been off the grid a little bit because of the holidays! As we are heading into the new year, I thought I’d post a bucket list. Everyone’s got one. Mine is constantly evolving and I’m always adding something new if I’ve checked something off.

  1. Skydive with my girlfriend. (Checked skydiving off my list years ago!)
  2. Go heliskiing.
  3. Climb a big mountain. Not sure which one. Denali, Kilimanjaro, we’ll see where the wind takes me.
  4. Swim with sharks.
  5. Thru-hike at least part of the Pacific Crest Trail and Appalachian Trail.
  6. Run the Boston Marathon.
  7. Run an Ultramarathon.
  8. Believe it or not, I have never seen a show in the Red Rocks Ampitheater. Crazy, but I’ve got to do that someday soon.
  9. Compete in a rally race.
  10. Be at the game when the Avs win the Stanley Cup.

Some of these are easy, some are left to chance. Some will take an awful lot of work and running. What is on yours?

Food Essentials for a Ski Day

When it’s been a long day on the slopes, my legs are beat and I am starving, because I like to ski through lunch and sometimes I forget to eat it altogether.

So some of my essentials are:

  • Thermos full of coffee and a big breakfast to start the day off right.
  • A king-size snickers bar – Clif bars and gu’s just don’t do it for me. I’d rather chomp on a candy bar on the lift.
  • A crockpot dinner (made by my lovely girlfriend) so we can have a hot, delicious meal waiting when we get home.

Minimal effort, maximum enjoyment is my philosophy when it comes to food.

What about you? How do you fuel for a day of skiing, hiking, or climbing?

What is your favorite thing to do when you get home?