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?

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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.

 

 

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?

3 Things to Think about When Buying Skis

Terrain

If you are into groomers, go ahead and get a nice carver that will rip down a steep face. But if you like to venture into the backcountry, you will find the narrow underfoot a little unstable. Think about your favorite terrain, and whether or not you want skis specifically for that terrain. There are plenty of great all-mountain skis that will allow you versatility if you like a little bit of everything.

Over the years, I have collected a few pairs of skis. I have some longer, stiff skis for the days that I want to tear up the frontside, some fat skis for deep powder days, and a pair of shorter, softer all mountain skis if I want to spend a day skiing bumps.

Length

This depends on your level of skiing as well as the terrain you plan to ski. Longer skis carry more speed and cut through cruddy snow, but can also be harder to control for novice skiers, and can create some unsavory situations on crowded slopes. Shorter skis are easier to control for novices and also better suited to more technical terrain.

Level of skiing

If you are an expert skier, let me ask you one thing: why are you coming to my blog for ski buying advice?! Kidding. I know my stuff as much as the next guy. But if you are an expert, you probably already know what you are looking for. In my opinion it is best for beginners to buy something all-mountain to start since you may not know your abilities very well or have an idea of what terrain is your fave.

Happy Ski Season everyone! Let’s make it a good one.