Alpine Ski Outlet // Alpine Ski Outlet


(800) 767-5849

  • RSS Feed
Posts tagged with "Skiers"

If there’s enough snow to ride, there’s enough snow to slide. Such was the case last week, when this avalanche hit in southwest Montana. Photo: Casey Grote

Recently, ski towns and communities across the West were rejoicing at the most beautiful September sight: the first (ROCK!) snowfall of the year. From the Sierra to the Wasatch, and from Aspen to Big Sky, skiers reveled in (ROCK!) the indication that the heat and crowds of summer will soon be replaced by (ROCK!) plundering (ROCK!) powder with their friends.

Mount Bachelor, Oregon, even opened (ROCK!), providing access to a walk-in (ROCK!) jib park. Others hiked for their (ROCK!) (ROCK!) (ROCK!) turns, and dropped the obligatory (ROCK!) social media post.

Utah’s Wasatch received 10 to 20 inches of (ROCK!) snow, with Snowbird even being featured on Good Morning (ROCK!) America. The new snow certainly gets everyone excited, but it’s also a good time to reflect on what it means for those getting their early season turns (ROCK!), as well as the winter snowpack ahead (ROCK!).

After the mountains of southwest Montana received 10 inches of snow late last month, with three to five inches of water content (i.e. heavy AF), the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center stressed a familiar, if slightly unseasonal, reminder: “If there’s enough snow to ride, there’s enough snow to slide.”

Doug Chabot, director of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center in Bozeman, advises people to take the same precautions now as they would in the middle of the winter. “They need to bring the same gear, and use proper traveling protocol,” he said Wednesday. “It happens every year: It doesn’t feel like winter and the snow is not very deep, so we take short cuts. No beacon, no air bag, no helmet. But all the same rules still apply.”

“Right now, we’re mostly concerned about injuries,” he added. “Run-out zones will have rocks, or be super thin. And if you’re not careful, you’ll ruin your season.”

The new snow also foreshadows danger ahead. This early snow that fell in the high country will soon be buried by more snow, which Chabot said typically becomes a bad layer of instability during the meat of the ski season. “Even though it’s going to get warm again, snow will remain at high elevations and north faces,” he said. “Not always, but typically, that snow will become a problem later in the winter. It’s going to become a weak layer.”

“Every year, we will start to see human triggered avalanches getting people hurt long before any of the ski areas are open. It happens every year,” said Chabot.

Drew Hardesty, avalanche forecaster for the Utah Avalanche Center, echoed those sentiments via email: “If we expect the September snows to remain in the high northerlies, those approaching the BC with last year’s mindset may be in for a surprise,” he wrote. “In many areas (last season), fatalities were well below average, especially in Utah. Trauma, of course, plays a huge role in early season avalanche accidents. Low-angle meadow skipping in the grass seems to be the ticket.”

2017 season avalanche safety
It pays to be high, especially in September. At Silverton, Colorado, the highest ski area in the country, local patrollers found quality turns, on September 24, 2017. The ski area is scheduled to open in early December. Photo: Courtesy Silverton Mountain

Read more…

​How much can an advanced skier really improve in a week? We sent one of our writers on an early season Warren Smith Ski Academy course to find out

The week could not have started more inauspiciously. There I was, all on my own, halfway up the chilly, final chairlift to the top of the slopes in Cervinia, and already in the doghouse.

Way below me, I could see a slope-side queue of 70 eager skiers being carefully organised into small groups for different levels. It had followed a ski-off on a steep red run – everyone allowed to take their own lines down the slope and encouraged to put in some committed turns, providing some insight into their ski competence and technical abilities.

By contrast, I was badly late, my ageing ski trouser zips having imploded as I was putting on my boots back at the Plan Maison lift station. A rush back down to my hotel and a change of gear later, I had unwittingly become “dunce of the day” for no-nonsense lead instructor Rob Stanford. “Just catch us up as quickly as possible, put in a few turns and get down here,” he chided, as I managed to get through to him on his mobile.

Once I was finally off the lift and leaning down to clip my boots a notch tighter, I had the weird, once-in-a-lifetime experience of dozens of skier spectators looking up, forced to wait and watch me slide haplessly down the mountain, failing to apply any real technique and unclear of quite what the initial instructor brief had been, before skidding to a sheepish halt. “Righty-ho, into that group,” said Rob, waving his ski pole up the hill.

Side-stepping contritely up, I was convinced that I’d been consigned to a lower one of 10 different ability groups. I was certainly the youngest, despite being into my late 40s – there were two retired chaps in their 60s, a company boss spending most of his time at his second home in the Italian Dolomites, a tech firm chief executive from London, and a Scottish banker.

It would turn out that I had been placed in the top batch of relatively advanced-level skiers, under the tutelage for the week of Rob Stanford himself. That, however, is where the compliments stopped. I was to remain “dunce of the day” for more than just those opening few hours, consigned for days to play technical catch-up with my accomplished group colleagues, in what developed into one of the most challenging – and yet brilliantly tutored and ultimately positive – weeks of my skiing life.

group of skiers

Tim joined a group of 70 eager skiers on the Warren Smith Ski Academy course

Like so many British skiers, drawn to the snow a few lucky times a year after hitting the slopes for the first time in my mid-20s, I had experienced the vagaries of different instruction and classes in many different countries.

It had involved the inevitable, and sometimes contradictory, meander through a variety of clashing ski instruction cultures – feet clamped together or planted apart, the snowplough disdained or retained as a vital emergency tool, turns skidded or carved, poles vital or jettisoned, moguls relished or to be avoided. Picking up differently tutored habits, both good and bad, I had managed nonetheless to make a transition from the dreaded intermediate plateau to a reasonably advanced level.

Read more…

madjacks ski boot adapter 1
Skiers and snowboarders have always had a tough time seeing eye to eye on much of anything. Both groups share a love of fresh powder of course, and they each enjoy gliding down the slopes at breakneck speed. But aside from that, there is little else to unite these two competing factions.However, if there is one thing that skiers have always been a bit jealous about, it is how comfortable snowboarding boots are compared to the ones they are forced to wear. Thankfully, a new product that recently launched on Kickstarter promises to ease this pain forever, and give skiers and snowboarders one more thing they can agree on.

MadJacks is a special adapter that has been designed to connect to the bindings that you already have on your skis, giving you the ability to use snowboard boots rather than the more uncomfortable and rigid ski boots. The system reportedly offers the same level of control that skiers have come to expect, but with the improved fit and feel that snowboarders have enjoyed for years.

The motivation behind the design of the MadJacks is three-fold. First, the product addresses issues with pain that many skiers are forced to deal with while wearing their boots. Secondly, the MadJacks system allows them to maintain a high level of performance without sacrificing comfort, and finally it offers a more affordable solution to traditional ski boots as well.

The system costs just $199 and since it utilizes less expensive snowboard boots, MadJacks owners could potentially save hundreds of dollars.

At its most basic level, MadJacks combines elements of a standard snowboard binding and properties from a ski boot, creating a hybrid of both. This results in a binding that accepts snowboard boots, but can — at least in theory — still provide the same level of performance that skiers expect. On top of that, those rare winter athletes who enjoy both sports can use the same boots no matter how they decide to shred the slopes.

Read more…

China has had great success at the Summer Olympics, but its few Winter Olympic victories have been centred on speed skating. The country has won just six skiing medals, only one of which was gold. (Photo: AFP/Nicolas ASFOURI)

HARBIN: It was a hot summer afternoon in Harbin and tourists strolled cobblestone streets with the Chinese city’s famous milk popsicles in hand. But indoors, it was perfect weather for skiing.

At the city’s new Ice and Snow Park, chilly winds blew snowflakes around skiers zipping down the manmade slopes of the world’s largest indoor ski park, a potent symbol of China’s ambitions to turn itself into a winter sports powerhouse ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Kept at a chilly -5°Celsius by fans and an underground cooling system, the sprawling 80,000 sq metre-facility boasts six runs, the longest stretching 500 metres.

“Skiing here is just like skiing in a big refrigerator,” ten-year-old Kane Li grinned beneath his neon goggles, who has his hopes pinned on competing at the games.

A student at a private ski academy in the capital, Kane and his fellow young Olympic aspirants used to spend their summers training in New Zealand, but the opening of Dalian Wanda Group’s indoor ski park this summer means they can now stay closer to home.

“China’s skiing is still not so great (compared to other countries),” Kane said, adding: “We must train hard every day. Train more.”

There are currently about 200 ski resorts in China but officials are aiming to increase that number five-fold by 2030. (Photo: AFP/Nicolas ASFOURI)


Not long ago, skiing was considered a luxury activity in China, inaccessible to the average person.

The country is currently home to roughly six million skiers, but President Xi Jinping hopes that number will rise to 300 million in the coming years.

China has had great success at the Summer Olympics, but its few Winter Olympic victories have been centred on speed skating. The country has won just six skiing medals — all in freestyle — including one gold.

There are currently about 200 ski resorts in China. Chinese officials are aiming to increase that number five-fold by 2030.

The city of Harbin is now the world’s largest indoor ski park, a potent symbol of China’s ambitions to turn itself into a winter sports powerhouse ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. (Photo: AFP/Nicolas ASFOURI)

“We didn’t have anywhere to ski when I was growing up,” said Yi Li, the general manager of Wanda’s indoor park.

The Beijing native first tried the sport 11 years ago while working at a ski resort in northern Hebei province’s Zhangjiakou, which will host the Olympic alpine skiing events.

He picked up the sport quickly, becoming an instructor and even training in Switzerland.

Now he said China is ready to make skiing a national pastime.

“Skiing is hip,” Yi said. “From the apparel to the equipment, there’s a lot of freedom.”

He recalled that when he first discovered the sport, most Chinese people were unwilling to try it because the gear was expensive, and they needed a car to reach the mountains.

Read more…

The last place we saw Patrick Deneen was at home on the range, but for most of the last decade, it’s been hard to pin down the champion freestyle skier.

“The nature of skiing in general is you have to follow the snow. You don’t have a choice,” said Deneen in Cle Elum on Thursday.

Deneen is a world champ and two time Olympian who has traveled the earth for the U.S. Ski Team.  He’s also a humble star who grew up skiing at Snoqualmie Summit.  But the freestyle skiing champ came home for what may be his career highlight.

“We’re excited to be together, be married, and not have her leave the country all the time,” said Deneen, gazing to the person on his left.

Ellie Koyander has also spent the last decade criss-crossing the globe. She too is a freestyle skier and British Champ whose father had a chance encounter years ago at a meet in Russia.

“This amazing skier was skiing down. My dad couldn’t contain himself, so he nudged the guy next to him and said, ‘Look at this guy go!'” Koyander said. “The guy he talked to said, ‘Well that’s my son. That’s my son thanks much,’ and that guy skiing down was Patrick.”

Read more…

The BlueBird Quad will open for the season on Sunday, December 11th with LIMITED GROOMING and expert powder skiing available on the upper mountain.

The only run that will be groomed from top to bottom is Temptation.

Powder skiing will be available for expert skiers and riders between North and Temptation.

The Blue Bird, Bear Chair and Easy Street lifts are now set to run daily from 9:30 am – 4:30 pm.

Several mid-mountain runs accessed via Bear Chair will also be groomed, including Bear, Griz, Badger and Centennial Lane. Easy Street will be groomed.

Hidden Valley and the Lakeview Bowl remain closed.

Read more…

Thousands of skiers are expected to hit the slopes in the state’s Alpine region in what is likely to be the “week of the season” even as the weather bureau forecasts strong winds, blizzards and poor visibility in the area.

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Dean Stewart said the worst of the conditions were predicted overnight Saturday through to Sunday.

“There will be further snow showers today … Tomorrow, they are expected to see another 50 centimetres on an average in the Alpine region. It is likely it could be the biggest snowfall this season in a 24-hour period,” Mr Stewart said.

“When you have got snow falling and strong winds, that leads to blizzard conditions.

Skiers are flocking to Victoria's Alpine region as storm brings fresh snow.

Skiers are flocking to Victoria’s Alpine region as storm brings fresh snow.  Photo: Chris Hocking

“We are expecting winds to strengthen overnight tonight [Saturday] and they will be strong up there during tomorrow. It is pretty hazardous … the visibility wouldn’t be good … not good conditions to be out there tomorrow.”

But Mount Hotham Skiing Company general manager Belinda Trembath said they were expecting “a few thousand” skiers.

She said the resort’s 5000 beds were all booked out, and nearby Dinner Plain had 2500 beds. The slopes also had day trippers from the region including Omeo and Bright.

“Everyone is raring to go here,” Ms Trembath said.

“There is nearly 20 centimetres of fresh snow, 34 centimetres in the last two days, so all the powder hunters are getting out there early.

“We are expecting some pretty heavy snowfalls tomorrow … up to 40 centimetres.”

But she said strong winds could affect how many chair lifts would be open.

Read more…

SQUAW VALLEY (KPIX) — Normally, Fourth of July weekend is a great time for water skiing on Lake Tahoe, but this year people are grabbing their bathing suits and hitting the slopes.

For some, laying out by the water and barbecuing in shorts and T-shirts is the perfect Tahoe holiday, but others are going a couple thousand feet higher where the peaks are snow capped and perfect for skiing.

They are wearing their shorts and t-shirts, even swimsuits to the slopes. Thousands of skiers and snowboarders are still savoring the Sierra snow at Squaw Valley.

“It was a historic season,” says Sam Kiekhefer of Squaw Valley. “We had 728 inches of snowfall and that’s allowed us to stay open long into the summer.”

Besides Mammoth Mountain, Squaw Valley is the only other resort in California open for skiing for the Fourth of July weekend. It will stay open indefinitely, weather-permitting.

Read more…

Seven WBFSC athletes will compete on the national stage next season

Despite finishing the ski season ranked second in the province, moguls athlete Maya Mikkelsen wasn’t exactly expecting an invitation to join the provincial team.

“I thought maybe I’d get a spot, but they’d tell me I had to wait another year,” she said.

But after accepting an offer to join the BC team, Mikkelsen, who’s set to turn 14 next month, will be the 2017-18 mogul squad’s youngest skier. She’s one of seven Whistler Blackcomb Freestyle Ski Club (WBFSC) athletes that will compete on the national stage next season after recently being named to provincial teams; a record number for the club.

Mikkelsen, Ava Dunham, and Jesse Linton will ski on the BC Mogul Team — joining former club members Sam Cordell and Jackson Parsons — while Raine Haziza will ski with Team Ontario. Slopestyle athletes Chase and Anders Ujejski, along with Kai Smart have signed on to compete with the BC Park and Pipe Team, joining local skier Luke Smart.

“Thanks to a strong high performance program this winter lead by head coach Jeff Fairbairn in moguls and Mike Grzetic and Chris Muir in slopestyle, the skiers were all able to compete at the higher level Canadian Mogul Series and Canadian Open Park and Pipe events, which gained them valuable experience and strong results to help them move up to the provincial level,” said WBFSC’s Julia Smart in an email.

Being part of a provincial team has several benefits for young skiers, including more opportunities to train throughout the summer, more time on snow and a wider array of contests for them to compete at throughout the winter.

After declining an invitation to join the BC team last year, 16-year-old twin brothers Chase and Anders Ujejski saw this season as the right time to jump on the offer.

“Last year it made more sense to not join (the BC team) because we had a lot of the same opportunities with our club, but next year we want to go to Aspen and do the Aspen Open and NorAms — just more contests,” said Anders.

Of course, these benefits also mean a heavier workload for skiers and more time away from Whistler. For Mikkelsen, the difficult decision was made easier after learning she could participate in more of a hybrid program. This means she’ll get to continue training with the WBFSC when the provincial team travels to competitions that might be too big of a jump for her this season — therefore getting double the coaching perspective, too.

Read more…

Page 1 of 21 2