Slow Start for Midwest Skiing

Well, Mother Nature is throwing an El Nino at us and we’re seeing warm temps here in the Midwest.

Cascade Mountain has been open the last two weekends and we’re open this weekend as well. I noticed Tyrol Basin is pretty much closed as well as many other ski areas in Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The colder temps will get here but it’ll just take a little while yet.

New Hire Training

Last weekend I worked with the new hires at Cascade. I helped train them on the beginner lesson. It was fun but a workout – doing that lesson over and over and spending all that time standing on snow. We do have some good instructors coming into our school, so that’s great!

Really Good Snow!

The snow was really good on Sunday, actually. If you’re a beginner skier, now is a great time to get out and learn. It was so great on Sunday that I hopped on a snowboard and did a bunch of runs. I’ve snowboarded on and off in the past and now really just do it maybe 2 days a year but maybe I’ll do more this year. The snow is slow so it’s easy to learn. It’s more forgiving.

on-a-snowboard

For those who want to get some skiing or snowboarding in, the snow is fine for them, too – you just ride over it more instead of using your edges.

Get Out Here!

If you hate winters, it might be because you don’t have a way to enjoy them. When you ski, you’re dressed for the weather and you’re moving around, so it’s not like you get too cold. It’s not like getting into a cold car with just one layer on. Your body gets pretty warm and it’s fun if you take a lesson and learn the right way instead of trying to figure it out yourself.

There’s a lot to enjoy in winter. During and after it snows, it’s REALLY beautiful – almost unbelievable at times. You meet really great people, too. Some of my best friends now are people I’ve met skiing and teaching skiing. People wouldn’t be flocking to ski areas if it wasn’t any fun. It’s not a cheap sport but there are ways to get deals. Sometimes you can borrow equipment from people (that’s what I did for a while) or go to ski swaps or buy used equipment.

With the equipment and conditions today, you’re not skiing without control on ice. It’s just not like that anymore. Ever since the Winter Olympics in Utah in the 90s, grooming technology has increased tons. With shaped skis and boards, you have a lot more control, much sooner.

If you haven’t gone back skiing because you almost hit a tree or you had an injury, I’d encourage you to “get back on your horse” and just try it again. Take a lesson. We, as instructors, have lots of little tricks and cheats to get you in control faster and easier. When I talk to most people who had a bad experience skiing, I ask if they took a lesson and 90% of the time, they say they did not. I think there’s a strong connection there. Make it easy on yourself and learn from an expert. It really only makes sense to do it that way.

So get out here and have some fun!

-Tony

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