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Do You Have a Definite Style/Terrain Preference? Or Are You a "Master of None"?

SnowHot

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I am intrigued by those separating out bumps from skiing trees. Where I ski, most often the trees are bumped up. So I’ve focused more on bumps skiing because it translates into the trees too in my area anyway. But for the most part the trees have bumps unless it’s a powder day that filled them in, or extremely flat where it doesn’t bump as much. So can’t ski trees much without skiing bumps too.
For me, I have an opportunity to ski trees that are not bumped up occasionally, but I see where you're going with this. Trees do tend to get bumped up.
In my case, we get snow storms stacked up and will often have powder trees for several days in a row.
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
Well, I'm a groomer zoomer. Because of my background teaching skiing many years ago, I'm technically orientated. I consider myself a finesse skier. I like to harness the forces, use the hill to get down and keep under control. The gang I frequently ski with don't like bumps. That's why I need SkiBam every so often. But I think they are something you need to do. At least try to comfortable with, instead of freaking out when you see them. I usually just need a push to go into them.

But I'm also a creature of habit. I have 3 runs I like to do every morning. A really easy green run to loosen up on, which in Tremblant terms is 2 different runs. Then a short black diamond if I hear it's in good shape. Then I'm ready to go.

If you're not comfortable with bumps/trees, seek some professional help. The best thing I ever did was Roxy Snow Camp at WB. It's a lady's camp held over a weekend. This year I'm attending a different camp at Mont Ste Anne. I'm sure we'll be into S and Super S. But they will be eastern bumps. Not nice soft bumps like we had at WB.
 

AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I don't like skiing where I feel forced to follow someone else's line. I would much rather a steep bowl like run with big bumps. I feel like I have plenty of choices and can make a poor choice and correct easily.
I'm with you in that I dont like being forced to follow a line and much prefer to be able to make my own choices. As we dont have tree skiing over here (its all alpine) its not so much of an issue for me, I can pick and choose wherever I want go and the times I have encountered tree skiing (in Whistler)) I've always steered more to gladed areas rather than straight up tree skiing. But I am rather fond of a nice bump run that develops on one of our big faces .... now that is FUN :ski:
 

kmb5662

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Great question and I'm loving reading everyone's answers :smile:

As I spend the majority of my time skiing in the mid-atlantic US my strongest skill/terrain are doing short radius turns on groomers as that's what I most often have to do, whether I like it or not lol. My favorite type of snow/terrain are moderately steep slopes with a few inches of soft dry powder and small moguls on slopes that aren't crazy steep. Like many, I would love to get good at skiing deeper powder and improving my technique on large and steep moguls and it's something I've been working on the past few seasons. I like trees when they aren't super tight or steep but I feel like I need to get much better at my absorption/extension in the bumps and powder skiing to enjoy them more, especially when they trees are tight and you can be forced to do more of a zipper line at times.

When I'm skiing with friends I'll usually just ski around and have fun without much intent, but I do ski a fair amount on my own and I often have days where I'll go out with a specific goal in mind of working on X technique and will do drills or focus on certain terrain, type of turn, etc. I recently subscribed to Big Picture Skiing by Tom Gellie and can't wait to get out there this season and work on some stuff. I highly recommend to anyone who is serious about improving their skiing and willing to put in the time to go out and practice drills and technique. He really goes into the how and the why in great detail, biomechanics, equipment, etc. and the science/medical geek in me loves it. Great supplement to in person lessons/clinics.

As far as equipment goes, I have a narrow frontside performance oriented ski (Redster X9 WB) that I use in the NE for the icy groomers/man made snow and when working on my technique and then I have a BP 88 and Sheeva 9 that I'll take with me out west or up to New England for off piste skiing.
 

Amie H

Angel Diva
Like @Jilly I also almost always start my day with a warm up green run. Other than that, if it's a place I'm familiar with, I'll just noodle around, no particular goal in mind. As long as I'm having fun, it's all good! You may have heard me narrate this on one of my videos, but I really like tight turns and switchback trails. I also discovered last season that I enjoy skidding short steep runs.

At a "new to me" ski hill, I do try to visit as many trails as I can, although I also try to avoid crowds when possible. I always use my Strava to track my day, so I set a goal of X-number of trails or minutes on the snow or miles skied, or whatever.

I had a serious neck injury a few years ago and surgeon advised me not to push my luck anymore, so I don't! Plus, I usually ski /travel alone, so I'm pretty conservative/safety-conscious. I ski most everything at Midwestern hills, stick mostly to blues & greens elsewhere. Do I focus on a technique? Well, after buying new skis last season, I had to, as they skied differently than my other two pair, so I had to spend time at a local hill to really "learn" the best way to ride them. I asked folks here for advice, and got a lot of ideas and encouragement which really helped me keep working to figure things out. My next out West trip w them, I had a blast.

I wouldn't mind learning how to tackle deeper snow/powder. I'm open to the idea of a lesson/clinic if I choose it. What I'm not open to is unsolicited advice from a stranger on piste. Unless they are telling me I have toilet paper on my boot or similar! :wink:
 
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mzapsCO

Certified Ski Diva
This jumped out at me because I will literally ski the same run 10 times in a row if it's fun and skiing good. I tend to stick to my favorites at mountains I know well.

Just this past season I made an effort to mix it up and ski lines I don't normally ski, starting, say, skier's left in a given section and just working my way across. I did ski some fun spots but I am slightly embarrassed to say I haven't added any new favorites to the rotation yet.
I do the same. I don’t know if it’s that it feels more fun with each run or that I’m apprehensive of what to expect on a new run… maybe a little of both?
 

SnowHot

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
What I'm not open to is unsolicited advice from a stranger on piste.
I am o open to it if it is a trusted person, but I am dismissive to someone I don't know or trust.

Randomly... this summer I was taking golf lessons from a really good golf pro who had me on track. While at the practice facility, I had a random person give me tips and I politely said "thank you" and went on my way.
My feeling is that I pay for a pro for a reason and listening to a random is not necessarily helpful.
 

mustski

Angel Diva
Me either !!
I had the misfortune to ride the lift with someone this last season who had the audacity to tell me I turn one way so much better than the other way the proceeded to tell me I should work on that .... I nearly pushed him off :laughter:
I’m open to it if it’s someone who knows what they are talking about. There is a level 3 instructor at my local bump who trains the other instructors. He is also a member of ski talk. If you mention an issue, he will ask a couple of questions , give a detailed response and make suggestions. My husband hates it though.

I have also skied with and received unsolicited nuggets from both @nopoleskier and @KatyPerrey and was extremely grateful for their professional advice. I also have happily received nuggets from @SnowHot ’s husband. I’ll gladly take advice from people who know what they are talking about.
 
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AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I’m open to it if it’s someone who knows what they are talking about. There is a level 3 instructor at my local bump who trains the other instructors. He is also a member of ski talk. If you mention an issue, he will ask a couple of questions , give a detailed response and make suggestions. My husband hates it though.

I have also skied with and received unsolicited nuggets from both @nopoleskier and @KatyPerrey and was extremely grateful for their professional advice. I also have happily received nuggets from @SnowHot ’s husband. I’ll gladly take advice from people who know what they are talking about.

I'll happily take advice from people who I know have my best interests at heart and whom I admire also :thumbsup:
My lovely L3 friend although he dosent often give me advice unless I ask for it then he's all over it. Its usually a quick thumbs up if I'm skiing past him although he has called me over a couple of times and said "try this" but its different when someone has you trapped on a chairlift and proceeds to rant on and on and on ......
 

elemmac

Angel Diva
I had the misfortune to ride the lift with someone this last season who had the audacity to tell me I turn one way so much better than the other way the proceeded to tell me I should work on that .... I nearly pushed him off :laughter:
Excellent restraint! Haha.

Reminds me of the time my husband told me I have a "lazy left turn" when I ski. My initial reaction was, "who asked you?!". Next run I thought about it while skiing...turns out he was right :rolleyes:
 

BlizzardBabe

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Great thread. Kudos to the OP!

I ski mostly mid-Atlantic so my options are very limited. We had no bumps at all last season due to lack of snow, but I got to polish my pouring-rain-technique to perfection. Probably the most instructive few days I had consisted of executing "forced" turns to avoid the mud patches in Snowshoe, WV.

Fortunately, @marzNC and I share a great instructor at our home hill who has the skill and desire to show anyone how to learn and have fun in literally any condition. I skied a lot of slush and man-made ice w/him last year and actually learned oodles.

The one condition I truly HATE ---- that sticky man-made snow that stops you cold in your tracks. So, so dangerous. When it gets sticky I go in and maybe try again a bit later if the temp or humidity changes.

Re preferred conditions/terrain? I'll take whatever I can get. I love skiing out west, and even a bad snow year in CO or UT would be considered exceptional in the mid-Atlantic. I don't have a lot of experience in powder, so on serious powder days, I usually fork over the $$$ for a lesson. It has always been worth it and it gets me skiing terrain I wouldn't otherwise venture into on my own.

I enjoy blue and black groomers but I find that I get the most satisfaction from linking 3 or 4 good turns on a black bump run. It is an amazing day when I don't have to slow and regroup after a few turns, but that doesn't happen often enough (yet). I just don't get the opportunity to practice bumps at home. Drills are great and I dedicate hours to pivot slips, etc. but, unfortunately, drills can't teach you how to pick a line. I'm an inveterate turn shopper in the bumps. One great tip I learned in a bumps clinic a few years ago, however, was "never stop." It is fine to slow, do a falling leaf to reorient, or traverse a bump or two, but never come to a full stop. I loved that advice.

I have 3 trips planned this season: (i) Snowshoe WV in January (ii) Steamboat in February, and (iii) Revelstoke, BC in March. All 3 are six days of skiing. The remainder of my season will be local, so I'm praying to the weather gods.
 

elemmac

Angel Diva
Part of me wants to be a better skier and get better at bumps, off-piste, etc. But I'm really Type-A and I worry that I'll "need" to apply the same sense of achievement towards skiing as I do towards other things. And I think that has the potential to ruin my enjoyment of it. Part of the reason I ski is to spend time with my family with no other distractions. I know that if I'm focused on improving my technique flaws that I may not be able to focus as much on them. I may be better off not knowing for now.
This hits home to me. I grew up playing sports year-round. I am fairly athletic naturally, so always played competitively. I'm a perfectionist by nature and nurture. Skiing, snowboarding and biking have always been my escape from that side of me. I generally let the creative side of skiing dictate my progress. I do enjoy getting tips to improve my skiing, but I'm not going to go out and run drills on my own. I'm not against taking lessons, but it's also not something I seek out.

I used to count days on the hill...I found I was getting competitive with myself, focusing on quantity not quality. I don't do that anymore. Sometimes I really need to keep my Type-A personality in check to allow another side of skiing to flourish.
 

Posse Mama

Certified Ski Diva
I am just curious, how many of you would say you have extremely strong skill and preferences for one type of skiing? And how many prefer to dabble and play around with a bunch of different types of terrain and styles, never being too concerned with excelling at any one area? Do you buy a variety of gear for different conditions, or do you make an effort to refine your quiver for optimal performance for your preferred style?

I am the advanced intermediate who enjoys a bit of everything, but does nothing amazingly well. I ski everything on the mountain because it is there and in my path, vs. seeking out one terrain. I love all snow except ice. I have great technique, when I choose to apply it. You might also see me lazlily cruising a green with zero technique at all. I rarely do the same run twice in a day.

How many of you are like me and sort of just do whatever on the mountain and how many ski with intent?
I love this question, focuses on skill building for the upcoming season. My home hill, all 540 vertical feet, makes me the queen of "doodle-loo". I ski the same trails many times each day but never the same way. My goal is to keep my pace even, show off the low turning radius that I paid for, do the work at the top of the turn instead of playing catch-up at the bottom of the turn and keep a smile on my face. Yes, I ski steeps and wide spread trees but doodle-loo is good for my soul.
 

scandium

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I don't know that I have enough choice or skill to have a terrain preference! Master of nothing I think, better on groomers because I ski them more often, but definitely want to be an "all mountain" skiier.

This season it was definitely
1. What is open?
2. Where is the best snow?
Bonus points for not being solid and shiny, or full of rocks.

I think ultimately I want to be a better skiier to keep skiing.
 

NYSnowflake

Angel Diva
I don’t like crowds or long lift lines. I do like good conditions. I will seek out uncrowded spots with nice snow whether it’s a groomer or off piste. I am up for whatever, just avoid icy boilerplate steeps and thick crowds. My skill level isn’t there yet for some double diamond off piste and I am not very fast or comfortable yet in the trees. I did have fun in a tree skiing lesson in Whistler and dabbled in easy trees there outside my lesson. I am still learning how to ski deep pow simply due to limited opportunities here in NY/VT.
 

Tvan

Angel Diva
I'm an early morning groomer skier. I can only ski weekends right now and I have no appetite for crowds, bumps, trees, questionable conditions or ice. Once I can ski mid-week, I'll increase my time on snow significantly. I am perfectly happy to ski one run over and over, especially if the conditions are good and it's not crowded.
 

MissySki

Angel Diva
I don’t like crowds or long lift lines. I do like good conditions. I will seek out uncrowded spots with nice snow whether it’s a groomer or off piste. I am up for whatever, just avoid icy boilerplate steeps and thick crowds. My skill level isn’t there yet for some double diamond off piste and I am not very fast or comfortable yet in the trees. I did have fun in a tree skiing lesson in Whistler and dabbled in easy trees there outside my lesson. I am still learning how to ski deep pow simply due to limited opportunities here in NY/VT.
It’s also way harder here in our heavier snow! I’m not good at it anywhere, but it’s definitely easier in super light dry snow in the West when I’ve been lucky enough to ski it. Lots of heavy “powder” in the East can be utterly exhausting to me once tracked out.
 

Elizabeth.I

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I am just curious, how many of you would say you have extremely strong skill and preferences for one type of skiing? And how many prefer to dabble and play around with a bunch of different types of terrain and styles, never being too concerned with excelling at any one area? Do you buy a variety of gear for different conditions, or do you make an effort to refine your quiver for optimal performance for your preferred style?

I am the advanced intermediate who enjoys a bit of everything, but does nothing amazingly well. I ski everything on the mountain because it is there and in my path, vs. seeking out one terrain. I love all snow except ice. I have great technique, when I choose to apply it. You might also see me lazlily cruising a green with zero technique at all. I rarely do the same run twice in a day.

How many of you are like me and sort of just do whatever on the mountain and how many ski with intent?
I have a very strong preference for skiing off piste. Love the steeps, powder, trees, and moguls. I really only use groomers to get to the chairs. I love the dynamic nature of skiing off piste and that's where you'll always find me, even if it hasn't snowed in weeks. For this reason, my carving technique isn't that strong but I'm a very good mogul, powder, tree, and steep skier. Sometimes I'll do drills on the groomers on the way to the lift but not often haha. If there are moguls I can take down to the lift, I'll do that instead.

For this reason my quiver is really built around powder, chop, and tree skiing qualities. This may be shocking, but of my 3 resort skis, my narrowest is the 108 Katana. Sometimes I miss a nice snappy carve on the groomer (the Katanas take forever to come around on edge) but not enough to buy another set of skis!
 

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