Between a couple of night shifts for snow duty this week, I had a few hours of daylight to play with. I wanted to do a ride, some snowy ridge trails, maybe on the fixy, but I felt I should ski since I'll be jonesin' in July. It was about 18 degrees this morning, no wind, with a dusting of au naturale and some man-made overnight.
Whitetail *was good*. White, soft, quiet. Except for the hum of the blowers, which I tended to ski as close to as possible for that extra powdah effect.
It also got noisy when the heli whisked the well-healed guests to the top. When did they start heli-skiing?
I ran into my friend and neighbor Tim (of the enduro trail). He was working his regular Thursday shift on the Mountain Safety crew. Tim has had this thing for many years where he tries to ski 1,000,000 vertical feet in the season. Most of that is done at Whitetail. One recent Thursday, he did 44 runs there.
So, I skied with my boots totally unbuckled again. I've done this the past 6 or 7 times out this season. Two of those times were icy boilerplate, and the rest have been pretty soft including that powder day at Blue Knob. I do this sort of thing, like skiing without poles, as training. Going without poles has actually been useful when with Oliver so I can help him onto the lift. Skiing with unbuckled boots was pretty hard the first few runs, then I got used it. I definitely see how it forces you to get up front on the balls of your feet and stay in an aggressive position, something I know I need work on for moguls and trees. It also makes you really feel that back ski. After a few sessions of this and feeling really good with it, I decided to lightly buckle the bottom 2 straps for a run. Man, I felt like Frankenstein. It was work to get up front and stay there. So I went right back to the loose boots, and have stayed that way, yesterday trying the last run with a barely buckled bottom strap. It's making me wonder why I'd ever want to tighten them again, much less ski a heavier stiffer boot?? I'm skiing better loose because it's forcing me to stay out of the back seat, and use all of the ski edges. My transition between turns is smoother, and I'm controlling my speed on the steeper runs easier than before.