This blog comes to us from Veronica Whitney, Editor of El Montañes, the Hispanic newspaper of Western Colorado.
There’s nothing like watching a little bit of ski racing to get me in the mood again to take to Aspen my dust covered Volkl GS Racetigers out of the garage. I’ve been following the Alpine World Ski Championships in Schladming, Austria, for the past two weeks and with every race I watched I got excited again about skiing the “real” skis.
In the past years, since I moved to Colorado from the East Coast, where race skis are perfect for the typical icy conditions there, I’ve been favoring my powder skis and lately my AT (alpine touring) skis more than those beefy, heavy, and perfect carving machines that are my Volkl GS skis.
After spending a bluebird day cruising the perfectly groomed super packed powder runs at Snowmass, I must say… I had really missed those skis.
To be fair, my K2 Phat Luv, my powder skis, which I also call “the planes” can plow through everything you put under them — and in front of them too — but there is nothing like skiing in a perfectly built race machine, which I believe is comparable to driving a Porsche or a Ferrari.
The only problem I found — relatively speaking — was speed. When I started heading downhill I realized these skis aren’t meant to just cruise, they bite the snow perfectly as the speed increases. Having skied on my powder and AT skis until now I wasn’t ready for the quick reaction and the constant demand of “stepping on the gas” that these skis require. AT skis and boots are so light that going fast on them is a challenge sometimes and giving me the feeling I’m a horrible skier. I have missed the excitement of getting that rebound at the end of a turn I get with my Racetigers.
When I headed down my first runs on the Racetigers Saturday I felt I could ski again. I was able to charge the run. And with that I realized, unlike during a race, where the course is close to outside skiers, I had to slow down over knolls and other areas that are blind, and anticipate what is ahead. You can’t take that type of risk on the slopes where people wait for friends and stop almost everywhere.
By the ninth run of the day I was so tired I felt the skis were too good for me and they were starting to take me for a ride. So it was time for some delicious après ski with my husband Charlie and my friends Helen and George McQueeney.
A week later, I’m sitting in my office looking outside and planning our next ski adventure for the coming weekend. It has been snowing for the past two days and more snow is anticipated, so I’m back to my powder skis tomorrow and heading to the glades in Aspen Mountain.
This is what makes skiing fun and unpredictable; the change of snow, of trails, and of equipment that promise a whole different experience to last weekends’.
Update: On February 24, I had just gotten back from an amazing day at Aspen Mountain. We skied the Bingo Glades and Walshes which were fabulous after the mountain received almost two feet of snow last week. So guess what? I did not miss my Racetigers at all!
There was a time I had only one pair of skis…but not anymore!