Bad Excuses Not to Ski

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As an official ski blog writer, I probably should have been skiing at least once already. This is the best start to a season in recent memory with at least three substantial snowstorms, great snowmaking weather and a guaranteed white Christmas. The truth is, I don’t like skiing before Christmas. There are a few reasons why, but I think most of it came from my years teaching skiing at Killington. I did not want to spend Christmas teaching on the slopes, so I avoided the mountain altogether.

I have another reason for not skiing yet. My ski equipment is in disarray. Last season I had a bump removed from my shin, costing a dear $700. If I hadn’t been so cheap in the first place and replaced my packed out boots, then my shin bump probably would have been less painful by season’s end. Now I have the option of using my sister in law’s ski boots that she used for a season after she had her Achilles restructured (she needed a softer boot for a season) until my new ski boots arrive. I would have to get my binding readjusted for the slightly larger boot shell, just to get it readjusted again for my soon to be new boots, then go through it all again when I finally buy new skis which is on the list for 07/08.

I should have written a disclaimer at the top, that despite loving to ski, I am not all that great at managing my equipment.

Maybe you are like me, and you haven’t slapped the slopes just yet. Perhaps your friends or colleagues (or father in my case) have already started tallying their days on the slopes. (I also have never tallied my days on the slopes, though at this time of year, I think it sounds like a good plan–maybe this year.) If you are like me, I say, “soon!”

Please note: The above entry was written on December 17.


Read more New England Ski tips from Heather Atwell.

  • I might not be the best person to answer where to find the best beginner terrain. (I can tell you my favorite places to ski trees and bumps!!) Though, I must admit from my years of teaching skiing at Killington, they also have lots of green trails from the summit. Here are two web pages that show the breakdown of easy, more difficult and most difficult terrain for VT http://www.skivermont.com/alpine/ (need to click on individual mtns links) and ME http://www.skimaine.com/areas/. I could not find easy info for the rest of NE.

    One place I recommend for beginner skiers to go is to the the ski school center at any mountain. If you take a couple lessons you’ll have a guided tour of appropriate terrain for your level and you will improve. Nowadays, with ski technology the way it is, people can progress very quickly out of the snow plow stage. The shape of the ski really helps with turning and if you use it the right way it will make your skiing better and you will have more fun.

  • priscilla

    Thanks for mentioning Bretton Woods. I’m a sad sack of a New Englander while snowplowing down the bunny slopes. I’ll have to head up there to improve. Heather, do you have any other places you recommend for beginner skiers? I know I’m not the only one who is scared spitless by the 5 year olds zipping past me?

  • Well, I’m one of the lucky ones who has already had six days on the mountains. This winter already reminds me of the winters when I first came to New England in 1970–snow, then more snow. Can you imagine if we hadn’t had those two days of warm rain in the last 10 days? We’d be like a scene from the Rockies! The best snow day I’ve had in resent memory came at Bretton Woods. I drove north in snow and drove home in snow–but in between it was skiing through butter. I was with my friend Annie, who is just getting back to skiing after many years away, and Bretton Woods is one of the friendliest mountains anywhere for novices and lower intermediates. Anytime you can traverse from the top on snow-filled greens, you have happy skiers.


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