Whiteface Slides Open for Lunch

I was at work on Monday when I saw the images of the earliest opening of the Whiteface Slides that I can recall. I was hungry to return to some of my favorite terrain and determined to get to the mountain for a run during my lunch break on Tuesday.

Whiteface Slides Open

When I arrived I heard that The Slides weren’t open, so I left my beacon in my locker. When I got to summit I saw that they were open. I booked back down to the base, grabbed my Ortovox and shot back up to the top.

As I was riding the lift, I watched a cloud socking in the summit and had just about talked myself out of going in alone in low visibility. Thankfully, when I arrived at the top there were a couple guys headed in and I asked to tag along. I passed Patrol’s beep test and headed in.

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The ABC’s of Skiing With Kids

I recently taught a Play-and-Ski lesson for two 5-year old kids. After watching them ski I asked one little girl how she learned to slow down. I got the answer I anticipated: “I just make a bigger pizza.”

ZZ using a small wedge and turn shape to control his speed

From the very early stages skiers learn that a bigger wedge increases resistance to the snow. Many young kids take this knowledge and apply it to all their turns or anytime they need to slow or stop. Occasionally an inexperienced instructor or parent reinforces this big pizza idea and it firmly takes hold. The bigger wedge moves their center of mass farther back putting them farther into the back seat making all the skiing skills harder to apply.

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Get Your Carve On

Skiing on hard surfaces is at times unavoidable. Unlike skiing on soft snow, on hardpack you’re often putting 80 or 90% of your weight on your outside ski. That doesn’t mean that you can’t get more performance from the inside ski. In fact the more you use your inside ski, the easier it will be to carve on any surface.

Start with a wide stance placing your feet under your hips. If you’re too narrow you can’t use that inside ski to your advantage. If you naturally ski in a narrow stance make a run with an imaginary beach ball between your legs. Practice some railroad track turns in this way and use your little toe to “slice” the snow.

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