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Skivt2

The 2020-2021 Ski season thread

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It is very interesting on the mind to watch this storm evolve! I live in Newport RI and heading to Sugarloaf ME for the week, but strangely enough it looks like both locations might actually end up with a decent snow from this storm. I don't think they have enough snow to ski the summit, but I hope to get back up there in late February or early March. I think VT has better snow right now, but the travel rules with COVID are easier for Maine, got my results today and safe to travel, so gearing up now!

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Berkshire East skied great today, made it out for a quick 2 hours after work.  This is the best skiing down here since march 2018. It's only going to get better!  Amazing how that little 6" cement event 2 weeks ago really made the woods fully game on. 

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18 hours ago, GCWarrior said:

Berkshire East skied great today, made it out for a quick 2 hours after work.  This is the best skiing down here since march 2018. It's only going to get better!  Amazing how that little 6" cement event 2 weeks ago really made the woods fully game on. 

Absolutely spectacular this morning

20210202_080918(3)_resize_35.thumb.jpg.52ad13cfa0744c785e6f93c929571a3f.jpg

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6 hours ago, radarman said:

Absolutely spectacular this morning

20210202_080918(3)_resize_35.thumb.jpg.52ad13cfa0744c785e6f93c929571a3f.jpg

Awesome picture!  
Found many pillowy fun lines all over the mountain today.  Barely skied any actual trails!  Woods were incredibly fantastic!  Great Day! 

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Sugarloaf had at least 12 inches and still snowing. Not wet but still felt heavy.  Went from 87 to 94 to 104 on demos.  Definitely a new experience to try fat skid

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12 minutes ago, GCWarrior said:

Awesome picture!  
Found many pillowy fun lines all over the mountain today.  Barely skied any actual trails!  Woods were incredibly fantastic!  Great Day! 

Yeah we skinned up at dawn and hit Flying Cloud totally fresh. Then got first tracks on East Glade which was absolutely mint as you mention.  Snow had some meat to it and the entire mountain was skiing wonderfully. We're totally set up right now.  Keep it coming.

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7 hours ago, radarman said:

Absolutely spectacular this morning

20210202_080918(3)_resize_35.thumb.jpg.52ad13cfa0744c785e6f93c929571a3f.jpg

No rain events in a long time have made such a difference.  There’s no ice layer on most natural snow terrain.  Snowmaking is inherently wet (spraying water that crystallizes is different moisture content from natural dendrites), and there can still be ice there... but the natural snow terrain has been skiing amazing with each refresh.

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How often do you guys wax and sharpen your skis? I never used to ski more than a couple times a year so this never seemed like an issue. The beginning of season major tune up seemed fine. Now we ski five days a week. As always, the Internet has many opinions but some people take things like this overboard so what is the “normal” or average routine like? I have six pairs of skis to deal with so hoping to get by with not having to basically open my own tuning shop. :)  

I am not noticing any issues with my skis. So maybe not even an issue?

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2 minutes ago, PhineasC said:

How often do you guys wax and sharpen your skis? I never used to ski more than a couple times a year so this never seemed like an issue. The beginning of season major tune up seemed fine. Now we ski five days a week. As always, the Internet has many opinions but some people take things like this overboard so what is the “normal” or average routine like? I have six pairs of skis to deal with so hoping to get by with not having to basically open my own tuning shop. :)  

I am not noticing any issues with my skis. So maybe not even an issue?

Get some Zardoz or similar for spring sticky snow.  If you're carving your turns and skiing aggressively you're going to appreciate a tune, if you're skidding not so much.  If I were out there 5 days a week I'd get a season tune pass.

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22 minutes ago, PhineasC said:

How often do you guys wax and sharpen your skis? I never used to ski more than a couple times a year so this never seemed like an issue. The beginning of season major tune up seemed fine. Now we ski five days a week. As always, the Internet has many opinions but some people take things like this overboard so what is the “normal” or average routine like? I have six pairs of skis to deal with so hoping to get by with not having to basically open my own tuning shop. :)  

I am not noticing any issues with my skis. So maybe not even an issue?

There's not a lot to it if you want to do it yourself. You'll need a work bench with vices, file, diamond stones, bevel angle/file guide for base and side edges, wax, iron, wax scraper, ptex sticks. Watch a few youtube videos and its quite easy to catch on. I typically only bring my skis into the shop when they need a base grind, otherwise the self tune has always worked fine. It probably won't be as precise as a shop tune, but there's just something about working on your own gear with a beer in hand and the smell of wax in the air. 

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8 minutes ago, MRVexpat said:

There's not a lot to it if you want to do it yourself. You'll need a work bench with vices, file, diamond stones, bevel angle/file guide for base and side edges, wax, iron, wax scraper, ptex sticks. Watch a few youtube videos and its quite easy to catch on. I typically only bring my skis into the shop when they need a base grind, otherwise the self tune has always worked fine. It probably won't be as precise as a shop tune, but there's just something about working on your own gear with a beer in hand and the smell of wax in the air. 

My dad used to wax our skis at the end of each season back in the day. I do remember that wax smell. Good memories. 

I am thinking about getting the whole setup here. Just trying to figure out if this is done every 'x' outings or just when you think it's time based on how things are going out on the slopes.

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6 minutes ago, PhineasC said:

My dad used to wax our skis at the end of each season back in the day. I do remember that wax smell. Good memories. 

I am thinking about getting the whole setup here. Just trying to figure out if this is done every 'x' outings or just when you think it's time based on how things are going out on the slopes.

For me the frequency with which I tune is a feel thing and vary ski to ski. Like if my slalom skis stop gripping on glare ice then we have a problem haha. Otherwise a classic rule of thumb for me is I wax about every 5 outings on a particular pair, edges every 10-15 or so and besides that fix core shots and edge burrs as needed. 

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9 minutes ago, PhineasC said:

My dad used to wax our skis at the end of each season back in the day. I do remember that wax smell. Good memories. 

I am thinking about getting the whole setup here. Just trying to figure out if this is done every 'x' outings or just when you think it's time based on how things are going out on the slopes.

I never find a need to wax unless it’s super arctic cold and getting no glide, but mostly it’s all about spring time.  When snow starts warming up and becomes a suction cup on your ski bases, time to put on plenty of spring wax.

I don’t do much to my skis but I also have a $250,000 robotic tuning machine named “The Hulk” in the shop, lol.  That thing is nuts.

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Skied at Stowe yesterday. First day really able to ski 'hard' given the ample amount of snow. I was spent at 2pm but soldiered on until 4! The lifties offered to send me up the toll road double at 4 as the last rider of the day but I waived them off. I was 2nd person there in the morning although the lift was delayed 30 minutes. Took 10 minute lunch break eating a slice of pizza on the side of the trail! Some of the steep entrances are closed - Starr, Lookout, Goat but I had a ton fun accessing them lower - National to lower National may have been my favorite although Starr was really good but only skied it twice. Stuff like bypass in the steep sections was scraped off. I think this might have been my first, mid-winter visit to Stowe. I was surprised by the # of people. I spotted some trending fashion statements, the women seem to like wearing these embroidered, suede gloves, and the base area reminds me of a western ski area - just wow. Really fun day, great terrain and I was able to get out of bed this morning with minimal lower back discomfort!

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On 2/3/2021 at 11:48 AM, PhineasC said:

How often do you guys wax and sharpen your skis? I never used to ski more than a couple times a year so this never seemed like an issue. The beginning of season major tune up seemed fine. Now we ski five days a week. As always, the Internet has many opinions but some people take things like this overboard so what is the “normal” or average routine like? I have six pairs of skis to deal with so hoping to get by with not having to basically open my own tuning shop. :)  

I am not noticing any issues with my skis. So maybe not even an issue?

 

On 2/3/2021 at 1:05 PM, Brewbeer said:

I only ski when it's powder, so about once every 5 years.  :P

Phin, it really depends on what kind of snow you’re skiing, and at how high a level you’re going to be skiing on hard snow/ice.  For a high-level racer who’s going to be on hard snow all the time and wants performance, they’re going to sharpen their skis very frequently - many, many times a season.  They want the perfect bevel and all that for their desired performance.  Also, for someone like the guy from VT who was recently lost in that avalanche in the Presidentials, you’re going to want your edges in tip-top shape.  For the most part, someone like that is going to be skiing relatively soft snow, but if you’re in no-fall-zone terrain like some of those ravines, you never know when you’re going to come across a hidden ice bulge, and you don’t want to leave anything to chance.  Those sharp edges could save your life.

For just about everyone else, the frequency of sharpening is going to be much less, and there’s a lot of preference involved in the exact interval.

I think Brewbeer is probably being a bit cheeky based on the emoticon, but that’s not too far from the truth for many people I know.  Unless I’ve got obligations for a ski program day or something along those lines, I typically don’t even go out unless there’s fresh powder or really good snow, so on most of my pairs of skis, really sharp edges are hardly a priority.  Those skis do eventually get sharpened every couple of years or so when I decide it’s time for a full tune.  And, I have carving skis that I will sharpen and tune myself when I know I have to go out on a crap day.  I kind of make the call on sharpening them based on how bad the conditions are going to be.

For the typical recreational skier who is being selective with their days, you can get away with infrequent sharpening up here in NVT, much like many areas out in the western U.S., because of the frequent refresher snows we get.  Obviously you can get away with it in other parts of NNE as well, depending on skier traffic and how the snow’s been falling.  Stretches like this with no freeze/thaws make it very easy, as long as you stay away from manmade snow or very high traffic areas.

If you guys are skiing five days a week and not choosing just primo snow days though, you’re probably going to be encountering hard snow at times (basically hard snow is essentially anything that makes noise when you’re making a turn).  If I was going out five days a week and had to ski regardless of the conditions, I’d probably be sharpening every couple of weeks.

If you’re not at a level where you can obviously tell that your edges need sharpening, then it’s not an imminent issue for you.  Can you scrape off some fingernail on the edges?  How do your bases look with respect to scratches?

What I’d recommend though, with the amount of skiing you appear to be doing, is to get a mid-season tune from a professional (just your skis, not the whole family’s).  You’re the one in the family who is actually cognizant of the potential issue, so you might as well be the test pilot.  If you don’t notice any difference, that’s fine, you may not yet be skiing at a level where it matters too much.  We’re around that mid-season point now, but the conditions are pretty good, so you could always wait on a tune until the conditions go south.  But if you’re skiing a lot of icy stuff like what you mentioned you found at Cannon, those would be conditions that would let you recognize a difference.

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5 minutes ago, J.Spin said:

 

Phin, it really depends on what kind of snow you’re skiing, and at how high a level you’re going to be skiing on hard snow/ice.  For a high-level racer who’s going to be on hard snow all the time and wants performance, they’re going to sharpen their skis very frequently - many, many times a season.  They want the perfect bevel and all that for their desired performance.  Also, for someone like the guy from VT who was recently lost in that avalanche in the Presidentials, you’re going to want your edges in tip-top shape.  For the most part, someone like that is going to be skiing relatively soft snow, but if you’re in no-fall-zone terrain like some of those ravines, you never know when you’re going to come across a hidden ice bulge, and you don’t want to leave anything to chance.  Those sharp edges could save your life.

For just about everyone else, the frequency of sharpening is going to be much less, and there’s a lot of preference involved in the exact interval.

I think Brewbeer is probably being a bit cheeky based on the emoticon, but that’s not too far from the truth for many people I know.  Unless I’ve got obligations for a ski program day or something along those lines, I typically don’t even go out unless there’s fresh powder or really good snow, so on most of my pairs of skis, really sharp edges are hardly a priority.  Those skis do eventually get sharpened every couple of years or so when I decide it’s time for a full tune.  And, I have carving skis that I will sharpen and tune myself when I know I have to go out on a crap day.  I kind of make the call on sharpening them based on how bad the conditions are going to be.

For the typical recreational skier who is being selective with their days, you can get away with infrequent sharpening up here in NVT, much like many areas out in the western U.S., because of the frequent refresher snows we get.  Obviously you can get away with it in other parts of NNE as well, depending on skier traffic and how the snow’s been falling.  Stretches like this with no freeze/thaws make it very easy, as long as you stay away from manmade snow or very high traffic areas.

If you guys are skiing five days a week and not choosing just primo snow days though, you’re probably going to be encountering hard snow at times (basically hard snow is essentially anything that makes noise when you’re making a turn).  If I was going out five days a week and had to ski regardless of the conditions, I’d probably be sharpening every couple of weeks.

If you’re not at a level where you can obviously tell that your edges need sharpening, then it’s not an imminent issue for you.  Can you scrape off some fingernail on the edges?  How do your bases look with respect to scratches?

What I’d recommend though, with the amount of skiing you appear to be doing, is to get a mid-season tune from a professional (just your skis, not the whole family’s).  You’re the one in the family who is actually cognizant of the potential issue, so you might as well be the test pilot.  If you don’t notice any difference, that’s fine, you may not yet be skiing at a level where it matters too much.  We’re around that mid-season point now, but the conditions are pretty good, so you could always wait on a tune until the conditions go south.  But if you’re skiing a lot of icy stuff like what you mentioned you found at Cannon, those would be conditions that would let you recognize a difference.

Thank you, this is a helpful bit of context to the discussion for sure.

We mostly just ski blue (sometimes black) groomers right now while I am teaching the kids the basics on various kinds of trails (although they are learning at an incredible pace and are already starting to pick their own terrain to tackle). I am not doing anything like racing, and when I encounter major ice on a trail we try a different trail or pack it in. We don't ski that stuff as we have the flexibility up here now to just avoid it -- for now at least.

My older daughter and younger son seem to be turning into powder hounds. They have been spending most of their time hunting for little clusters of trees to blast though or stretches of untracked powder under the lifts, so I think more of that will be in our future soon. 

My skis are still pretty sharp I think and the bases are not whitish or too dinged up. The kids' skis are little a rougher just from the abuse kids inflict; not as worried about them since they are still just learning and not pushing any limits.

Good advice on just getting a tune and seeing what happens. I am going to the ski shop tomorrow anyway (kid feet grow very fast) and may just drop my stuff off for a tune.

I spent the last 25 years doing one or two ski trips a year out west or up to NNE and then that was it. It was never enough volume of ski days for this to ever even cross my mind.

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@PhineasC Nope. I think they reported 17" so I bet things are much improved...I hope. Definitely, the lower angled stuff.

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Skied at Sugarloaf on Tuesday through Friday and conditions were really good. An exciting mountain, minor crowds and all around good time!

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On 2/3/2021 at 1:05 PM, Brewbeer said:

I only ski when it's powder, so about once every 5 years.  :P

I don’t know where you ski but there have been a lot of powder days this year.  We have had no freeze thaw cycle and the only place you will find any loud snow at all is the groomers with man made where the wind or skiers have blown or scraped the natural snow off.

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3 minutes ago, Skivt2 said:

I don’t know where you ski but there have been a lot of powder days this year.  We have had no freeze thaw cycle and the only place you will find any loud snow at all is the groomers with man made where the wind or skiers have blown or scraped the natural snow off.

I think he meant he only tunes his skis every 5 years because he only skis powder.  Not that there's a lack of powder days.

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5 hours ago, radarman said:

I think he meant he only tunes his skis every 5 years because he only skis powder.  Not that there's a lack of powder days.

That’s exactly the way I took it as well.  I’d say he’s got his priorities straight, and so would renowned ski mountaineer Delores LaChapelle.

PowderIsLife.jpg

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7 hours ago, radarman said:

I think he meant he only tunes his skis every 5 years because he only skis powder.  Not that there's a lack of powder days.

Ahhh. My apologies. Yes.  No need for a sharp ski right now.  lol 

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14 hours ago, mcglups said:

Skied at Sugarloaf on Tuesday through Friday and conditions were really good. An exciting mountain, minor crowds and all around good time!

My favorite mountain in the Northeast.  

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