October 17, 2018

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Sound Check for Ski Season

It’s always sad to see summer go and the autumn season come in. We try and hang on to that summer feeling well into fall but in the back of our mind is the instinct that ski season preparation for winter needs to begin as the first storms dust the high peaks and a couple of ski areas open with limited terrain in central Colorado.

This weekend we found ourselves waxing and prepping cars with snow tires and wiper fluid and clearing off the wax bench to get the skis looked over. Looks like we need some blue wax and a couple of new files. While the warm autumn sun made prepping the car easy enough yesterday, listening to tunes while we worked, we drifted into what bands do before they play a gig. The sound check. Any musician is going to take time to make sure the sound system is delivering, the instruments are tuned to the right key and the band is together on the run through of the play list. They are looking to work out the kinks and get the sound right. They take pride in their craft, they are into it and want to deliver to their audience the sound  and groove they have been working hard on.

We like to think we follow the same routine here at AMH when we are getting our own gear ready for ski season. Checking out the wax bench supplies and getting the skis set up. Today it’s snowing and tonight we’ll be putting tension back in the bindings, making sure edges are sharp for man made snow, doing a few hot scrape wax passes to pull the dirt out of the bases from last spring and watching some Monday Night Football. Take this time to pull out your gear like you are going skiing for the day. Don’t be slack, run through all the steps and take time to look for issues that will hold you back on that first day you want to be on the hill. Pole basket shredded from last spring? That hole in your glove need some tape? Goggles clear? Boots in good order? Ski pass bombproof? All the layers where you can find them that morning when the green flag goes down? Cool.

"Sound Check"

So what about your body? Yeah, that’s going to take some time to tune that up too. You know you have to put in the work now to get repaid on that first day and first month. The cardio, strength training, agility work, stretching, all will make for a better experience and most importantly be your first line of defense against injury prevention. Starting the season with an injury is a drag.

Backcountry Skiing:

SnowSports Industries of America reports that sales of touring equipment rose 78% last year. Snowboard sales were down in terms of units sold. “Within the next five years at least half of all skiers will have backcountry/touring gear”, says Benedikt Boehm, international brand manager for equipment manufacturer Dynafit. (source: Financial Times, October 15, 2011) As this is one of our passions here at American Mountain Holidays we are happy to hear that more people are enjoying this special ski experience enough to invest in some gear. We offer back country experiences in most of the resorts we work with in the western U.S. and Canada. We use companies that have guides that are certified and/or have long histories in the area they are guiding in. We want our clients to have all of the basic safety equipment: avalanche transceivers, avalanche probes, shovels and a guide that not only takes them to the best snow but imparts his knowledge on reading terrain, reading snow structure and following safety protocols so you have a great experience skiing backcountry powder.

Keep Aspiring, Keep it Real.

The quest for new knowledge that leads to new experiences is a basic human trait. We are a results oriented society in America. Don’t let your quest for new knowledge be dampened just because you are still working to gain the knowledge that will ultimately get you the experience that is your quest. A solid knowledge of where you are going and and what to expect from your experience is well worth the time spent. (The auction travel sites make us shudder. A 4 star hotel for a 2 star price. Maybe on the price but what about the experience?) It works for some people, even with the unexpected surprises. At AMH we have a mantra: Know Where You Are Going. Keep it Real. It is about the experience. The car you drive to the trail head or parking lot? As long as it gets you there. Second hand gear? As long as it works for you. Your experience into the backcountry or to the ski area should be about nourishing your soul, helping you to heal from the battles of society, to put you back in touch with the natural world, the real world, to see that inner vision of your best self. We are experienced at that at American Mountain Holidays, we live it and we want to see that you get there on your next ski trip; backcountry, sidecountry or frontside.¬†

Getting in touch with the 'Real World.'

World Cup Opener, Soelden, Austria, October 22-23, 2011

The first World Cup race of the season opens on the technical course of the Rettenbach Glacier this weekend. These athletes are fully trained, equipment has been tested and they are mentally prepared. Best of Luck to the athletes! Time for a sound check here at home.



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