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A contemporary way of skiing

Sam Bauman
Staff Writer

Contact Sam Bauman at sbauman@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1236.

The quest is over. After demo-ing both the Atomic M2tron 9 and the Rossignol Z9, both at 162cm, we opted for the Z9.

Both were outstanding skis, both traveled well in everything from ice to crud. If pressed to say why the Z9 was selected it would be hard to spell out any difference. Certainly the Sporting Rage ski shop in Carson City did a fine job of prepping the Atomics, and Bobo’s of Reno did the same.

In both cases, the shorter length (down for 187cm) made turns faster and smoother. Back in our instructing days everyone skied on 200cm and up – very macho. Not too smart.

The clinics with Rusty Crook at Mt. Rose certainly helped to take advantage of the shorter lengths. Crook emphasizes “contemporary” skiing to best use shorter, shaped skis. That means leading with the inside hand in turns and using body “crossover” in turns. Once upon a time this was called “reverse shoulder,” popularized by Stein Erickson – with modifications, of course.

Riding a lift with a view of skiers shows that most skiers today do not use the “contemporary” technique. Good skiers are still leaning uphill, forcing them to force the body around into the next turn.

The upcoming Olympics will be a good opportunity to see how the experts ski – and they’ll all be keeping the body inside, the skis hip width, the hands leading. Watch and learn.

LAST TRACKS AT DIAMOND PEAK

Diamond Peak will offer guests a truly delightful experience, Last Tracks. From Snowflake lodge, guests will enjoy the views of Lake Tahoe while tasting fine wines and tasty appetizers. Afterwards, guests can ski and snowboard down a freshly groomed corduroy run to the bottom.

Last Tracks will take place every Saturday Feb. 11 through March 25. Tickets can be purchased at the guest service window at Diamond Peak. The cost is $25 and space is limited. Participants must ski or snowboard down from the event and must be at least at the intermediate level.

Last Tracks is also available for private parties on other evenings. Call 832-1132.

FREE OUTDOOR EDUCATION

The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest District is offering some fun programs to the public. They take place at the Mt. Rose Ski Area. Saturday rangers guide tours of The Many Forests of Mt. Rose. Meet at the base of the Lakeview lift at 1:30 p.m.

Wednesday try snowshoeing at 12:30 p.m. starting at the Mt. Rose rental shop. Bring snowshoes or rent for $12. Next Saturday there’ll be a search and rescue dog demonstration at 1:30 p.m. just outside the min lodge. Kali and her handler, Nancy Prall, will explore how search and rescue dogs play a vital role in locating avalanche victims. The session will also look at the dangers of backcounty snowshoeing.

UPGRADES AT SIERRA, NORTHSTAR

Sierra-at-Tahoe and Northstar-at-Tahoe are offering new ski shuttle options and discounted direct-to-lift tickets.

Northstar-at-Tahoe, with Lake Tahoe Cruises, introduces a unique way for South Tahoe vacationers to combine skiing on the North Shore and cruising on Lake Tahoe with its new Ski Shuttle package.

The package includes shuttle transportation on a luxury coach in the morning from South Shore lodging areas to Northstar. After a day on the slopes, guests will be shuttled to the north side of Lake Tahoe and embark on Tahoe’s the Tahoe Queen, for the trip back to South Shore.

This aqua ski shuttle service is available every Wednesday and Friday. Pick-up times begin at 7 a.m. at properties in South Tahoe. The cost of the ski shuttle is $104 per person or $41 without a lift ticket. Special group rates are available for parties of 20 or more. Call 800-23-TAHOE. Reservations required.

Guests can save time and money with discounted direct-to-lift ticket cards available at select Northern California and Northern Nevada Safeway stores and gas stations. Sierra-at-Tahoe’s Safeway direct-to-lift ticket card is offered for a single day and is valid for any day of the season. Cost is $49 at select Safeway stores, a $10 savings off the daily lift ticket price.

Northstar guests have the opportunity to purchase a two-out-of-three day direct-to-lift ticket cards for $104, this card offers guests a savings of $22. For a list of participating Safeway stores, visit http://www.NorthstarAtTahoe.com or call (800) GO-NORTH.

CROSS C0UNTRY SKIING

The Tahoe Cross Country Ski Area offers a waxing clinic Saturday at 5:30 p.m. to help X-C skiers go fast. Covered will be wax selection, ironing, scraping and brushing. This is a must for those who want to X-C well.

On Sunday there’s the Great KIds’ Ski Race, with signup at 9 a.m. and racing at 10:30. Event is free and kids get a T-shirt, ribbons and post-race barbecue. Also next Sunday is the Alpeglow 20km freestyle race on a one-lap course, and a 10 km junior course. Call (530) 583-5475.