‘Unretiring’ becaues of fresh new powder
April 19, 2002
OK, so I “retired” a little soon. With all the fresh snow up there we couldn’t resist one more column.
And by all reports the fresh snow has created close to mid-winter conditions, with up to two feet of powder on many runs. Only problem is that in places the fresh snow hasn’t been groomed to cover ice formed from the warmer earlier weather. Solution: make sure your edges are finely tuned, sharp.
With all the powder on hand it might be well to remember that the up-and-down movement of the body is important in skiing the fluffy stuff. A friend of mine, when told that, asked when you play “midget” (down) and when you play giant. Easy. Just remember that you rise up when you start the turn; that makes the skis lighter and easier to turn. You sink down at the apex of the turn when you start to reverse directions.
Another key to skiing powder is to keep the speed up. Make too much of a traverse and you lose speed. And at slower speeds you don’t have the momentum to push the soft side clear.
Incidentally, skiing or boarding slushy snow requires much the same technique as skiing powder, only slow speed will make it much worse. Slush can be quite heavy as it builds up during the warming parts of the day. So keep on truckin’.
This will be the last weekend for most Sierra Nevada resorts. Closing Sunday are Kirkwood, Sugar Bowl, Mt. Rose and Northstar-at-Tahoe. That will leave Squaw Valley’s upper runs open until May 27. Heavenly plans to close the California lodge Monday but will continue servicing the upper runs with the Gondola. Lift tickets at Heavenly now are $35 for adults with further discounts on various ages. Heavenly also offers a $10 discount for those having season passes from other areas.
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Alpine Meadows offers $39 adult lift tickets and will run until further notice.
The resorts will probably groom some runs because of the fresh snow, but you’ll be able to find fresh stashes of powder around. This is probably now a good time to head for the trees; the snow will be uneven there with patches of hidden ice and rocks.
Northstar will mark its closing with an Earth Day festival. Pond skiing, vendor booths, games and a performance by Mumbo Gumbo Saturday at 4 p.m. are on tap. Lift tickets at Northstar are $45 with the lifts opening at 8:30 a.m.
Let all those Bay area folk play golf and tennis. We’ve got snow and plenty of it. See you at Mt. Rose Friday, Sugar Bowl on Saturday and Kirkwood on Sunday.
Sam Bauman is the Nevada Appeal Diversions Editor.