Friday, September 19, 2014

Unexpected facts you’ll learn on your ski vacation

Whether it’s your first time or not, there are things we might not expect to happen on a ski vacation.

Here are a few:

Pizza and Fries are not just 'ol American fast food
On the slopes, pizza and French Fries are skier's lingo for skiing positions. Pizza is a position of pointing your toes and extending your skis together, to create a wedge-shape. French fries, on the other hand, are when you set your skis in a parallel position.

At most, both moves are the very foundation you need to practice in order to become a better skier when hitting the slopes.

You’ll meet younger and smaller skiers better than you
Ski enthusiasts are getting younger nowadays. There are many kids wanting to learn skiing. If you get intimidated by kids making tricks and turns on the slopes, it's okay. Instead, see them as your inspiration.

You’ll fall if you lean back
It’s one of the hardest aspects in learning to ski, especially if you’re afraid of speed and leaning forward. However once you lean back, you’ll lose balance and fall. How many times has this happened to you?

Skiing is like driving
Like driving a car, skiing is dangerous. That's why both need a proper training. But unlike driving a car, skis have no sirens or signal lights to give others your warning. Thus, concentration is a must to avoid accidents and injury.

Helmets are also hats
On the slopes, helmets are also considered as hats. They not only provide head safety and warmth, but also prevent big chills caused by evaporation.

Skis are different
Skis come in different designs and dimensions. It's because no two skiers are the same. Furthermore, even if you skied three times on your previous ski trips, your weight and skills change every time. These changes will apparently affect the binding settings of your skis.

Oftentimes, you forget your primary reason for skiing
To have fun-- this is your primary reason why you wanted to learn skiing. But later on, when you've improved your skiing skills, you focus more on the competition and not your primary reason. However once you remember to have fun when skiing, you are already a great skier.

Don't compare or judge others' skiing techniques
This is the basic unwritten rule in skiing that most rookies don’t follow. When you are sitting on the table with other skiers, don't compare or judge how they ski. It's because each skier has his or her own style in skiing.

Have you already encountered some of those? Well, there are still many things you can expect to happen on your trip. Just remember the basics, stay safe and have fun on your ski vacation.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Visualization: A powerful way to condition your mind during off-ski trip season

If you aim for a better performance on the slopes for your upcoming ski trip, imagery or visualization is a great mental conditioning exercise you can do prior to ski season.

In fact, some of the greatest skiers and Olympic athletes, like Mikaela Shiffrin, use the power of visualization as an important key to achieving success. In an article found on, the young gold medalist admits that before she went to Sochi for the Winter Olympics, she visualized herself standing on top of the podium winning the gold medal.

Additionally, even Sports Illustrated's  “America’s Best Woman Skier Ever” Lindsey Vonn, said that she had already seen herself racing 100 times and hitting perfect turns in her mind before her actual race.

You, too, can use visualization to your advantage before your ski vacations. Here's how:

  1. Imagine yourself skiing
Close your eyes and imagine yourself skiing. Then, think about your good qualities, or the instances like hitting a perfect turn, successful downhill run and even winning a medal. Take note also of how you feel during those times. Feel them as you visualize.

Noticeably, those positive thoughts can boost your confidence even before you hit the mountain slope.

  1. Stop focusing on mistakes
If your mind keeps focusing on your mistakes in skiing, you will only come up with more negative results. It's not uncommon for skiers to ski poorly in their visualization. This is often the result of the lack of confidence in skiing. If you ski poorly in your imagery, instantly "rewind the video” and replace it with a more positive one, and replay it until you see yourself skiing well.

  1. Move your body
A good way to increase this feeling in your imagery is to combine imagination and real sensations. While imagining yourself skiing, move your body to the rhythm of your thoughts. Position your body in your normal skiing stance, but with your eyes closed. You can also incorporate the feeling of cold, excitement and fun, as well as the sound of your skis gliding through bumps.

Crazy as it sounds, this is a good way to ingrain new technical and mental skills, as well as habits into your routine.

  1. Control your imagery speed
When working on your skiing technique in your imagery, slow your visualization down (frame by frame if necessary) to really see yourself executing the skill correctly. As you see and feel yourself skiing properly in slow motion, speed up your imagery until you can ski well at “real-time”.

Call it stupid or crazy, but visualization is a powerful way  in conditioning your mind, gaining a more positive outlook and confidence in skiing. Try it and, in no time, the person you see in your mind is already making downhill runs and achieving success in an actual ski trip.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Yes Virginia, there WILL be a ski season in Park City

Check it out Utah powder fans.... Looks like everyone involved stepped back from the cliff, at least for this season. Let the rejoicing commence!!!
Bond Payment to Ensure PCMR Will Have Ski Season While Negotiations for Long-Term Resolution Continue
Submitted by Powdr Corp
PARK CITY, UT-- September 9, 2014 - Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR) announced today that it will pay the $17.5 million bond amount ordered by the Court to ensure the resort will open as planned this season, scheduled for November 22, 2014.
"Our goal has always been to keep PCMR open for the upcoming 2014/15 season and beyond," said Jenni Smith, President and General Manager of PCMR. "Paying the bond ordered by the judge will provide our employees, the Park City community and our many guests the certainty they've been waiting for about our upcoming ski season."
Under Powdr's 20-plus years of ownership, PCMR has grown into a world-class resort that continuously ranks among the top five resorts in North America. Powdr has built strong community ties and been a part of Park City's continued rise as one of the best towns in the country.
"I am very happy that the resort will be open this year," Smith continued. "While the most important outcome today is that PCMR will be open for business, the bond payment is only a short term solution for the 2014/15 season. As such, we will continue working with Vail toward a reasonable and fair long-term solution."

Monday, September 08, 2014

Granite Springs Hike

Nothing like packing "light"!

Pete Kondak - Jackson Hole Office

Recently myself and three friends set off for a 22 mile overnight backpacking trip in the Gros Ventre Wilderness Area adjacent to Jackson Hole.  I have been meaning to accomplish this hike for years.  Not just because of the incredible scenery but because you are rewarded with a chance to soak in 100 degree natural hot springs at the end of the hike.  The hike is not difficult but it does require some car shuttling as it's a through hike.  After a few hours of shuttling cars around we got around to a late afternoon start. 

The hike starts out to a popular Jackson Hole day hike called Goodwin Lake.  It's about 3 miles up to Goodwin Lake over moderate terrain.  Once we reached the Lake we continued to the East of Jackson Peak.  Jackson Peak is a very prominent peak that can be seen from almost anywhere in Jackson Hole.  As we pass under the looming summit there is a rock cairn off the left signaling the trail to "the Ski Cabin".  The Ski Cabin is a popular back country cabin used in the Spring by local skiers.
Not such a bad view!

After another few miles we reached the crest of the hike.  At just under 10,000 feet we had an incredible view of the Teton Range to the West. We proceeded to hike another 2.5 miles to Turquoise Lake just before sundown.  Turquoise Lake is set below towering alpine peaks.  The scenery was amazing.  The lake was filled with an abundant population of small cutthroat trout.  We made good use of the next morning fishing.  The rest of that day consisted of 12 miles of hiking downhill in 85 degrees.  Everyone's feet and legs were very sore.

We arrived just in time to catch a soak in Granite Hot Springs before they closed for the evening.  Granite Hot Springs is a man made swimming facility built by the CCC in the 1930's.  The pool is fed by a natural hot spring.  It's just we need after marching 22 miles in warm Wyoming sun.  Granite Hot Springs is open all summer and it accessible in the winter via snowmobile, dog sled, ski, or snowshoe.

Good friends, good times!

 Pete is known among our staff as being one of our real "world travelers". We're leaning on him to share some interesting anecdotes from his recent trip to Spain and Morocco!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Valle Nevado to open two weeks early!!!

Check out these fresh pics from our friend Milena at Valle Nevado. They have been getting absolutely HAMMERED with early snow. This bodes really well for a great summer ski season. We've got the availability and the know-how to get you transported to all of this South American goodness. What's stopping you?!?! Get with Alyssa, Mike or Pete, and they'll get you dialed in!

Milena reports; "Valle Nevado is thrilled to announce that due to heavy early snowfall, the ski resort will open two weeks before the scheduled date for the 2014 season, this Friday, June 13. While El Niño weather patterns have forecasted favourable snow weather conditions for the central Andes this year, the amount of snow received in the past few weeks has exceeded expectations, and promises an even better season than previously rumoured. Valle Nevado currently has nearly 3 feet of snow, with more snow predicted in the forecast. Valle Nevado's hotels will remain closed until June 27, however most trails, select restaurants and other services will  open for day skiers and those lodging in condominiums."

This year there are more reasons than ever to visit Valle Nevado, Chile’s premiere ski resort. Earlier this year Chile joined the U.S. visa waiver program and the $160 reciprocity fee for U.S. visitors has been lifted, making air travel to Chile more convenient and affordable than before. As part of Valle Nevado's USD $150 million Master Development Project that seeks to turn Valle Nevado into the first full service mountain village in the region, the resort announces the inauguration of a new restaurant, La Leñera, serving hearty mountain fare in a cozy lodge setting, as well as two new apartment buildings, El Plomo and Tupungato. These new developments along with the promising winter El Niño has in store are sure to make 2014 at Valle Nevado a season to remember.