Friday, April 17, 2015

Ski Trip Values: Prudence for Safety

Were your plans for ski trip ever been bogged down by news of ski-related fatalities? If so, you might have asked yourself “what’s the deal with skiing and deadly accidents?” You’ve got two simple answers based on the two Shakespearean queries - To Ski, or Not to Ski? 

Truth is, skiing can be dangerous... especially if you're not prepared. Yes, skiing is an extreme sport so if you decide to accept the challenge, be smart about it.

False Bravado

The only conceivable reason for one to show off his or her skill is to gain positive approval. Before the enthusiastic audience, this positive approval is accomplished through pulling off spectacular flips and bounds. Unfortunately, Father Gravity and Mother Nature do not often approve that demonstration (and they can be very physical and ruthless with their negative feedback). Without undergoing intense long-term practice, novice skiers have a high chance of getting seriously injured. Bravado does nothing but increase that risk spurred by the willingness to gain momentary stardom (mostly unrealistic and oftentimes resulting to permanent regret).

Split-second Consequence

Let’s say for instance that you have been doing this extreme sport for 5+ years. Does that permit you an extra measure of carelessness? This is a trick question for masters to test (or mess around) with the minds of their excelling students. Better to receive an admonishment from instructors than (as always) a mean feedback from Father Gravity and Mother Nature. No amount of excellent ski vacation package can recompense over fractured bones and a lifetime of traumatic memory. That catastrophic misfortune is can occur in a so-called trivial split-second decision of letting your guard down. Staying vigilant on the ski trail is still (surprisingly) fun, despite the constant avoidance of imitating these really cool stunt experts featured in flashy tourism ads.

Stick to the Basic Stunts

If you value your own safety over popular opinion, then you being a boring skier will be so much better than you being an instant patient on the stretcher. In fact, if careful skiers can even suffer from fits of “involuntary somersaults” then being less prudent will be a worse decision. Accidents rarely announce themselves. Even when they do so, the “unpleasant” outcome would be pretty much the same (or even worse since you saw it coming before lights out). Being a boring skier is the best way to go with your ski trip, since you can always try other things (like ski flying) to sate your adrenaline hunger.

Friday, April 03, 2015

Ski Trip Values: The Pillars of Skill Development

Before you set out on your next ski trip, you may want to consider whether you have the adequate fitness level to handle skiing for multiple days in a row. Realistic factors for determining how physically prepared you are can come in many forms. Here are just a few of the most recommended things to focus on pre-ski trip:

Muscle endurance
From constant bending of knees and curdling your back, up to the rigorous steering of the poles during sharp swerves - all of this requires decent muscle endurance. You don’t need to have a physique resembling Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime. It’s not about the muscles that show, but more of the muscles and how they actually work for you.

Another key element that determines your ski ability learning curve is balance. Like most sports, having a good sense of balance is fundamental. Being able to land on your feet on slanted terrain after getting launched from a ramp doesn't come naturally to all people. Balance helps prevent you from getting painful injuries (as well as painful embarrassment).  

Immune system
Skiing is often in frosted, high-altitude terrain. It goes without saying that this type of extreme sport is more of a test to your endurance to the harsh climate than anything else. The mountain top air is thin, which can cause some light-headedness and nausea. You need to be tough in multiple aspects in order to be a good skier. A healthy immune system allows you to have a smoother acclimatization transition, especially during extended ski trips.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Ski Trip Values: Courage and Fear

Courage and fear are two opposing emotions that play the "devil and angel" roles in your sub-conscience as you mentally prep for your ski trip, especially if you are not the an experienced skier. The battle of which state of mind you lie with can set the stage for the whole vacation. 

What you need to realize that these polarities are interdependent. You only need to balance things out, not necessarily completely giving into one mindset or the other. At the very least, both courage and fear is a helpful compass. Having these two emotional states can be used to work together for your benefit and ensures that every endeavor you make is more enjoyable. 

Dare to Push Your Limits
Sure it sounds cliché or from an anonymous online quote but it rings true under the circumstances. There is a big difference between doing something out of your comfort zone and doing something that is simply dangerous. Keep your personal safety and the safety of those around you as the main priority. With that being said, don't use it as an excuse not to get out of that comfort zone. After some time developing your skiing abilities, try more challenging trails or other mountains.

Can Only Be Scared of Realistic Factors
Fear itself can be paralyzing if you allow it to be. There are certain things that truly warrant reasonable apprehension, and others are just a mental roadblock. Don't overthink a situation to come up with "the worst possible situation" you could face. For example, there is always the possibility of getting lost on a "less traveled" trail with your buddies. But if you are not at the skill level to face that challenge the responsible decision would be to not attempt it anyway, thus it is not a realistic fear for you. It's better to be safe than sorry.

Dare to Tame Inner Audacity
Ski trips are often done in large groups with family and friends. In some cases this can lead to the desire to impress who your with or actual peer pressure. Just because your friend can do a nifty board-grab off the ramp doesn't mean you have to try it too. Or one can only assume a significant other will feel the same about you whether or not you attempted the most dangerous trail. Then again, he/she might not feel the same love and affection if your arm is in a sling after such an attempt to impress the group.
All in all, keep 3 things in mind: get out of your comfort zone, it's ok to be scared at times and showing off is not the same as being courageous... Don't let courage or fear completely take over your mental state during a ski trip and enjoy the vacation while you can!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Enjoying Music During a Ski Vacation

Music provides an extra positive atmosphere on a ski vacation in the same way as any other setting. As quoted by the modern philosopher Friedrich Nietze, “Without music, life would be a mistake”. It is good if you at least a number of great songs played in your gadget during the day's skiing downtime. But some insatiable “ear worms”are not contented with plugging phones in their ears. They like to take their music participation to a whole new level. There are a number of fun ways to find music in ski resorts. Here are some of them:

Apres gig and concert
Music is good when cherished privately. But it is always better when shared with other people. One straightforward way to enjoy music in a group is watching an apres gig. Ski resort taverns might have good country music gigs played by local musicians in the area. There's nothing that a couple of beer mugs and a list of mellow John Denver songs could do to ease the blues of post-skiing fatigue. A guest concert from a famous music celebrity can be a little overcrowded for other people's preference. But if being with a lot of people appeals to you, then you probably do not mind jumping around with fellow vacationers while you got your eyes locked at the cool performers on stage.

Joining apres disco
Dancing your residue energy away after a fun-filled skiing is another great way to enjoy music while lingering in a ski vacation. Some people love chill grooves for a wholesome dance party. But others can also get a little wild. Ski resort dance clubs can be an ideal place for lonely single skiers finding hook-ups to warm the chilly nights. 

Campfire jamming
Dance clubs and jukebox taverns do not appeal to some thrifty vacationers. Even more so to the sort of people who keeps a close affinity with nature. Technology or cash is hardly a hindrance to enjoying music in you ski outing. Tent campers often socialize the primitive way – around the campfire. If you know a few guitar notes, you can suggest bringing out the music for the group to sing along. Campfire jamming can be extra relaxing with a cup of chocolate in one hand and a lit tobacco pipe in another.

Serenade your sweetheart
Lastly, nothing could ever be more romantic and musical than publicly serenading your beloved one. Single guys could test their boldness going on stage at an apres gig and dedicate a song to a gorgeous woman that made him trip and tumble badly all the way down the slopes. Either way, singing for someone special is an unforgettable heart-warming experience.

When you're not on the slopes during your ski vacation, take advantage of local shows or the nearby dance club to loosen those sore limbs. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Ski Vacation Fun: Pros of Ski Jumping

Ski vacations often have different goals, whether it's to have as much fun as possible or a relaxing getaway or get the little toddler up on their first pair of skis. For those of you who want to take on the more extreme end of the scale and show-off your intense skills, ski jumping sounds like the thing for you.

When I say “jump”, you say “how high?”
The objective in ski jumping is for the skier to get as high and/or as far as their bodymass will allow (we'll leave all the technical terms and equations to the physicists). Height and distance aren't necessarily the only factors though. For those who are even more advanced, try throwing a trick in mid-air. It's difficult feat for even the most skilled of skiers but the rush of adrenaline that follows is unlike any other.

When I say “land”, you say “oh no!”
The law of gravity states that everything that goes up eventually goes down. So it is one thing to pose for an epic jump-shot, but everything changes when you take landing into account (and the interval between flight and landing is only matter of “high-definition slow motion” seconds). The trick to making ski jumping fun has a lot to do with balancing “spectacular flight” and “not embarrassing landing”. In fact at the professional level this part of the scoring matters more. The effects (such as being able to walk without a sore body) goes beyond the realm of ski jumping itself.

When I say, “let's do it again”, what are you going to do?
Ski jumping the whole day is not recommend as it can wear and tear on your physical and mental states at a high rate. Give it a few tries here and there but don't neglect the rest of the fresh powder just waiting to be tested out.

For those of you who accept this challenge, good luck and enjoy your ski vacation!... And anyone who (understandably) does not want to attempt ski jumping, we hope you enjoy your time on the slopes just as well!