If you saw me skiing down a steep, groomed run, I might have you fooled into thinking I have been skiing for years. This would change the instant you saw me skiing a run with moguls. Especially since I’m using the word ski loosely here. Put me on a run with moguls and the way I get down is less similar to skiing and more akin to strategic sliding. This has kind of been a huge problem for me since my personal theory is that mastering moguls prepares you to take on any run on the mountain. Being good at moguls means that you’re good at turning quickly, controlling your speed and absorbing minor impacts. Basically being good at moguls means you are a good skier. Admittedly, this means I have a lot to work on in my skiing career. I mean the 2018 Winter Games will be here before we know it!
I happen to have the most excellent work schedule ever, and I take every other Friday off of work. Naturally, I like to use this time to go skiing, and this past Friday I hit Keystone with one of my co-workers and a few friends. At one point we all took a tree run, and I survived but it wasn’t pretty. This is related because tree runs are a big reason why I want to get better at moguls. Learning to love moguls will truly unlock so much more terrain, like tree runs, for me.
At the end of the day I took a lift up with a middle aged man who had previously been a ski instructor at Breckenridge. I asked him if he had any tips for moguls, and he told me that the biggest mistake he sees people doing is trying to turn too much on the edge of the ski. Oh. Yes. That would be me. After hearing this revolutionary advice, I took a mogul run down to the bottom of Keystone and tried to use less of an edge on my skis. As is turns out making friends on ski lifts is a great policy. The ski instructor guy’s advice was right on target.
Good morning Vail!
I took the day off from skiing on Saturday to run 15 miles for marathon training, but I was back on the slopes at Vail on Sunday morning ready for some mogul domination. I spent the first few hours of the day forcing myself to go down an intermediate mogul run at Game Creek Bowl. Always be nice to the idiot trying to learn moguls directly under the lifts because that was me. I made a lot of progress, and I was finally able to connect turns on six to seven consecutive moguls, so I headed over to some of the other bowls and met my friend Jess for some fun.
As it turns out, my thoughts on moguls making you a better skier were correct. I hit some steep, ungroomed runs on China Bowl and they were not above my ability level at all. Spending the morning practicing turns on moguls then allowed me to attack ungroomed powder with confidence. Jess and I headed back to Blue Sky Basin, which is arguably my favorite part of Vail, and we took a run down an ungroomed tree run full of moguls. I was happy to find that I could actually reasonably ski the run!
Life is sometimes full of things that aren’t fun, like 15 mile runs or spending an entire morning floundering on moguls. However these are the kind of experiences that ultimately make you a better marathon runner, skier and person. Besides, trying to do challenging things is kind of addicting. Hence next weekend I will be running 17 miles and hopefully becoming even better at moguls.