TSC members and many other snow sport lovers across Ontario are probably pretty sick of early season conditions by now, and I don’t blame them. An unlucky stretch of rain has made pretty much everybody involved in the Escarpment ski community a little rattled, and I commend Blue Mountain for their ability to save the little snow left over.
After days of patchy conditions, rocks, death cookies and uneven terrain, I think most people would be ready to hang up the boards for a while. Now that mother nature has blessed us with a generous dosage of the fluffy stuff, lamenting on the crud from the last few days can surprisingly serve a few purposes—use lessons learned from the past few days to get better at skiing and appreciate the good stuff while its here!
One of the silver linings in the cloud of crud skiing is the fact that after this week (if you skied on the Niagara Escarpment), you will be a better skier than ever before. The fact that your equipment is designed for perfect grippy ice conditions means that when the inconsistent snow falls away from your feet, your body has to work harder to stay upright. Sport Specific muscles that you don’t use every day get activated for the first time in weeks or possibly months, depending on how much time you spent on snow in Summer and Fall. This is why many people may feel sore during early season training. Lactic acid buildup doesn’t help either! But don’t fret — once this fluffy new snow is married to the snowgun sluff and compacted into a grippy sheet of paradise by the beloved Bombardier, you will feel like a million bucks! Knuckle drags will be a breeze, and that slippery pebble snow will be gone. Your ski legs, already conditioned by an unstable surface (almost like a Bosu Ball) will revel in the glory of dense, corky corduroy. Enjoy your visit to Arc City!
This is why I love places like Quebec, Ontario and Mt. Hood (in the summer) for training. The fact that the snow is bad (by recreational skier standards in comparison to the West) is what makes it good. Go to BC, and you are spoiled! That light and fluffy snow is a user friendly base that may not be tough enough to make you an expert on your edges. While Western Champagne keeps the sport alive and feels great, any good racer needs to learn how to ski on Blue Ice or Volcano Salt in order to be consistently fast. Add a little Hood dust for good luck, don’t forget your sunscreen and you will be laughing at your next race.
Fellow Ontarians, it’s not so Onterrible to be here. When you get to Colorado and their version of icy is the grippiest snow out there, it will be a great day indeed!
Until next time, Carve Diem!