The Size of the Pole Matters

No, you dirty thinking specimen…..I’m talking about a ski pole! Who would have thought that there was a science to ski pole fitting? Not me….until someone told me my poles looked a tad on the big size for me. After investigating this and finding out that in fact they are the perfect size I wanted to repost a blog I found  (on rei.com) on how to choose your ski poles:

Ski Poles: How to Choose

Ski poles need to be strong enough for planting turns, light enough so your arms don’t tire and flexible enough to withstand hard falls.

If you’re a beginner, a good ski pole is any pole that fits. As you become more experienced, you may want to try different materials for a better strength-to-weight ratio.

Pole Fit

To fit a pair of ski poles to you, wear shoes or stand in your ski boots. With the poles upside down—grips touching the floor—grab the pole just underneath the basket so that the top of your thumb touches the basket. Your elbow should now be at a 90-degree angle.

If the angle is less than 90 degrees, try a shorter pole. If the angle is greater, get a longer pole. Most poles are sized in 2” increments. If you’re in between sizes, go with the shorter pole.

See REI’s ski pole sizing chart.

Park and pipe skiers should generally go with shorter poles (by at least one 2” size) as these are less likely to get hung up on the walls of the halfpipe.

The Strap

Most poles use a flexible nylon wrist strap. During turns, if you lose your grip, the strap helps keep the pole where you planted it. If you fall, the straps keep your poles with you and not buried in the snow far upslope.

To correctly use wrist straps, your hand should go up through the strap and then the thumb and hand grip over the strap and around the pole.

Tip: When trying on wrist straps in a store, wear ski gloves to ensure they’ll be easy on/off when you’re on the mountain.

The Basket

This is the plastic disk (sometimes shaped like a snowflake) near the bottom of a ski pole. Its purpose is to keep your pole from sinking too far into the snow.

Basket basics:

1.In powder conditions, use a bigger basket.

2.On groomed slopes or hardpack conditions, use a smaller basket.

Some poles come with interchangeable baskets or additional baskets can be purchased separately.

Telescoping Poles

Telescoping poles are used by ski mountaineers. These can be lengthened for uphill cross-country climbs or shortened for alpine descents. Some models can also be extended and vertically joined together for use as an avalanche probe.

If you choose telescoping poles, make sure they adjust from waist height for downhill skiing to just above your armpit for effective striding.

So, size matters. I have found that my poles help me balance and look good. Looking good is important but balancing is the best!

Nordica Drive (my poles)

Nordica Drive (my poles)

To follow my mountain life journey, check back every Wednesday (or sometimes Thursday) and read about my learning adventure. It is okay  to learn to ski at any age. If I can do it, so can you! Please share your skiing tips and comments below. Cheers! 

 

Monster Mash-Jam

When living in a small town you should do as the locals do.  When Shayne found out that Monster Jam was coming to Vancouver we knew that a date-night was in order. Shayne was in charge of buying the tickets and I got us a hotel room at The Georgian Court. We were excited for our 2nd Monster Jam experienced for a 2nd year in a row. Yes, we went last year….

The Georgian Court was really nice and gave us a welcome treat and tuend our bed down at bedtime. However, they got my gender confused:

Mister Blair?

Mister Blair?

Well, after we were all checked in we decided to head out for dinner to Abigail’s Party. Due to not living in Vancouver anymore, I was unaware that is it Dine Out Vancouver and at 5:30pm the whole restaurant was reserved and we were unable to use our $100 gift card. So, we sauntered over to Hapa Izakaya  in Kits for Hapa Hour. This is recommended to all. Affordable and yummy Japanese cuisine.

We finished our meal and taxied to Monster Jam. Our tickets, purchased from Ticketmaster, were in the  “Club Seating” area. The seats here are in the middle of the arena, cushioned and have a bar/lounge area. Due to Ticketmaster’s failure at sending us the right tickets, Shayne and I did NOT have seats together. Date night fail. Luckliy there was the lounge and we watched the show from bar. Too bad these were “expensive” tickets.

Seat Fail. Ticketmaster Fail.

Seat Fail. Ticketmaster Fail.

The trucks were loud and the coolers were expensive.  I’m talking $8.50 per cooler expensive….we had 3 each which came to $1000!  After watching crashing and speeding and crashing and wheelie popping, the show came to an end with Grave Digger winning.

Here is 5 minutes of Grave Digger:

So, Monster Jam is now a tradition and I suggest everyone go. It’s cheap family fun, minus the booze and always double check your seats, even if you have a responsible partner.

To follow my skiing journey, check back every Wednesday (or sometimes Thursday) and read about my learning adventure. It is okay  to learn to ski at any age. If I can do it, so can you! Please share your skiing tips and comments below. Cheers! 

Skiing so I can Après?

I did it. I went down a green run. What this means is that I am no longer on the learning hill.

 

Image originally on http://www.chamonet.com

Image originally on http://www.chamonet.com

The “green run” is the easiest slopes at a mountain and are usually wide and groomed, and not that “steep.” It does not mean that the snow is green in colour.

I went up the Fitzsimmons Express… which was neat because it was outside (unlink the gondola which is inclosed) and got off at mid station. I hung out on Whiskey Jack for the morning (from the very top and midstation). I forgot my #1 rule: DON’T LOOK DOWN! I fell but a friend picked me up and I slowly remembered everything that I have learned.

I also learned a few other lessons:

  • When your boot buckle is stuck, do another buckle up in order to undo it. Don’t freak out and tell other skiers your boot is broken because it’s not.
  • Whisky Jack is also a cute bird that hangs out on the mountain.
  • There are many lines to get onto the chairlift. Know where to go (you can ask). It is confusing.

Have you ever been inside a gondola before? Check out this video of me coming down from the top of Whistler:

I also love après. Après refers to socializing over drinks when your ski day is done. I have been Aprèsing for a long time so I guess you can say I’m now pre- Aprèsing. This weekend featured cesars and friends (Thea and Jodie)!

So, now that I’m on the grownup runs and embracing the après I feel like I’m growing up in the ski world. Soon I will try a different run (or maybe 2). What do you suggest I try next?

Image belongs to http://letissierdesigns.com

A Whisky Jack.Image belongs to http://letissierdesigns.com

To follow my skiing journey, check back every Wednesday (or sometimes Thursday) and read about my learning adventure. It is okay  to learn to ski at any age. If I can do it, so can you! Please share your skiing tips and comments below. Cheers! 

Deep Winter: Not Your Grandpa’s Slideshow

Remember in the 90s when your parents or grandparents would come back from a trip,  invite you over, set up the projector and screen and then show you their slides? Well, I remember that very clearly. Since the modernization of trip documentation I have not been to slideshow worth talking about since Baba Leah and Zaida Jack went to Spain about 15 years ago…. until Saturday night.

Since my big move to a small town, I’m always on the hunt for fun events that are worth getting fancied up for. Whistler Blackcomb (and many other sponsors) put on a 72 hour photo challenge called Deep Winter and throw a kick ass party to showcase the pictures (slide show style with music).

The nitty gritty:

  • 6 photographers invited
  • Each had 3 skiers or boarders
  • 72 hours of shooting and editing
  • 1 big party
  • 1 grand prize
  • $20 a ticket
  • Sold Out
  • Fun martinis (with an ice luge)
  • Inspiration to become a better skier

The event was a few hours and the judges name Russell Dalby the winner. From what I remember, all of the entries were breath taking and creative but Dalby’s pictures were all black and white with a very artistic  breath of life, to them.

This is is his entry:

The event promoted the use of Intagram and tagging pictures with #DeepWinter. I managed to share some of  these photos:

Frozen apples.

Frozen apples

Patterns.

Patterns

Giant cheque (well, back of cheque).

Giant cheque (well, back of cheque) -Not shared

As you can see, I too, am a photographer. I apologize for the lack of photos….. I was having too much fun to crack out the iPhone and snap away.

I look forward to this Summer’s photo challenge and feel inspired to take Shayne’s camera on the bunny hill with me. Most likely, I won’t be allowed. I’m sure there will be a link to see the enteries soon, until then you can check out the Deep Winter website. 

To follow my skiing journey, check back every Wednesday (or sometimes Thursday) and read about my learning adventure. It is okay  to learn to ski at any age. If I can do it, so can you! Please share your skiing tips and comments below. Cheers! 

Day 4 of Skiing: Monologues from the Chairlift

I made it to the mountain on Sunday. My ride left before I could get myself together so I took the Greyhound from Pemberton to Whistler (I do not have a car). Greyhound sucks. The website was down so I stood at the stop when I thought there would be a bus and at 12:30pm a bus came along (with a very nice driver) so I began my skiing adventure.

I decided to make chairlift monologues about my day on the Olympic Chair. Watch the first one…you can see what it is like to be on a chairlift:

So, I made it down without landing in any tree wells. I became confident….so here is the 2nd video. Can you hear my asthmatic lungs?:

I have not yet made the Craigslist ad but when I do…..you will know! 

I SHAVED……off 45 minutes of how long it takes me to get down. I made it down in a record time of 15 minutes. Hear me ramble for 30-something seconds here (I sound so stoked):

I have a few questions: 

1.Why am I so sexy in these videos?

2. Has anyone ever dropped their phone while making a chairlift monologue?

You can expect more of these videos (but better) because, moving forward, I will explore the other 199 runs that Whistler Blackcomb have to offer. I guess one would say that I am a big girl now….

Do you have any skiing tips or questions? Let me know and I’ll either try your tip or find someone to answer your question! 

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To follow my skiing journey, check back every Wednesday (or sometimes Thursday) and read about my learning adventure. It is okay  to learn to ski at any age. If I can do it, so can you! Please share your skiing tips and comments below. Cheers! 

Mind, Body and Sole Resources: Putting on a Ski Boot

So, today is Sunday which means I missed my midweek post. I had it ready to go on Monday but then 50cm (ish) of snow fell if Pemberton  and I had to become friends with Shayne’s shovel. Also, going to yoga after work means that I don’t get home until 7:30….and then I begin by night routine. The week slipped away!

What I want to share with you is how to put on a ski boot. It is an art. I hear it is best to buy ski boots with 4 Buckel  because if you only have 3 and break the top one it is hard to find a replacement. I tried to make a video but I found a better one that is slightly better quality than mine.

A blog about boot fitting will happen later but watch this video to learn how to put a ski boot on:

Recap on the buckle closing order:

1. Upper cuff buckle (most important strap)

2. Top buckle and power strap

3. 2nd foot buckle

4. Toe buckle (keeps snow out)

I still need a bit of help getting into mine because the tongue is so stiff. It is okay to ask for help and no one will judge you if you have to watch the above video 4 times……I did!

There is a technique to putting on a ski boot. Who would have thought?

To follow my skiing journey, check back every Wednesday (or sometimes Thursday) and read about my learning adventure. It is okay  to learn to ski at any age. If I can do it, so can you! Please share your skiing tips and comments below. Cheers! 

Bend and Snap: Cross Training

Unlike the many lucky souls that live out here, I am not a full fledge ski bum. I have a job and work more than 40 hours a week, which leaves very little time for skiing. Between injuries, the flu and life I do manage to find time to ski. The mountain closes before I get off work so I have to find other ways to stay fit and healthy during the week and my time on the mountain.  You see, I’m in a shape and I’m hoping to modify it. Maybe by writing this blog post I will be held accountable for keeping true to my goals.

In Pemberton I have discovered this great little yoga studio called Tadasana Yoga.  There are other studios and gyms that offer yoga but the classes offered here best compliment with my schedule.  Also, there is a training facility in close proximity to my house called Revolution Fitness and for the next 6 weeks I’ll be ending my work week with Friday night personal training sessions.

Yoga is great for the mind, body and soul and working with a personal trainer will help with…..everything.  Here is what my weekly fitness schedule will be for the next 6 weeks:

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On the weekends I will try and ski at least 1 day and go to yoga at least 1 day (there is a 5pm Hot Chocolate après ski yoga class on Saturday and Sunday).

Shayne will be on the road for the next 6 weeks so I have nothing but free time so watch out mind, body and soul because you are about to change!

Care to join me for any classes? I’ll be signing up for unlimited monthly yoga. If you are not in the Pemberton area and want to try out yoga, you can check the Yoga Directory Canada.

To follow my skiing journey, check back every Wednesday (or sometimes Thursday) and Sunday to read about my learning adventures. It is okay to learn to ski at any age. If I can do it, so can you! Please share your skiing tips and comments below. Cheers!