Helpful Tips from Gelandesprung Ski Club in Green Bay, WI

Prevent falls on the slopes

There is always an element of risk to skiing and snowboarding, but there are a number of precautions you can take to reduce your chances of injuries that, at the very least, will ruin your holiday.

If you do not have time to train yourself before a holiday, there are still measures to take on the slopes. Many of them may seem like common sense, but common sense can go out the window all too easily with that first breath of mountain air.

Tired, ill or drunk? Don't ski
Skiing and snowboarding are both energetic sports that demand concentration from your body and mind, especially at altitude. If you are are not functioning at your best you are more likely to take a tumble.

Leave that 'one last run'
Go home on a high, not when you are exhausted. That last run may be icy, slushy, bumpy and rammed full of moving obstacles who, like you, are tired. Swallow your pride and take the bubble back, or just go home a little earlier.

Stay in your comfort zone
Spending time in a group of skiers and boarders more competent than you is an excellent way to improve your technique, but it’s not worth the potential bumps and breaks incurred desperately trying to keep up with them all day and taking on pitches far beyond your capability.

Warm up
Walk to the lifts, then on the slopes start with gentle gradients and slow, sweeping turns before building up to steeper runs and shorter turns. You need to warm up at the beginning of the day and again after you have stopped for longer than a few minutes e.g. after lunch.

Stretch after, not before
Static stretching before skiing could increase your chances of injury. Instead warm up and do dynamic stretching. Then, while your muscles are still warm at the end of the day do static stretching to your back, quads (front of thigh), gluts (buttocks) and any other muscles that feel tight.

 

Enjoy Ski Resorts in the Off-season

The snow may have melted, but ski resorts still offer mountains of fun during warm weather—with fewer crowds and deeper discounts than in winter. Golfers, hikers, bungee-jumpers and zip liners: Get ready to hit the summertime slopes.

Take a hike. Skiing gets all the attention, but let’s face it, mountains are also great for hiking, which requires no beginner lessons, no pricey lift tickets and no extra equipment other than a sturdy pair of walking boots. A room in midsummer can cost hundreds of dollars less per night than the same one during Christmas break.

Fly away. The ski lift carries you into the clouds in the winter. Now imagine how it feels to fly through a mountain valley! Zip tours are a popular offering at ski resorts. At New Hampshire’s Attitash Mountain Resort, for example, participants speed above the treetops, starting at the summit of Bear Peak all the way to the base of Attitash Mountain for nearly 5,000 feet . It is said to be the longest single zip line in the Lower 48. You can ride alone or side by side with another adventurer, hitting speeds up to 65 miles per hour. And good news for your wallet—rates dip by more than half in the summer months.

Get wet. Not into heights? No problem. Trade the aerial view for some waterworks. Many mountains, such as at Maine’s Sugarloaf Mountain Resort, are surrounded by lakes and rivers. That means you can take a tour in a sedate pontoon boat, fly-fish in a breathtakingly beautiful lake or brave the rapids in a whitewater rafting course. Or take a refreshing break in an old-fashioned swimming hole—the most classic summer activity of all! Even more refreshing for your budget: Room rates are about 50 percent lower in July.

Hit the links. When the snow melts and reveals green grass, some people focus totally on golf courses. If that’s you, you’ll be happy to learn that come spring, many ski resorts manicure their grounds for a few rounds—including Tahoe’s Northstar California Resort, whose courses are well known for being both beautiful and challenging. There’s mini golf for the kids, too. Don’t wear yourself out on the golf course, though. You may want to save energy for the Wine Walk, when you can tour the village and sample local wines. Feel free to do some shopping with the money you’ll save over a winter vacation here. Off-season lodging can be had for half price or less.

Indulge your inner daredevil. Make time for the giant swing or bungee trampoline like the one at Big Sky Resort in Montana. Both are designed to satisfy thrill seekers until the slopes are snowy once more. You can book a room in summer for significantly less than what it costs during the holiday season.

 

Five Reasons To Take Up Golf

When the crocuses and daffodils poke their heads out of the spring ground, snow lovers hang up their skis and snowboards until next winter. Golf season is now upon us. Golf is sometimes perceived as a secret society. While the sport is deeply rooted in history and traditions, today’s golf scene is getting with the times like never before.  I’m here to convince you golf is a great game, and here’s 5 good reasons why.

1. Exercise
Golf may be more physical than you think. Golf is about walking - a hell of a lot of walking. Walking is great exercise and is low impact on your joints. Plus you’ll get a great tan in summer.

2. Challenge
There are few more challenging and rewarding, games than golf. It’s difficult to master. You should aim to have fun. Beginners are often shocked at how hard it is to swing consistently.
There’s few things more rewarding than a great shot. The sense of accomplishment from golf is something you have to experience.

3. Scenery
Playing on a well maintained course is a stunning experience. No matter where you live, there will be a course with great scenery. Of course your local municipal course might not take your breath away but there’s always courses with fabulously maintained fairways if you can afford to play on them.

4. Relaxation
As golf is quite a slow game, with rounds often taking four hours plus, you have a lot of time to relax and reflect on things. Add this to the endorphins released by the gentle exercise and you’ve got a perfect escape from the rat race.

5. Making friends
Golf is an inherently social game. It’s not necessary to play with other people but it is a lot more fun. Playing for wagers or joke bets is great fun, as well as playing in teams against each other.

Even if you aren’t competitive, you’ll spend a lot of time walking and waiting at holes - plenty of time to chat and get to know people.

 

Faster Ways to Get Through Americas' Airport Security

The TSA PreCheck® program is an expedited security screening process for travelers departing from U.S. airports with faster security lanes. Passengers considered low-risk who qualify for the program can receive screening, either as a member of the program or another specific trusted traveler group. There is an $85 cost for a five-year membership when you apply for the TSA PreCheck® program.

Once you have applied and been approved for the TSA PreCheck® program, you will be given a known traveler number (KTN) to use when making flight reservations. Participating airlines will print an indicator on your boarding pass. The program is good at more than 150 U.S. airports. When you arrive at the airport, look for the signs for the TSA PreCheck® lanes. Participants in the program will also no longer need to remove shoes, laptops, 3-1-1 liquids, belts, nor light jackets -- and the line for the program participants is usually much shorter.

Global Entry Program
For an additional $15 ($100 total cost for a five-year membership with the TSA PreCheck® program), you can apply for the TSA’s Global Entry Program that allows expedited processing through Customs and Border Protection at airports and land borders upon arrival from another nation into the United States.

This program includes the benefits of the TSA PreCheck® program. Participants in this program entering the United States proceed directly to Global Entry kiosks, present their machine readable passport or U.S. permanent resident card, place their fingerprint on the scanner for verification and complete a customs declaration. The kiosk issues the traveler a transaction receipt and directs them to baggage claim and the exit, and eliminates processing lines, requires no paperwork at the airport, offers expedited entry benefits in some countries, and reduces wait times at many major U.S. airports.

A current U.S. passport or permanent resident card is required to apply for the Global Entry Program; applicants undergo a rigorous background check and in-person interview before enrollment; and participants may still be selected for further examination when entering the United States.

From the TSA website (http://www.tsa.gov/tsa-precheck)

 

Summer Tips for Ski Fitness

Summer and fall should be the perfect time to start preparing for a fun, safe and healthy winter of skiing. Whether you prefer cross-country, traditional downhill, or snowboarding, now is the time to start thinking about your preparation. Below are a few tips you can implement in the coming summer months to insure that your body will be ready to hit the slopes in winter.

Include roller blades in your fitness arsenal, especially if you enjoy cross-country skiing. By including ski poles on occasional roller blade excursions, you can also condition the shoulders and muscles in the torso that propel you forward.

Strength train on a regular basis, especially if you want to frequent more difficult terrain such as moguls. If you are just starting into a strength program, begin your training with a set or two of 6-10 different lower body and core exercises, twice a week, and train in the 12-15 repetitions bracket with light weight.

Take it outdoors and enjoy the summer weather! As a ski fan, if you long for cool weather and snow, why not seek it out in the summer? The higher elevation slopes are great places to enjoy mountaineering year round, with cooler temperatures and in some places, snow year round. If working out in a gym setting is not your idea of a fun time, opt for moving your workouts outside to the nearest park.

Build your quad strength. Strength in the quadriceps is essential both for hiking and skiing, so by having strong quads year round, you can jump right into either sport with reduced risk of pain or injury.

Increase stamina. A solid foundation of fitness would include at least 3 weekly aerobic workouts of 30-45 minutes duration, and might include biking, walking, jogging, jumping rope, working on the elliptical machine, rowing, trail running, hiking, or climbing stairs.

 

How Cold Is Too Cold For Skiing?

Frostnip occurs before frostbite and usually affects exposed skin. Frostnip is characterized by red skin that is tingly or numb. Frostnip is best treated by coming inside and warming up.

Frostbite is much more serious. It occurs when ice crystals form in the skin and deeper tissues. Frostbit skin is completely numb and looks white, grayish-yellow or grayish-blue and waxy. If you suspect frostbite, seek emergency medical attention immediately.

Hypothermia happens when body temperature drops a few degrees below normal. The symptoms of hypothermia are shivering, having to go to the bathroom, confusion and sleepiness. As these symptoms are broad and general, the best response when skiing is to go inside and warm up. Other life-threatening symptoms include tight or stiff muscles, blurry vision and slurred speech.

Dress in the best coat, pants, mittens and baselayers you can afford. Look for well-made, sensible, no-nonsense ski clothes and always avoid cotton. Good clothing is an investment that will pay off.

On extra cold days, wear extra layers. You can layer 2-3 pairs of long underwear under your ski pants and even more on top. Since it’s important to keep your core warm, consider down vests. They are a lightweight, super-insulating layer that doesn’t add a lot of bulk. If you’re spending time outdoors, vests can be indispensable.

While we’re proponents of layering, we never layer our ski socks. One thin pair is all you should wear no matter how cold it is. Why? Because you want your boots to fit properly and if your socks are too bulky, your boots will be too tight, which can actually make your feet colder. Don’t buckle your boots tightly across the instep. There is an artery that runs across the top of your foot. If you apply to much pressure, you may reduce circulation and run the risk of extra-cold feet.

While it’s important to check the temperature, and the forecast, before heading out, please remember that cold is relative.  5F with abundant sunshine can feel warmer than 20F on a snowy day when the wind is blowing.

You don’t have to skip skiing on super-cold days, but you do have to listen to your body.

 

Storing Ski Gear in the Off-Season

As we close out another ski season it’s nearing time to prepare and store ski gear for proper off-season storage. By following these simple guidelines for cleaning and preserving, you will prolong the life of your gear and be ready to go when the snow starts falling.

Skis: Rinse your skis with a hose or in the shower (be careful of the tile). Wipe off any remaining debris and water with a soft but durable cloth. Let the skis air dry. Carefully remove rust from your ski edges with a Scotch brite pad, or fine-medium steel wool. Brush the base a few times with a brass, copper or  bronze brush, or with a plexiglass scraper. If needed, use a mild citric solution/base cleaner. Apply wax to base and edges to protect from moisture and rust. Hot waxing is best, but rub on waxes will suffice. Do not use liquid waxes for storage purposes.

Bindings: Experts differ on their advice for storing bindings in the off-season. Some suggest to release the tension in bindings by backing them off to the lowest setting. This should result in extending the life of the binding. However, others advise leaving the bindings as is. Their view is that the tradeoff of having to reset the bindings correctly again before next use isn’t worth it. So, it comes down to which path you want to follow for next season.

Poles: Strap or tie your poles together. Hang, lay or stand poles up near your skis.

Boots: Ski boots should be wiped down and completely aired out. If boots are wet, remove the soft inner liner and lay them out to dry before reinserting for storage. Do not forget to inspect boots thoroughly for cracks, broken buckles or torn straps that may require repair or replacement.

Goggles: When dry, gently wipe the outer lens with a soft lens cloth. Do not touch or wipe the inside of the lens. Touching or wiping the inside of the lens will remove and smear the anti-fog coating and cause goggles to fog up in the future. If cleaning of the inside of the lens is absolutely necessary gently blot it with a lens cloth unless otherwise instructed by the manufacturer. Once clean, store goggles in a soft protective covering. A good storage option is the pouch they came in, or better yet, the designated area of a ski boot bag.

Where to Store Skis and Gear: Store skis and accessories in a temperature controlled environment. Good storage locations are typically closets, spare rooms or even under a bed. Skis should be laid down flat on their sides without anything on top. Unfinished attics, basements and garages should be avoided because they tend to be either too dry, wet or hot.

 

Tree Skiing

Tree skiing most commonly refers to skiing off the groomed slopes, in and among trees of various sizes, shapes and types. It is exhilarating and easily accessible at any ski area in North America. The U.S and Canada are said to offer the best tree skiing in the world because, on a grand scale, the mountains of North America don’t reach the barren heights of Europe’s Alps and South America’s ski resorts.

Once you venture off groomed trails and into any glades you need to know you are increasing the possibility of being hurt, i.e. running into a tree. Trees are not bendable slalom poles. There is no give to a tree and a head-on, or even an arm smack, can cause serious injury. However, that being said, and hopefully understood without the need for practice, here are a number of precautions to take to make tree skiing as safe as possible.

For the most part, tree skiing means quick, short turns - many of them. If the glade is marked double black or higher, expect sudden or protracted areas combining the trees with steep verticals, bumps, cliffs, and other fun obstacles. Be sure you are ready to ski there.

Ideally, ski with two friends, one to stay with someone injured and one to go for help. It doesn’t take more than maybe 10 or 20 feet to lose sight of a person in the woods.

In a ski resort setting the area boundaries are generally marked by tree signs, snow fences or ropes. Don’t randomly ski past the boundary markers because that area is not routinely patrolled.
A good general rule is not to enter the woods after 3:30 PM, because if you get lost, getting found quickly, after dark, is problematic.

The lower the elevation, the closer together the trees are, and that can be very close together. Don’t focus on the trees, look into the spaces between the trees - the body tends to initially follow the eye.

The big issue tree skiing in the deep snow country is tree wells. Tree wells are areas of very loose uncompressed snow that form a hole or depression around the base of a tree. The risk of falling into a tree well is completely avoidable, so assume all trees have a hazardous tree well. Do not ski close to the tree and always ski with a buddy.

 

How to Ski on Icy or Hard Packed Snow

Almost every skier will encounter icy conditions at some point.

If your ski edges are dull, rusted or dinged up it will impair your ability to turn or stop on ice or hard packed snow so it’s a good practice to keep your ski edges sharp and burr free. Check your skis daily for burrs or dings especially if you have recently been skiing on ice or hard packed snow.  

With sharp edges it is still necessary to adjust your body position to best hold your edges and keep your skis from slipping out from under you. You want more of your body center over the center of your skis so as to keep your edges gripping but so you are stabilizing your traverse on the ice.

To assume this position, lower your hips and, bending from the waist, lean your upper body down the fall-line. This movement helps keep your body weight more on the inside edge of your downhill ski all the while leaning your feet and ankles into the hill for edge grip.

If you ski with skis close together separate your skis a little more on ice for better stability - but not so far apart that it is difficult to position your weight over the downhill ski.
If the icy area is just a small patch and you see soft snow downhill from the ice ski across the ice maintaining balance and then turn in the soft snow.

When coming to a stop on ice don’t try to stop by suddenly digging your edges into the ice. Rather, initiate the stop by sideslipping to a gradual stop applying gentle pressure to the ski edges.

 

Controlling Speed on Steep Terrain

When advancing skiers take on Black Diamond terrain they should have a strong knowledge of how to keep their speed under control as the terrain gets steeper. There is hardly anything more scary, or more dangerous, than being out of control and then having to make desperate skidding attempts to stop.

The way to control speed is both in, and in between your turns. First, whether you’re making small or large radius turns, timing is key. Ski in a rhythm. You’ll see many skiers on the slopes listening to music. Some have helmets with speakers built in while others simply whistle. Their music helps them with rhythm. Secondly, make an uphill half turn or a ‘J’ turn. To make this turn, put pressure on your downhill ski as you’re continuing a carving turn past the fall line. Then traverse so you’re now going up hill once your speed is in control, then go into your downhill turn. With your skis continually on their edge, this is a good way of controlling your speed.

Technique tips for Controlling Speed:
• Turn uphill while keeping a rhythm.
• Whistle a rhythmic tune or listen to music to help the down up motion of turning a smooth motion.
• Stand in a dynamic stance with weight forward, feet slightly apart and your upper body facing slightly downhill.
• Steer both skis at the same time in the same direction.

 

Altitude Sickness

Perhaps as many as half the visitors from lower elevations experience some form of altitude illness. The vast majority of cases are self-limited and spontaneously resolve as the body acclimatizes. Symptoms include fatigue, decreased appetite, shortness of breath with minimal exertion, nausea, headache and sleep disturbances. These symptoms are often worse the second day.

Avoiding Altitude Sickness:

Stay Properly Hydrated: Acclimatization is often accompanied by fluid loss, so you need to drink lots of fluids to remain properly hydrated (at least 3-4 quarts per day)

Avoid tobacco and alcohol and other depressant drugs during acclimation, which can also lead to dehydration.

Light Activity during the day is better than sleeping because respiration decreases during sleep, exacerbating Altitude Sickness symptoms.

Avoid vigorous exercise until you acclimate: So, it is best to time your arrival in the afternoon before you ski, spend time getting equipment, doing leisure activities.  Activities like running, hiking, lifting, straining etc can worsen the symptoms.  

Severe cases may be complicated by breathlessness and chest tightness or by confusion, lethargy, and unsteady gait.

If you get Altitude Sickness, Remedies include:

Drink Water: As your breathing is fast and deep, you tend to dehydrate more. 

Acetaminophen: Rather than using drugs like aspirin, which have side effects, it’s advisable to use acetaminophen, a safer drug conferring instant relief from pain at higher elevations.

Inhaling pure oxygen is a quick fix. The mountain shops generally sell small portable canisters.

Home remedies include:

Herbal Potion: Ingredients include basic and normal things like lemon, water, ginger garlic, honey, etc. 

Lemon Soda: It can be in taken to prevent vomiting. You can take a glass of fresh sweet lemon soda, digestive capsules made of herbs and natural ingredients like green mango, amla, ginger, methi, etc.

Eat Digestible Food: Avoid eating heavy, oily, junk foods while ascending upwards.

 

Powder Skiing

Skiing the deep powder snow of the Rockies is completely different than skiing on hard packed icy routes. Skiing powder takes more than strapping on a powder ski. There are techniques to carving first tracks in the “steep and deep.”

First, stay in the middle of your ski. People think that they need to be back on their skis, but they lose speed. Speed is your friend when skiing in powder snow. 

Second, keep your feet together. You don’t want air between your legs. If you have too much space between your skis, your inside ski will cut a smaller curve on turns than your outside ski and is more likely to dig down. Bring your stance closer together and increase the surface area beneath your ski to have a nice float down the mountain.

Finally, keep your speed up. You may notice that powder will slow you down quite a bit compared to a smooth groomed run. Unfortunately, if you are going too slow you will not be able to float to the surface between turns and this will make it very difficult to initiate a direction change. Take a more aggressive line down the fall line then you would in harder conditions…  Speed is your friend! 

If you do those three things, you’ll begin to get the feel for how to make your way down the mountain and ski deep powder like the pros.
Often powder will vary in consistency and you may not be able to see what lies underneath. Keeping a tight core will help stabilize your upper body and minimize how much you will get thrown off balance when you hit that unexpected bump.

Skiing powder is just like skiing in moguls. The difference is you are making the moguls as you ski. You will need to extend your legs through to the middle of the turn as you push your skis into the snow. This will compact the snow until it pushes back on you. Then you will need to aggressively flex your legs just like in the bumps.

 

Mogul Skiing

Moguls are the lumps that are created when lots of skiers turn in the same or similar places, pushing the snow into piles. Moguls are not a set size they can vary greatly depending on snow conditions, sizes, spacings, steepnesses, and even patterns and shapes.  

All adding to the difficulty of being able to ski moguls well. With large variations in moguls, this can make it hard to get into a rhythm or even know what to expect when skiing through moguls.

Because of the large variations, to be able to ski moguls well requires a lot of practice. You have to be able to deal with all types of moguls whether they are soft powdery moguls, hard icy moguls, or heavy slushy moguls. Then there is the variation in size, spacing and layout of the moguls, which means that each turn will be different. 

Hard core mogul skiers use skis with a fairly large radius, which are quite stiff overall but with very soft and flexible tips. These allow them to get good grip on the snow when braking, but have the flexibility needed to get around the moguls.

If you are a beginner at moguls, The Green Line mogul skiing technique is the slowest and most controlled way to ski any mogul run. This mogul technique is where you both initiate and complete each turn on the flat top of a mogul and then “drift” (on soft edges with your skis perpendicular to the fall line) down the secondary fall lines and/or spines to the next flat mogul top that you have chosen as the spot where you plan to make your next turn. You can think of the Green Line mogul technique as skiing the flat mogul tops.

This video gives a technical view on the Green Line Mogul method.

This video is a skier demonstrating the Green Line Mogul method.

 

How To Carve On Skis

Carving is where the edges cut into the snow so well that the skis do not slide sideways, and travel straight along their length. Because the edges on modern carving skis are curved they cut into the snow in a slight arc, the skis then follow the edges and this takes you around in a turn.

To start carving the carve has to be initiated. This is best done as you are pointing straight down the slope, by rolling the knees over so that the ski edges dig into the snow and steer the skis across the slope. The skis need to be put on the edges enough that when they start turning the skis will cut into the snow and not slide. A common mistake made by people learning to carve is that they don’t roll the knees over enough, the skis really do need to be lent over to be sure the edges won’t slide. Once the edges are dug into the snow and the skis are traveling along their length, the skis will start turning and you will be able to push against them slightly and lean the body to the inside of the turn more. The faster you go while carving the more you will be able to lean, and the harder you can push on the skis. 

When carving properly and leaning into the turn, the body’s weight should be transfered to middle of the outside ski. The body is also kept more upright than the legs to enable the edges to be dug into the snow as much as possible, this also makes it easier to switch between turns as the body does not need to be moved so far. The shoulders are brought flat to the direction of the skis, as the direction we are now traveling is straight forwards. Experienced skiers will also use the inside ski when carving to an extent, but this is only when the conditions enable them to really dig the edges on both skis into the snow.

Carving is not always possible, to carve you need to have the right equipment and the right conditions. With most equipment and conditions carving is possible to an extent, but to really carve properly you need the right set up. The snow should be soft enough that the edges can dig into it, but hard enough to hold the sideways forces that you create. In icy conditions is generally when people find it difficult to carve as the edges do not want to cut into the snow so easily. How sharp the edges of your skis are can make a big difference here, as the sharper they are the easier they will dig into the snow.

Watch the youtube video of this demonstration.

 

How To Get Up After a Fall Without Taking Off Your Skis

Every skier falls and the fact that you fall is nothing to be embarrassed about. Here  is a quick, easy and graceful way to get back up without taking off your skis.

There will be times when you fall all jumbled but if your skis have not released maneuver yourself so you are sitting across the hill with your skis together and across the fall line.

Remove your hands from the pole straps and place both ski poles in front of your chest with the tips in the snow next to your uphill thigh, just above the knee. Place one hand on top of the ski pole grips and the other hand on the poles just above the baskets.
This is the “ready” position as in ready to get up. The trick to getting up effortlessly from the ‘ready’ position is to lean your chest forward toward the tips of your skis through the entire movement.

If you remove the skis on the hill, point them across the hill, perpendicular to the fall line, and stand next to them on the uphill side. Use your poles for support and step into the downhill binding first. Keeping your weight on the downhill ski, roll the ski on to its edge so that it grips in the snow, then step into the uphill binding.

Watch the youtube video of this demonstration.

 

Protect Your Skis or Snowboard From Theft

Unfortunately, your ski equipment is an easy target especially during busy weekends where a thief could easily take your skis and blend in as just another skier. Your ski equipment is valuable, and theft can be devastating. Follow these tips to prevent the theft of your ski equipment.

  • Whenever possible, keep your skis locked. Many ski resorts provide stations to lock skis, but bring your own ski lock too. Lock your skis to the rack.
  • If possible, strive to keep your skis in sight at all times.
  • Remember to loop your poles over your skis, as while this may not prevent your poles from being stolen, it will prevent an accidental mix-up and it does make your poles harder to simply pick up and carry away.
  • If you forgot your ski lock or if you can’t find a place to lock your skis, separate them - place one ski on one rack and place another ski on a different rack. Or, swap skis with a friend and create two unmatched pairs. Most thieves don’t have the patience to search for the other ski. However, be sure to take careful note of where you place your two separate skis.
  • Keep a record of your boots, skis, and poles. Be sure to include the make and model of the equipment, the serial number, and include any identifying marks or characteristics in your records. In case of theft, these details need to be reported to the police as they can help you recover your skis.
  • Many resorts or hotels have a special area where skis can be checked either overnight or during the day. Take advantage of these secured areas in order to prevent theft. However, if you choose to leave your skis in your hotel room overnight or while you’re out enjoying other activities, be sure to lock your hotel room.
  • If you have extra equipment that you store in your car, keep it out of view. If possible, hide it under your back seat or cover it with a blanket.

 

Spring Skiing Tips

During spring skiing, every skier needs to take a few extra steps to have a pleasant, safe ski trip. You need to consider the stronger sunshine, changing snow conditions, and warmer temperatures. These tips will help you make sure your spring skiing is enjoyable and safe!

Always wear sunscreen! Wearing sunscreen is a must during spring skiing. When your skin has been covered all winter long, the bright spring sun can easily cause you to burn. So, make sure that any uncovered parts of your face (such as your nose, around your eyes, or even your lips) are covered with a sunscreen protectant.

Stay hydrated. During spring skiing, temperatures may rise and drinking water is important - especially if you’re skiing at high altitudes! Make sure you drink plenty of water.

Adjust your stance for spring snow. When skiing in spring snow, ski more solidly by keeping a balanced, even weight on each foot. Consider investing in a lesson to learn how to perfect your skiing on spring snow, because it will teach you things that you will be able to use each spring, year after year.

Wear your goggles or sunglasses. The bright spring sun calls for good eye protection, so wearing your ski goggles is a must. Athletic sunglasses will also protect your eyes against the sun and make sure you can see well.

Wear the right gear. During warm spring temperatures, any skier will overheat in a heavy winter parka. Make sure you have a lighter jacket (or even a fleece!) for sunny days. A light, waterproof jacket is perfect for days where there may be rain.

Get your skis tuned-up for spring. Spring snow can be difficult and will slow you down, so a spring wax will make your skiing much smoother.

 

The Case for Renting Skis vs. The Case For Buying Skis?

The arguments for and against buying skis are changing. Clearly, if you live in or near a ski resort and doing a lot of skiing then buying skis makes sense from a purely financial point of view; equally if you only plan on skiing once year, then renting makes more sense. But what if you’re an average recreational skier who skis one, two, or three weeks each season? 

The Case for Buying Skis 

If you buys skis, you get to know your skis, you’ll get to know how they handle and get a real feel for how best to ski in them. Providing you’ve chosen skis wisely, you’ll have a pair of skis that matches the kind of skiing you do, which is better than the “luck of the draw” approach that you can be faced with when renting skis. Your skis can also be mounted with bindings that are set up just for your boots, rather than the multi-adjustable rental bindings. 

At first glance, owning is probably cheaper but there are costs associated with owning, maintenance, and transport, which can whittle away that financial advantage. But it is likely to be cheaper in the long run to own skis than to continue to rent them: Assume that a skier takes two week-long ski trips a year, and buys a pair of skis for $700. Let’s also assume that on those trips he has a ski baggage surcharge of $50 each way, and he also needs to service the skis once a year at a cost of $50. If the skis last for four years his cost per year is $250. In contrast, renting decent skis is likely to cost $150 per week – $300 per year in this example. Only if our skier manages three or more trips a year, or keeps his skis for more than four years, does he or she save much money. 

There’s also less hassle when you get to the slopes. We’ve all been there – the first morning of a ski trip, there’s fresh snow, but rather than being on the first lift up, you’re in the rental shop waiting to get your rental skis. With your own skis you can just clip in and jump on the lift. 

The Case for Renting Skis 

You can choose your ski for the conditions – if you buy skis, you’re going to end up skiing your skis whatever the conditions. If you rent, then you can pick a ski that’s suited to the snow conditions. And you can potentially change the ski during the trip if conditions change. 

It’s less of a hassle transporting skis. Carrying skis around is tough – they are long and unwieldy, and make getting on public transportation and through airports more difficult. In addition, most airlines now charge for travelling with skis. If your trip involves renting a car at the airport to drive to the resort, you have to get a car large enough to fit the skis inside, or rent a ski rack. This means that, especially for short weekend trips traveling by air, it’s often cheaper to rent skis. 

If you rent skis, you just hand them back at the end of the ski trip. If you own skis, then you’ll have to either budget for an edge and wax treatment every few weeks of skiing. 

If you rent your skis, you always ski the latest models, though this might not always be the case in smaller or cheaper rental companies. In contrast, if you buy your own skis then you’re likely going to be skiing them for four years or more, and at by that time, they’re probably going to be looking and feeling a little tired. But, your trusty old skis can become a pair that you use for early or late season skiing when the snow conditions are less than optimal. 

Basically, it depends on how often you ski and even how well you ski as to whether you buy or rent your ski or snowboard equipment.

The National Ski Club Newsletter
Issue January-February 2015
Adapted from an article on Snowgenius.com

 

Avoid Passport Pitfalls

When traveling to an international destination most people know that a U.S. passport is required to enter an international destination. A lesser-known requirement for some countries is that they require your U.S. passport be valid not only for the duration of your visit, but also for three to six months after your entry or return from their country. This is known as the six month rule. This means you should check your passport expiration date carefully. 

This rule is in place so that if the un-expecting visitor needs to stay for a period up to six month his/her passport would be valid to leave the country. If your passport is about to expire it is recommended that you renew your passport nine (9) months before your passport expires.

A good source of up-to-date information about passport validity is the U.S. Department of State’s travel website (travel.state.gov), which lists entry requirements by country. Don’t let your next international trip get tripped up by a passport fiasco.

You can get a passport renewed in 4-6 weeks by routine processing at a cost of $110, or 2-3 weeks with expedited service at an additional cost of $60.

This year a trip is planned for Whistler in British Columbia, Canada. Canada does not enforce the six-month rule. However, you should check your passport expiration date to be sure it doesn’t expire before returning to the USA. Your vacation could be ruined before you even get started.

Basic requirements for entering Canada:
- have a valid passport,
- be in good health,
- have no criminal or immigration-related convictions.

 

Warm-up Stretches before Downhill Skiing

Before skiing you should always do some form of warm-up stretches. Preparing muscles and joints for activity helps prevent injury. Below are a few exercises that can be done before hitting the slopes.

Dry Land Stretch #1. Find an even surface that runs perpendicular to a wall. With feet spread shoulder-width apart, point them straight ahead so that six inches to a single foot remain between the wall and your toes. Place both hands as high as they will reach on the wall and slightly arch the lower back. Hold this extended position without lifting the feet off the ground.

Dry Land Stretch #2. Sit on a flat surface and extend both legs out as far as they will reach. With ankles touching, reach toward the inside of the feet and try to hold on for an extended period of time. Next, reach and hold on to the outside of the feet. Finally, point the toes straight in the air and reach for the top portion of the feet. 

Another set of stretches will take place with the boots and skis fastened in order to specifically target the most commonly used muscles during the activity.

Ski Stretch #1. With the insides of the skis touching, reach straight down and touch the outsides of the ski boots. Keep both legs fully extended.

Ski Stretch #2. Stand on a flat surface away from any downhill slope. While fastened into the skis place the inner rails together and slowly assume a squatting position. Continue to stand up and squat down repeatedly to stretch the quadriceps muscles as well as the hamstrings. Perform this stretch multiple times with the skis touching  and with the skis approximately shoulder-width apart.

 

Safety on the Slopes

Ski season will soon be in full swing. Safety is one of the biggest concerns. I hate seeing people get injured on our trips and unfortunately it happens every year. What can you do? First and foremost, know and practice the Skiers Responsibility Code. 

1. Always stay in control, and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects. 

2. People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them. 

3. You must not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above. 

4. Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others. 

5. Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment. 

6. Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas. 

7. Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely. 

The other thing I would stress is to look out for each other. On most trips there are people of all ski levels, so try to ski with at least one more person. When you go on a trip this year, maybe look out for one of the newer people and invite him or her to ski/ride with you for a couple of runs. Share your experience on the lift. 

Protect yourself! I think all skiers and snowboarders should wear a helmet regardless of their ability. Modern helmets are very comfortable, warm and not too expensive. In addition, make sure that you bring your equipment in so that it is properly tuned and the bindings are working well. 

Know your body and listen to it. The majority of injuries occur when people are too tired or it’s late in the day when the light and snow conditions deteriorate. 

I hope everyone has a fantastic and safe ski season!

 

Other Uses For Lip Balm

If you’re anything like me, you have one, two or more tubes or jars of lip balm in your boot bag. You know how important balm can be on those dry, winter days, but do you know all of the uses for lip balm other than for your lips? I did a little research and found some extremely useful possibilities for those wonderful moisturizers. So if you’re on the hunt for new uses, here are some that are very helpful!

  • Nasty and painful hangnails? Massage it into your cuticles. They’ll be soft and pliable when you wake up.
  • Swipe some balm on really dry patches, like elbows, knees, heels and that spot between your thumb and pointer finger. Rub the balm into the affected area to warm it up and make it more spreadable. 
  • Heal cracked fingertips during winter; whenever you apply balm to your lips, cover the cracked knuckles with a nice thick layer too, to seal in moisture and protect the area.
  • Apply to face to prevent windburn while skiing.
  • In extremely cold weather, protect your skin from the cold by rubbing it on exposed skin to help prevent frostbite.
  • If you’re in a bright snowy area, dip chap stick in black ashes and rub it under your eyes. This will reduce glare and keep you from going snowblind.
  • Have a stuck zipper on your ski jacket? Rub balm on zipper teeth then zip and unzip several times.
  • When you have a cold, apply some balm to your nose after you use a tissue, to protect the skin from getting all red and irritated..

 

These are just a few ideas. I’m sure you can think of more. It is important to keep your skin moist and your body hydrated. Especially when the weather begins to get cold. 

 

Bus Loading for Ski Trips

We are all usually in a rush when loading our luggage on the bus on ski club trips. So, if everyone cooperates and adheres to the few simple guidelines listed below, we should not have any problems with misplaced luggage on bus trips and everyone will be happier.

  1. First and foremost, it is required that your skis, poles and snowboards be enclosed in a ski or snowboard bag before being loaded on the bus. Do not lean your skis or snowboard against the bus. Bring only one suitcase, per person, to place in the luggage compartment. Storage space is limited, so pack light.
  2. Since many of us have the same type or similar looking luggage, please tag your luggage with your name and address. ID tags must be on every piece of luggage. Also, it is suggested that you tag luggage in an unique manner -- special tape, colored yarn, bright colored luggage tags, etc. -- so that it will be readily recognized by you as your own.
  3. You are responsible for seeing that your luggage is put on the bus. Bring all luggage to the loading bay of the bus. Do not load it yourself. Volunteers will load everything underneath the bus. Many times the bus driver or volunteers will want to load the luggage in order to maximize the space in the luggage bay. But, we suggest that you don’t get on the bus until you see your luggage is on board. This way you will know that nothing was left behind.
  4. When the bus arrives at the destination, the volunteers will unload all skis, snowboards and luggage.
  5. Make sure all your luggage is accounted for before heading off to the condo/room/check-in. Members are responsible for transferring their own skis/snowboard equipment and luggage. Again, don’t expect someone else to take responsibility for your belongings.
  6. If you find that you have the wrong luggage, contact the person whose luggage you have and make arrangements to get it to them. If you can’t locate the owner of the luggage, contact the trip leader.

If you have a problem, let the trip leader know as soon as possible so that they can help. 

 

Connecting to GSC Calendar

Online calendars are a popular way to share schedules with the ski club members across different platforms and applications. Subscribing to an iCal is a good way to track events that change. Whenever the owner of an iCal you’ve subscribed to makes changes to the events, Outlook.com updates your calendar. This update can take more than 24 hours.

1. Go to the Gelandesprung Ski Club website, www.gelandesprung.org/event-calendar. 
2. Clicking the orange iCal button underneath the calendar, lower left. 

If, after 24 hours the GSC calendar doesn’t appear in your personal calendar, follow the steps below.

Subscribing to a calendar via Outlook.com
1. Go to your Outlook calendar 
2. Click Import.
3. Click Subscribe.
4. In the Calendar URL box, paste the web address webcal://gelandesprung.org/calendar.ics .
5. Enter a name for the calendar and choose a color.
6. If you like, select a charm that will appear in every day that new events occur.
7. Click Subscribe.

Subscribing to a calendar via your Google calendar
1. Go to your Google calendar, 
2. Click the down-arrow to the right of Other calendars.
3. Select Add by URL from the menu.
4. Enter webcal://gelandesprung.org/calendar.ics. in the field provided.
5. Click Add calendar.

 

Off-Season Biking for Skiers

Why is biking good for keeping in shape for skiing? First, biking makes you use the quads and core muscles you use skiing, while being easy on the knees.

Second, biking is a great aerobic exercise and, like skiing, bike riding requires short bursts of intensity to raise the heart rate. Running or jogging means maintaining a constant push on the heart rate (not to mention the knees), while biking has some downhill and flat coasting making for a great interval workout.

You don’t need mountains to benefit from biking, but hills will add to the leg workout. You can vary the intensity of your ride through the mechanics of your bike. A bike with three basic range of gears can be used to ease you up the hills and to pace you through the flats.

The best workouts are the ones that won’t make you bored. With a summer goal of keeping skiing muscles tuned and lungs in shape for a day on the slopes, biking offers the opportunity to both explore your world and stay fit.

If you really start to get bored, put the bike on the car and head to a state park or a municipal bike trail. Bike riding has become such a popular activity that most states have designated bike trails with no motorized vehicles allowed.

Even though the breeze you create riding feels cool, you still need to keep yourself hydrated. So, make sure you bring water with you.

 

How to use Fillable PDF Forms

Some of the forms in this newsletter are “fillable” on your computer. This means that you can conveniently complete such forms right on your computer by simply typing information into a form’s displayed fields. You can then print your completed form, sign it as required and submit the form as you normally would via regular mail or in person. At this time, all signatures, where required, must be hand written on forms.

Before you begin, ensure that you have the most recent version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. The most current version can be downloaded for free from the Adobe® Web site.

  • Position your cursor in any field and begin typing. When you are finished, tab to the next field or reposition your cursor in another field.
  • To check a box, position your cursor over the square and click.
  • Currently, there is no computation, validation or verification of the information you enter. Nonetheless, you are responsible for entering all required information.
  • You cannot alter, remove or add to any of the pre-printed text on the form.

 

Print Color as Shades of Gray

You don’t have to use valuable and potentially expensive color ink to print a PDF file. You can print a color PDF in shades of gray (also known as grayscale or composite gray). In the Print dialog box, enable Print In Grayscale (Black and White).

If you are using Adobe Acrobat Pro, you will need to select "Print color as black" in the lower left corner of the print dialog box. If the checkbox is dimmed, click on Properties button then select "Black and White". If that doesn't work, click the Advanced button. In the Print Setup dialog box make sure that "Acrobat Default" is selected in the Settings menu, then select "Composite Gray" from the Color drop down menu.

If you are using Microsoft Reader in Windows 8 or 8.1, click print, then select "Monochrome" in the Color Mode drop down.

If you are using Adobe Reader (version 11) the ability to print in black/white on a color printer is controlled by the printer itself. Click on the Properties button to locate the option to print in black and white. Choose File > Print, click on the 'Properties' button, then select 'Black & White' in the color section.

The printer settings are different for different printers, so it's difficult to tell you how without knowing which printer you have, plus it might be different for different models. If you are still having issues, update to the lastest version of Adobe Reader. Then follow instructions for Adobe Reader version 11, above.

GELANDESPRUNG MEANING ge·län·de·sprung a jump, usually over an obstacle, in which one plants both poles in the snow in advance of the skis, bends close to the ground, and propels oneself chiefly by the use of the poles.

Gelandesprung Ski Club Sponsors

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