I grew up snowboarding in NW Washington and had never skied. However, lots of my trailrunning friends have been posting pictures of backcountry ski-touring. I couldn’t let them have all the fun so I hunted on the used classifieds and put together a pretty good set-up. Some Surface Sherpa skis with dynafit speed turn tech bindings, some La Sportiva sparkle tech boots, and some G3 skins.
So, before I knew it, I was skinning up Sq Peak road and then realizing I didn’t know how to ski down. Thankfully the road isn’t too steep, so my rudimentary pizza wedge worked fine. The boots KILLED though.
After getting the boots adjusted I return to the same road, went up higher and felt great. The new snow, however, made the way back down very slow – lots of pushing and having to stay in my tracks. So, not much practice getting turns on the downhill.
3rd attempt I skinned up from the Lindon equestrian parking lot up to make-out point just north of Dry Canyon. The way up was great. Downhill was a disaster. I picked a broad treeless open slope because it would give me the space to do long wide turns. There was a lot of deep snow, which made turning hard and who would have guessed that not know how to ski at all would make going down difficult. It was embarrassing.
4 attempt I went with a friend from Tibble Fork Resevoir in AF Canyon up to Silver Lake Flat via the road and trail, and then took the road down. It was great. Steep enough on the way down that I didn’t have to push a lot but not too steep. I got some turns in and started to figure out the mechanics of it.
Finally, on an afternoon after work I ponied up some dollars and got an evening lift ticket at Sundance. It was great! After a few runs I figured out how to distirbute my weight from one foot to the other, carve back and forth, slow down, dodge trees, etc. There was a good 18 inches of fresh snow, which didn’t make for the best learning conditions, but it went very well. By the end of the day I could swish down greens and blues without much trouble. Huzzah!