SKI TIPS | Hike-To Do’s and Do’s

March 6, 2014 by  
Filed under Wind Energy Tips

Telluride has some of the most exhilarating and challenging hike-to terrain in the country.  From Gold Hill 2 to Gold Hill 9, Jack Pot to Palmyra Peak, these hike-to’s offer a sensational bird’s eye view of the San Juan mountains and the Telluride ski area.  As a ski instructor often taking clients into some of these areas to showcase Telluride’s wonderful inbound ski terrain, I am doing many checks and balances that will make skiing in this terrain a thrilling and rewarding experience. 

Skills

First and foremost I check the skill sets of the skiers and their ability to apply that skill set in challenging terrain and sometimes trying conditions.  Skill wise this means standing “centered” on the skis, with the ability to remain centered through the turn process and the ability to ‘brake’ the ski at any moment.  They need to be able to apply these skills comfortably and confidently in a short turn format on steep black terrain.

Fitness

Of course a certain level of fitness won’t go astray and hiking between 11,000 and nearly 13,500 feet has its’ own challenges. You need to make sure you are acclimatized and comfortable hiking with up to 40 percent less oxygen.  Start small and work up to bigger hikes and keep a check on your body and fitness levels to ensure you can cope with your adventures!

Conditions

Whenever I am looking at doing a hike-to, foremost I am looking at snow and weather conditions to make my choice of what will ski best.  Where can I find the least tracked powder…we’re always after untracked, right?  Are the temperatures, wind conditions and snow cover going to make my hike-to a pleasant experience or like summiting Everest? And which slopes will be least sun or wind affected?

Equipment

Taking the right tools of trade for the job will make your hike-to that much more rewarding.  A rockered, all-mountain powder ski you are comfortable with, boots with rubber souls for traction, a backpack with a ski carrier system to help haul your equipment up the mountain, a few energy bars, water for rehydration tucked in the backpack, and a camera to record the moment, are all essentials.  And don’t forget the extra layer in case it’s colder than you thought.

Pacing

A slow steady pace always wins the race.  Remember, it’s not a race.  Stop to rehydrate on longer hikes, take in the view and take some photos.  It’s something you will want to remember!

Summary

I hope some of these tips will be of help and make your hike-to adventures a thrilling and rewarding experience that you will remember for a long time to come.

Peter Steiner has been teaching skiing all over the world for 26 years – or over 50 seasons in Europe, Austria, Australia, and now in Telluride for seven years. He is a fully certified ski instructor in Australia and Austria, and a certified ski guide in Austria. To experience the depth of knowledge Peter and other members of the Telluride Ski School have to offer, please contact AReiger@telski.com or 970/728-7414.

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