Anyone Else Losing the Love for Lift Serviced Skiing

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by JPM, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. JPM

    JPM Tombstone Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2017
    Posts:
    46
    Location:
    Sandy, Ut, and Tashmoo. Near the blue rock.
    The past few years, lift serviced skiing hasn't done much for me. Riding the lift is fine early season when there is not much natural snow on the ground and snowmaking trails are it. Anyone else getting this way?
     
  2. Mike Thomas

    Mike Thomas Whiteroom Pugski Sponsor

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    557
    I don't really like skiers very much these days, but I still love chairlifts.
     
  3. Ken_R

    Ken_R Living the Dream Skier

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Posts:
    1,765
    Location:
    Littleton, CO
    Sometimes I do. On the days where the mountain is calm and uncrowded its great to work on technique or just enjoy the flow and speed of skiing. It is a happy and relaxing place for me.

    On pow days rushing to get to the lift it is just crazy. The other day I got the first tracks down Golden Eagle (Beaver Creek Birds of Prey downhill course) with about a foot of powder. It was awesome but it wasnt. To get there I had to rush to the lift 40min before opening. Wait there, watch the maze get packed and then rush to the second lift, make it to the top, quickly descend to the run and without warming up or having skied deep powder in a long time send it down the initial 35º pitch. I gotta admit a few of the turns felt amazing but the whole deal just felt absurd. The whole mountain was tracked out in now time. Good thing I still enjoy skiing chow if the stuff under is not to bad.

    But nothing compares to the tranquility of skinning up even on "busy" days in the backcountry.

    I actually experienced both at A Basin earlier this season. I got there early after dropping off a friend at the airport and skinned up. I was at the mid mountain lodge chatting with one of the bartenders when I saw the mayhem unfold, BMX lift opened and the rush of people just getting out quickly to get to the Lenawee lift as fast as possible was ridiculous. The whole place turned from a mellow place to controlled chaos in seconds. And this was not on a big pow day. Just a few inches of fresh.

    Am I done with resort skiing. Hell no. But I will avoid a lot of days and just head to the backcountry instead.
     
    Mendieta and Blue Streak like this.
  4. RuleMiHa

    RuleMiHa Getting on the lift Skier

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2017
    Posts:
    263
    Nope, I'll take skiing any way I can get it. Where I am that means lift served. Granted, never on weekends or holidays.
     
    Freaq likes this.
  5. cantunamunch

    cantunamunch Meh Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2015
    Posts:
    5,000
    Getting? I started getting this way about 10 years ago.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018


  6. Fishbowl

    Fishbowl A Parallel Universe Skier

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2017
    Posts:
    354
    Location:
    Lost
    Without man made snow and lifts, there would be ZERO skiing in Arizona this year. Instead we have been skiing on miles of groomed trails since Thanksgiving. Beggars can’t be choosers.
     
    RuleMiHa likes this.
  7. nemesis256

    nemesis256 Kastle Guy Skier

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2017
    Posts:
    197
    Location:
    North Conway, NH
    I am. But being in New England conditions for backcountry are often awful. If it weren't for that I would still go to the resort, but I'm not sure I would buy a season pass.
     
  8. SSSdave

    SSSdave life is short precious ...don't waste it Skier

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2017
    Posts:
    375
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    What you seem to be really asking is when conditions are reasonable is "Anyone Else Losing the Love for Lift Serviced Skiing" because of limitations for fresh powder skiing?

    No. And the reason as an older skier that has been a hard core enthusiast several decades, I learned how to have fun enjoying skiing in a list of conditions, not just when fresh snow or powdery packed powder is about. I can quite enjoy days just skiing groomed runs and bumps as long as surface conditions are not too firm or icy. And I personally really love the feeling of bouncing like a big soft rubbery ball down packed powder bump slopes.

    It is rather obvious that in this era of wider skis, there are fair numbers of upper intermediate through advanced skiers that are all over fresh powder and or packed powder all mountain conditions and that when those conditions get tracked out, thaw freeze cycle, ice up, slush up, and deteriorate which is not infrequent, that they don't have conditions elsewhere on a mountain to entertain themselves on. They ski groomed runs either at high speeds or in uninterested unenthusiastic ways just to reach their preferred slopes and don't have adequate mogul skiing skills or skis to skis those slopes so are wishing for something else.

    So that sends them out to wide open vast unblemished backcountry slopes where one skins up on free heels and earns one's turns. Awesome and somewhat dangerous but strenuous enough that not many are willing to do so more than single runs occasionally that gnaws on one's motivation versus getting a relaxing ride up a chair lift. And I am one of those that at most will only skin up then hike up such pristine backcountry slopes occasionally for single runs because it takes a lot of effort. Note I also am a long time summer backpacker into alpine mountain regions carrying heavy loads where similarly there is much reward if one can endure much effort to get there.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
    Freaq and Ken_R like this.
  9. Chris Walker

    Chris Walker Ullr Is Lord Skier

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2015
    Posts:
    590
    Location:
    Denver
    I could see it happening if I got into backcountry skiing. I really like the feeling when I get to a remote hike-to corner of a resort far from the madding crowd.

    But I'm too scared to go into the backcountry so it's lift-served for me.
     
    ChrisFromOC and tball like this.
  10. JPM

    JPM Tombstone Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2017
    Posts:
    46
    Location:
    Sandy, Ut, and Tashmoo. Near the blue rock.
    I am asking if anybody is losing the love for lift serviced skiing. You are asking if it has to do with fresh powder. Yes?
     
  11. JPM

    JPM Tombstone Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2017
    Posts:
    46
    Location:
    Sandy, Ut, and Tashmoo. Near the blue rock.
    Are you there yet? If not, keep going. I'm right behind you.
     
    neonorchid likes this.
  12. cantunamunch

    cantunamunch Meh Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2015
    Posts:
    5,000
    I think I am. I only bother anymore when it's to keep someone company; and I've pretty much limited those someones to 3 people total.
     
    JPM likes this.
  13. JPM

    JPM Tombstone Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2017
    Posts:
    46
    Location:
    Sandy, Ut, and Tashmoo. Near the blue rock.
    One of the reasons I'm getting away from lift serviced skiing.

    upload_2018-2-14_15-23-20.png
     
  14. JPM

    JPM Tombstone Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2017
    Posts:
    46
    Location:
    Sandy, Ut, and Tashmoo. Near the blue rock.
    Chris has seen the light!
     
  15. jmeb

    jmeb Stereotypical Front Range Weekend Warrior Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2015
    Posts:
    1,451
    Location:
    Colorado
    In short, no. I'm sort of like @SSSdave.

    Backcountry skiing, if it has done anything for me, has made me enjoy lift served skiing more because it has changed my approach and appreciation for it.

    I am far less powder hungry inbounds -- as I know if I really want to ski powder I can, I just have to go work for it. Instead I just enjoy ripping around on whatever is there, bumps, groomers, crud. I love being able to ski steep lines with no / little concern for avalanches. I love riding lifts and having warm lodges to wander into. And the social element is nice too sometimes.

    Probably most importantly -- as someone who skis in one of the busiest areas of the country -- backcountry skiing gives me an option to ski when I can't face dealing with crowds. So on the super busy days I opt out and can still ski. Or if I really want to ski some untouched. Or if I really want to just have some time communing with nature, and a friend or two.

    tl;dr: Backcountry skiing makes me like resort skiing more. And resort skiing makes me appreciate the joys of the backcountry. Its positive feedback cycle.

    Of course, this dude also really prefers bc skiing.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. JPM

    JPM Tombstone Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2017
    Posts:
    46
    Location:
    Sandy, Ut, and Tashmoo. Near the blue rock.
    Splitboarder?
     
    newboots likes this.
  17. Tico

    Tico Putting on skis Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Posts:
    60
    I ski 120-150 days a year. Perhaps 3 or 4 are lift served.
     
    cantunamunch, JPM and Ken_R like this.
  18. Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two wheels. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Posts:
    16,008
    Location:
    Reno, eNVy
    I much prefer lifts..I am lazy.
     
  19. Ken_R

    Ken_R Living the Dream Skier

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Posts:
    1,765
    Location:
    Littleton, CO
    I quickly learned that in the backcountry its better to have fun on the up as much as the down. With my first setup the up was a chore with the second, it was much more enjoyable. I am actually loving the up, the down is just a bonus!
     
    Mike Rogers, DanoT, JPM and 2 others like this.
  20. jmeb

    jmeb Stereotypical Front Range Weekend Warrior Skier

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2015
    Posts:
    1,451
    Location:
    Colorado
    If you saw how fast he transitions from up to down and back to up; you’d never say such slanderous things.
     
    JPM likes this.

Share This Page


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice

We respect your privacy. your information is safe and will never be shared