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At what age did you start to ski?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We started 15 years ago. I was 46 and my husband was 54. Went on a Mark Warner 'Learn to Ski' week in La Plagne. He was hooked on the second day. I took a bit longer(well actually I was useless...) and it took a ski trip to Banff with a group of friends to push me over the line to enjoyment. I think it was empty pistes and one to one lessons that made the difference.

Have skied 5 weeks a year since, and just about to do our first season. Can't imagine what we would have done with our time and money if we hadn't become 'born again skiers'!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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Last year 9 months after retiring at 65 my son talked me into going on a MyAsH bash. I had skied for about 2 hours the previous year in Canada but it had been a disaster as one ski kept falling off. However by the end of the week at Livingo I got my fall rate per day into single figures. I went back again this year, had three night ski sessions in Canada in March and also did the EoSB. Looking forward to seeing if I can remember how to do it on the slopes again this year!!!!!!!
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@TurdyMcFlude, I obviously missed you at the EOSB, are you going this year I’ll look out for you. There were quite a few of us last year. Shocked Very Happy
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@geepee, don't encourage him, he needs to save that money for either my inheritance or to take me on a trip to BC.
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@SnoodlesMcFlude, You do know that ski means spend kids inheritance. School boy error getting him into it. Toofy Grin
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@geepee, I was playing the long game on a trip to Canada, I naively wasn’t expecting him to embrace European trips and holidays without me.
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@SnoodlesMcFlude, Laughing Laughing Well that backfired.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
SnoodlesMcFlude wrote:
@geepee, don't encourage him, he needs to save that money for either my inheritance or to take me on a trip to BC.

BC? The only BC I can think of is Bratton Clovelly and I don't think that there is much there for us...but if you want to go then OK.
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a little bit on dry ski slopes when 16/17 and then first proper trip when I was 22, 25 years ago now. I think in that I've averaged a little over 1 week per year. Would love to do more but have managed 2 weeks the last two years as my kids love skiing so now have a trip alone and one trip with the family. Next year have a weekend and hopefully 2 weeks.
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About 25. Far too late.
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A subsection of this, is how long it took you to reach certain milestones - and I think the timescale will depend on how long ago you started and whether you learned on straight skis. 40 years ago, progression was slow, carving was an expert skill and off piste took many years for a 1 or 2 week a year skier to master. So, milestones could be:

1. Skiing parallel in medium to long turns
2. Skiing short turns
3. Skiing easyish Moguls in control
4. Carving long and short turns on moderate terrain
5. Skiing off piste on moderate terrain

For me, it's so long ago, I can't put precise weeks on it. I started in 72/73, with several weeks in the 70s, but not every year. It was early 80s before I could do a decent parallel Christie. It was late 80s before I could do decent short swings and early 90s before I could steer an old school 2m ski, off piste.

I didn't get my head around Carving until the advent of carving skis and my first pair in early 2000s....and some great instruction in Val D'Isere, from the likes of Aaron Cassells, Dave Cowell and Simon Mc Combe.

Mogul skiing is what I find most difficult, and it is probably only in the last 10 years that it became serviceable.....after a few days of acclimatizing on each holiday.

I'm still far from perfect, as in a lesson, there is always a long list of stuff to work on.

I'm quite sure, that with the "condition specific" skis of today, those milestones are now much closer....but given the standard of the average holiday skier, you still have to put the work in, otherwise you just go quicker than is safe and go off piste before you have an appreciation of the risks - all putting other people at risk.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Old Fartbag, good points.

I'd add, Twisted Evil, that one important milestone is the moment you realise your "expert" is anyone else's "mostly competent"...

I had my first experience on skis aged 5 or so.

I think I had my first carve experience (just the one turn, mind) aged around 13. We had lessons as kids and did very basic school level racing, etc., almost all in Scotland.

@ School probably on snow ~17 days a year, uni maybe up to ~20-24? Some instruction and race training thrown in and quite a few dryslope evenings.

I think I could ski "blue" moguls with a decently quiet upper body around 21. About then I learned while I thought I was quite good, those who really were, didn't, so much Embarassed

It all really only came together to any sensible degree when I did my first season, 5-6 days a week, with guests so internal head amusement required, and always seeking the perfect turn (I knew by then what a carve felt like).

Reliable powder at speed only really embedded by a week's heli-skiing.

"off piste" these days was just a normal piste in Scotland in the '80s. SRSLY. Actually, you don't encounter too much undergrowth in the alps whereas heather was a common obstacle on a school Saturday ski, particularly with front point bindings... Shocked
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under a new name wrote:


I'd add, Twisted Evil, that one important milestone is the moment you realise your "expert" is anyone else's "mostly competent"...


As you get better, you just up the ante of when you say, "Fffuuuckk, I can't go down there - and certainly not at that speed." When you stop saying that, no matter how difficult the run is (on or off piste), you are an Expert. I am not an Expert.

Skiing, as an adult, is one big "mindfcuk" and it's very much about training the mind, through confidence...which is achieved through practice, experience, lessons and snow time. I simply don't get enough of the latter.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Old Fartbag wrote:

As you get better, you just up the ante of when you say, "Fffuuuckk, I can't go down there - and certainly not at that speed." When you stop saying that, no matter how difficult the run is (on or off piste), you are an Expert. I am not an Expert.

Skiing, as an adult, is one big "mindfcuk" and it's very much about training the mind, through confidence...which is achieved through practice, experience, lessons and snow time. I simply don't get enough of the latter.


Yes, I think you have it spot on. For me anyway.
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@Old Fartbag, hahahah

I once had a private ESF lesson with a chum, and we both wanted to ski bumps better. We had booked a friend who was really quite handy, but were on mate’s rates.

So on arrival at the rendez-vous, we were met by the then Director of said ESF, 60 years old if a day, self taught and who never, ever, was allowed out with paying clients.

So on first chair he asks, “What are you lads looking to achieve?”

“Why, to ski bumps like gods!”, we respond.

“Bah, ouayyy”, he answers, “that’s bad for your knees. How about we tuck into my secret stash of home made poire and discuss great skiers?”

Didn’t end well.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@under a new name, It may have changed, but there was a huge difference between the ESF and BASI approaches to learning:

1. BASI - It should be enjoyable, so, practice on an easy Blue, far from any danger, so you can concentrate on the basics, without worrying about death.

2. ESF - Enjoyment has nothing to do with it. Their philosophy was, you WILL learn, even if it kills you. Bumps on a steep black and off piste among trees, so it's "Turn, or Die".
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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April 1988, age 25 - 1 hr beginner lesson at Sunderland dry slope. I was hopeless - and totally peed off that the instructor had to ski backwards to hold my ski tips in a snowplough while my (now ex) wife took to it like a duck to water...

3 days later, we both made it top to bottom at Cairngorm on my first day on snow under the tuition of my brother who had skied for four or five years.

From day one I was totally hooked and obsessed.

The earlier snowHead quote of 'being alive' just sums it up...The wonder of a landscape blanketed in fresh snow; being first ones down a deserted groomed run on a freezing, blue sky day; the incredible weightlessness of, and inexplicable addiction to, bottomless powder; the feeling of freedom and flying like a bird; the amazing distances you can cover and the wonder of just travelling on snow; discovering the joys of ski touring, reaching wilderness peaks on skis and spending nights in refuges; and just being in the mountains and looking round and taking in just where you are....

And so many amazing memories too: From world famous mega areas of the Alps, to different continents and cultures; and of discovering tiny resorts - like the time we were the novelty British visitors that were introduced to the ski patrol and the locals (Pass Powderkeg, BC). And using skiing as a reason to visit places we'd probably never go to - like Poland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Bulgaria, Chile and Iceland. We even visited friends in Australia in their winter just so we could ski. They thought we were mental for not going in summer...

By the time I started dating a girl I was very keen on in Sept 1992, I was obsessed by skiing. Amazingly, it snowed in Scotland in the October of that year and - after discovering that she was a veteran of 2 school trips from about 12 years previously(!!) - off we went for a weekend at The Lecht. That was followed by a week in Obergurgl - which we both loved - the next January and we've never looked back. We've been together ever since and married for the past 18 years.

Skiing is such a fantastic sport to do with loved ones and friends. We ski as much as we can with full time work and get between 30 and 50 days on snow each year (of which up to 20 can be at the tiny but worthwhile areas of the North Pennines and Lake District and Scotland) - those days also include that we ski tour into May or June in Scotland when the lifts close; and often visit glaciers from May to November.

Ten years ago we bought an apartment in Tignes, which felt like a massive commitment at the time (What if it doesn't work out? What if we can't rent it out?) - but which we love and visit two or three times a year, winter and summer.

Skiing has definitely been a life changing drug and total addiction Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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@mountainaddict, what a lovely post! Very Happy
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Old Fartbag wrote:


1. Skiing parallel in medium to long turns
2. Skiing short turns
3. Skiing easyish Moguls in control
4. Carving long and short turns on moderate terrain
5. Skiing off piste on moderate terrain



1. Couple of days
2. Probably 2 weeks.
3. Not sure. I'll let you know if it happens
4. Few weeks
5. OK - technically it is skiing because I am wearing skis but if I was being accurate I would call it survival with limbs intact. Laughing
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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Thornyhill wrote:
Old Fartbag wrote:


1. Skiing parallel in medium to long turns
2. Skiing short turns
3. Skiing easyish Moguls in control
4. Carving long and short turns on moderate terrain
5. Skiing off piste on moderate terrain



1. Couple of days
2. Probably 2 weeks.
3. Not sure. I'll let you know if it happens
4. Few weeks
5. OK - technically it is skiing because I am wearing skis but if I was being accurate I would call it survival with limbs intact. Laughing


My answers would be almost identical to this.
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@Old Fartbag,
Quote:

1. Skiing parallel in medium to long turns
2. Skiing short turns
3. Skiing easyish Moguls in control
4. Carving long and short turns on moderate terrain
5. Skiing off piste on moderate terrain


If you do little badges for these, people will sign up in their thousands.
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@Old Fartbag, woop woop wrong

BASI: we have a meticulous researched and developed program so you all do perfect BASI turn at the end of it. Cybermen suits are optional but recommend. Resistance is futile.

ESF: here is one of my secret stashes of home made spirits. Fermented by my old, late, great grand-mere. Do you prefer fruity or spicy? Today we will dreenk them until you theenk you can ski, theenk you are speaking ze French and then we will go for ze nice long lunch.
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@under a new name, Laughing
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@Richard_Sideways, isn’t that what ski schools do?
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under a new name wrote:
@Old Fartbag, woop woop wrong

BASI: we have a meticulous researched and developed program so you all do perfect BASI turn at the end of it. Cybermen suits are optional but recommend. Resistance is futile.

ESF: here is one of my secret stashes of home made spirits. Fermented by my old, late, great grand-mere. Do you prefer fruity or spicy? Today we will dreenk them until you theenk you can ski, theenk you are speaking ze French and then we will go for ze nice long lunch.

I stand corrected. Toofy Grin
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Thornyhill wrote:

1. Couple of days
2. Probably 2 weeks.
3. Not sure. I'll let you know if it happens
4. Few weeks
5. OK - technically it is skiing because I am wearing skis but if I was being accurate I would call it survival with limbs intact. Laughing

Have you ever been on Old School skis? - If not, a 2m pair of Volkls would put manners on you. wink
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Old Fartbag, I’ve still got a pair of 195 Volkls. I must try them out sometime.
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I started on dry slopes when I was 8 with a view to going that winter (1985) however my dad had to attend an exhibition so that was put on hold to the year after. Still kept up with a few dry slope sessions then off in '86 to one of the then company directors chalets in Meribel for a fortnight.

Skied every year from then on until I was 21 when in our first house a new bathroom suite was priority.

Skied every year since, sometimes twice.

Not sure on the actual chronology of the following but as a rough guess...

1. Skiing parallel in medium to long turns: I guess around age 15, then for my 18th got my first set of my own skis. K2 Speed Machines, 200cm GS skis.
2. Skiing short turns: Once I realized in a bus in Bad Gastein that my skis were about 30cm above everything else I got some twin tips around age 28.
3. Skiing easyish Moguls in control: Even with 174cm twin tips I couldn't master them. It took unil about three years ago when we went to Winter Park when I could really concentrate on easy blue slopes with moguls at the side where I've finally cracked them. I say "cracked" where I really mean ski ten in succession then it all goes to pot.
4. Carving long and short turns on moderate terrain: Not sure, say around 18/19yrs.
5. Skiing off piste on moderate terrain: Work in progress.
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You know it makes sense.
Had a weeks long intensive course in October half term back in 1988 at Gloucester dry slope when I was 8 years old. Skied or boarded pretty much every year (inc the fridges and dry slopes) until I was 21 when I headed out to Morzine for a season "to get good".
Was a board instructor by 23, then alternated between skiing and boarding since depending on where we go and what the conditions are like. Still try to get away each year, but kids and wife / life keep getting in the way so its gone from 3 times a season to once if I'm lucky. Out to L2A in Feb so we'll see how much I remember.
At a guess -
1. Parallel med to long turns - prob 17/18 when I was more aware of what my legs were actually doing
2. Short turns - About the same
3. Moguls - No. Not now, not ever. wretched things that serve only to hurt my knees.
4. Carving - Probably since about 21, but ski tech (and snowboard tech similarly) has helped this massively
5. Off piste - On a board its been good since 21, on skis its definitely harder, but again ski developments have made it easier since they got fatter and able to do everything.
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mountainaddict wrote:
We've been together ever since and married for the past 18 years.

How many others met their other half or grew a relationship, or indeed friendship through skiing?

Actually met my wife via volleyball but definitely skiing and adventure holidays were a big part of it too.

And one some of my lifelong friends are skiing buddies.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Quote:

How many others met their other half or grew a relationship, or indeed friendship through skiing?

Yeah, me and Always29 - we met first through a mutual friend but relationship started at a house warming party with a conversation about me having recently been to Fernie.
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@Layne, there’s a huge number of Snowheads that have formed friendships through skiing, just look at the posts on any Bash thread.
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@Layne, I met Lady F through a work experience scheme. She was only in the door on her first day, when she told me to "get stuffed", when I asked if I could borrow some of her sugar (mine had run out). This greatly amused me, as I was one of the owners of the business. I felt it showed spirit.

She has been telling me to "get stuffed" ever since. That was in 1985.
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@Old Fartbag, in the current climate, asking the new girl in your business for 'a little sugar' could well put you in the dock.
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Richard_Sideways wrote:
@Old Fartbag, in the current climate, asking the new girl in your business for 'a little sugar' could well put you in the dock.

It did. I've been in the dock for the last 30+ years. Toofy Grin
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I was 37.
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Did a weekend school trip to Aviemor when I was 12 or 13. Got cold and miserable on the Sat, didn't have fun and so went skating on the Sunday instead.

Roll the clock forward 30 years and I was persuaded to try it again by a friend who'd been a few times. Booked xmas '06 in Meribel and a "learn to ski in a day" course at Castleford followed by a few afternoons there. Managed to get around the whole 3valleys that week and was hooked. Probably averaged a couple of weeks per season since. Think it's 20weeks total and 7 bashes... 4 weeks already planned this year Very Happy

As for @Old Fartbag, list, I think I'm good enough now to know I don't do any of them well enough to boast about it.
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I was 31 when I started - a group from work, one other beginner and half a dozen more experienced. I immediately fell in love with the beauty of the mountains, especially on tree lined runs. That was '93.

The skiing itself was a bit more of a struggle, but I persevered - clocking up one week a year, then two weeks a year, then three. Though I got better, it continued to be a challenge.

Then after several years I had some instruction in Val d'Isére with Bernard Chesneau. He said, you may need some alignment work. A bit sceptical, but I went for it. An absolute revelation, at a stroke I could turn both left and right with equal ease.

The weeks on snow, and my enjoyment went up and up. Family has slowed down the time spent on snow, but our son started skiing at five, and he loves it too.

I know my skiing is not great, and never will be, but I love it. Very Happy
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@Paul33, Who/Where did your alignment work?
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Bet it was Bernard in his apartment.
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