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What is the ideal number of a group skiing?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I'm not talking about the group that you go away with, rather the people that you actually ski with every day.

For me it is on my own, or with one other person, any more than that and I start to get a bit frustrated.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I think it depends on the skill of the people you ski with, if you are all of pretty much the same skill and fitness level you could ski with quite a large group, otherwise I'm inclined to agree, I normally ski on my own or possibly with one or two friends
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Four. Small enough to be able to have input in where you go but big enough to split up if necessary.
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To me the most important thing is that the group should be matched. You don't want one or two continually holding up everyone else.
As to how many in the group, it depends on what you are doing. With instruction the fewer the better, but generally a group of four to six can work well. Last month, when I just wanted a laid back week a group of 7 with a guide and a leader, was fun.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
5 would be the max for me, two or three would be preferable, and one is fine.
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So long as the abilities are evenly matched then numbers not really a problem, but for me the smaller the better. Although I do enjoy a big mis match of a group every now and then for entertainment purposes Twisted Evil
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Ken, i agree...

On the last afternoon of my recent holiday...there were 8 of us, 3 skiiers, 4 boarders and 1 guy hired some blades for the day.

We were allsorts of abilities (beginner boarder -> season in Whistler skiier), but we had all had a good weeks skiing and just fancied a laugh as a group of mates...but i havent laughed so much in ages, we were doing all kinds of fun stuff!

Rest of the week skiied with 2 others, we alwasy ended up splitting up or losing the others if we skiied with any more!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I find that even with a well matched group, if you get much larger than two then you start having problems with people getting lost.
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Normally just hack around the slopes with Mr HH.....when we head out with our group we muck around in a group of six or so which works out quite well, wouldn't want to go bigger than that though.
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A group of four is good - you can split into pairs if you want to do different runs at any point, or if you're at slightly different levels. Two's company and three's a crowd is very true, so I'd prefer to stick to either a pair of us, or a foursome (oo-er). More than four and there's always going to be someone who can't keep up or wants to do something different, so it'll end up at four or smaller anyway...
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I think some of you take this skiing a little too seriously. For me, the more the merrier. I like helping beginners. I love skiing with kids. If the piste and pace seems a bit boring you can always add interest be going down the edge just off piste, finding all the jumps and bumps, doing slalom round the piste markers, perfecting those pesky short-swings, or (my favourite) trying to ski all on one leg (always guaranteed for a laugh!).
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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.
Jonpim, good point! I found that four was perfect on the last holiday, but you're right: the more the merrier (although I still reckon people tend to wander off and do their own thing if there are more than a few of you).
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Three for me. Mainly cos me, my brother and a good mate slide together at roughly the same speed and like the same things. Theoretically it is also a useful number for when one of us gets hurt so its one to stay with us and the other to get help. or rather one to be hurt, one to be lost and one to just be laughing at the other two.

A bigger group is OK for a bit and towards the end of the day as it gives an excsue to rest as we wait for the slower people.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
No more that 6 or it gets messy. And only one "leader" or it gets arguementative rolling eyes
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
maggi, I know just what you mean about only one "leader". The secret is to make sure all the others are Piste-Blind: whizz them quick up a couple of lifts before the expresso kicks in and they don't know where they are. They are then at your mercy, and "I'm the leader" (remember Napoleon and Lafayet in the Aristocats?}
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Jonpim wrote:
maggi, I know just what you mean about only one "leader". The secret is to make sure all the others are Piste-Blind: whizz them quick up a couple of lifts before the expresso kicks in and they don't know where they are. They are then at your mercy, and "I'm the leader" (remember Napoleon and Lafayet in the Aristocats?}


The downside is if you leave them for a minute then all hell breaks loose. I popped of for little more than a couple of hundred meters in the trees recently and my party just went off in an odd direction. When we finally regrouped it was two hours later and one of them had bust his ACL.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I often find myself with a group where I am the only one who can read a piste map. That makes life simple Cool
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Elizabeth B wrote:
I often find myself with a group where I am the only one who can read a piste map. That makes life simple Cool


I never find myself with anyone that can read one, or has some basic sense of direction Very Happy
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ise, I guess 7 years as a van driver helped my map reading skills Wink
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Elizabeth B, that would help Very Happy I used to travel a bit for work when I was in the UK and you develop the habit of always knowing where you are at least approximatly.

It's common to be lost, about 10 years ago we were backpacking in the Lakes and coming down off Scafell, each person we met was wrong about where they were about 10 times over, some of them by massive amounts.
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Yes ise, that is always a possibility. I try and make sure at the start of each run that everyone knows exactly where we are going: "Inversins run" or "To the bottom of that chairlift" of (my favourite) "To this restaurant".
It is easy to lose touch with your group going through the trees. That is when mobile phones really become useful.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Jonpim wrote:
Yes ise, that is always a possibility. I try and make sure at the start of each run that everyone knows exactly where we are going: "Inversins run" or "To the bottom of that chairlift" of (my favourite) "To this restaurant".
It is easy to lose touch with your group going through the trees. That is when mobile phones really become useful.


No, that's what I did. I said, "I'm going through the trees here, keep to the left hand side of the piste and stop at the top of the first lift you see which is a three man." It was 500m of skiing, I saw them as my line curved to the piste only 200m above the lift. In less than 30 seconds they must have overshot the lift and just carried on.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
On my last trip we started out with a group of ten (6 skiers, 2 bladers, 2 boarders); 2 skiers & the boarders dropped out after the first run & then we lost 2 more skiers a couple of runs later. This left me, Mr SB & the two bladers who skied together all week. We did meet up with some of the others at various points during the week, but never for very long. I don't mind waiting for beginners/people slower than me, but why do so many people exaggerate their ability? Are they just trying to look cool or do they really believe they are that good? Skiing in a group means going along with the ability of the weakest skier; once people get less hung up about not losing face & being able to keep up etc etc, the better. It's supposed to be FUN snowHead
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Wel said, Ski Bunny, It is supposed to be fun and not a competition. If you want to compete then go racing, I say.

I'm with Jonpim, on the "more the merrier" idea. It's also pretty miserable to be the last one down. Last one down is most tired having done the most "resisting" and then finds the newly refreshed group set off as soon as he or she arrives.

I love being in a group because I'm still at the "Isn't it all so exciting" stage and love to tell and hear about the last adventure/ hairy moment.

In our group the best skier goes down last to help anyone who needs it and to make sure nobody gets lost.
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I'm happy to ski with any size, any ability group, having started out as the beginner and being helped by advice from the group, I can only do the same and help out others.

After 3 years of being the second last down in our group just before the 'mopping up' expert (because my skiing was so dire), this year I found I was giving some basic advice to beginners & mopping up myself, it was certainly fun and you get to blast down the piste in catch up mode, great!
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Ski-ing in a group can be fractious. What is essential however large or small the group is a strong leader who has done his homework on where to take everybody based very carefully on group ability, and then you need another equally dedicated team player to act as a sweeper to make sure the weakest in the group are not left straggling and demotivated. The other thing to remember is when you pause for every one to regroup the fittest folks at the front tend to get to the longest rests. Once the the tail-end charlie has arrived give him a break as well (he probably needs it more than anybody) Very Happy before one zaps off into the distance.
Ski-ing in a mixed ability group can mean the skiers with less ability can be disadvantaged. Take time, step back, look at the mountains, your are on your hols,and be patient with the lesser mortals in the group. That way you will all have a great time. This philosophy I reckon works with groups up to 10, greater than that it is more difficult to control particularly if you have folks struggling to keep up. Cool Very Happy
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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.
Over the course of a typical week, I've found myself ski=ing alone, in a pair, with three/four/five or six others. Each occassion brings something different and unique, but never dull or trying. You just ski differently with consideration to the group, surroundings and conditions.

The variety brings plenty of enjoyable experiences to the fore. Long may that be the case. As David Snell said, you're on holiday and there are usually plenty of opportunities to do what you want as long as you're also happy top fit in with what others may also want. One of the great things about ski=ing with a mixed group is the time it gives you to stop and marvel at the scenery. You can't beat that IMHO Cool
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
One of the best ways I've found to improve my skiing is to ski with friends who are better than me, and will take me down runs (& off piste) that I wouldn't normally do. So if you're skiing with people who are a bit below your ability - have patience....you could be the reason that they improve.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I do enjoy skiing alone - going and doing the slopes you want to do at the speed
you want to ski. But I do find myself benig a little more adventurous (braver?)
when skiing with someone about my own standard. It feels safer when there
is a buddy out there who will (or had better) count your limbs for you after
a fall (whilst trying not to laugh too hard).
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I understand all your points about not caring how many people you ski with cos you're on holiday so you should be having fun but I don't understand why you assume that your way of having fun is the same as the other people's idea of having fun?

My idea of fun on a ski holiday is ripping down blacks and off-piste pitches. My mates just can't do it and it really annoys me having to ski with them. I am happy to spend a day skiing at their pace but they're just not good enough to go a whole week with me.

On the other side of the coin I just can't leave them to ski on their own cos of the whole "We're on holiday and supposed to be having fun - you can't just leave us and ski on your own" thinking.
I love skiing and everything about it but just wish my mates were a little better!!

The answer to the question is "on my own" but only so I can do what I want. If my friends were a couple of skiing weeks better then it would go up to 3 or 4!!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I prefer to ski with my brother as we're similar standards. Skiing with my mum and dad tends to get boring although I don't mind skiing with them occasionally, after all they did pay for us to go on the holiday! Razz
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Loki, welcome to SnowHeads. I hope you are not too like your namesake. . I agree: sometimes you just want to let rip. Sounds like you need some new friends who ski at your level. You might find them here. snowHead
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Jonpim,

I sure hope so!! I only know Wear the fox hat from Septic and Natives and a few others from there.

Couldn't stand their bitter nonsense any longer so came in search of sensible ski conversation - very relieved to find some!! You'll have to blame WTFh for my introduction though!!

Am I like Loki? I'll let you figure that out for yourself but I think I use sarcasm as more of a weapon than the wrath of God!! Evil or Very Mad Little Angel
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Loki, welcome snowHead
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Toofy Grin
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Quote:

I do enjoy skiing alone - going and doing the slopes you want to do at the speed
you want to ski.
and with no-one stopping to fiddle with boots or lighting the next ciggy you can cover an amazing amount of ground skiing solo. But I've also had lots of fun with groups of up to about 10. The key thing is not to have extremes of ability in any group of any size. Cool
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Wow! Well, I must admit, until
Jonpim wrote:
I think some of you take this skiing a little too seriously. ... I like helping beginners. ...

I was feeling a little intimidated here!
steveb wrote:
To me the most important thing is that the group should be matched. You don't want one or two continually holding up everyone else.

This is my major fear. I don't want people to regret saying "come with us today!"

How many do I like to ski with? As many as will put up with my [lack of] speed and give encouragement when I say "You expect me to go down THAT?" Laughing Laughing
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Michelle, I used to feel like I was the one holding up the group, but have gradually progressed " up the rankings" & speeded up. Part of this must be attributed to skiing with people who are better than me, so don't feel bad about not keeping up! You're there to enjoy yourself - skiing in a group is more about social skiing than being the last one out on the mountain everyday.
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I think it's worth splitting the group up into those who go slowly (because they can't help it / don't mind it / want to be with you etc.) and those who on that day just feel like tearing the slope up. Most of the time I'm very happy rounding up stragglers, enjoying the scenery, other days it's nice to have an option. You're better off taking aggression out on snow than on your fellow skiers.
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For me, the ideal week needs to be full of different experiences.

There should be one big outing for half a day for the whole party (even if it is 12 of you) when the speedsters (of which i am one) put their desires on hold and enjoy hanging out with everyone - it has its own appeal and, if it is a group where some people have met for the first time, it helps to improve the evening activities as well.

As for the rest of the week, smaller groups are better but again should be mixed and matched in both numbers and people. Abilities should be closely matched but the extra stimulus of a different buddy sometimes outweighs differences in standard.

As much as i like boarding on my on for a while, I do prefer to have someone there to share the good runs, the lucky tricks, the unlucky tricks, etc.

In terms of maximising the skiing/riding itself, the best combo i've found is a group of two where the other is slightly better than you (you can keep up but need to concentrate to do so), encourages you to try things you might not do on your own or with people who are not so good, and who knows the resort like the back of his/her hand so that there is no faffing about with decisions and maps. Visiting seasonaire friends is good for that as they tend to maximise their mountain time before they need to get back to work.
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