EQUIPMENT CHANGES IN THE LAST FEW YEARS - Over the last 5 years or so equipment has changed quite a bit. As with many other industries a goal would be to not only keep the people who have been participating in the sport but how to attract more people into it. One way is to make the equipment easier for people to use and progress. That what has happened. Several different things have changed when it comes to skis and boards. This conversation concentraits on skis. Though boards have gone thru similar changes it is easier to describe in ski terms. A big thing is Rocker. Basically the ski is bent upwards either in the tail or tip or both. This enables the ski to rise up out of variable snow conditions stableising the ski and keeping it smoother for the rider. It allows the ski to come up and turn without jarring the skier. When a ski has tail rocker just as it is easier to hit snow with the tip it allows the ski to pivot from the back. So for powder or slush, tight trees or avi chutes the ski is able to pivot and turn which helps the skier slow down and control the terrain without having to make a big movement to maintain control. Typically rockered skis are a bit wider. However the rockered tail because it wants to pivot that way can easily be over turned. And can cause the skier particularly if they are used to a more traditional turn to spin the ski. For skiers like myself this can be a problem because we are laying into the back of the ski to feel the full carve and end up pointing up hill. So the key is to not overwork the ski in other words back off the hard push and let the ski just come around with less force which is why they are popular to a less agressive or park skier. Another thing is Camber. The traditional method of ski manufacturing. The ski is bowed between the tip and tail so that when you step on the ski it flattens out so that one can carve the ski from tip to tail. Unlike Rocker which is basically the opposite. Making the ski more functional for groomers and bumps. Typically these skis are narrower and either conventional tip and tail or twin tips. Then there are the variations. Nordica for example calls their design CamRock which is cambered under foot and rockered in the tip and tail. So the camber under foot allows the skier to carve a turn but still benefit from the easier turn that the rocker provides. More to come!

The easiest way is not always the path of least resistance!

I tell people all the time when we are talking about which slopes are easiest, many times they say I only ski on blues and greens. To which I reply you know sometimes its the people that ski and board on those runs that make it a little scary. Even though a black run might seem more difficult to ride down,  it might seem even easier to get down it,  because there are generally less people on those runs making it less likely that someone will run into you or cut you off or just throw you off your game. So I say if you can just manage the steeper slope head that way! I try to only ski black or double black runs and only ski on the intermediate runs when I am going down to head off the hill.

Notes from Dr Gray about altitude sickness!

Breckenridge ski area - do's and don'ts

Local town spots - Bistro restaurant for happy hour, Erics for family dining, Carter park for sledding with the young ones, 

Other Colorado ski areas - 

What you need on the hill - goggles, helmet, underlayers, balaclava, gloves, sunscreen, lip balm, energy bar, water, layers layers layers...

General thoughts - A little about me the author. I've been living and skiing in Breckenridge since 1982. I came here for the season got a job in a ski shop and never left. Now I have my own shop, AMR!  I still ski almost everyday and manage to put in about 140 days per year. I am an advanced Telemark skier, I spend most of my time up high on the hill. Because of this I have a pretty extensive knowledge of what it is like to be and what is needed to operate at high elevation. Gear is important! If you want to stay out there. I love being part of the weather. Clouds, wind, sun and snow are amazing at 12,000-14,000 feet. I've owned AMR since 1993 and somehow managed to stay in business after all these years. I guess it's because I love what I do. This does make me a great resource for my customers. And as I am still not only the Owner but the Manager, Tech and Buyer and occaisonally I clean the bathrooms. For those of you that are small business owners you know what I mean. My customers are always asking about how to get around on the mountain and what I gear am currently using and even what good restaurants there in town. After 30 plus years here, I have a few ideas. So feel free to come in and ask!



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