Last November we got an early season dump here at Squaw and I was a little over eager to get started checking off some lines. On my first run I got my pole snagged in a precarious spot and spent much of the day trying to get it back. In hindsight it may have been wiser to let myself have a few warm up days on the summer legs, and maybe wait for a bit more snow coverage, but KT was spinning on the day after Thanksgiving and it’s not every year that you get a chance to ski the Fingers in November.
I got in an early Fingers line that season (not first, AM got the first line on Turkey Day) but I also learned a few things in the process:
- Always make sure your pole straps are sized appropriately for the gloves you are wearing
- If conditions look bony, then conditions are probably bony
- Never allow your stoke levels to be unduly influenced by bright orange hecklers from the chair (Greg Lindsey in this example)
- Never allow yourself to be distracted from a task by praise from the chair either
- A belly full of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, and stuffing can affect your center of mass resulting in uncharacteristic backseat skiing and landings
- Poles can be snagged quite securely between rocks during low snow conditions
- Always keep a second set of ski poles in the locker
- Always maintain a positive outlook while crashing
- Always keep an extendable snowhoe handy for gear retrieval
- Always go back to ski it again if you are not satisfied with the outcome of the first attempt
That pole really got wedged in there with the pole plant for the hop turn. It yanked me sideways pretty good. I was happy to have recovered enough to make it to the run out before crashing (because of what the pole yank had done to my balance of course…).
I’ve got to note that it is important to collect lost gear from the ski hill, especially if it is lost in technical terrain. I’d be bummed if I got snagged on someone else’s partially buried ski pole while trying to ski a line.
That being said, I got in a few powder laps between retrieval attempts and all in all it was still a pretty fun day. Hope we get to see similar conditions for Turkey Day this year.
I’m actually still skiing with that pole. I was able to bend it back and it’s working just fine now.