If you are looking for a nice spring or summer project that gives you the chance to play with skis for a little bit more then check out the slotted ski rack I made. It's very similar to the racks you most often see in the rental areas - the kind where you just slide the skis in and they hang by the ski shovels.
After a few different approaches, and a tweak here and there, I finally came up with a very affordable wooden ski rack that can be made to hold just about as many pair of skis as you can come up with. So get your ruler, a drill, a saw, follow these simple directions, and in a few hours you'll be so proud of yourself you'll want to buy a new pair of skis (hint - this is really a great excuse to fill the new ski rack!)
Ski Rack Image © Mike Doyle
I know some of us are still getting in some late season turns, but with more grass showing and the trees starting to bud and some even thinking about the snow shedding game of golf - sooner or later all of us will be putting up our skis until - hopefully - early next fall.
I've had quite a few inquiries asking how to ensure that those expensive skis will be in the same top shape six or seven months from now. So, even though we still have spring skiing available let's talk about the inevitable.
I asked Lee Quaglia, owner of Aspen East Ski Shop in Killington, VT how and where to store our skis. I know it's easy to put them out of sight for the summer, but they're never really out of mind. However, follow Lees's advice and you'll have peace of mind that your skis will be ready and raring to go come next season's first snow. Here's how to store your skis.
P.S. As I've always said - it's ok to kiss them good night.
Late spring skiing at Mammoth Mountain, CA Copyright Mike Doyle
To lock in the Vail Resorts Epic Pass early bird price of $729 (the early bird price of the adult Epic Pass and $379 for children ages 5-12) you need to put down $49 today - April 13th. You may have heard that in some previous years the early bird pricing deadline was extended - but I'm not aware of any extensions for the 2014-15 Epic Pass.
The remaining amount will be due in mid-September 2014 but purchasing the Epic Pass now also gets you six Buddy Tickets this spring and scenic chair lift access to its Colorado, Utah and Lake Tahoe resorts during the summer months.
To put the Epic Pass in a global perspective - for the aforementioned $729, you can ski five free consecutive ski days at Niseko United in Japan, five consecutive days in Europe at Verbier and Les 3 Vallees, and in between you have unlimited access to 28,830 skiable acres, 27,136 vertical feet, 34 terrain parks and 40 skiing bowls here in the USA.
The pass provides unlimited and unrestricted skiing and riding at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Canyons in Park City, Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood at Lake Tahoe; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan for the 2014-15 winter season.
Note that Vail Resorts also offers multiple pass options for the 2014-15 season including:
- Epic 4-Day - at $369 for adults and $209 for children (ages 5-12) is optimal if you are planning just one ski vacation during the 2014-15 winter season. Ski any four days at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Canyons, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Afton Alps, Mt. Brighton and Arapahoe Basin.
- Epic 7-Day - is ideal for guests planning to ski seven days throughout the winter season. $549 for adults and $279 for children (ages 5-12).Ski or ride a total of seven unrestricted days at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Canyons in Park City, Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in Tahoe, Mt. Brighton and Afton Alps.
- Epic Local Pass
- Tahoe Local Pass
- Summit Value Pass
- Tahoe Value Pass
Related Article: How big is France's Les 3 Vallees?
Les Allues one of The 3 Valleys Copyright Mike Doyle
Now that all the welcome home celebrations for the U.S. Freestyle Olympic Champions have pretty much settled down it's a good time to take a closer look at the top ten finishers in each of the events.
Every Olympic athlete, whether he or she won or not, is and always will be an Olympian and should be celebrated for their efforts. To that end, this week we'll take a look at the top ten finishers in the Sochi women's Freestyle events.
I've also included a link to the complete order of finish for each competition so you can see all the athletes who gave their best efforts and deserve a solid round of applause for all their years of training and sacrifice.
- Top 10 Women's Sochi Moguls
- Top 10 Women's Sochi Aerials
- Top 10 Women's Sochi Halfpipe
- Top 10 Women's Sochi Slopestyle
- Top 10 Women's Sochi Ski Cross
Maddie Bowman USA Halfpipe Gold Medal Winner Copyright Joe Scarnici/Getty Images Sport
If you have ski equipment that you're not going to be using next season and you'd like to donate it to a good cause, as long as your skis and boots are still in good condition, you can spread the skiing love and donate them.
In addition to gear, some organizations will take gently used ski clothing. So, it's a good time to clean out your closet and see what you can hand-me-down.
If your gear isn't in great shape, another option is to recycle it. Here's how to donate your old ski equipment including options for donating to charitable organizations, giving it away and recycling it.
Read More: How to Sell Your Skis
Image Copyright Getty Images Digital Vision
At the Winter Outdoor Retailer Show I came across the Zensah booth with a line of compression socks of various colors, there were White, Neon Pink, Green, Orange and Yellow, plus Electric Blue and Hot Pink.
Zensah is based in Florida and my first thought was these compression socks are so far removed from snow that they have to be for summer and warm weather sports. Then it came to me in a flash - Why not put some pazazz in ski boots?
I like the benefits of skiing in compression wear, but all my socks and tights are black. I just assumed compression socks for skiing were always, and only, black.
Next step was checking out the colorful Zensah socks out for their compression and skiability - which turned out to be excellent - even in Neon Pink. Can't you see yourself skiing in shorts and Neon Pink compression socks?
Zensah also makes compression tights, that are engineered with specific, articulated areas that make for easy movement while skiing but still holds the needed compression. The tights come in both in full length and a 3/4 length capris which works great if you use a custom liner.
By the way, Zensah also makes a black compression sock but, thank you I'm into the colors. Now we just have to wait for Zensah to color the tights!
Spring Skiing Copyright getty Images
There are some great spring skiing conditions setting up all around the country. I've heard from a number of readers who love skiing in the spring but find they get too tired too quickly.
This is the time of year to layer off, put a little sun screen on, and ski the afternoon sun. But, it seems pushing all that mashed potato snow around can get some quads screaming while the sun is still high in the sky.
R. Mark Elling, author of The All-Mountain Skier: The Way to Expert Skiing has given us some tips on how to more efficiently ski the corn and slushy wet stuff we find in the spring. Mark is certified as a Level III Alpine Ski Instructor and is head boot fitter at Mount Bachelor Ski and Sport and owner of Mercury Mobile Performance, a custom footbed and bootfitting service.
Read and follow Mark's advice and you'll be spending more time skiing on the snow than sunning on the deck.
Image - Mark Elling at Mt. Bachelor © Kirk DeVoll
As Yogi Berra used to say, "It ain't over 'til it's over," and the skiing in Vermont is still going strong. In the midst of a pretty epic year as far as snow storms go, don't be too surprised if some Vermont resorts are still spinning chairlifts at the end of April - and that's no April Foolin'.
Meanwhile, throughout the month of April there are some exciting events and great deals and discounts lined up to make your Vermont family spring skiing vacation one to remember. Here's a few examples to get you stoked:
- Bolton Valley - Bolton After Dark - Saturday nights from 4-8 p.m. night skiing tickets will be $19 for all ages, and when you're finished for the night, head inside to refuel yourself with $2 flatbread slices and sodas, nightly beer specials and screening a different Meathad's Ski movie every week.
- Sugarbush Resort - 'Show Us Yours, We'll Show You Ours' - Come visit and show your season pass from another mountain, and Sugarbush will share a special discount with you. Ticket deals are a $50 Adult All-Mountain ticket and a $25 Youth/Senior All Mountain ticket. (Midweek, non-holiday).
- Stratton Mountain Resort - April 12 - Spring fling Annual Pond Skim where goggle tans and t-shirts are accessories of choice as we enjoy spring's soft snow, long days and sunshine with a weekend of celebration and the Annual Pond Skim! Costumes highly encouraged.
Dog Sledding at Smugglers Notch Copyright Mike Doyle
Wild and windy weather couldn't put a damper on the competition at the USANA U.S. Freestyle Championships weekend at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah.
Saturday was all about the flipping and spinning at the men's and women's aerial event as both U.S. Ski Team veterans and development athletes fought for podium spots.
In the women's aerials Two-time Olympian Ashley Caldwell (Ashburn, VA) rose to the top on Saturday to take her first-ever U.S. aerials title. Si Ning Chan (Lake Placid, NY), the 2014 NorAm Champion took second, with Allison Lee (Manchester, CT) third.
Alec Carignan (FLY Freestyle; Pelham, NH) claimed the title for the men, Zachary Surdell (Lake Placid, NY) landed second for the men with Mike Rossi (Long Valley, NJ) third.
It was a big day for the Elite Aerial Development Program (EADP) as Carignan, Surdell and Si Ning Chan proved the benefits of the program.
Sunday saw the mogul skiers back on the World Cup course in the always exciting Dual Mogul format. Olympians Bradley Wilson (Butte, MT) and Eliza Outtrim(Hamden, CT) raced through the heavy snow to capture the titles.
Nick Hanscom (Park City, UT) skied into second in the men's big final, while Joe Discoe (Telluride, CO) took the third spot. U.S. Ski Team rookie Sophia Schwartz (Steamboat Springs, CO) finished second for the women, with Elizabeth O'Connell (Winter Park, CO) in third.
The Deer Valley crew and U.S. Ski Team coaches did an excellent job keeping both the aerial venue and the mogul course in great shape under the adverse weather conditions and deserve a round of applause. NBC Sports Network will carry an hour program of the weekend highlights on April 3, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. EDT.
Top photo, Aerial Competition Copyright Randy Mayfield/Deer Valley Resort. Bottom photo, Dual Mogul action Copyright Mike Doyle
The USANA U.S. Freestyle Championships weekend at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah got off to a rousing start with Friday's men's and women's mogul competition. Forty-three women and sixty-two men threw down their best qualification run under a partly cloudy sky that cleared completely in time for a really thrilling round of finals.
With the full sun quickly softening the snow, the finals was a contest as to who could hold the best form and adjust their speed to get the best scores out of their two mid-run tricks. In the end Olympians Patrick Deneen (Cle Elum, WA) and Eliza Outtrim (Hamden, CT) both put down solid runs to claim the men's and women's U.S. Mogul titles.
"Deer Valley is always an interesting animal," said Deneen. "I can't remember ever having a good training day here, so definitely coming into today I was a little nervous on how I was going to put my run together, but once I got here, the course was in incredible shape."
Also for the men Olympian Bradley Wilson (Butte, MT) skied into second-place with Jeremy Cota (Carrabassett Valley, ME) in third. U.S. Ski Team rookie Troy Murphy (Bethel, ME) also advanced to the men's final, where he finished seventh with Dylan Walczyk (Rochester, NY) in eighth, Joe Discoe (Telluride, CO) ninth and Bryon Wilson (Butte, MT) tenth.
The win by Eliza Outtrim was her second-career U.S. title and joining her on the podium was U.S. Ski Team rookie Sophia Schwartz (Steamboat Springs, CO) in second and Lane Stoltzner (Steamboat Springs, CO) third.
"The course is really good. These guys at Deer Valley rebuilt it a little while ago," said Outtrim. "so I'm very grateful for that because at the end of the season it can get really rough. It's definitely a difficult course. This is where we have the World Cup every year, so this is like the highest level course you can have."
Top photo Men's Podium; Bottom photo Women's Podium Copyright Mike Doyle