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May 23, 2009

Article on How to Care for Your Skis Over the Summer

Nicole Wolf from Denver Skiing Examiner has a great article on caring for your gear over the summer:

Skis: At the very least, thoroughly wipe down skis (bases and edges) with a dry towel to prevent summer rust. I also strongly recommend applying a coat of wax to your bases so they aren’t deprived of moisture while they hibernate in your garage all summer.

However, if your skis were good to you this season and you’d like a repeat next year, I would suggest the following:
1 – Stone edges to remove burrs and rust that may have accumulated over the season. Sharpen with file so they are razor smooth and ready to rip next winter.
2 – Scrape any remaining wax from your bases, then clean with a base cleaner or citrus solvent (available at many ski/snowboard, bike, and automotive shops, or online)
3 – Apply a liberal coat of wax to bases using a hot iron (preferably not your mom/girlfriend’s clothing iron; waxing-specific ski/snowboard irons actually exist! Check it out). Lightly run iron over side edges to coat with wax to protect against rusting. No need to scrape skis; simply let the bases soak for the summer.
4 – Strap skis together and store.

Infinitely easier than caring for skis, but undoubtedly more important. (It’s possible to salvage rusty, dry skis, but there is no salvage for moldy, rotting boots.)

1 - Remove boot liners from shells.

Great read and good info.

Posted by Justin at 11:23 PM

Snowbird Extends Season into June

Good news for SLC skiing:

Snowbird just extended its ski/ride season through June 14th, making the 2008/09 ski season the second longest in resort history with a total of 200 days. The longest occured in 2004/05 when Snowbird stayed open until July 4th.

Of course, this extension will only happen if conditions in the Wasatch Mountains will allow for it, but folks at Snowbird seem optimistic that the massive amount of snow that fell this winter has left a snowpack that will last through June.

Currently the resort is only open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with limited lifts operating including the Tram, Little Cloud, and Mineral Basin.

Even though there is enough snow to keep the ski season alive, summer operations begins on May 22, meaning that foot passengers are now allowed on the Tram from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Downside is that southern Utah got Jack this winter.

Posted by Justin at 10:44 PM

May 16, 2009

National Skier Visits Down 5%

Skier visits numbers came out and were not as bad as one might have expected:

PORTLAND, Maine - The economy may have fallen off a cliff last year, but the ski industry's drop was a lot more gentle.

Preliminary figures show there were 57.1 million visits to ski slopes across the country during the past winter, a 5.5 percent decline from the record 60.5 million visits the year before.

It could've been worse without favorable weather in most parts of the country that helped offset the slumping economy, the National Ski Areas Association said Friday.

The figures were released as ski executives attended the association's annual convention and trade show in Florida, where spokesman Troy Hawks said many ski managers felt they had dodged a bullet.

"The positive thing is that it was a fairly strong snow year," Hawks said. "Many of the resorts said they would probably rather have a bad economy and a good snow year, versus a good economy and a bad snow year."

The industry makes its money off of all of the ancillary items like lodging, food, entertainment, etc. It isn't just skier visits that matter, but apparel sales and so forth, but given how bad unemployment is and a host of other factors, just being down 5% isn't too bad.

Posted by Justin at 11:51 PM