As we all rejoice about the recent storms that have brought snow to the Mountain West, The National Ski Patrol and Utah Avalanche Center are encouraging everyone who slides on snow to understand the risks.
After a somewhat slow start to the season across the western half of the country, the jet stream is finally delivering consistent snowfall to the mountains in Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado. Although that's good news for the ski industry, it's also worrisome. Avalanche conditions in the Mountain West are among the worst we've seen in years. And the dangers don't only apply to backcountry skiers. Already this season, slides have injured or killed skiers inside resort boundaries and countless avalanches have made uncontrolled side- and backcountry terrain extremely dangerous.
Skiing a spine, with fall-away turns on both sides of it, isn’t easy. But it’s a great way to sharpen your technique.
What’s in It for You › Spines, where adjecent slopes meet to form a peak like the roofline of a giant house, often come with different exposures and even snow conditions on either side. Ski right along the spine and you can sample the goods on each side before you commit to one slope or the other. And it’s fun. You’ll have to contend with variable snow and light, with ground that falls sharply away from you after each transition, and with unpredictable, ever-changing pitches. But the greater the challenge, the sweeter the reward.
Heavy half squats increase demand on the hip musculature while eliminating the limitations of the muscles acting on the knee in deep ranges of motion. This exercise is a good one for in-season maintenance because it keeps the athletes strong while reducing muscle soreness.
We asked Troy Flanagan, high-performance director for the U.S. Ski Team, what he thinks is the next big thing as far as athletes are concerned.
Troy Flanagan, high-performance director for the U.S. Ski Team, holds a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering. That’s right, a rocket scientist. Flanagan’s job is to brainstorm new methods and training techniques to make U.S. athletes stronger and faster. Flanagan sees great potential in two emerging fields of research—microtechnology and nanotechnology—to maximize the athletic feats of future Olympians and World Cup competitors.