Learn the technique!!!
This comment from a true ski enthusiast from my hometown in the German `Mittelgebirge` (Middle Mountain’s) influenced my whole life as a skier. Hungry and keen to start the new season we were often seen when training hard to go as fit as possible into the winter.
I remember one of our heroes saying when watching us: `Guys, concentrate on your technique, your fitness comes through skiing ‘! A true remark I always kept in mind! No matter how many kilometers you clocked on the MTB during summer, your ski legs shaped up while skiing!
Much has changed since my early skiing days. 204cm to 214cm was the length of my SL and GS ski as a teenager! To master a slalom or giant slalom race, varied ski terrain, or let alone bottomless powder, true skill and technique was of the essence! Skiing has become a vast industry which created many jobs in countless ski resorts all over the world. Expansion or growth is the word and it happens in every area of our lives. For the better? I have my doubts!
It cannot be denied that many of the side effects which concern skiing in all its aspects are not entirely desired and sometimes even have a disastrous impact to the alpine environments! Despite the fact that visitor numbers are stagnating, the construction frenzy goes on! Leaving the car in in the parking lot when in the resort and walk, or make use of the widely improved public transport is not popular. People want to be seen in the flash SUV, while idling outside a supermarket. And then the sound pollution from the bass woofers in the overcrowded Aprés Ski places, which is carried through the valleys for miles! The list could go on….
But to me as instructor and guide, one of the scariest changes is the poor technique level of the average skier. And this is the collateral damage of ever groomed and manicured ski runs and modern ski designs which allow even the novice skier to venture into a terrain where only the accomplished and environment respecting individual should go. Skiing on the designated ski runs can be more adventurous than participating in the bull run of Pamplona, when skiers of all sorts blast past each other void of any ski control and miraculously surviving only because they are headed more or less into the same direction.
Agreed, a seemingly negative and sad observation. But for the sake of the alpine environment, the planet and for all of us……let’s fine-tune our common sense! And last not least, as the early Fredi Schmidt from my hometown used to say…. LEARN THE TECHNIQUE!