Online ski courses, resort uphilling, women’s gear
In the latest Totally Deep Podcast, we bring you a two-parter: ski banter followed by an interview with IFMGA guide Mark Smiley. Hold onto your hats, folks. Winter is here and the stoke is high.
Part I: A few days ago, I was chatting with a ski patroller from Beaver Creek ski hill about where to skin. He offered a few suggestions but warned that many areas of the mountain are crawling with sno-cats all hours of the day and should be avoided. He then relayed a could-have-been gruesome story from last season: a cat driver turned on his lights just as a woman was gingerly lifting her ski-adorned feet over a stationary winch cable. “She would have been toast if the winch were working,” the patroller said. “Limbs everywhere.”
Fortunately, the woman was unscathed. But the story, along with recent local reports of on-piste uphillers ignoring posted closures and not taking safety precautions while skinning up after hours, got Doug and I thinking about on-resort uphill best practices. We dig into that, as well as early season skiing and women’s versus men’s gear. We even wax philosophical on big questions such as: in the modern age, should we just have ‘people gear’? And, can we call colors feminine anymore? Blame it on the wine.
Part II: This is all to fill space and time before formally introducing the heart of the episode, an insightful interview with Mark Smiley recorded back in October. Mark is the man behind Mountain Sense and the online ski mountaineering course I reviewed last week. In this episode, he discusses the motivation behind online courses, his own extensive experience in the hills and the growing importance of backcountry travelers pursuing education in order to be the ideal partner they seek in others. We get pedagogical, philosophical and, of course, deep. Totally.
For more on Mark’s courses, check out Mountain Sense. Want to see what the ski mountaineering course is all about? Get 30% off registration until December 26,2109 with this link. And for more Smiley family bad-assery, check out Totally Deep Episode 67 with Mark’s other half, Janelle Smiley.
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Manasseh Franklin is a writer, editor and big fan of walking uphill. She has an MFA in creative nonfiction and environment and natural resources from the University of Wyoming and especially enjoys writing about glaciers. Find her other work in Alpinist, Adventure Journal, Rock and Ice, Aspen Sojourner, AFAR, Trail Runner and Western Confluence.