The quest for the perfect turn.

COLUMN: Skiing and the changing climate

"We have many more decades of skiing here but there will be inconsistencies to the quality of the snow that we can prepare ourselves for.”

This is a ski tips column for all skiers.

In the last column we focused on getting the most out of your spring skiing and this week we will focus on surviving climate change

As the ski season comes to an end I am filled with a sense of appreciation. I realize that I am living in a bubble of awesomeness that is the Kootenays, which is for the most part protected from the big rough world out there, but this season even Whitewater felt the effects of a changing climate. This has made me hold skiing closer than ever before. I have found myself stopping part way down a run to take in the beauty of a world of white, squeezing every last sparkle of detail from these precious mountains.

I hope that you, like me, are drawn to skiing all the more as it becomes ever more a precious pursuit. I feel that we have many more decades of skiing here, however there will be inconsistencies to the quality of the snow that we can prepare ourselves for.

Here are some skier tools to help you survive climate change:

1. Your skis are very precise tools that are designed for a specific consistency and depth of snow, as well as turn-shape and terrain. Your skiing skills are only as versatile as your tools, and these tools can take your skiing experience to places that you have never thought possible. I would never tell you to trade in your fat Pontoons for skinny race skis, but I feel that you need a powder ski that you can ride on the 10cm+ days and some carving skis for when it hasn’t snowed in a week.

2. Skiing skills. Changing climate means that we have to change our approach to skiing and look for adventure and enlightenment in places other than your secret powder stashes. I know that many of you have had a season of immense growth in your technical skiing as you have had to negotiate steep, icy slopes this winter. These are the conditions that ski racers learn to love as they are the ultimate challenge that tests your technical skills. The Whitewater Ski Team and the Whitewater Ski Resort offer skill building sessions and lessons that can help you love the tough conditions.

3. Learn to enjoy all aspects of our ski mountain culture. We are blessed with very easy access to the backcountry and have a rich community of educated and experienced ski touring enthusiasts that are happy to share their knowledge and skills. Often when the weather has not been cooperating at the resort, it is time to get out and earn your turns. And you can burn calories without producing excess CO2!

This coming fall, like you I will be praying to Ullr for a big powder season, but I will also be preparing to work on my never ending quest for the perfect carved turn.

As JP Auclair, one of skiing’s most creative influences commented on climate change, “I don’t think that it’s about doing less, I think that it is about doing more. Being more creative, it’s about being more active”.

Appreciate the last days of the ski season. Check us out on Facebook at Whitewater Ski Team.

Our ski columnist Dylan Henderson is the head coach of the Whitewater ski team.

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