My Skiing Gets Better

The 97-98 season.



E-MAIL:tom@sitski.com

11-15-97 1st Trip we went to Hunter Mountain.

My Buddy Gus and I head up for day one of skiing. It was a Saturday and Hunter started blowing snow on Tuesday. There was a few runs and three lifts open. Hunter had also received about a foot of natural snow. It was cold andthe snow makers where blowing, the season is here! Gus and I met up with Tomat the mountain and it was off to the lift. The first run was the Belt Pky.It was icy in spots but to the right on the train the snow was nice and fluffyyou couldn't even hear your ski under you. My first run was not bad, I dumped a few times. The 2nd run was a little better, but it felt like my ski was not edging properly. The third run was Hellgate. This was a mistake. It was very Foggy up top and my goggles where totally fogged, and I could not see anything. Also I was still very rusty. Not a good time to jump on a foggy, big bumped, icy diamond. Well I BIFFED big time, but I made it down. I tweaked my mono and changed the ski at lunch. After lunch I skied Belt. It was pretty crowded and I was avoiding many people. I did one nasty mousetrap and I knewmy day was coming to an end. My form was coming back and I was feeling my ski carve under me, but I was getting tired. I took one more run down the Belt and decided to call it a day. Five runs in all. I was very tired and sour. Gus and Tom did two more runs after me and also called it a day. The day was a total success, I don't know why I thought I was going to jump back in my mono and be as good as I was the last day I skied. Oh well, live and learn. It was a good work out and the worst is over. It only gets better from here. See you on the slopes.


11-19-97 2nd trip. Hunter Mt.

I hooked up with the NJ Ski Bums for a great day of sun shine and snow.I was on the slopes at about 9:15 am. I checked out the "B" Lift. Last yearmy mono was hanging up on the chair lift, well they replaced all the chairs and the lift was great. I can load and unload with out a hitch. I skied six runs before lunch, two were blacks, and six after lunch three were blacks.I did a few runs with the Bums, but I dumped at the top of Hellgate and Ilost them. No problem, I skied the rest of the day by myself at a nice pace.The weather was great, upper 40's, sunny, the snow was great, and it was notcrowded. A perfect ski day. I was getting tired so I quit at about 2:45. Wehit the road at 4:45.


11-28-97 3rd trip. Ski Windham

I was invited up to join in on a mono clinic. Gus and I head up for somefun on the snow. Kirsty was giving the clinic. Scott and John from JackFrost joined us. We where four mono-skis to about ten students. Kirsty is a very good instructor and is able to make all the teaching terms easy to understand. I found it very hard to back off and ski at a lower level, but it made me aware that if I am ever going to teach I need to ski all levels well. The clinic was very good and helpful to all who attended. After the clinic it was time to free ski. I was fighting a cold and not feeling 100% but I was there to give it my best. I BIFFED on Upper Warpath and that set the pace for the rest of my day. It was rainy, sleety, and snowy with lots of fog at the top, and I was skiing sloppy. To spite all the odds Scott and John skied with me for a few runs and help me work out some bugs. I did get some good runs in. The conditions where not too bad. Wet snow some rocks and bare spots with some icy spots. What do you want for November in the east. All in all a good day.


12-3-97 4th trip. Hunter Mt.

Brian talks me into going up mid week. Not that I needed to have my arm twisted or anything. It turns out he could not make it. I contact Steve from the NJ Ski Bums. He was looking for someone to ride with,so off we went. I enjoy skiing with Steve. He is a very good skier, and he isa challenge for me to keep up with. He takes me on trails I would not go on myself, but he know my ability. If he tells me I can do it, I believe him andgo for it. We have a system that works well when we ski together. I do tend to hold him back, so after a few runs we split up, he does his thing and I do mine.Then we hook up again. I had a few nasty falls. One thing about skiing the eastThis time of season it is HARD and ICY. When you wipe out it is like hitting concrete. I was cursing the edge of Hell Gate when I lost is. I was sliding downthe trail heading for Upper Crossover, which was closed. I came to rest right at the head wall, I teetered and then slipped over the edge. With my back down thefall line I slipped down about ten feet until I got stuck in the weeds. I managed to turn my ski across the fall line and secure my self from sliding anymore. The I got to see where I was. It was NOT a cool place to be. No snow, justweeds and sticks and snow making pipes. Three guys came down to help, and they pushed me out across the trail and back onto Hell Gate. Don't try that at homefolks. Well, the weather was great sunny, temps in the 40's and there was no lift line at all. Thanks Steve I had a great day.


12-13-97 5th trip. Ski Windham

Gus and I go to Windham for some skiing and to be part of a mono clinic. I have been having a hard time getting it togetherthis season. Way too many mouse traps. Early season conditionsin the east can be brutal. Very hard icy surface. Every wipeouthurts. But I like it. Well take it from me De-tune your ski. I hadmy parabolic stone ground and tuned. The guy at the shop told me hede-tuned my ski but for a mono you should de-tune your ski agood twelve to fifteen inches down from the tip. We did one diamondthat should have been closed. Lots of bare spots and rocks. Sonow I have to P-TEX my ski. Thanks GUS! I switched to my regularski and I stopped eating snow. So I am a slow learner. I ended offthe day with a few great runs and then it got very cold, So I packedit up. I did get to meet a few people from this web site.It was nice to meet you James and RGropper. See you soon.


12-19-97 6th trip, Windham NY

I was invited up to Windham by Jim Sasario of the Terracy Health Care Center, Bronx NY, Recreation Dept. His program ran a bus to bring about teninner city people to the slopes to give them a chance to experience snow skiing. The day was great. Wehad beautiful conditions and it was warm out. The morning had had two mono-skis and two Bi-skis. Johnwas one of the mono instructors. Jim and I went to take a run from the top as the classes where gettingstarted. We both self loaded on the quad, gave each other a hi five and were on our way to the top. We took a nice warm up run. Jim is a very good skier. He was been mono skiing for several years and has a very relaxed style. I on the other hand am still getting it together this season, so I tend to look and feel less graceful. Anyway, we caught some nice air in the snowboard park and BIFFED. We found the lessonsin progress and followed along. Jim and I went to the top again for another run. This time we stepped it upa bit and hit a steeper trail. This was a mistake for me. I don't know what it is but I am not skiing as well as I know I can. I Biffed about ten times coming down that run. I went back to the easy slope and tried tofind my form and rhythm. After lunch we hit the slopes with the afternoon class. We made some nice easyruns and I was learning from watching John and Jim ski with ease and grace. I did venture back to the topwith Jim for another long run. But I was shot. I dumped on the icy spots and did NOT have the best run of my life. Well, Back to the easy trail and practice. I did a few more short runs and called it a day. All in allIt was great. To see the smiles on the faces of the people that came up for thelessons, was worth ever fall.Thanks for the invite Jim.


12-28-97 7th trip, Jack Frost PA.

I wanted to get up to Jack Frost to see the gang and pick up my shock from Scott.It was a last minute decision, I called my buddy Rich and he was up for it. The lasttime I skied with Rich was two seasons ago and I was falling all over the place.We had a great day. Rich was warming up for the season and taking it easy. That was fine with me.The snow makers where blasting all day and it was a bit crowded but we had a blast. It wasmy best day on snow this season. The boarders scraped off all the snow down to the ice, butoff to the sides of the trails was some nice powder. I had some problems offloading from thetriple chair, but I worked it out by dismounting as soon as my tip (not the chair) crossed the "unload here" sign. That tip was free. Anyway to spite a few hitches, we rocked Jack Frost. It was fun to ski with Rich.I am glad we hook up Rich.


01-2-98 8th trip, Hunter Mountain.

Gus and I start off the new year at Hunter with about fifty thousand others. The conditions were greatand the weather was warm. I am still having a problem getting it together. I think is it just my commitment.I am not attacking the hill as I should and I need to work on keeping my head and shoulders down the fall line. My first problem was that I did not eat in the morning so that wiped me out. Then I took a run that was too bumped up for me.It was a hard day for me, but a hard day on snow is better then an easy day at work.


01-14-98 9th trip, Hunter Mountain

My buddy Jack and I meet in Clark to catch a bus with the NJ Ski Bums.We have been planing to ski together for some time and on the 14th we hooked up. This was my best day of the season so far. Jack and I ski well together. We skied blues all day and had a great time working on our form. We found some bumps and jumps and Jack was taking some pics. The conditions where great. Snow guns blasting all day it was cold, but not too cold. I feel my skiing getting back to what it was lastseason and that feels great. I added more pre-load into my mono shock and stopped bottoming out.Hey, maybe that was my problem. I will close with this, mid week days at hunter are the best.


01-17-98 10th trip, Jack Frost PA.

I head up to Jack Frost alone for a day of free skiing. I took it easy and worked my way acrossthe mountain. Just before lunch I hook up with John and Ann for a few runs. Two very good monoskiers. We did a diamond called Challenge and it was. The trail was not so bad, but getting around all the people laying on the trail was a Challenge. After lunch Iwas out on my own again. Then about 2:30 Scott hooks up with me and we get to ski together. Wellon our second run my foot rest broke so I had to call it a day. On the way home I stopped at a friendshouse who happened to have a MIG welder and dropped off my mono. I picked it up the next day and it isbetter then new. Thanks John.


01-20-98 11th trip, SkiWindham

Wally and I go to Windham for Wallys first mono lesson. He is a T-12 para with great balance andstrength. I when off to do some free skiing as his lesson got started. After a few runs I wantedto see how Wally was doing. I caught up to them at the bottom of the hill and took the lift up.Wally and his instructors followed. As I watched is dismount off the chair lift I was amazed.It was an unassisted off load. He is a natural. I followed behind and watched as he had about a onefoot lead on the tether. He was making slight turns with little assistance. I was totally impressed.I went off again on my own and skied some steeper trails. Nothing major, just some steep icy blues.But I nailed it. It felt great to own a run that had once owned me. I did it three times just to sealmy victory. Wally had a victory of his own as well. What can I say, It was a great day and a newmono-skier is born. Welcome to freedom on the slopes Wally.


01-28-98 12th trip, Hidden Valley, NJ

This was my first time skiing at Hidden Valley and my first time night skiing.I went up after work for a slalom race. Like a moron I did not bring the ski thathas been working well for me. So I was a little sloppy. I decided not to race, butjust check out the mountain. Hidden Valley is wheelchair accessible if you know whereto go. The main lodge in accessible from parking and to the slope. However the bathroomin down stairs. The race lodge (off to the left as you pull up in the parking lot) isa little bit more tricky in the parking but it has an accessible bathroom. Call ahead andthey will get you good parking and help. I was impressed with the staffs interest to accommodateme, and learn about adaptive skiing. I was not totally thrilled about night skiing. I do like tosee the beauty of the mountains, but I will go night skiing again. It was fun, and I had a chance to meet and ski with some great people. Thanks Chris and Irv.


02-4-98 13th trip, Hunter Mountain.

Just a great day on the snow. I took the bus with the ski bums and by 9:40amI was on the summit. I skied great all day. I was working on linking my turnson the steeps. I did get hung up on the (D) lift and broke a ski. I did not know it was broken until I was packing up at the end of the day. I took a run down the GS race course, and I ventured into the park for some jumps. I skied some diamonds and conquered some fears. I skied alone most of the day and I hada great time. Me and the mountain just having a day together. I had a few dumps,mostly just washing out the tail end of my ski on the ice in the steeps. I amnow ready for the double diamond challenge.


02-7-98 14th trip, Hunter Mountain.

I wanted to keep up the pace. My last trip was great. Bumps and jumps, linkingsome nice tight turns, man I was ripping it up. Then I broke my ski. Well talk about being humbled. I was using a ski that had a miss mounted binding (my fault) and I was way to far forward. I was catching edges left and right. It was a very unsecured feeling. I met my friend Jim up at the mountain for a day of skiing. He is a mono skier as well and a very good one. I was depressed because I really wanted to ski with him. On our first trip to the top I missed the chair lift and took us bolt out. He fell on top of me and it felt like I broke my elbow. Well it was still moving and the pain was bearable so I continued to ski, but my confidence was shaken, BIG TIME! I can see my day was going to be Hell. After a few more tries I just packed it in. I was on my way home at 2:30.The day was not a total loss though. I hooked up with a guy named Mark and hegave me a pair of used HEAD 205 skis.


02-23-98 15th trip, Hunter Mountain.

Finally I got back on the snow. 16 days in a row with out skiing is too much for me.Especially in February. Well I put on my new ski, an Olin DSTL 185. It was great. I wentto Hunter for a day of skiing alone. My mono shock is shot so I was getting too muchrebound, but I did make it through the day. The 185 is a nice ski. Quick turns and a nicebite on the ice. I had a great time carving it up. I found some small jumps nothing tooextreme. I worked on trying not to bank my right turns and skiing with my riggers up offthe snow. I planted every load and missed one off-load. It was a great day.


02-27-98 16th trip, Windham NY.

This was my best day on snow. I went up to ski with the Terrace Health Care Center andsome friends. The conditions were the best of the season so far. There were some gates set upso I skied the course a few times. I met up with my friend George and we skied a few runs together. Then I hooked up with Bill and his family and skied a few more runs. I ran into my friend Rob and his buddy so we hit the snow park for some jumps. I was good and warmed up by now. I skied with a mono lesson to give my teaching skills a try, I hope I helped. After lunch I tried my helmet cam for the first time. It was not bad, but I do have some bugs to work out. And it was just too hot out to have on the extra equipment, so after two runs I put the helmet cam away and headed to the park for some BIG AIR!


03-8-98 17th trip, Windham NY.

Day of the Ralph Hartman Race. The weather held out and there was no rain until the end of the day.I went up alone and by 9am I was on snow. I skied a few warm up runs and then headed for the starting gate at 10am. My first run was good. 16:57. My second run was not so good 17:36. I came into a gate too close to the center and I did not have enough time to setup for the next gate so I had to check turn and I dumped a lot of speed. Oh well, live and learn. Chris Czaszynski of Point Pleasant Beach, NJ took first place with 15:39, Way to go Chris. He is a great skier.I got a chance to ski with Justin Craig, and Wynn. This was great Justin is a good mono-skier and it is a pleasure to watch him ski. After lunch I was free skiing the mountain alone when I hooked up with Wynn again. He is a ski instructor and he took some runs with me. I was not linking up my turns too good on the steeps. After a few pointers form Wynn, that changed. We skied some small bumps and I was nailing it.The rain started to kick in about 2:30, I skied until 3. I took 2nd place in men's mono at the awardceremony and headed home. It was a great day.


03-11-98 18th trip, Hunter NY.

The ski bums did not have enough people to run a bus, but that won't stop a ski bum. I met up with Ed and we drove up together, Steve had four in his can and a few more bumswhere at the mountain. It was a COLD ONE, 4 at the summit. I don't know what it was with the wind chill, but it was a beautiful winter day to ski. The snow guns where blasting snowand the conditions where getting better by the hour. First run Ed and I took the Belt for a warm up.2nd run we took the blue chair mid station, 3rd run was Hellgate. It was soft and groomed and a great run.We did it a few times and it started to get bumped up. Not a problem, I was ripping it up. I few wipeouthear and there but I was unstoppable. I hook up with another Steve form the Bums and Ed headed over to scoutthe west side. Steve and I skied Hellgate, Eastside drive and the race course until lunch. After lunch I headed out on my own. Back to Eastside and Hellgate. I hooked up with the Bums again and we headed over to the west. Way out was great, groomed flat, hard and fast. The wind was kicking up so I did not want to try Claires, a double black. We hit Hellgate, again and the bumps where huge at this time. I was getting tired so I stayed off the big bumps and we skied Heugas and Eastside. I was cold and tired at about 3:15 soI called it a day and packed up me gear. I had a great time ridding and skiing with Ed, And I can say I made a new friend. The day was a total success and a warm-up for the days to come. SUGARBUSH!


03-13-15-98 19th trip, Sugarbush VT.

I picked up Gus at 3:45am and by 11:00am we where on the Super Bravo Quad at Sugarbush. On our 2nd or 3rd run we hooked up with Tom and we skied until lunch. The conditions where not what I had hoped for. It was typical east skiing, hard packed and icy. We skiedsome good runs and quit at about 3. That night the lodge started to get full. Rich and Mike, Tim and Dave and some others that I did not know.

The next morning it started to snow, and snow, and snow. We all hit the slopes about 9:30. My shock wasdoing weird things, so Rich and I tried some trailside adjustments. HA! Trailside! get it? Never mind, It'sa club thing. We got the shock working a little better and skied all this new snow, lots of snow.It was great and terrible at the same time. Bumps are cool and I like to ski them when I want to.Well, every run was a bump run, and there was a sheet of ice under all this new soft snow. It was a challenge to say the least. My buddy Tim who also skis a Grove was up for the weekend with us. He is a very good mono-skier. This man is the picture and angulation and body separation. We took a run or two together.There where some nice deep powder traverse runs, but it was a mogul fest to get to them. It was a lot of work for me. But I did have fun. The powder runs where very cool. The bump runs got old real fast. The snow just kept getting deeper all day and I was beat by 2:30.

Day three, Yeah, this is going to be great. Nice new snow all groomed out to a white sheet of corduroy.Not exactly. We start off the day at the top of North Lynx Peak. We ski Birch Run. The conditions wheregreat nice packed powder. It was thick and I was working harder then I should have been. (I need to take more lessons.)I did not want to get tired out too fast so Gus, Tom and I headed over to Bravo to look for some groomed runs. There where none to be found. Every thing was thick powder and mogul. We did a run or two and went in for an early lunch. After lunch we hit the snow board park to find some air. It was the only groomed run on the mountain. We tried to hit it again but I was cut off by some skiers and forcedinto Murphy's. It was bumped up big and I had nothing left after that run so we headed home. All in allit was a nice weekend. Not the conditions I had hoped for. Most people probably loved it, But for my levelof skill in a mono it was too much work to be fun. It was a weekend of survival skiing.


03-21-98 22nd trip, Hunter, NY

I went up alone to enter the NJ Ski Council race. It was raining and sleeting on the way up, but when I turnedonto the Hunter access road it turned to snow. I was on the chair lift at 9am. The conditions were very icy.Well I washed out the tail of my ski and dumped on my first run. My time was 58: something. On my second runI did a high side mouse trap and missed a gate. I was glad I did the race, it was good practice. The startgate was very narrow and tricky to get through with my outriggers, but I did okay. I do think the ski I am usingis a little too soft for a mono-ski. It is an Olin DSTL. I will try a stiffer to see if my skiing gets better.I skied until about 2:30 in mixed snow, sleet and rain. Then called it a day.


03-25-98 23rd trip, Hunter, NY

It was perfect day on snow. Not a cloud in the sky and temps in the 40's. It was the last bus trip of the season for the Ski Bums, and I did not want to miss it. Two of my mono-ski buddies, Scott and John were going up for the day as well. I had a great time skiing with Scott and John. I was getting some good pointers to improve my skiing. My buddy Steve and Tara from the Bums used this wonderful day to try Snowboarding. They liked it and claim they will try it again, We'll see. Scott Berwick from Hunter skied with John, Scott and I, and took some pictures of us loading and unloading on and off the chair lift. Then in the afternoon Scott got some pictures of us free skiing and hitting some jumps. We skied all day and were the last ones off the mountain. I want to thank Scott and John for taking the time on their day to free ski, to offer me some pointers and basically a free lesson to help improve my skiing. I also want to thank Scott Brewick for all his support and aid, and taking some pictures for us. The Day was a total success.


03-28-98 24th trip, Hunter, NY

Spring skiing at its best! Tim and I hook up for some warm weather skiing. We arrive at Hunter at 8am and we are on the lift by 9. I was using an Olin Radius K 185, what a great ski. I had on my ski bib and a long sleeve turtleneck shirt. After two runs it was time to lose the shirt. Just a bib and a tee shirt now and I was feeling good. The snow was wet and soft, it was hard to find ice. The temps climbed into the 70's. The sun was shinning with some passing clouds, WOW! What a free feeling it was skiing with just a tee shirt, I had so much more mobility and angulation. Hellgate was bumped up pretty quick, but I had no problem rocking it over and over again. Every Run was great. Tim and I hooked up with Dwayne after lunch and we took some pics. Then Tim went to Ski with his girlfriend, so Dwayne and I started to clock up the runs. Hellgate, Wayout, Eastside, Huggas, The belt, We did not want the day to end. We got on the lift at about ten to four. We waited at the top until The lift stopped and every one headed down. Just Dwayne and I and some ski patrol guys. We started our final run with the whole mountain to our selves. We took a nice run down the belt to end off one of the best days of the year.


04-01-98 25th trip, Hunter, NY

Spring skiing? This trip was a trip, like in 60"s "far out man". The Bums run one last bus for a day of skiing in ZERO visibility fog and rain, but it was cool. Warm weather, clear in the morning with some cloud cover. Nothing was groomed, it was icy and chatter with some nice softsnow patches. Also some very large bare spots. Yes my friends this was a day for your rock skis.At first I was bummed out about the conditions. Then as I skied I was faced with some new challenges.Like a 20 foot wide trail reduced to 3 feet along one side, the rest was dirt and rocks. Don'twant to go in there. Keep it down hill and very tight turns. That was on the Belt. It was kind of cool in a twisted sort of way. The die hard's know what I mean. There was no snow at the lift zone. So I was pushing on that plastic brush mat thing. At the top it was the same but I was able to dismount, ski andturns on the plastic off ramp. MY second run was Heuga, it had a few big bare spots, but it was a good run. The only problem I had was at the end of the run. I needed to stay high and fast to get past a flat spot and ski up hill to get past a bare spot. Well I was too high and I went through about twenty feet of dirt grass and rocks. I came out of it okay and still skiing but I lost all my speed. Lucky for me Steve Goodman was with me and he helped push me up hill to ski able snow. Mid-station was good. Some small bumps, a little choppy here and there. The 3rd. run was Hellgate. We can see a big black cloud ofimpending doom coming our way so hurried to get on the lift. From the lift we could see all the bare spots on hellgate. That was some challenging skiing for me. Steep, narrow and bumps. The bumps were hugeBut I got through them with a few small tail slides. The lower part of the Gate was great. I picked a goodline and rocked it to mid-station. From mid-station Steve and I took Gunhill to the lift. Again there wassome bare spots to negotiate but that is part of the fun. As we are heading up the lift the fog rolls in thick. Steve and I decide to do Heuga again instead of negotiating bumps on Hellgate in poor visibility. I made it past the bare spot and onto mid-station with out a hitch. Then the fog seemed toget thicker. You can see it rise off the ground feeding the moist air. It was total white out. It wasvery weird. We stooped for a moment. You would hear a skier coming but you could not see them, then like a gost the skier would emerge form the fog, carve a turn of two past us then disappear into the fog again. Steve and I point down hill and start linking up turns. It had to be no more then 10 or 20feet visibility. It was not scary just weird, like skiing in some sort of a heavenly misty dream.I decided to go in for lunch and relax. After a nice lunch hanging out with the Bums telling skitails of Big air and super carving, we decide to get back on the snow. Well it was raining andraining hard. I did not go out until after 2pm. It stopped raining long enough for me to get in my skiand on the lift. Steve came with me and we took the B lift so we could stay below the dense fog.We skied three nice runs in the rain. It was warm and wet, but it was great. As I carve some turns Istart to sing. "I'm ski----ing, in the rain, just ski---ing in the rain...". Guess you had to be there.When I was good and wet I decided to call it a day about 3:15pm. I changed into some dry clothe andrelaxed until the bus left. What a great year, twenty five days on snow and I learned so much. It looks like that's it. My season should be over, but you never know.

Here is Glen ready to take on the rain.


To see where I am going skiing next, check my Date Book


Well it's time again to hit the slopes. This page will grow throughout the season as I tell you my adventures. So come back and send me some e-maillets hook up and ski together.

Keep The Waxed Side Down!


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