Trip Report Mt St Gwinear - Victoria

weerab

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I think you mean NEW Australians, not Non Australians . We are all Australians, however the Aborigines would differ there to some degree, one would think.
He might possibly mean non Australians as being tourists, not necessarily Aussies from ethnicities other than Anglo Saxon, etc. Regardless of how long you have lived in Australia you are always asked, " But where do you come from"? unless of course you are Anglo, Celtic blah blah. I'll stop right there after all it is a ski forum, as I always keep saying.
 

Goski

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Has anyone visited today or yesterday? Conditions? Was the road open? We have assumed the high winds would likely cause Parks to close the road like they did last Sunday so we haven't bothered to pack and drive up for to a just closed road.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Has anyone visited today or yesterday? Conditions? Was the road open? We have assumed the high winds would likely cause Parks to close the road like they did last Sunday so we haven't bothered to pack and drive up for to a just closed road.
You must be the most unlucky and most jaded VIC. XC skier on this forum. Try Mt. Stirling or Mt. Buffalo. Both have good XC skiing at present.. I would love to ski at MSG while it has the best cover it has had for years, but the footprints up the main trail are a downer , man.
I will still try to get out there for a slide in early Sept. , Insha'Allah .
Not everyone can XC ski 1-4 times a week all season as I do , so the chances of hitting some very disappointing conditions be it closed roads, nuff nuffs leaving post hole boot prints in the XC ski trails, fallen trees, car crashes blocking the highway , boiler plate ice :-0 , you name it etc. are still there .
However the chances of getting to ski on some fresh snow on a weekday are also higher using the law of averages.
 

Serenity

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Was up there today and the skiing was good! Yes, there were footprint holes here and there but manageable, weather was nice and sunny but windy. Quite a few people about enjoying themselves and the coffee from Anthony in the little caravan was fantastic. Oh, nice to see the comments regarding my grammar and previous wording has been so entertaining for some, but not really relevant to this thread, but I had to chuckle.
 
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Goski

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@Serenity Good to hear you had a nice day out. This Sunday 25th August may be the day for another attempt on getting to the Gwinear carpark and then onwards on wider skis to the summit and maybe beyond.
 

Goski

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A good ski up the main trail with lunch in the tock shelter while fresh snow fell. Would like to see any of the other trails groomed but I don't think that will happen. The Ski Patrol FB page says there was some grooming in the main trail this week in contrast to the official report. More grooming is needed to repair snowshow damage that would freeze rough and to pack the snow down to preserve it so we can enjoy more visits.
 

Goski

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Heavy gear is recommended by me with an uneven surface and there will be crust off the main trail. My kids did well today with wider shorter touring skis (Op shop Search & Rescue Bushwhackers and repurposed older lightweight 158cm Rossignol alpine skis with kicker skins and Riva cables from my spares box. Them growing into our heavier leather buckled boots helps too.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Heavy gear is recommended by me with an uneven surface and there will be crust off the main trail. My kids did well today with wider shorter touring skis (Op shop Search & Rescue Bushwhackers and repurposed older lightweight 158cm Rossignol alpine skis with kicker skins and Riva cables from my spares box. Them growing into our heavier leather buckled boots helps too.
I am planning a trip up there .I think that kicker skins would be good for the slog up from the MSG car park.
 

Skiain

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This Sunday will now be the MSG mission day. Some snow should fall on Sat. and with an early start there will be some footprint free skiing up to Mt. St. Phillack and back.

I recall many years ago in a fitter incarnation, skiing from MSG over to Baw Baw, buying a lift ticket before 11am and skiing the day on lifts until last ride, then skiing back to MSG carpark in the fading light, exhausted. These days, the drive to the hills is half the adventure!
 

Goski

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I recall many years ago in a fitter incarnation, skiing from MSG over to Baw Baw, buying a lift ticket before 11am and skiing the day on lifts until last ride, then skiing back to MSG carpark in the fading light, exhausted. These days, the drive to the hills is half the adventure!
In the past pre-kids I and my partner and friends would do the MSG-BB-MSG return ski trip and do a few runs at Baw Baw whilst being routinely told off for skiing up the side of runs out of the way of ticketted skiers.
 

Goski

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Weighng up my desire to go up to MSG tomorrow against starting a new job in Monday and my kids being to study for high school tests next week. Or I go without them with a couple of mates.
Note that there's been no grooming since 29/8 so the main trails could be a bit gnarly. 7cm of fresh will help a bit to fill any ruts and holes.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Weighng up my desire to go up to MSG tomorrow against starting a new job in Monday and my kids being to study for high school tests next week. Or I go without them with a couple of mates.
Note that there's been no grooming since 29/8 so the main trails could be a bit gnarly. 7cm of fresh will help a bit to fill any ruts and holes.
Once you get past the MSG summit there will be fewer footprints and the cover out to Mt. St Phillack should be good. It should snow in the afternoon so the trip back down to the car will be not too pot holed or icy.
 

Goski

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I'll still be on heavy AT gear as the post-surgery swelling is still too much for me to fit into my Garmont Excursion boits so I'm not overlyconcerned for me (though accidents and injury are more likely on a chewed up surface). It's whether or not my mid-teens would have a good day out. I'm assuming the road will be open after 7cm today. Should be....
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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I'll still be on heavy AT gear as the post-surgery swelling is still too much for me to fit into my Garmont Excursion boits so I'm not overlyconcerned for me (though accidents and injury are more likely on a chewed up surface). It's whether or not my mid-teens would have a good day out. I'm assuming the road will be open after 7cm today. Should be....
I am taking my chain saw just in case. The present report says Road Open , fitting chains to 2 WD. That is sounding fair and feasible. There will be more snow falling which is what we want but not a ludicrous amount that would lead to PV closing the road. At very worst one would have to drive up the Mt. Erica road and hike up with skis off / skin up to the Mt.Erica and Mt. Talbot area.

Aim to reach MSG early before the footprint brigade :confused::mad::(:eek: get there.
 

String Tales

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MStG trip report Sat 7/9/19
Headed up there by 1030 today, had to fit chains (Falcon 2wd) for the last 1km up the big hill at the end due to the slush & fresh 10-15cm of snow on the road and only being the 6-7th car up the hill. The PV parking people commended me for fitting chains as others in AWD/4WD had slipped a bit while dealing with the snow ladden car park until PV put their grader through the CP a bit later to flatten the car park snow and free up some space.
After parking the car, a mini blizzard engulfed us while getting the skis sorted.
Set off up the main trail, 3rd-4th ski tracks of the day & no unwanted foot prints yet.
The top 5cm layer of snow was cold & dry-ish, but underneath, the past weeks sun & then later rain damage was evident under the new snow.
We skied up to the Jeep track flat. The higher we went, the stronger the wind became.
Visibility was also average (80-150m or less in the open areas depending on the snow clouds etc)
We got up to the MStG summit and here much of the snow was now wind blown but still good cover, but very windy at times (~25-30kts) and still snowing / wind blown snow but I noticed a burst of sleet for a moment, so the air temp was variable, even though the wind chill was cool. Not much blown foliage or bark on the up trails.

We keep going past Gwinear flat & up the next hill toward the Tullicoutty junction but my 10yo son decided he'd had enough so we skied back the way we had come. Our earlier tracks had been partially filled in with more wind blown fine snow.
There were pockets of deeper snow caused up snow build up behind trees / rocks or just out of the wind, them some wind exposed snow made the trail surface varied at times.
Sadly even up high, the snow was either wind blown or heavy; not deep, just thick (even a bit gluggy) & hard to move while turning etc with the skis. (plain NNN XC skis /boots. More BC oriented type skis would have been useful to over come these particular snow conditions with better control.

The last 2km back to the CP now had a single file trail of what appeared to be snow boot steps, alongside the XC side trails in the snow, so not too chopped up, but along with the heavy snow, made our decent interesting.
Had passed approx 6 other skiers going up the trail later in the day , the rest of the people at the MSG CP were snow players

Tonights snow & tomorrow PM's snow should be colder & hopefully drier if the wind is more S-SW, so should make the snow cover & skiing better than today perhaps if with less wind blowing.
I also imagine any early starters will need chains to get up the last hill to the MSG CP, unless they clear the road early?

We might even make a return visit to MtSG next weekend if the weather behaves the rest of this week.
And today certainly beat having to take the skis off to walk the melted bits of trail like at Mt Buffalo last weekend (Sat 31/8/19) while going up the Horn rd
 

Goski

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It is looking rather good. I am packing the car today for a 6 am Sunday morning departure for MSG!. There is only one kind of MSG that I like and that is fresh and not in my food thankyou very much.
Ditto on thanks for the detailed report @String Tales
Sadly I didn't get away today. But we've got a 5 day trip up to Hotham next weekend so I'll still get good spring time on skis before the snow goes.
 
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Mister Tee on XC Skis

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MSG had good very fresh snow for XC skiing today . I was one of the first on the hill this morning and I finished my ski for the day quite early by my standards.I could have made it out to Baw Baw Village and back but I was not skiing too well for some reason and felt low on energy. I will aim to ski out to BB and back next season. I will lodge a full trip report with photos soon.

https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/m...-8th-2019-fresh-deep-snow.85796/#post-4031950
 
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bawbawbel

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Don't be like me. Few years back on a midweek visit I backed up high in the carpark. Returned to find melt streams down the tyre ruts had left all 4 wheels clear of the snow. Hated my tiny shovel before we got mobile.:mad:
 

Goski

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Should be some spare beds at Dinner Plain from Sunday this week when we go up. Maybeyou can become "sick" from Sunday onwards? Possibly we are staying on through the weekend of the 20th too if the house isn't going to fill up. You could then get in another Hotham weekend with my lot and we can have a ski together?
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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I am tempted to have another go at skiing from MSG to BB Village and back on Tuesday next week.
This is what The Main Trail and trail report sign looked like last Sunday 8/9/19 at MSG.
It is shame that temporary pole lines that skirt around the narrow Mt. St. Phillack summit trail pole lines are not marked/ in place this ski season.

https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/m...rip-september-8th-2019-fresh-deep-snow.85796/

_SAM5554.JPG
 
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tcornall

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Went off to Gwinny for an overnighter at Rock Shelter this weekend 14/15 Sept. (Was thinking of sleeping in the cave, but took the tent anyway. Cave looked fine, nicely out of wind and big enough though narrow. So woosed-out and used tent).

Great weather. Snow was melting fast but still enough there. The cairn on St Phillack is still buried. (Anybody know how high that cairn is? I remember it as being like chest height) A few bare patches on the main trail but not too many. Won't last though.

My 'medieval torture devices' sorry, I mean Dynafit ski-boots, were much improved and with the Marker Alpinist bindings on Fischer Snowbound skis made short work of the trip up and down even with a 15 kg pack. Just one little aggravation left in the boots, which is hardly noticeable when moving. Oh, and had to make a mod to stop the boot-liner’s tongue from slipping down and being uncomfortable. That was new.

Almost fell into the creek and drowned (well, one foot got wet) when a snow-bridge collapsed under me. (It was very deep too, there actually was a real possibility of danger…) Note to self: Approach alongside the creek to get water, not at the end of a lead which might continue on under the snow.

Were quite a few people taking advantage of the last of the season. Whole herds of footprints going up Phillack.

Discovered that time-lapse cameras actually need to be pointing at the subject. (Got an interesting 10 minute timelapse of a tree instead of me putting up the tent…)

That's me for 2019 and a great season it was.
Terry
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Went off to Gwinny for an overnighter at Rock Shelter this weekend 14/15 Sept. (Was thinking of sleeping in the cave, but took the tent anyway. Cave looked fine, nicely out of wind and big enough though narrow. So woosed-out and used tent).

Great weather. Snow was melting fast but still enough there. The cairn on St Phillack is still buried. (Anybody know how high that cairn is? I remember it as being like chest height) A few bare patches on the main trail but not too many. Won't last though.

My 'medieval torture devices' sorry, I mean Dynafit ski-boots, were much improved and with the Marker Alpinist bindings on Fischer Snowbound skis made short work of the trip up and down even with a 15 kg pack. Just one little aggravation left in the boots, which is hardly noticeable when moving. Oh, and had to make a mod to stop the boot-liner’s tongue from slipping down and being uncomfortable. That was new.

Almost fell into the creek and drowned (well, one foot got wet) when a snow-bridge collapsed under me. (It was very deep too, there actually was a real possibility of danger…) Note to self: Approach alongside the creek to get water, not at the end of a lead which might continue on under the snow.

Were quite a few people taking advantage of the last of the season. Whole herds of footprints going up Phillack.

Discovered that time-lapse cameras actually need to be pointing at the subject. (Got an interesting 10 minute timelapse of a tree instead of me putting up the tent…)

That's me for 2019 and a great season it was.
Terry
I am going up to MSG tomorrow for my last 2019 VIC ski day. I will report back.
 

chriscross

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Some nice photos there, Mr T. I admire your attitude re: getting back on the horse (skis) but do be careful- hypothermia can be very dangerous and fatigue plus icy creek is a bad combination. Can I be so bold as to make a suggestion regarding improving technique? Touring on the plateaux/high plains is great and I really enjoy it, too. But sometimes, working on downhill technique is a worthy project in itself as it will improve confidence and enhance the enjoyment and safety of a bc tour. To this end, the odd day in a downhill resort can be worthwhile and Baw Baw is in many ways an ideal place for this. Most of the terrain is relatively approachable and , once one masters a t-bar or poma lift, many options are available for moving beyond the simple ( but essential) snow plough. Practising weight transference from one ski to the other, then shifting all one's weight on to the turning ski can really improve control and, subsequently, fun. Mid-week at bb, eg wicked Wednesday like yesterday, cost $ 35.00. On top of resort entry, it still adds up, I know. But in the longer term, it becomes a worthwhile investment. Excuse me for offering unsolicited advice or sounding like a smart- @#$e. Enjoy NSW and safe skiing.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Some nice photos there, Mr T. I admire your attitude re: getting back on the horse (skis) but do be careful- hypothermia can be very dangerous and fatigue plus icy creek is a bad combination. Can I be so bold as to make a suggestion regarding improving technique? Touring on the plateaux/high plains is great and I really enjoy it, too. But sometimes, working on downhill technique is a worthy project in itself as it will improve confidence and enhance the enjoyment and safety of a bc tour. To this end, the odd day in a downhill resort can be worthwhile and Baw Baw is in many ways an ideal place for this. Most of the terrain is relatively approachable and , once one masters a t-bar or poma lift, many options are available for moving beyond the simple ( but essential) snow plough. Practising weight transference from one ski to the other, then shifting all one's weight on to the turning ski can really improve control and, subsequently, fun. Mid-week at bb, eg wicked Wednesday like yesterday, cost $ 35.00. On top of resort entry, it still adds up, I know. But in the longer term, it becomes a worthwhile investment. Excuse me for offering unsolicited advice or sounding like a smart- @#$e. Enjoy NSW and safe skiing.
Thanks for the tips @chriscross . I need to improve my technique especially for longer steeper descents and add to my basic skills. I am aiming to get lessons to this effect early in the next season so I can rehearse them all through the 2020 season.
The 2019 XC ski season for me is winding down but I will go to N.S.W. and see my friend in Thredbo and ski a bit out there in the K.N.P. .
I will do as you suggest regarding tuition on downhill skills at Mt. Baw Baw and I like the idea of getting more XC lessons at The Nordic Bowl at Falls Creek.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Holly molly a bear trap in that picture?
There were a couple of those kind of 'bear traps' on the BB plateau this week. I skied around them with great concentration and care. One of them was near the bottom of a hill and it was not visible until one was quite near it. Thankfully I was not going too fast and just snowploughed, turned and stopped.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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I was up at the Perisher XC ski trails this week and the Baw Baws had far better snow cover the week before. I could not believe I had driven all that way to be rock hopping a lot.

I need to learn when to quit while I am in front .The snow cover on Westerly and Northern facing slopes at the KNP was largely cooked. :-0 .
 
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Goski

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I am tempted to have another go at skiing from MSG to BB Village and back on Tuesday next week.
This is what The Main Trail and trail report sign looked like last Sunday 8/9/19 at MSG.
It is shame that temporary pole lines that skirt around the narrow Mt. St. Phillack summit trail pole lines are not marked/ in place this ski season.

https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/m...rip-september-8th-2019-fresh-deep-snow.85796/

_SAM5554.JPG
Don't think the temp ones have been marked for years.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Don't think the temp ones have been marked for years.
The Parks Vic. employee on the day on 17/9/19 told me that they do mark the temporary pole lines if there is enough snow early in the season. There was not a sufficient amount to warrant this exercise in early July so nothing was done. Then The BB area received a huge deep snow fall in August that set it up for XC skiing until mid-late September. Having no temporary pole lines meant skiing the BC was an adventure for those who do not know the terrain very well. There are some superb snow plains and clear descents out there. I shall return in 2020.
 

Goski

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I think that's a lame excuse from Parks. No reason bar a) laziness or b) such a dire lack of resources that no staff able to use a day of their time that they couldn't place the poles whenever the snow depth became sufficient. Pretty simple. 1. Wait for snow to fall. 2. Place the temp snow trail marker poles i e. Do your job please Parks.....next year.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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I think that's a lame excuse from Parks. No reason bar a) laziness or b) such a dire lack of resources that no staff able to use a day of their time that they couldn't place the poles whenever the snow depth became sufficient. Pretty simple. 1. Wait for snow to fall. 2. Place the temp snow trail marker poles i e. Do your job please Parks.....next year.
Comrade, I quite agree with your thoughts there but don't hold your breath for Parks Vic. to do anything at all. They have NO MONEY.
. The best we can do as skiers who enjoy that region for XC skiing is learn the terrain well and navigate without poles. Avoiding the steep and narrow black run on Mt. St. Phillack is potentially time consuming if you become slightly geographically embarrassed.
However we can only hope for such good spring snow cover next year. It is a scenic and challenging place to B.C. XC ski and tests some skiers' skills of XC skiing and off track navigation.
 
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chriscross

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The "Saints" trail, usually marked with blue stakes, is the best way to avoid the "steep and narrow black run on Mt St Phillack" but it can be hard to locate. There is also some very pleasant "intermediate" type terrain between Phillack saddle and Tullicouty Glen but you have to travel a way to get out there from either MSG or BB and conditions need to be right. I think the volunteer ski patrollers operating from MSG sometimes mark these temporary trails.
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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The "Saints" trail, usually marked with blue stakes, is the best way to avoid the "steep and narrow black run on Mt St Phillack" but it can be hard to locate. There is also some very pleasant "intermediate" type terrain between Phillack saddle and Tullicouty Glen but you have to travel a way to get out there from either MSG or BB and conditions need to be right. I think the volunteer ski patrollers operating from MSG sometimes mark these temporary trails.
My friend @Carola and I found some stashes of temporary poles near Camp Saddle and near Freeman's Flat , just lying idle. This was on 17/9/19. There was still a lot of snow in the back country. I thought it was a shame that these pole lines and poles were not being put to good use.
 

bawbawbel

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Comrade, I quite agree with your thoughts there but don't hold your breath for Parks Vic. to do anything at all. They have NO MONEY.
. The best we can do as skiers who enjoy that region for XC skiing is learn the terrain well and navigate without poles. Avoiding the steep and narrow black run on Mt. St. Phillack is potentially time consuming if you become slightly geographically embarrassed.
However we can only hope for such good spring snow cover next year. It is a scenic and challenging place to B.C. XC ski and tests some skiers' skills of XC skiing and off track navigation.
Parks have been lumbered with looking after the "greatly expanded" National Parks.
Without extra funding, what a joke.
I like your style. Leaders should be the best skiers. Free conversion from snowplough to gliding wedge should we meet at BB next season. :)
 

Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Parks have been lumbered with looking after the "greatly expanded" National Parks.
Without extra funding, what a joke.
I like your style. Leaders should be the best skiers. Free conversion from snowplough to gliding wedge should we meet at BB next season. :)
I need to sharpen my downhill turning technique so that I can Stem Christie turn with more confidence, learn the hockey stop and convert it to parallel skidded turns and perhaps evolve into a telemark turn. I need some lessons and I 'm willing to drill these things at Mt. BB next season on NNN BC gear using the cheap lift ticket that is available on Wednesdays. The Poma run at Dinner Plain is not too steep for this Nordic plodder and could be handy when I do my annual JB Hut trip. I need to get more control and confidence so I can XC the BC with more safety and more enjoyment and less trepidation and fewer faceplants :-0 etc.

I am willing to pay for lessons from coaches/instructors at Windy Corner, but if experienced forum members just want to ski with me and give me some tips then that would be good too.
I will be actively trying to increase my skills and technique next season.
I am watching ski instruction videos on 'you tube ' now that I am not skiing all the time.
 

chriscross

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Strongly suggest you take bb bel up on his generous offer. I understand he is a ski instructor (with some unconventional ideas about technique, but that's ok with me) who could give valuable advice. WC instructors are also good (some are Olympic athletes) but you have to get to FC, then ski up to the bowl. Mount BB is much closer with moderate terrain and here is an expert offering to guide you. Go with it!
 
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