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Ask The Experts: November 2002


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Gear Geek

I’ve had my eye on a pair of Rossi Bandit XXs, but my instructor says they’re too wide for the East. Are they?
Terry Wilmot,
Brooklyn, N.Y.

No, but he meant well. With a 74-mm waist, an XX is what we call a mid-fat. Not quite a full-fledged powder ski (usually 80 and up), but wider than a traditional shaped ski (usually 62-68). Extra width is a joy in powder and soft snow, though you do give up edge hold on hard snow. Think of the difference between a toboggan and an ice skate. Yes, the snow in the East tends to be firmer, but mid-fats still work well. Tip: Keep your edges sharp. And on powder days, you’ll be in heaven. -The Geek

Have a question for The Gear Geek? Write Joe Cutts at

The Professor

I’m sure I forgot how to ski over the summer and don’t want to look foolish on my first ski trip in November.
Pam Wheeler,
Atlanta, GA.

I’ve skied more than 50 years, yet after months off snow I wonder if I still know how to turn. Thankfully I always do. Do some homework beforehand. Have your skis tuned and your bindings checked. Having your gear in order eliminates distractions. Then make your first run on the mountain’s easiest slope. And take it slow. (See “Slow Start, Fast Finish” on page 192.) You’ll probably ski fairly well because your expectations are low and muscle memory takes over. Only when you start cluttering your mind with “turn thoughts” may your balance, timing and rhythm break down. Also, consider spending time with an instructor in the early season. And avoid skiing with friends who push you, even if they promise to “ski slowly and help.” They are likely to do neither.

Ski at your own pace. Focus on the soles of your feet, feeling your weight spread along their entire length (not just on your toes or your heels). You will naturally assume a flexed, athletic stance over the center of your skis. From this position, all great things are possible.

Recognize that conditions are less than ideal in the early-season. Don’t expect midwinter snow, great weather or short liftlines. Terrain will be limited, and there will be icy spots. Some people will be skiing too fast. Keep an eye out for them.

Early-season is the time to make slow, deliberate turns. Think of it as training for peak season. And quit early, as soon as you feel tired. The best is yet to come. -The Professor

Have a question for The Professor? Write Stu Campbell at

The Trainer

I’m tired of energy bars. What’s a healthy ski snack?
Mason Jones,
Ann Arbor, Mich.

Mixed nuts. Sure, they’re packed with fat, but it’s monounsaturated (i.e., the good kind). They’re also loaded with vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, protein and fiber. The catch is that mixed nuts can be spendy. Try peanuts instead: They’re less expensive but just as nutritious. From just a gloveful of dry-roasted peanuts, you’ll get 160 calories, 7 grams of protein, 6 grams of carbs, 1 gram of sugar and 13 grams of fat (but only 2 of those are the bad saturated stuff). If you want more carbs or something sweeter, throw in some dried fruit. -The Trainer

Have a question for The Trainer? Write Kellee Katagi at