Skiing has become a passion for many people, and for good reason. The feeling of skiing on a powder day, carving through fresh snow, and watching the mountain become a blur of white is priceless. However, many people don’t know how skiing actually works. Here is some general information about heli skiing and how it can (and can’t) be done.
Skiing has been around for centuries, and it’s one of the original winter sports. It was originally called skiadelic because it was first developed in the Adriatic region of Europe. The word “ski” comes from the Germanic tribe called the Saxons, who introduced it to England in the 19th century. Since then, skiing has taken over the Winter Olympics, with a record 34 gold medals at the last Winter Olympics in 2014.
How Does It Work?
Skiing works on many levels. First off, your skis are what you need to get sliding on the snow. They are either snowboards or in ski-in/ski-out style, with the front pointing towards the front and the back towards the rear.
The best part of skiing is when you get to the top of the mountain. The feeling of flying down the slopes on the snow, carving through the fresh powder, and watching the mountain become a blur of white is unmatched. Unfortunately, getting to the top of the mountain requires a bit of training and skill. Most people enjoy watching videos of ski runs and practicing in their free time. However, if you really want to get fast, you should focus on taking lessons or joining a ski club. Many resorts also have organized ski tours, where experienced instructors lead you and your family/friend group through the techniques of skiing. These are a great way to learn while having fun in the winter.
What if you want to avoid the crowds and just have some quality time with your family? You can rent a private ski lodge and take the train to the top of the mountain. However, be careful not to rent a ski lodge that is too far from the bottom of the run. The last thing you want is to be late for your lift ticket.
Types Of Skiing
There are many different types of skiing. The most popular ones are listed below.
- Alpine Skiing – In alpine skiing, the trails are generally longer and more complicated than in other types of skiing. These are the most popular type of skiing because of their difficult nature. The emphasis is on speed and agility rather than strength. The best places to explore alpine skiing are the French Alps, German Alps, and the Himalayas.
- Backcountry Skiing – Backcountry skiing is when you travel off the beaten path in search of fresh powder. It can be a lot of fun, and you get to enjoy a stunning view of the mountains as you ski. Popular resorts for backcountry skiing include Val D’Isere in France, Hochdorf in Germany, and the Canadian Rockies.
- Freeride – A freeride is a combination of snowboarding and mountain biking. In some places, you can actually rent all-wheel drive vehicles to get around on, or use special pedals to turn the bike into an all-wheel drive vehicle. Popular resorts for freeride skiing include Val D’Isere in France, the German Alps, and North America.
- Ice Climbing – For a more extreme form of skiing, you can ice climb. In this type of skiing, you use ice axes and crampons to climb walls of ice. The challenge is not only in using the equipment correctly but also in maintaining your balance as you climb. In the winter, you can explore the deepest parts of the Canadian Arctic and learn how to ski using only your hands and feet.
- Nordic Skiing – Nordic skiing is a form of skiing developed in the northern parts of Europe. It requires a lot of hard work and is a lot more demanding than other types of skiing. The emphasis is more on speed than on agility. The best places to explore Nordic skiing are FIS Nordic World Ski Championships and the Finnish Skiing Federation. One of the unique things about this type of ski is that if you want to take a break, you can always get off and walk. The snow shoes you’re wearing are also perfectly suited for stomping snowballs.
- Totally Skiing – Totally skiing is similar to backcountry skiing in that you’re exploring untracked snow and trying to have as many fun as possible. However, in totally skiing, you’re not looking for a challenging experience but rather want to have some fun with your family and friends. The best resorts for totally skiing are Europe’s largest ski resorts, such as Zoi Sadowski-Synnott’s awesome resort in Germany. This type of resort is perfect for beginners, who want to experience the thrill of skiing without having to master tricky moves.
Skiing’s Most Popular Destinations
The best place to explore is always changing, but here are the most popular destinations for skiers and snowboarders.
- Svizera, Slovakia – One of Europe’s biggest ski resorts, reaching 2,321 meters in elevation. It also features the continent’s longest ski run, which is 5.9km long. You can get off the beaten path and discover a lot of charm in the town of Svizera. If you’re looking for a quiet and cozy vacation, this is the place to be. There are also a lot of hotels, restaurants, and bars to be found there. Visit during the week if you want to blend in with the locals.
- St Anton, Austria – St Anton is one of the oldest ski resorts in the world. It was first founded in 1914 and is considered to be one of the best places to train before setting out on your own. It also has a very vibrant apres-ski community. If you want to spend the winter in peace, this is the perfect spot. There is also an English-speaking Meet the Locals group, who will be happy to share some of the area’s highlights with you.
- Argentina: Las Leonas, Chile – Las Leonas is located in the Lakes District, which is in the Lakes region of Chile. This is one of the most famous ski resorts in the world, and for good reason. It features trails that wind their way through the glaciers of the Andes. It also features the Chapel, an amazing ice cream parlor, located at the base of the mountain. This is a one-of-a-kind experience you and your family should not miss.
- Chile – Chile is known for its beautiful coastline and its abundance of volcanoes. What better way to enjoy a holiday than from the summit of a volcano, watching the sunset turn the sea into a fiery red? There are a lot of volcanoes you can visit for this purpose alone, making Chile a destination worth exploring in the winter.
- Bolivia: Nevado del Colca – This is one of the newer ski resorts, having only opened its doors in 1998. It is located in the southern part of the country, close to the border with Argentina. However, the biggest draw for skiers is the Colca Canyon, located in the middle of the resort. The canyon is approximately 9km long and up to 12km wide, making it one of the largest canyons in the world. It’s a true paradise for hikers, with several trails you can follow. If you’re into wildlife watching, you can spot vicuñas, an endangered squirrel-like animal, as well as giant anteaters, hoary marmots, guanacos, and, of course, pumas.
- Uruguay: Cerro Cathedral – Cerro Cathedral is located in the northeastern part of the country. It is one of the most famous ski resorts in Latin America, attracting tourists from all over the world. It features some of the largest glaciers in the region, making for some spectacular views. There is also a lot of hiking trails you can follow, as well as a lot of accommodation options in the town.
- Peru: Machu Picchu – Last but not least, we have Peru and its stunning ancient ruins, Machu Picchu. The first thing you need to know about Machu Picchu is that entry is restricted to 1,000 visitors a day, so you will have to schedule your visit during the week if you want to avoid crowds. The second thing you need to know is that the trails are a lot more difficult than they look. Most people who have visited the site have failed to complete the three-day Inca Trail. Last but not least, Machu Picchu also features the Sun Gate, which opens at night. This is a truly spectacular sight to see.