Continuing on our theme of our clients sharing their experiences, we asked Brian Doswell, an avid skier, to share his love of the sport with you. Here is what he had to say.
Now that winter is here the skiers among us look to the heavens and “Pray for Snow”. Skiing is probably the most popular winter sport in the world with an estimated 400 million skier days distributed over 2100 worldwide resorts per annum. Europe is the largest market with 200 million skier days followed by North America with 90 million. Some of the fastest growing ski markets are Eastern Europe and Russia. The free market has spurred growth in participation and resort development in countries such as Bulgaria, Poland and Russia.
Ski resort ownership follows no set global pattern – but it is a mix of family, government and corporate models. The market has been trending toward fewer, increasingly larger, company ownerships across varying geographic regions. This is primarily driven by economies of scale and decreasing geographic weather-based risks.
Skiing has come a long way since the first Scandinavians strapped animal bones to their feet 5,000 years ago. Today’s equipment features a wide array of skis and accessories for every type and style of skiing. Typically for Eastern Canadian skiing, the best type of ski can be described as an All Mountain ski. These skis are fairly exotic in design, featuring materials like carbon fibre, titanium coupled with bamboo, and are designed and shaped to perform in a wide variety of conditions such as hard pack, groomers, tree skiing and moguls (bumps).
The best skiing in Canada is without a doubt in the various western mountain ranges, from the Rockies just west of Calgary, through the interior of B.C. to Whistler Blackcomb on the west coast. In my humble opinion some of the best skiing in the world is to be had in the interior of B.C. at Revelstoke, Fernie, Rossland, and my favourite Sicamous. The western ski is a completely different ski, designed and shaped to perform in soft snow and powder.
Wherever you go it is important to ski to your ability. All ski resorts have adopted a rating system to show the difficulty of each run: Green Circle (Novice) – Comfortable on easy, groomed terrain, skier able to stop and turn in both directions; Blue Square (Intermediate) – Confident on more difficult groomed and unpacked terrain, skier has rhythmical movements and can control speed and direction; Black Diamond (Advanced) – Skier can easily adapt to changes on varying terrain and in all snow conditions; Double Black Diamond (Extreme skiing) – Use extra caution.!!
The physical and mental health benefits gained from skiing are enormous whatever your ability. Being outdoors in the cold crisp air, enjoying the amazing vistas and forming friendships with fellow skiers is therapeutic for anyone. Skiing is also great physical exercise that works the legs, glutes, the core, arms and backs.
Skiing is a sport that can last a lifetime and can be enjoyed by the whole family. This father spent significant time teaching his children how to ski in a fun and safe manner. Now that they are young adults we make a point of getting together a few times of year to ski. There is nothing more satisfying then a day on the slopes with your kids followed by a great dinner and roaring fire.
Priceless moments in life.