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Hiking vs. Skiing

loafer89

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The fact that the ski season can be limited by ones geographic location and seasonal climate change is what makes it so apealing to me.

The thrill of skiing Killington in October or in June has a very strong apeal to me. Stretching the ski season to where it should not be is what makes it fun. Glacier skiing is even more of a high for me, being on perpetual snow and ice that is thousands of years old is a thrill.

Right now I have a severe longing to be in, on, or around snow, wheras I can go hiking anytime with almost no seasonal limitation.

I understand the merits of both sports, but this is my 0.2 cents worth on why I love skiing.

Am I alone with this feeling???
 

cbcbd

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loafer89 said:
Am I alone with this feeling???
Even though I am not as avid a skier as I am a hiker I do still feel that way about skiing.

It's kind of a reverse Spring Fever... or one could say that abscence makes the heart grow fonder ;)
 
R

RJ

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Hiking allows me the freedom to explore my inner most thoughts during a tranquil walk through the deep woods of the north unencumbered by civilization’s demands, while skiing allows me to explore my untapped potential as I carve and glide through the soft blankets of pristine snow newly fallen on a deserted slope as the morning sun warms my soul.

Ok, a tad over the top, but you get the picture.
 

cbcbd

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RJ said:
Hiking allows me the freedom to explore my inner most thoughts during a tranquil walk through the deep woods of the north unencumbered by civilization’s demands, while skiing allows me to explore my untapped potential as I carve and glide through the soft blankets of pristine snow newly fallen on a deserted slope as the morning sun warms my soul.

Ok, a tad over the top, but you get the picture.
Nah, good stuff :beer:
 

JimG.

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Skiing rocks! Nothing better in my book unless...

you hike to where you're going to ski!
 

Mike P.

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Okay so before I send you skiers packing over to the I love skiing boards on this site:

(two of your own but off topic boards which seem to be filled with post from many people who don't post on the hiking bbs, including a list of banned people)

Why hiking is better than skiing:

Sunrise from the top of any mountain, anytime of year, try asking American Ski Company if you can ride the chair at 6:00 AM

Sunset on any mountain, anytime of year, see if they will let you ride up after hours for a dusk run after the sun goes down, if they have night skiing, ask them to turn off the lights so you can enjoy the colors.

$40+ per person per day, day defined as open at 8:00, close at 4:00, even if I got 8 hours of sleep a night, this would be 1/2 of the 16 hours left, it's about 40-45% of my day.

No $ to hike unless I choose to go to BSP (& Don't live in ME - or borrow my friends car) many (but not all) WMNF trailheads until the State jumps on the fee bandwagon) or park at the ADK Loj

I'll take bugs over lift lines anyday, DEET will cure bug problem, hiking October - early May solves bug problem, hiking in the rain, on windy days above treeline solves bug problem, backcountry skiing seems only cure for lift lines which seems to be hiking with equipment aided glissading after your hike up. :)

Lift lines Vs. Crowds on the most popular peaks, Options for skiers - start sking at 6:00 AM, no; ski thru $10 per person hamburger lunch brake - yes; ski later in the day & come down via headlamp no;

I can hike Mondanock on a Tuesday in December starting at 1:00 PM & see almost no one, I can go on a Wednesday in July starting at 6:30 PM (or 6:00 AM) and see almost no one - & most likely will see no one 1/2 of the trip.

Colors - hiking, fall colors on leaves, aforementioned sunset, sunrise, green leaves, clear water, white water, blue water, aquamarine - okay you have to travel some for this color, rainbows,

colors - skiing, white (you get that color winter hiking too) blue sky if lucky, gray if you aren't; all the bright colors on this years Obyermeyer, Descente & TNF gear, hikers only get this years TNF, skiers get black leitards worn on snow bunny's - see I 'm ot all negative about skiing.

conversation: hiking, you can choose to talk to the people you meet or are hiking with if you want to anytime you want. skiing, hard to carry an indepth conversation while skiing, have to wait until you are back in the lift line or on the lift assuming you want the annoying guy you want to talk about to your SO to hear you as he is also on the quad or tram. or you can stop on hill & talk about him

stopping; I'm confident I can stop on any trail almost anywhere (to rest, eat, enoy the view,...) & not worry about another hiker rounding the corner or coming over a rock so fast he will collide with me & injury me. Conversely If I come around a corner & find six kids laying out in front of me with one boot (hiking one boarders) I can stop in time easily or go around them easily - even if they are camped out on the trail on the summit like they were on Marcy last Saturday.

Injuries: True medical help is minutes away from skiers, why is that? Medical help is moments away when you are in a Hospital but miles away in places where people seldom get hurt - supply & demand & perceived liability. When hikers do get hurt you can't slide them down a rocky trail & the injuries are usaully more life threatening (or it's body recovery not rescue) but many of those accidents are the result of your decisions & planning. I decide when to turn around, when the weather is too bad, what I pack. (Track record is pretty good so far - knock knock)If a novice skier loses control & runs me over, I don't have control of that. (from my few times skiing it was my lack of control that was at issue & fear that a knee injury would cost me six months of hiking & volleyball & playing with my kids - luckily my desk job would not have been impacted, it's wheelchair accessible)

Satisfaction on your accomplishment: I rode a chair 10 times to almost the top of a mountain with 900 other people (Sugarloaf may be easiest to get to summit, Killington, Cannon, Sugarbush (Ellen) & Wildcat (D) require a short walk to the summit, (Whiteface & Washinton considerably more to the highest mountains with lift/train service) & let my balance, a slipperly surface & slipperly thing(s) on my feet with gravity return me to the bottom & I only went indoors to pee 3X & inside to warm up twice. I'm going to go to another mountain tomorrow & do it again after getting a loan.

Or: I'm one of only a few hundred people to get up & down 48, 67, 115 - is a number really important - this/these mountains in the winter, in all seasons in every month to have done this alone or with a couple fo friends for support.

Afterwards you feel really connected (or you experienced) to something bigger than yourself, the mounatin, the woods, etc... DO you feel connected to the artifical environment of lift, groomed trail & lodge?

Apres' Ski? I guess I'm old & responsible now, I don't really get excited about the thought of a big hangover in the morning, I did enough of that from 15 - 30, it was more fun when I was underage (18 then) a beer or two after hiking/skiing/a volleyball tournament etc is always nice but I don't get giddy & excited about the end of a hike or tournament so I can go drinking, not anymore. Pizza & a beer or two, that sounds good anytime :beer:

Okay skiers, flame on
 

Mike P.

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If your a good skier you get to pay someone to allow you go fast, wait in line, go up slow, go down fast, repeat....
(I never got fast, I got to look I'm gaining speed, fall :( )

You can drive your car on the Garden State Parkway & do to exactly the same thing even faster; go fast, wait in line, go slow thru E-Z Pass, go fast to next toll booth, repeat.

It also comes with people to patrol the play area to make sure we all behave. I get to even change clothes or talk on my cell, eat, etc., while going fast so I can leave work in pants & arrive at the beach in my suit. (or if I go hiking after work I can be dressed to hike & fed wearing boots before I reach the trailhead I just need to avoid those patrol people, passing high SUV's - they don't pass me - & trucks so no one gets a free show.

While a motorcyclist can't change clothes while driving, he gets more of a speed rush while riding, IMO

Skydivers race car drivers, bungee jumpers, all would say you skiers are still going slow. Heck the biggest rollercoaters & other rides at an amusement park will reach speeds that only the best downhill racers can match so only Tommy Moe & company should be able to use the I get to go fast argument. Same with luge, skelton & Bobsledders & jet skis are not far behind those.
 

loafer89

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I have been skiing for nearly 25 years, and to date my worst injury was falling down on the sidewalk of our condo in the ice storm at Sugarloaf in 1998. :eek:

As for lift lines, if you know a mountain really well you can avoid or eliminate the need to wait in any line. You can also ski the less traveled resorts to avoid crowds. Bugs can carry a host of diseases that can be life threatening, people do not die waiting in a lift line.

The artifical enviornment of defying nature by making snow when it is a sunny day is cool :D

Speed is also a key factor, I believe it would be difficult to attain speeds of 60+mph or greater while hiking????
 

madman

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I was all about skiing in my late teens and early 20s . When I graduated highschool I moved to VT and skied every day. For three years I thought about nothing but skiing, summer sucked. Then life caught up with me ,I got a real job.Back in CT. The plus side of this was it forced me into other free time activites. Backpacking, MT Biking, Crosscountry skiing, White water Kayaking ,Motorcycle touring . and other things. I love them all equal including the limited downhill I get to do.No one thing is better than the other they are just different. They all have there time and place. The more you do in life for fun the happier you will be when your kids throw you in a home. I say just do it all, or, sit on the coutch watching ski movies wishing for snow. Life is a big party be there!!!
 

Mike P.

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60, is that fast? please don't drive in front of me on the highway, please stay to the right.

Die in a lift line, no but I know of one person who did break their nose when they tried to take cuts in line. :evil: (I was neither party involved, I probably would have put a hole in his pants....)

No bugs hiking in October - Thru April or wear DEET, DEET works anywhere in the world, knowing all the terrain to avoid all the popular trails on all the mountains all over New England, CO, CA, MT, Canada & Europe, good luck.

Bugs & insect borne diseases are possible doing anything, a day at the beach, gardening at home, sitting on your deck/porch after work or in traffic in a convertible. Hiking would lower the chance of getting something as insects carrying diseases like West Nile & Lyme are not everywhere yet.
 

loafer89

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My uncle contracted lyme disease while hiking in Bear Mountain State Park, and has been suffering from it for the last 5 years.

I skied 27 days last season, and waited no more than 10 minutes in line, and that was at Hunter, probably the most congested area around NYC. I have waited longer on line the the grocery store or for a table at a resteraunt.

Sugarloaf, Saddleback, Black Mountain, Bretton Woods, Wildcat, skied them all this winter on weekends, no lift lines.

Modern High Speed lift networks reduce or eliminate the wait at most ski areas today.
 

riverc0il

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Sunset on any mountain, anytime of year, see if they will let you ride up after hours for a dusk run after the sun goes down, if they have night skiing, ask them to turn off the lights so you can enjoy the colors.
i was thinking about this last night while catching a sunset on bald rock, that i could never catch a sunset on skis. it is pretty tough to do even back country as you'd need to ski down in the dark or by headlamp... or camp the night somewhere. both not ideal situations.
 

loafer89

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We all love different sports for different reasons. Whitewater Kayaking is more dangerous for me than skiing or hiking. Moving water can be very frightening, it has unbelievable power. Hopefully I will not get on the wrong side of any river and get the chance to find out the hard way.
 

uphillklimber

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This is Skier75, I'm having some difficulties with logging my hubby out, uphillklimber. :angry: Stupid thing....anyway, I do like both, but prefer skiing. No bugs! I don't mind the cold either, that doesn't bother me too much, except maybe jsut a little when it gets below zero. Believe it or not I can't wait for bug season to end! God, the bugs just have field day with me. I can just hike and get in shape for ski season! :D
 

MichaelJ

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riverc0il said:
i could never catch a sunset on skis. it is pretty tough to do even back country as you'd need to ski down in the dark or by headlamp... or camp the night somewhere. both not ideal situations.

What's wrong with camping? :)

I wouldn't want to downhill ski by headlamp (unless it was on a big, wide open trail under a full moon), but certainly cross-country skiing (in the backcountry) is very doable at night. That layer of snow is very reflective and any light in the sky at all, even starlight, will give you some amount of visibility. Add in a full moon or a headlamp and you're set!
 

blacknblue

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I'm feeling pretty schizophrenic today. :-? I can't decide on which side I should fall. I've had great and lousy experiences doing both...
There's just such an incredible difference b/t a day standing in line to ski 500 vertical feet and going heli-skiing with friends that it's hard to lump that into the one category "skiing." And it's hard to lump a hot, buggy, humid, wooded camping trip into the same category as a day spent with marvelous views, a magical sunset, and peacefulness beyond description.
I think skiing is more fun (exhilirating, exciting, etc.), while hiking/backpacking is more satisfying (peaceful, contemplative). Of course, I have plenty of experiences with both that work against that generality.
Like I said, schizophrenic!
 

Greg

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What a thread! How did I miss this one? Anyway, I love both. That's why I started this site. I've been hiking longer than I've been skiing, but I think my love of mountains/views/etc (from my early hiking experiences) is partly what appealed to me about skiing in the beginning. I love being at a place like Loon in the winter and looking around at all the peaks I've been on/places I've hiked/camped in the Pemi. Similarly, I now like checking out ski areas from the mountains I climb, or hiking at ski areas in the off season.

I think blacknblue said it best:

blacknblue said:
I think skiing is more fun (exhilirating, exciting, etc.), while hiking/backpacking is more satisfying (peaceful, contemplative).
They really are two completely different activities. If I had to choose, I would have to say I enjoy lift-serviced skiing better than hiking (dayhiking at least). For me the biggest reason is the challenge skiing offers and the desire to improve. It takes several hundred ski days to get good at skiing. Do you really "improve" much as a hiker? Sure you acquire more strength and endurance if you do it often enough, but hiking takes far less skill than skiing. Once you get to the point where you can rapidly descend a rocky trail mindlessly without thinking about where you are placing your feet, there's little additional ability needed.

Perhaps this is the reason some folks are turned on to hiking. It's a relatively easy thing to do from a default skillset standpoint (you're just walking up and downhill in the woods, after all), but for something that anybody in reasonably good shape can do, the rewards are huge. Maybe this is why so many hikers feel compelled to plan their hikes according to various lists, i.e. to add an additional measure of "skill" or experience. I never followed lists. The experience of just hiking is enough to satisfy me. Maybe the learning curve involved with skiing well is also what turns many people off. For me, it's what makes me want to keep doing it. Backcountry camping/backpacking/basecamping are different animals than dayhiking or peakbagging in that it's necessary to do them often to acquire certain skills to make the experiences enjoyable and comfortable.

Now reconsidering blacknblue's comments above, I can really see the appeal in backcountry skiing. I hope to get into it more once I feel my downhill skills are strong enough. Both are extremely rewarding activities so combining them must be a great way to enjoy both.
 
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