Getting In Shape
As a kid I went to Warren Miller ski movies. He’d show silent ski films, some with music and narrate them himself. He’d show exotic resorts from all over the world. It was a time when North American resorts were opening up new terrain, and new ski techniques and equipment made skiing powder and bumps attainable for mortals. Warren Miller stoked the dreams of me and thousands of other skiers.
The Great North American Ski Adventure (GNASA) is in many ways dedicated to Warren Miler. He was the first to place exotic resorts and lines in many of our dreams. The focus of a GNASA is to ski the resorts and runs you’ve read and dreamed about. In many ways it’s a fantasy trip made real. For me and most other expert skiers, you’ll probably target the top resorts and the marquee runs at those resorts.
You can never control whether the marquis runs are both open and skiable (given your level and risk tolerance). But you can prepare your body for the hikes, the periodic falls and the exertion required.
This means you need to be in good shape. At a minimum you’ll want t be able to hike a ¼ mile at 10,000 feet and ski a 1,000 feet of bumps without pooping out.
Many of my adventure friends are top cross fit athletes and tri-athletes. I’m their fat friend. Hey, someone always is. For any ski season I want to be in shape for I’ll lose 20-40 lbs and spend at least six months working outreach a level of conditioning that allows me to hike and ski the extremes. I’ll still be overweight and unable to finish a triathlon. But I’ll keep be able to keep up with my fit friends for at least a couple hours. The pint I’m trying to make is that you don’t have to be a super athlete to has a super GNASA. But you do have to spend time building endurance and muscles.
- Squats and lunges for quads.
- Elliptical and treadmill for endurance.
- Wall press abs for core.
None of these are your best options, but they get the job done.
See our section on ski conditioning for exercises and techniques to get your body in ski shape.