Goal setting for the new ski season

By October 14, 2014 Ski More, Trip Reports No Comments

We all have dreams and aspirations for things we want to accomplish in life. There are seasons when you accomplish all of them, and some years none. It isn’t the success or failure we should examine when it comes to goal setting, rather the personal accomplishments and small victories we have claimed through the full season.

So take a few moments to really think about your goals for the upcoming ski season. They don’t have to be big expeditions, or time-intensive activities, but don’t be afraid to include goals in which you will have to work for. Maybe there’s a goal you can accomplish, and maybe you have a big dream, big enough that would not only make your ski season, but possibly your year. Any professional coach will tell you that without goals it is hard to make yourself accountable to achieving them.

Try and think about your ski season in three phases. This will help you craft your season, and help you towards building that big goal. Start with the overall goals then break them into the preparations required in each part of your season.

Early Season

Early season goals should be about building fitness, refining your systems, and generally preparing yourself to be ready for the big days in the season, when the powder is pouring, and you want to maximize your whiteroom exposure. Focus on skill acquisition. Do you need a refresher on an Avy course? Does your major season goal require a long approach where you need to be super fit? The ground work is laid here.

Mid Season

This is when you want to go on that sweet road trip, or bag that peak that you have always dreamed. Find objectives that break down, and reinforce the skills for that bigger objective you have for the season.

The Ultimate goal

Your ski season should be focused on this expedition or major objective, and all the things you have done up to this point have prepared you for this trip or day. If you have planned properly, you will have the best chance of success. But remember that the process is sometimes as important as the final result, and that is what often keeps us coming back. Speaking from experience, it has taken two or three attempts to put some of my objectives to bed. Sometimes you don’t realize what it really takes to climb a big mountain, or ski a technical line until you are there – and sometimes you can’t predict sudden changes in conditions, random technical challenges.

Here is an example. This one day, 9 hour tour, over complex terrain, has been on my mind for a long time. I have tried it once and was turned back due to bad weather.


Early Season

  1. Build ski fitness (get out and tour, hike, start your wall squats, and just be fit).
  2. Work on your core strength so that you can haul a heavier pack and prevent soreness and fatigue.
  3. Find a partner who is keen to attempt it and is on the same wave length as you (knowing that you will have to move fast).
  4. Research routes, descents and attempt to find smaller objectives that will prepare you for the technical challenges of this tour.

Mid Season

  1. Replicate or do smaller parts of this tour to understand what is really involved. Find out what skills you may need to improve on to be successful.
  2. Build into longer days to up that ski fitness.
  3. Find steeper lines to get your ski technique down.
  4. Refine your systems and gear to prep for the main objective.

Main objective

  1. Get the right window and go after it. Be prepared for success or failure.
  2. Be prepared to drop whatever your are doing if the conditions are right to achieve your goals.
  3. Tackle the inner voice reinforcing your skills and ability to achieve success.

These exercises serve to focus us for what we really want to do as skiers. But more importantly, the same lessons can be used in our everyday life to accomplish our wider reaching life goals. Remember if it is written down you aren’t accountable to it. So get that pen an paper out and have the best season ever!



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