Downhill skiing for some people is all about speed trying to go as fast as they can. Most people combine that need for speed with the need to do it safely.
World Cup & Olympic downhillers ski, according to the reports, in the 80 MPH region (130 KpH), but those competitors are at the edge of humankind ability and for those of us in the sport for recreation, what sort of speeds can we hope to accomplish?
Well not too long ago I reviewed an Android phone app called My Tracks that helps to answer that question. Last time I had it out I hit a top speed of about 39 MPH. We had cold snow and I took no special steps to increase speed, not waxing, not skating, not poling, not tucking.
However last weekend all of that changed. We had warm weather and the snow was fast fast fast. I had waxed my skis with a high-temperature wax (one suited for 30° F conditions), I tucked, I poled, and I skated. I increased my speed to 49 MPH. I do not know what run (as in what run down Big Bear did it) but it happened. My Tracks can show instantaneous speeds but when I’m tucked and running about 50 MPH I am not going to be digging for my phone!
This data is confirmed by a fellow with a radar gun a couple of years ago. I recall (vaguely) hearing him yell out 47 to me and that fits with the data off of my phone.
I was striving to cross 50 MPH, but maybe I need to sharpen my edges. I also bet I could hit 50 on Big Powderhorn’s Double Barrel.
How fast can you ski?