It never fails. Watching the new Warren Miller movie gets me excited about ski season. Like, really excited. That there isn’t even a drop of snow on the ground does not temper that feeling one bit. It will come. It always does.

This year, as with all years at this time, I’m hoping for a great snow season. The past couple of years up here have been pretty dismal in the snow department. Most skiers and boarders survived them because they remember fondly the season of awesome: 2008. Best. Snow year. Ever. Unfortunately for me, that was a year when I didn’t get to ski at all because of a hip injury. I also missed the following year for hip surgery. Two years away from my favourite passtime: Not fun, but I chalk it up to character building. I was so incredibly excited to get back on snow in 2010 that I didn’t really mind the poor conditions. I was just happy to be there. I am still happy to be there, but honestly these crappy snow seasons are starting to get old. Two years ago the capital of the USA had more snow than the capital of Canada. Not cool, Mother Nature!

But another ski season is almost upon us and hope springs eternal. I won’t be teaching again this year for lack of time, but I have my Camp Fortune pass and am eager to make good use of it. But what I’m really excited about is the trip to Kicking Horse. We leave in 14 weeks. That makes me smile. I’m already ridiculously excited and it’s still 14 weeks away. Wow! But here’s the thing: the last time I went on a proper ski trip was 2006. Six years ago. Six! Wrong, wrong, wrong! I missed two of the years because of my hip, and the others for my entrepreneurship habit. I love that I have my own business, and particularly love that it is a business that suits me perfectly and that I believe in passionately. But wow it takes time, money, and energy to get it up and running. It still takes a lot of me, but I’m finally at the point where I am starting to reclaim parts of my life. That means western ski trip!

If you were going to do the thing you love most for the first time since 2006, would you make sure you were prepared? I hope so! I keep myself pretty fit in general. You know, cuz I’m a trainer. But I want to take full advantage of a week of BC’s finest, which means it’s time to up the training. I have been thinking about what to do for my own training to prepare, when the obvious hit me yesterday: 12 Week Ski-Specific Training Program! I just downloaded a copy, treating myself to a special rate ;). I’ll be starting the program on Monday, meaning I’ll finish the program with 2 weeks to spare. Perfect timing since I’ve got a few new exercises that I want to use as the final ramp up for ski season (including my new favourite exercise: reverse slideboard lunges). Once I finish the 12 weeks (4 phases), I’ll do the new phase 5 and then it’s off to BC for me! I will be adding the new phase 5 as a bonus for anyone who buys the program this year. If you purchased a copy in previous years, comment below or shoot me an email and I will send you the bonus Phase 5 ramp up for free.

Happy skiing and boarding everyone!

What are you doing to get ready for ski season?

Bonus ski porn: this is probably my favourite youtube ski video. So awesome. I’m going to watch it again right now.

JP Auclair Street Segment (from All.I.Can.) from Sherpas Cinema on Vimeo.

Elsbeth Vaino, B.Sc, CSCS, CSIA, is a personal trainer and ski instructor in Ottawa.


  1. I feel your pain of missed ski seasons. 2008 I shattered my tib/fib which meant I also missed 2009 season, as well. 2010 looked forward to getting back at it and did a little skiing but weakness (Lipator) and hip pain limited my skiing to about an hour a day. Went to Whistler as an Olympic Volunteer. I had a month long pass to the mountain but skied only three times the hip pain was so bad. Jan 2011 had the hip replaced so missed that year. 2012 got back to skiing and even taught a number of private lessons. What a joy to be back at it. My hip is still in pain and quite weak but I am finally back to exercising and now preparing my lower body for the 2013 ski season, just like you. I am also working hard to avoid a “revision” of the hip surgery which is not going to be nice.

    Rob Duncan, CSIA II, PTS, Twist Bronze, CALA

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