My Side of the Mountain

This weekend I went skiing. It was fun.

Lake Tahoe

Did you know that skiing costs about the same amount (and more in some cases) as running a marathon?! I missed last year's ski season and somehow the price of tickets went up by about 20%. Since it costs the same amount, and I am a nerd when it comes to stats etc, I decided to wear my Garmin the whole time and see what happened.

Do you remember science class when you had to make a hypothesis and then test it to see if you were right or not?

What I was testing was this:

(1) How far each downhill run was.
(2) How many runs we would be able to take.
(3) If my heart rate would raise if I was going downhill, or if I fell or went over a jump.
(4) How many total miles we would ski that day.
(5) What my top speed would be.

I really had no idea what the results would be. I know I can run about 9 MPH at the most and I can't do that for very long, so I would definitely ski faster than that, but I had no idea how fast. I know that it always seems like the time in line is really long and the run down is really short, so I would probably guess that it was about 20 minutes up and 1 minute down. I figured my heart rate would raise but I wasn't sure how much since I wouldn't be putting out too much effort.

chair lift

Here is what I found:

(1) Average wait/ride up  =  6 - 10 minutes. Average trip down = 3 minutes / 1.25 miles.
(2) We got in 23 runs, maybe 24.
(3) Resting HR = 44, Max HR = 116, Ave HR = 60 (88 when I fell)
(4) We skiied between 25 and 28 miles in total.
(5) Top speed = 57 MPH, Average = 35 MPH

It was kind of fun to see the stats. I mean, it's amazing how fast 1.25 miles goes when you are speeding down hill at 57 MPH. We skied a marathon! Just for fun, I did some googling to find out what a really fast skier is: Fastest (speed skiing) = 156 MPH, Olympians (ave) = 75 - 95 MPH, Downhill racers (ave) = 40 - 60 MPH, Normal skiers (ave) = 10 - 20 MPH (source). Now I wonder if my Garmin was a little off.

Do you ever use your Garmin (or other tools) to track other things besides running? What did you find out?


  1. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the stats! 57mph sounds fast to me. I've never used my garmin to down hill ski. I do have data for xc skiing. Of course I have a Power Meter for the road bike and a Edge 500 for the mtn bike and i have biking data out of the wazoo. what a surprise, eh?

  2. Ha, that's pretty funny. Makes me think you should bring the Garmin in the car with you to test how fast you're going and to see whether your spedometer is correct (Sweets has a theory his truck is going 2 mph slower than what his dashboard tells him - and he's tested it out using a constant speed and his watch - geek!).

  3. Interesting. That's exactly why I don't like skiing, the speed makes me really nervous, especially since I'm not very good at stopping:) Glad you had fun!

  4. That's pretty cool that you got up over 50 mph! Wow, the distance was about the same as a marathon. I did not expect that. Go Stats!

  5. Ah this brings back great memories of getting is as many runs as possible and beinng totally wiped out at the end of the day. My favorite ski trips were over Christmas cause we would stay on the mountain, get up early and ski to the lifts. Awesome. Glad you had a great time.

  6. HA! I love this! We snowboard pretty often (though haven't gone too much this year) and it's cool to see how far you go. Though 24 runs? WOW. Last time I went for a full day I could only squeeze out 10 runs and I was TIRED after! It took us more like 10-15 minutes to get down each run though.

  7. I've never been skiing in my life. You see all those trees? I would hit every one of them with my face.

  8. That is interesting/fun that you brought your garmin along with you! I have only skiied out in Colorado when I was working there in college and I would only ski if I could get the resort's free pass because I was not good enough and did not have enough stamina to make it worth the ridiculous expense of a day pass! But I did enjoy it when I went. I learned so late in life, I am kind of a chicken so I am probably the person going maybe 10 mph. ;)

  9. Such beautiful photos! I've never used my beloved garmin for anything other than running. Hmmm...maybe I should start using it when we go hiking.

  10. I love that you tracked your ski workout. Cool info. Interesting about your HR, I would have expected that it wouldn't have gone up too much.

    I used my Garmin once when we did a scavenger hunt thing at Disneyland. I can't remember how far we walked that day, but now I'm thinking it was 9 miles.

    Gorgeous pictures as usual.


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