Five Tips From Chris Davenport

Professional skier Davenport, 37, was first to ski all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks in a single year

SKI SMARTER
1. GET YOUR BEARINGS:
When I ski someplace I've never been, I grab a map and immediately look for the double black diamonds. That just tells me where the cool terrain is. Then I get a look at it from a groomed run or the lift and see if there are good lines in between runs.

2. MIX IT UP:
Most skiers tend to stick to a routine. They hit the same trails and ride the same lifts, and their day lacks adventure. You should challenge yourself—set a goal in the morning, like ski every black diamond or ride every lift. You see more of the mountain that way and, at the end of the day, you feel like you've accomplished something.

3. FOLLOW THE WIND AND SUN:
For instance, if high winds blew over­night from the west, maybe you'll want to check out the lee-side, east-facing slopes for some new, wind-deposited powder. Or if it's a spring skiing scenario, ski the sunny, east faces in the morning and save the shady (frozen) west sides for the afternoon.

4. LISTEN:
You can tell a lot about the snow by the sound it's making. The quieter the snow, the better it is. In the West, the groomers are generally best in the morning. But if you're in a spring situation, or out east, and you've got a melt/freeze cycle going on, the groomers are probably not so good early on and might be what I call "loud snow."

5. GO LOW-TECH:
Nowadays everybody has GPS's and music players and phones and wires coming out of everywhere. It's just too much. Put that stuff away. Just go have fun.

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