Alright- I am using my Base Welder WAY more this year than I have in the last decade. I am happy I still have it, but I SURE WISH I did not have to use it so much!
So what can do to get through tough years like this one?
1.) Keep a stock of older, useable skis.
I am well known as a strong advocate of keeping racers on the RIGHT Gear- not just the cheapest available skis and boots. Athletic Careers are short, I think you should make the best of the years you have. BUT- when years get rough (like this year), it is important to downshift expectations a little bit on training days so that the racers will have SOMETHING decent for those precious race starts. Tired race gear has very little resale value. Keep a good stock around and use the older skis to help keep the new skis nice.
2.) Dodge, Duck, Dive and - Dodge (the 4 rules of Dodge Ball) all rocks.
This MAY mean that you avoid some training days (or nights) altogether. Or, it may mean you hike and/or download to avoid the rocks and dirt patches. Just be as smart as you can about it. Besides- crashing on rocks hurts a lot more than falling on snow. I do not recommend you try it for yourself.
3.) Maintain Daily
Daily maintenance is even MORE critical on low-snow year. You will be shocked by the amount of damage that can happen in just 1 run, much less 1 day.
4.) Order new skis early.
Ski Manufacturers are building less race skis these days. Make sure you test and decide on brand, models, and sizes by June (the beginning of the new Race Season to me) and order by July. You will have all the skis you need by August or September if you do, and you will have much less stress. All your ski prep can be done WELL before the snow flies.
See you on the Sunny, Dry NW slopes!