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Learned the White Pass Lean During a Lesson This Past Weekend

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Though I've been skiing for 25 of my 30 years, this past weekend I had my second ever lesson with a local PSIA Level 3. She wanted to work with me on my extension, specifically on my timing and direction.

 

We covered a lot, but the drill that stuck out most for me was the White Pass Lean. I'd never done this exercise before and at first found it difficult just to get the sequencing right and not fall over. It was very hard to commit to the pinky toe edge as my brain just couldn't will my movements in that direction. After one pitiful run attempting to do the drill, we went back up and did it a second time. These attempts were better, and for the first time really brought home the difference between extending towards the inside of the new turn vs extending "up like the trees grow." When I mentally focused on flexing the outside ankle part of my boot for the one ski that was on the snow I was able to link a few of the turns together. Between turns she had me do a little bit of a traverse to bleed off some speed in order to further isolate the extension/flexion movements from other forces.

 

Even though I was able to do the drill, I was (very) far from mastering it. I can't wait to get back on the hill and practice them some more.

post #2 of 8

Learning to make inside ski turns, with the outside ski lifted in the air, is the first thing to do before attempting White Pass Leans.  

 

InsideSkiTurns.png

 

 

 

From there, learn to make a series of turns on one foot, the same ski always lifted.  They require the same transition between turns that White Pass Leans do

 

 

One Foot Skiing Montage.png

 

 

Until those skills are mastered, quality White Pass Leans will be a challenge.  There's a full progression of balance drills that guide a person gradually acquiring those skills.  

post #3 of 8

I'm not so sure what the "lean" part of the drill is, but when White Pass turns are performed correctly, you almost don't notice that one ski is coming off the snow. When you get to the point where they feel like regular turns, it's an "aha" moment for your skiing.

post #4 of 8

Rusty, "lean" is the proper name of the drill, as originally coined back in the 80's.  Leaning is how Steve Mahre did it, as a spontaneous recovery move in a World Cup Slalom.  Foot off the snow, or on the snow, are simply different versions.  The original version was off the snow.  

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

 

 

Quote:
There's a full progression of balance drills that guide a person gradually acquiring those skills.  

 

Absolutely. We did some one-footed skiing drills as a progression up to this.

 

Quote:
Rusty, "lean" is the proper name of the drill, as originally coined back in the 80's.  Leaning is how Steve Mahre did it, as a spontaneous recovery move in a World Cup Slalom.

 

My instructor actually called it a White Pass Turn but after some Googling it seems the consensus is to refer to the drill as the White Pass Lean per the Mahre brother movement. Whatever you call it, the drill was extremely useful to me as a tool for feeling the extension movement towards the inside of the new turn.

post #6 of 8

These one footed skiing drills and White Pass turn/leans will highlight any alignment issues both on the sagittal and frontal planes!  Great drills for improving transitions and great assessments for good alignment!

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by abickford View Post

 

 

Quote:
There's a full progression of balance drills that guide a person gradually acquiring those skills.  

 

Absolutely. We did some one-footed skiing drills as a progression up to this.

 

Quote:
Rusty, "lean" is the proper name of the drill, as originally coined back in the 80's.  Leaning is how Steve Mahre did it, as a spontaneous recovery move in a World Cup Slalom.

 

My instructor actually called it a White Pass Turn but after some Googling it seems the consensus is to refer to the drill as the White Pass Lean per the Mahre brother movement. Whatever you call it, the drill was extremely useful to me as a tool for feeling the extension movement towards the inside of the new turn.


Excellent, abickford.  Sounds like your instructor was guiding you well.  Just noticed you're from my old home area.  I spent many years coaching this stuff on the slopes around Buffalo.  

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick View Post

Excellent, abickford.  Sounds like your instructor was guiding you well.  Just noticed you're from my old home area.  I spent many years coaching this stuff on the slopes around Buffalo.  



Hah, it seems like everywhere you go you'll meet someone who used to live in Buffalo. My wife and I both take lessons from this instructor. Though she is no longer affiliated with the resort, we were initially introduced to her through Holiday Valley's instructional program when my wife went to get a lesson a couple years ago.

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