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How comfortable do you experienced skiiers get on difficult runs? - Page 2

post #31 of 56

Lessons are way to go! By some reason those sneaky instructors have a way with them! Mine was debating me at almost everything I say to her on the hills so I gave up. instructor did the trick. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtebor View Post

my wife is also a beginner and has the same problem.  However she thinks the beginner hill and greens runs are too steep.  I am not sure how to get her over this fear.  Granted that she is mid 40's might have something to do with it.

 

I am signing her up with private lessons this year and if this doesn't work it just might be that skiing isn't for her.

 

 

good luck and it will get easier with time and practice

 



 

post #32 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtebor View Post

my wife is also a beginner and has the same problem.  However she thinks the beginner hill and greens runs are too steep.  I am not sure how to get her over this fear.  Granted that she is mid 40's might have something to do with it.

 

I am signing her up with private lessons this year and if this doesn't work it just might be that skiing isn't for her.

 

 

good luck and it will get easier with time and practice

 


Do a search on Fear here on Epic and you will find some really good info. on what youre looking for.   It will inform you and put you in the right direction.  Query your future private lesson instructor on fear after you get informed.  Just because someone is an instructor doesn't mean they will address the Fear factor correctly.  Better yet get your wife to read the info.

 

post #33 of 56

I don't quite agree with this advice.  The problem I have with it is the part where the traverse is being recommended.  Traversing is how people get caught and held back from advancing.  IMO this is because "traversing" is too defensive.  I never teach any student to traverse except to get across the hill to change lines.  Traversing for speed control is not effective and leads to skiers getting static and not finishing their turns.  I always teach my students at any level including FDB to go from one turn to the next and to control speed through line and intent.  Focusing on the turn and holding the end of the turn to manage or maintain speed teaches the student that they are in control because they are skiing a "line".  IME many students can't control their speed on steeper terrain because they stop turning too soon and either go to the next turn or, more commonly, go to a traverse to slow down or regain balance.  The problem is that the traverse usually has a downhill element to it so no speed control is gained.  

 

I will usually have students make single turns to a stop.  The stop is a result of the turn creating a "line" that goes up the hill.  I'm trying to get them to see that the turn is the key to the "line" and the line is the key to speed control.  Having confidence in this and practicing small bites will help to overcome the fear.  Rather than looking down or across the hill, I would encourage a student to focus on the turn and then the next turn and then the rhythm.  Eliminating that "part in between turns" helps to maintain the focus.   This can be learned on the easiest flat green slope and still works at any pitch.  This technique makes it possible to ski steep narrow couliors at a slow rate of speed if desired.  As L&AirC said "comfort in difficult situation comes from training and experience. The more you have, the more the comfort level goes up".

 

The gist of sibhuskys post is pretty good.  Focusing on what you are doing and being in the moment will do a lot to negate the fear.  I just don't advocate traversing as practice and IMO doing it leads to defensive habits that become hard to break later on. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

I remember trying to teach someone to ski enough to get over to their lesson on what appeared to be FLAT terrain to me.  Apparently it was not.  The woman was TERRIFIED.  Later that day, she was on the same terrain and still not handling it, but realizing (now that they'd put her on even "steeper" (HA) terrain that the area she'd been on earlier wasn't that steep.  It's all what you are used to.

 

But, just a tip here to help silence your fear some....  To get down something that is scaring you, try just looking across the slope, doing the traverse, executing the turn as best as you can, then looking across the trail again and just skiing across the trail.  You'll find it's looking down the WHOLE HILL that is the terrifying part.  Once you've REALLY got your turns down and understand that controlling the TURN is the important part of descending and speed control, you'll be able to ski steeper hills.

 

That being said, I prefer my first attempt at something that looks scary be under EXCELLENT conditions.  Then if I master it under primo conditions, the slope itself doesn't bother me so much when conditions worsen.  I just tell myself I can ski those conditions and I have skied the hill, so get on with it.

 

 



 

post #34 of 56

Awesome video.  Love the ragdoll at the end!

 

CJ

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acrophobia View Post




 

Speaking of nerves...



 

post #35 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtebor View Post

my wife is also a beginner and has the same problem.  However she thinks the beginner hill and greens runs are too steep.  I am not sure how to get her over this fear.  Granted that she is mid 40's might have something to do with it.

 

I am signing her up with private lessons this year and if this doesn't work it just might be that skiing isn't for her.

 

 

good luck and it will get easier with time and practice

 


I thought my wife to ski when she had reached her 40s. I had to think back to what it was like to be frieghtened at the pitch of the run to help her. It was difficult to get her to ignore the blue and black signs and to convince her they really dont mean much. So we often lied to her, untill she got to the bottom of the run.  She slowly built confidence and will now ski black and double black runs, maybe I will even get her to the glades this year. It is all a progression and building confidence before moving up to the steeper slopes.

 

IMHO the most important skills you can learn are the various ways to stop. If you can stop you can ski any hill little bits at a time.

 

Good luck, have fun, be safe


 

 

post #36 of 56

In the instances I had in mind, these people were at the point of asking to be carted down the hill by ski patrol, they were in that much panic.  I am not recommending this as a way of LEARNING, but of dealing with TERROR.  By shortening the distance they had to worry about and making them stop seeing the "whole picture" they could deal with the smaller, less scary chunks.  I am not an instructor, but am quite familiar with fear.  
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post

I don't quite agree with this advice.  The problem I have with it is the part where the traverse is being recommended.  Traversing is how people get caught and held back from advancing.  IMO this is because "traversing" is too defensive.  I never teach any student to traverse except to get across the hill to change lines.  Traversing for speed control is not effective and leads to skiers getting static and not finishing their turns.  I always teach my students at any level including FDB to go from one turn to the next and to control speed through line and intent.  Focusing on the turn and holding the end of the turn to manage or maintain speed teaches the student that they are in control because they are skiing a "line".  IME many students can't control their speed on steeper terrain because they stop turning too soon and either go to the next turn or, more commonly, go to a traverse to slow down or regain balance.  The problem is that the traverse usually has a downhill element to it so no speed control is gained.  

 

I will usually have students make single turns to a stop.  The stop is a result of the turn creating a "line" that goes up the hill.  I'm trying to get them to see that the turn is the key to the "line" and the line is the key to speed control.  Having confidence in this and practicing small bites will help to overcome the fear.  Rather than looking down or across the hill, I would encourage a student to focus on the turn and then the next turn and then the rhythm.  Eliminating that "part in between turns" helps to maintain the focus.   This can be learned on the easiest flat green slope and still works at any pitch.  This technique makes it possible to ski steep narrow couliors at a slow rate of speed if desired.  As L&AirC said "comfort in difficult situation comes from training and experience. The more you have, the more the comfort level goes up".

 

The gist of sibhuskys post is pretty good.  Focusing on what you are doing and being in the moment will do a lot to negate the fear.  I just don't advocate traversing as practice and IMO doing it leads to defensive habits that become hard to break later on. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

I remember trying to teach someone to ski enough to get over to their lesson on what appeared to be FLAT terrain to me.  Apparently it was not.  The woman was TERRIFIED.  Later that day, she was on the same terrain and still not handling it, but realizing (now that they'd put her on even "steeper" (HA) terrain that the area she'd been on earlier wasn't that steep.  It's all what you are used to.

 

But, just a tip here to help silence your fear some....  To get down something that is scaring you, try just looking across the slope, doing the traverse, executing the turn as best as you can, then looking across the trail again and just skiing across the trail.  You'll find it's looking down the WHOLE HILL that is the terrifying part.  Once you've REALLY got your turns down and understand that controlling the TURN is the important part of descending and speed control, you'll be able to ski steeper hills.

 

That being said, I prefer my first attempt at something that looks scary be under EXCELLENT conditions.  Then if I master it under primo conditions, the slope itself doesn't bother me so much when conditions worsen.  I just tell myself I can ski those conditions and I have skied the hill, so get on with it.

 

 



 



 

post #37 of 56

I realize that.  I have been a patroller for 10 years and have given that ride.  I've also had to talk people off the hill both as an instructor and a patroller.  All new instructors at JH will eventually take someone up Apre Vous before they are ready and have to deal with the melt down.  Smart instructors quickly learn to better asses their students and how to deal with the extreme fear when they are wrong.  (AV is a blue area, but is steeper than most blues you will see elsewhere.  It is the next easiest terrain to the very flat greens at the base.)  I think the turn to stop is safer and more confidence inspiring than traversing to eat up the vertical.  Often people will traverse right off the edge of the trail and have to get themselves out of the "rough".  What could be a smaller chunk than a single turn?

 

Not attacking you here, just disagreeing based on my experience.  When someone is really scared, it can be hard to get them to do anything at all and if you are the instructor who got them in that position, it can be very hard to regain their trust.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

In the instances I had in mind, these people were at the point of asking to be carted down the hill by ski patrol, they were in that much panic.  I am not recommending this as a way of LEARNING, but of dealing with TERROR.  By shortening the distance they had to worry about and making them stop seeing the "whole picture" they could deal with the smaller, less scary chunks.  I am not an instructor, but am quite familiar with fear.  
 



 



 

post #38 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artemat View Post


Hey, I enjoyed that little clip,,,,, Were you ok after that? any broken bones / sprained knees? 



 



That wasn't me, thank goodness.  The Star Chute video is a little bit famous in that most ski videos emphasize the gnar gnar, where as this one accurately depicts that "I'm going to die and then I'm going to soil myself, not necessarily in that order" feeling we all get at some point...

post #39 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post

 

 

When someone is really scared, it can be hard to get them to do anything at all and if you are the instructor who got them in that position, it can be very hard to regain their trust.

 

 



 


    How true this can be.  Once Trust is lost you are out of luck on getting that fearful person to do anything you say.  This is a bond and believability factor that is overlooked way too much.

 

post #40 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post

I think what's unspoken here is that there's "steep", and there's "no-fall."

Skiers who are thoroughly relaxed in no-fall are either very, very good, or just not too bright. Unfortunately, I'm neither.

 

My best advice is to try and wipe all the peripheral crap out of your mind at moments like this and just concentrate on what you need to do. 



At the same time no fall isn't exclusive to steep.

post #41 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by karpiel View Post



At the same time no fall isn't exclusive to steep.



What do you mean by that?  I'm struggling to imagine "no fall" that doesn't involve steep.  So far I have mandatory turns/solid obstacles at high speed, which can still be achieved with good technique and a long enough non-steep run. I also can think of osteoporosis, and hemophiliacs.

post #42 of 56

I am one of those good skiers who has serious difficulties with exposed steep runs. The last time I experienced this was years ago, when I attended the Epic Academy. I was in an advanced group where the instructor told me that I am the strongest technical skier. Before lunch on the first day we found ourselves on some run rated extreme in Snowmass. I was in a panic before we even reached the run and although I did ski down, I was completely turned off. None of the skiers in the group could ski properly down that run. They may have been comfortable on it, but they just survived it, which basically is a way to re-inforce bad habits in the most extreme situations. 

 

I promptly removed myself from the group when I saw that the group basically wanted to do such runs all day long. No wonder many of these guys had relatively poor technical skills with as many (or more) years of experience than me. 

 

As an Eastern skier with no exposure to steeps and a strong fear of heights, I need time to get acclimatized to steep, exposed runs and the progression has to be gradual. I may have strong technicals skills (after all this is all I work on) but that simply does not mean that my fear of heights will ever disappear. Even some chair rides (the gondola in Aspen comes to mind) can be torture for me. 

post #43 of 56


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post



What do you mean by that?  I'm struggling to imagine "no fall" that doesn't involve steep.  So far I have mandatory turns/solid obstacles at high speed, which can still be achieved with good technique and a long enough non-steep run. I also can think of osteoporosis, and hemophiliacs.

I don't know if this is what he meant, but I've been on no-fall traverses going to terrain that was challenging but nowhere near no-fall.  And yes, it freaked me out.
 

 

post #44 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post


 

I don't know if this is what he meant, but I've been on no-fall traverses going to terrain that was challenging but nowhere near no-fall.  And yes, it freaked me out.
 

 



But why was it no fall?  Was the edge of the traverse next to a cliff that you didn't want to fall off?  I would call a cliff steep.

post #45 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post



But why was it no fall?  Was the edge of the traverse next to a cliff that you didn't want to fall off?  I would call a cliff steep.



You're not asking me this, but I'll respond anyway.  I can think of a couple of places where I followed a traverse that was not steep, but if I fell I would plunge over a cliff.  When I got to the end of the traverse I was in an area that was not "no fall."  So in that way it was a non-steep no fall zone.

 

Certainly, when going all out on an open, groomed blue run and having to make a turn in order to miss trees or rocks would also qualify as a no fall situation.

post #46 of 56

Thanks, I see ; the steep is there, you're just not skiing the steep.

post #47 of 56


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

the steep is there, you're just not skiing the steep.



 

 

Sounds like new signature to me.

post #48 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post



What do you mean by that?  I'm struggling to imagine "no fall" that doesn't involve steep.  So far I have mandatory turns/solid obstacles at high speed, which can still be achieved with good technique and a long enough non-steep run. I also can think of osteoporosis, and hemophiliacs.

 

 

Yea, that's what I'm talking about. The terrain can be nearly flat, but I consider 60 mph with solid objects around no fall.
 

 

post #49 of 56


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post



But why was it no fall?  Was the edge of the traverse next to a cliff that you didn't want to fall off?  I would call a cliff steep.

Like Poseune said, Sure the cliff was steep, but I wasn't skiing the cliff.

 

Actually, I have also been in a situation (leaving Killebrew Canyon at Heavenly to be specific) where the don't-fall underneath wasn't all that steep, but it was bare rocks with no snow.  (Freaky micro-climate... a ton of snow on the trails, but it just suddenly stopped a short distance below.) 

 

Now that I think about it, fast skiing on a groomer turning near the trees is a no-fall situation too, even if it doesn't feel like one.  Expert skier on a blue run is still the most common fatality, I believe.

 

post #50 of 56

Been there, done that.  Rock or tree stump poking through spring snow pulled off my ski.  A miracle I'm alive or able to type.  
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post


 

Now that I think about it, fast skiing on a groomer turning near the trees is a no-fall situation too, even if it doesn't feel like one.  Expert skier on a blue run is still the most common fatality, I believe.

 



 

post #51 of 56

Confidence and Difficult are relative terms. I am VERY CONFIDENT on runs that are EASY (for me) and become LESS CONFIDENT as the runs become more difficult until I get to the point where I have no CONFIDENCE and will walk down or ski around a DIFFICULT section. It's all relative to ones ability and tolerance for risk/pain/injury.

post #52 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveturner View Post

Confidence and Difficult are relative terms. I am VERY CONFIDENT on runs that are EASY (for me) and become LESS CONFIDENT as the runs become more difficult until I get to the point where I have no CONFIDENCE and will walk down or ski around a DIFFICULT section. It's all relative to ones ability and tolerance for risk/pain/injury.



    Certainly have empathy with this statement.  A tactic I adopted years ago was to;  always ski again that run/pitch/area of the hill I just had trouble  skiing.  An area or run that tested my ability and shook my confidence.  Go right up and ski it again.  It is rather amazing how much better and more confident you can ski it the 2nd time around.

 

    The obvious correlation is usually how much better we ski our home area vs. an unknown area.

post #53 of 56

That depends on HOW BADLY my confidence was shaken...and if it was only my CONFIDENCE that was shaken.  Sometimes I like to back off a bit before I try again.  

post #54 of 56

For me, i get comfortable, sometimes too comfortable. I'll have a few great lines and my confidence will be jacked up, and then i'll try something i normally wouldn't and either scare myself back down to reality, crash while attempting it, or ski away even more confident than before.

post #55 of 56

For the intermediate like yours truly, fear comes in different places from different kinds of degrees of difficulty.

 

1. First is the no-fall zone areas, where a fall would lead to genuine pain, and further catastrophic damage to body and mind. Note sometimes this is  perception - incline of slope way steeper than anything one has experienced (say 50degs), where others might ski it fine but one has just crossed the threshold of one's own zone of perceived ability. Witness on this thread the pictures:

http://www.epicski.com/t/103559/an-8-year-old-finds-the-biggest-ski-area-in-the-americas-whistler-blackcomb-10-full-days#post_1339682

 

The pics are originally from the web (WB 3D and the guide to WB), to depict the sheer steepness of the Sapphire Chutes on the backside of Spanky's Ladder. Many ski it, but I assure you that is about 1500ft of sheer vertical which holds snow, i.e. the limit of vertical holding snow. I froze twice, and did the worst thing, hugged the mountain,) but did not have to go far, since you just have to reach your inside hand in about a 3/4 of a foot and your hand is on the mountainside) while descending on Sapphire Chute.

 

2. Cornices very high on a mountain while entering a steep bowl or chute, that jump-off necessary makes many a person faint of heart, including this one, rather enter from a "sidecut/lane" into the bowl, or chute.

 

3. Steepness is not the only factor, it's the length of the steep section, i.e. the longer and higher, i.e. the altitude  of the starting point of the slope and the length of that terrain are definitely genuine intimidation accelerators, i.e pulse-begins-to-quicken when one looks over the top and realizes its a very, very long way down! For instance, in some of the conditions we saw, at Snowbasin in 2011 in January, slopes were chiselled rock-hard-ice, and one knew on the men's and women's downhill, one slip and that slide did not stop till the slope flattened out. 

 

4. Combine long steeps, with ice-frozen conditions and extreme flat light conditions, fear is the key here, and staying calm becomes paramount.

 

5.  Mandatory air entries, on high, again, not happy camper here when that is on the menu.

 

6. Cliffs over the side, or sharp ridgelines when one is traversing where one mis-step and well....

 

 

Just some thoughts on where this humbled intermediate gets intimidated.

 

 

post #56 of 56

Skiing is not about being out of control, so you don't generally ski runs that you are not capable of handling. 

 

When you get your short radius turn down so that you are comfortable turning instantly and stopping quickly, then you have the confidence to do steep runs.

 

When you see somebody soaring down a hill, they are usually only doing what they feel in control of doing.  It came with practice.  

 

You'll get there, too.  

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