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# Why skiing tall isn't the answer - Page 4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_

I think I got what I needed out of the thread. Too bad so much of the banter has been disparaging and berating. It explains why there aren't a lot of instructors posting with the goal of mutual development.

I think most of that was between me and bsather, and I apologize for my part in that. Other than that I think it was a level headed discussion that was pretty useful.

If someone is serious about understanding this, I suggest to read the following which is from another thread (It is a discussion between me and another poster, slightly modified for clarity):

Quote:

Regarding the title of this thread I don't really like to put number on things. I might end a turn with 100% on my inside, e.g. OLR or ILE, or I might end the turn with 100% on the outside (dynamic SL turn with weighted release). They are both fine. Similarly I might initiate the turn with 100% on my inside because I needed to make a balance adjustment due to the previous release.

OLR with 100% on your inside means you already initiate the new turn at that point - same as the third option?

Is the weighted release just like OLR but with the old inside ski lifted?

Only if the CoM does not go up. If you unweight by "vaulting" the CoM will go up and you will we weightless for a while, when the weight comes back it doesn't need to be the same leg.

The weight distribution is much more important to view in the time domain IMO. Bear with me...

When an edge is engaged in the snow you can divide the force that the edge affects the snow with in two major components.

1. The force component that is tangent to the snow surface. This force is given by the instantaneous turn radius. If you are going straight (or free-fall "straight”) this component does not exist. If you are doing tight SL turns at WC speeds this force is huge. It is proportional to the square of the speed and inversely proportional to the turn radius. This can also be called the centripetal force.

2. The force component perpendicular to the slope. The time average of this component is given by the steepness of the slope and the weight of the skier. If the slope is flat the average is proportional to the weight

Very nice decomposition of the components for visualization

Now you may have noticed that I used the term "average". The interesting thing about the second component is how it is distributed in time throughout a turn. In a static "park and ride" turn the size of this force is quite constant and proportional to your weight x cosine(slope angle).

On the other side of the spectrum we have a highly dynamic turn, like a WC SL racer that flies through the transition with very little pressure on the skis and has a short by very intense engagement of the edges. Say for example and simplicity that he has no noticable pressure for 2/3 of the turn and that he has a high but constant pressure during 1/3 of the turn. This means that the second force component will be proportional to 3 x weight x cosine(slope angle) during this 1/3 of the turn.

Typically where in the turn does a racer use high and low pressure using the clock face as reference? I understand why you use time, but it is much easier for me while skiing to think spatially rather than temporally.

I am guessing from videos that to a large extent, the pressure at the top (12 o'clock) and bottom (6) are lowest on the skis and highest at the apex. Therefore weight distribution at these points doesn't affect the turn shape or dynamic much? But as pressure develops toward the apex, it becomes critical and racers by and large have their weight very predominantly on the outside ski as Skidude72 and CTKook indicated? WC SL racers appear to spend no time at 12 at 6 o'clock.

Usually the max force will be somewhere after the fall line. You want it as early as possible to be fast, but that is very difficult.

Now if we consider the following facts:

-The steeper it becomes the less is the average of the second force component (due to the cosine(slope angle), if you don't know your trigonometrics you just have to trust me on this one)

-The steeper it becomes the faster we go if we carve

-The faster we go the higher the first force component will be due to higher speed and tighter radius

-The resultant force vector of the combination of the two force components compared to the edge angle is what largely determines if the edges hold or not.

Now this means that to hold an edge in the steeps you either have to increase the edge angle OR increase the second force component (off course the best is to do both).

Up to moderate speeds and steeps and on grippy surfaces it works pretty good to just increase the the edge angles, but pretty soon you will reach a limit, for example:

-in soft snow the resultant force is too much along the snow surface and the ski will break loose because of "shaving"

-On ice the ski can very easily break out and skid.

-If you are going very fast the edge angle is larger than what you can handle (read hip to the snow angles)

Yes, nice and clear

Now, it easy to realize that if the second force is larger the edge hold will be better. If we take the example with the WC racer above it is like making the force pushing the skis down into the snow three times larger.

I understand the first part but the only way I can think of to increase this second force component, and only possible for a brief moment, is to push or stomp on the ski. But doing so will likely upset balance or launch me somewhere I don't want to be by the same but opposite impulse from the snow surface to the ski which would defeat the purpose of increasing edge hold. If you consider the skier as a point object then all the dynamic of the turn parallel to the slope only affect the first force component. Changing the second would require dynamic perpendicular to the slope like pushing the COM up, dropping down, or retracting the legs - all of which are possible but only the first option increases ski pressure. Do racers push their COM up? Or is it indeed a NO NO as some people very strongly say?

Pushing is a big NO NO, although sometimes you cannot avoid it.

What you are missing is dynamics. As an example, imagine that you are going fast and you are highly inclinated, with you hip close to the ground i.e. the COM is far inside the turn. You are in a more or less balanced state. If you now angulate more, e.g. with feet/knee and hip, the radius will go down and you have disturbed the balance. The centripetal force from the edge will go below the CoM, and this will start a rotation which brings the CoM upwards. The only thing that can push the CoM upwards is a force acting on the ski, because there are no other upward external forces. The force must be larger than your weight otherwise it cannot push upwards. So, the ski is pushed down into the snow because of the upwards acceleration of the CoM.

The CoM will accelerate upwards also if you push into the turn, but then you have wasted the CoM acceleration early in the turn, and you will skid at the end of the turn if the conditions are tricky.

Another example, imagine that you are riding a bicycle at speed and someone puts a pump in your front wheel. You will fly up and forward. What force caused the upward movement?

So, the core of this is simply, that if you want your edges to hold under tricky circumstances you need to have more dynamics in your skiing,i.e. a short but intense edge engagement followed by a longer "float" with very little pressure.

Where and how? This is of much practical interest to me because I flail badly when the combo is steep, smooth and icy

See above. In practice some mental ques that are e.g. Flex intensely in transition. Delay edge engagement as long as possible by angulating.

There is a bit of strange thing here, delaying edge engagement gives you pressure in the high-C!

The difference here is whether you consider things spatially or temporally.

In the time domain, if you delay engagement, it means that the CoM is going "straighter" (ignoring free-fall) for a longer time. You are going in the same direction, and since you have delayed the engagement the edge angles will be higher which means that the forces will build higher and faster, and thus spatially you have more engagement in the high-C.

In racing this is exactly what you want, a straighter line with tighter turns and better grip.

If you instead maintain a constant level CoM you will engage early in the time domain, but you will not get any big forces in the spatial domain until much later.

When you see a racer that gets passive, this is often what has happened. You need the dynamics to be strong in order to be fast.

It is quite a common mistake to try to get early pressure by hurrying. That is partly why a common remedy is to have more patience. If you are doing things right it feels like you have all the time in the world, even if the turns are fast.

How you get the dynamics is a whole new subject, but some examples are:

-Old school push edge set where you push down on you edges short and abruptly with muscular effort to get a float into the next turn

-Modern SL turns where you float through transition, delay the edge set instead of pushing, set the edges by "landing" with more or less extended legs. Continue increased edge angles and counter until the vaulting effect starts to throw you upwards and into the next turn. Retract at exactly the right moment to get a float into the next turn.

-A longer GS turn where the float is longer so that the body is more upright in the middle of the transition, but there is still a float similarly to the SL turn (This is like Svindal in this thread)

A related subject is how the distribution of the second force component affects your speed, applicable both in mogul skiing and gate racing, but that is also another subject. It is relatively easy to learn how to hold an edge, but to do that and not loose you speed in the gates is what is really difficult.

I will be very happy for now just to hold an edge and not skid

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamt

(Like the energy stored in the ski, please don´t go there :-D)

!!................................

zenny

Metaphor_,

Would you share what you have got from the thread? I am an "uncertified instructor", an instructor of only one student, my son. Below is a picture of him last weekend. He only skis with me and learns from me, and I only learn from books, video, the Internet and a hefty dose of thinking. Clearly, I am  very much a novice (what's up with the A-frame?), but I have a deep interest in skiing and understanding skiing.

I find discussions like this very useful. There are always folks who dart in with sweeping and negative comments, without explanation, and disappear. Ignoring such unconstructive behaviors, I would say salty or disparaging remarks to emphasize a point are par for the course, even fun, and can be helpful. Whatever the reason for not having more instructors posting, I doubt it's because of the tone of the discussion. We are not members of a socialite club; physics and biomechanics are not sociology; we can think and evaluate for ourselves. Don't "cure obesity by loosening your belt" (to steal a saying from Skidude)

Chuck

Actually Chuck, I don't post much on instruction threads exactly of the tone they tend to take. I doubt that I'm alone.

for me personally, the important idea behind tdk's stick figures is not whether the cm's are precisely drawn, but rather, how much a vertical range the three different images show. i think we can all at least agree that we are looking at three scenarios here.

the first and third (especially the 3rd) would be the ones typically seen in high end skiing. both images show an unweighting of the skis via a rise of the com...though the idea of crossing paths (x move) plays a big role in regards to timing. if "what goes up must come down", one should be able to infer that the HIGHER a thing (com in this case) goes, the LONGER it takes to come back "down". this means that there is an increase in duration (time), and distance traveled through transition, across the fall line.

if one were to eliminate ALL vault, ala image 2, one would be left with a one size fits all, weighted thru transition, "static" turn. it is my feeling that #2 would be a very limiting way to ski.

zenny

And yet 2 is what holds the imagination of more people than we'd think... "can you do it while keeping your head level?"

true. difficult indeed! bur one isn't for instance going to apply this if making say, "wall to wall carves". i suppose you could...but you may find yoursulf flexed for quite some time . my philosophy is that of my teacher, variety is important in skiing. and so is SA and coreoghraphy. after all, good skiing is fluid (at least to me).

as far as racing goes, a one size fits all turn WILL catch up with a racer...and then he'll need something different...

zenny
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp

Actually Chuck, I don't post much on instruction threads exactly of the tone they tend to take. I doubt that I'm alone.

I guess I'm wrong - sorry. It's always risky to generalize my own feelings. But I do hope you continue to participate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp

And yet 2 is what holds the imagination of more people than we'd think... "can you do it while keeping your head level?"

Although I focus only on retraction or flexing in transition, trying to keep the head or COM level all the time would be "stylized skiing" and does not capture my imagination or aspiration. 3 or (C) in TDK summary is indeed a very high performance turn that I aspire to. I would, however, respectfully disagree with zenny that 1 is high end, unless you consider me a high-end skier . I can fake 3 by pushing up or ILE to have a rising COM, but that's just another "stylized skiing" to superficially imitate 3. The speed, the forces, and the mechanisms of the two turns are very different while the body postures appear similar. If you forgive my audacity (I think I can only experience 3 in very limited situation and only very recently while I can do 1 any time on a blue slope), I would say that too much credit has been given to 1 by instructors and, for the most part, WC racers don't do it. Am I wrong?

chuckt...high end due to the delicacy of movement/pressuring one employs upon entering the fall line foragonally from such a "lofty" position, and then flexing /pressuring progressively--requiring a certain amount of "touch" all 3 have validity..."right tool for the right job"!

p.s. svindal used it...(1)

zenny
Quote:
Originally Posted by zentune

Basically, both Vonn and Svindal are achieving the same thing during their respective transitions. To use an older term, they are "unweighting" their skis, and yet going about it in two different ways. Lindsey retracts through transition while Svindal allows his body to extend--this extension of the body takes pressure off the skis making it easier for the upcoming edge changes to take place, while at the same time facilitating the projection of his CoM diagonally towards the fall line. The retraction Lindsey uses is a "quicker" movement...head stays down (relatively), skis pass underneath the body and are then reengaged directly, via an extension of the legs. Svindal's transition takes longer, due to the greater length of time it takes to extend through transition, so he moves further across the fall line (more or less unweighted) as a result.

Situationally, one would typically employ Vonn's tactic (crossunder) when "immediate" reengagement is desired. Conversely, one would prefer Svindal's approach if one needed more across the hill direction and softer engagement.

zenny

Zenny, Sorry for my hard-headedness here, but to me it looks like Svindals big up movement is the cause of some sort of error or terrain. Look how wide he is two frames previously and then how narrow he is in 1 previous frame and his tips are not really in contact with the snow. . Then in He then must make his skis light because (at least by these frames) he does a big pivot and mistakenly lands on his inside ski in the 6th frame with NO weight or pressure on his outside ski and then to get to the seventh frame although you can't see it redirects into a 2 footed carve to get back in balance and online.

To me this big up motion is like what we used to do on long straight skis. He is up unweighting because his balance is goofy and you must be in a more balanced position to down-unweight. It is also difficult if not impossible to redirect from a down-unweighted position.

What say you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckT

I guess I'm wrong - sorry. It's always risky to generalize my own feelings. But I do hope you continue to participate.

Although I focus only on retraction or flexing in transition, trying to keep the head or COM level all the time would be "stylized skiing" and does not capture my imagination or aspiration. 3 or (C) in TDK summary is indeed a very high performance turn that I aspire to. I would, however, respectfully disagree with zenny that 1 is high end, unless you consider me a high-end skier . I can fake 3 by pushing up or ILE to have a rising COM, but that's just another "stylized skiing" to superficially imitate 3. The speed, the forces, and the mechanisms of the two turns are very different while the body postures appear similar. If you forgive my audacity (I think I can only experience 3 in very limited situation and only very recently while I can do 1 any time on a blue slope), I would say that too much credit has been given to 1 by instructors and, for the most part, WC racers don't do it. Am I wrong?

Head level comment, yes, I agree... things stop being dynamic and don't look very fun. As an exercise for a particular student with a particular problem, sure, but not as an end in and of itself.

You're throwing the baby out with the diagram!    WC'er s don't do it because they're skiing at speeds and generating forces that even very good rec skiers can't imagine. In the old days, I heard a coach say, "give me any skier that can get 45-50 degrees of edge angle, and I'll get them to under 60 FIS points. I don't know what would an average equivalent today, and I'd assume the edge angle has increased given advances in gear and the general amount of good coaching available, but it seems a pretty fair assessment. Not many folks make any angles at all above the fall line. Instructors like to see students balanced and stacked first. Everything else is gravy. Diagram 3 skiing is out of the realm of about 95% of the skiing public. That other 5% got there through a load of hours and hard work with a good bit of coaching along the way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman

Zenny

To me this big up motion is like what we used to do on long straight skis. He is up unweighting because his balance is goofy and you must be in a more balanced position to down-unweight. It is also difficult if not impossible to redirect from a down-unweighted position.

What say you?

Yeah, I'd say he's trying to get back on top of 'em. That's the trouble with looking at one turn even in montage. It's impossible to see the larger whole.

Exactly.

Trying to analyze technique from one turn is crazy.

sure...when i searched epic for crossunder vs crossover, these were the images i got, so i used them as a matter of ease. i'm not convinced we can call svindals move a "mistake", as we cant see what lies ahead...strange line adjusts have been known to be used.

zenny

How about this picture for fun?

lol marko!! )

zen

I think I've been there.

Late.

Check out the new thread I just started for an eyeopener!

@atomicman ...as ive learned it, certain circles no longer use up-unweight, as the "up motion" used now is perpendicular to the slope angle, as opposed to "up" like the trees. and i agree with the redirect you see (which requires at least some rise of the com), something which sees fair amount of usage in racing these days. from the angle, it seems as if svindal is in between "up", and "out"...

zenny
Quote:
Originally Posted by zentune

lol marko!! )

zen

Of course she did manage to win this one.

context, 4-D style:

http://universalsports.com/video/2013-alpine-skiing-world-championship-slalom-shiffrin-wins/

Quote:
Originally Posted by zentune

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman

Zenny, Sorry for my hard-headedness here, but to me it looks like Svindals big up movement is the cause of some sort of error or terrain. Look how wide he is two frames previously and then how narrow he is in 1 previous frame and his tips are not really in contact with the snow. . Then in He then must make his skis light because (at least by these frames) he does a big pivot and mistakenly lands on his inside ski in the 6th frame with NO weight or pressure on his outside ski and then to get to the seventh frame although you can't see it redirects into a 2 footed carve to get back in balance and online.

To me this big up motion is like what we used to do on long straight skis. He is up unweighting because his balance is goofy and you must be in a more balanced position to down-unweight. It is also difficult if not impossible to redirect from a down-unweighted position.

What say you?

IMO it depends on what the definition of an up move is. In frame 4 the stance leg is more flexed than in frame 3 and the inside leg seems to bear little weight, which indicates that the upward acceleration of the CoM was caused by vaulting, not a push. the vaulting keeps the CoM going up more and the maximum height is reached close to frame 5, thus the legs are a bit longer and he is completetly unweighted.

Between fram 3 and 4 he also makes sure he finishes with an aft move. This is necessary, because this translated into inclination when he has pivoted the skis. In frame 9 the hip is close to the ground, and this tells me that he is going very fast. IMO this is also the reason for the pivot/skid, he is scrubbing off speed. Line wise he could have carved this turn, but not speed wise.

Also since he starts the turn banked in order not lock the edges it means that the inside leg will contact the ground first unless he retracts it. However, since there is no pressure it does not really matter, maybe it is just a minor balance adjustement.

Personally I have stopped using the term up-unwieghting and down-unweighting. In practice the CoM goes up in almost all transition (well not TDKs B above), it is just the movements of the legs that is different.

Today the best skiers like Ligety and Hirscher would likely have used a super-stivot or even have tried to carve the turn.

He is not late, the skis are pointing above the blue gate already in frame 2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bsather

The "ski school that shall not be named" has very good reason for hating on inside leg extension: the more that leg is extended (for whatever reason) the less the foot is capable of tipping. It is the increased tipping that tightens the turn radius. So if you don't really want to turn, go ahead and extend.

If you look at the Vonn montage and starting at the third image into the turn, you will observe her inside leg (which starts out as an outside leg in image 3) pretty much has the same (non-extending) angle throughout the rest of the turn. She flexed into that angle and tipped into the turn. The (new) outside leg extends by "reaching" to the snow, not by pushing off.

On the other hand, the Svindal example is simply a desparate jump to regain the line. Nothing is to be learned from it save for the fact he is a much better athlete than you or I.

The "ski school that shall not be named" has a far simpler theology than other methods. There are just a few, "primary", movements which largely handle pretty much everything with no need for a lot of special cases. These movements were gleaned by observing the most successful skiers. The idea, I think, is to limit the number of occasions you have to resort to desparation by simply skiing better in the first place. While these movements aren't necessarily easy to learn, you at least have just one set of things to learn and not a bunch of others. So there's a chance to get good at them.  Further, you don't have to "guess" what "method" or "trick" you need to use for a particular situation.

But the inside leg extension transition move is only for when you are finished tipping that foot to tighten the turn and want to o widen the turn on the way to the next turn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bsather

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim.

Have you noticed that there is almost never any analysis of DH or SG on HHs blog? Why? Probably because, due to the longer transitions people extend an awful lot more in those disciplines which wouldn't fit with his marketing.

There isn't any real applicability of DH or SG to recreational, or for that matter, most "club" racing. You know, HH doesn't analyze ski jumping, either. Or park tricks. The "transitions" you speak of are not the same as "transitions" in normal skiing. In day-to-day turns one does not want to be locked into a "stable" position in transition because the point is to get to the next turn. In DH and SG one needs long-term stability in between the occasional turn that occurs because you don't want to get tired, miss a turn, and die.

Needles to say for most, but I'll say it anyway.  I disagree with the above underlined bit.  DH and SG free skiing is fun and exciting on unprepared courses or on the backside of the mountain with no netting, no gates you have to scrub off speed for and nobody watching to point out all your faults.  Just you the mountain and your adrenaline, perfect.  NOT THROUGH A CROWD THOUGH!

Quote:
Originally Posted by zentune

@atomicman ...as ive learned it, certain circles no longer use up-unweight, as the "up motion" used now is perpendicular to the slope angle, as opposed to "up" like the trees. and i agree with the redirect you see (which requires at least some rise of the com), something which sees fair amount of usage in racing these days. from the angle, it seems as if svindal is in between "up", and "out"...

zenny

In other circles, there is still solid disbelief that one can transition to a turn in the other direction without unweighting the skis.  I recall have an argument with a certified ski instructor and long time skier who in my estimation looks like he skis very well.  He did not believe that I could go from turning left to turning right without unloading the skis at transition until he followed me down a run and watched me do it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost

In other circles, there is still solid disbelief that one can transition to a turn in the other direction without unweighting the skis.  I recall have an argument with a certified ski instructor and long time skier who in my estimation looks like he skis very well.  He did not believe that I could go from turning left to turning right without unloading the skis at transition until he followed me down a run and watched me do it.

I havent followed this thread at all...but just read this last post.  Anyone else (except JamT), and I just chock it up to not undestanding what weight vs mass is etc.  Can you go from left to right without "unmassing" the skis?  Yes.  Can you go from left to right without unweighting them?  No.  G forces, even if only minor, will always be present in a turn....G forces will never be present at skis flat...because there is no turning. Get rid of the G-forces..and the skis are said to be "unweighted".  Add G forces, and the skis are said to be "Weighted".

Maybe it's directional thing in most cases, unloading versus unweighting?  The turn force must cease for the turn to cease, so in a sense the skis are unloaded at least in the turning direction, but they can still be pressed into the snow while one turn ends and the other begins.

What I demoed to him was rolling the skis from right to left edges, while maintaining a considerable downward force with a considerable into-the-snow-directed force through the skis.  And that this was possible seemed to surprise him.  It seemed to me like he was so ingrained into a thinking pattern in which the skis had to pivot about the boot during transition to turn and that this "turning" could only happen if the skis were not being pressed into the snow.

You can do it (roll from left edge to right edge while maintaining your COM at the same distance from the snow) standing still; do it while moving forward and you are transitioning between left and right turns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost

Maybe it's directional thing in most cases, unloading versus unweighting?  The turn force must cease for the turn to cease, so in a sense the skis are unloaded at least in the turning direction, but they can still be pressed into the snow while one turn ends and the other begins.

What I demoed to him was rolling the skis from right to left edges, while maintaining a considerable downward force with a considerable into-the-snow-directed force through the skis.  And that this was possible seemed to surprise him.  It seemed to me like he was so ingrained into a thinking pattern in which the skis had to pivot about the boot during transition to turn and that this "turning" could only happen if the skis were not being pressed into the snow.

I understand what you did...but my point is...that the notion that you must "unweight" to change direction is 100% true.  The issue is....alot of people do not understand what "unweighting" means. You can move through transition with 100% of your weight from gravity on the skis...and still be "unweighted"....since you are no longer carrying the "weight" associated with the turning forces.

The terminology weighted/unweighted refers to the skier...not the skis.

Its simple if you understand weight vs mass.  Which I know you do.

Edited by Skidude72 - 3/15/13 at 4:56pm

Probably just a language thing.  He clearly knew what he was doing, as could be told from his skiing, and since we were both there on the snow, it was easier to ski and see than try and bridge the language barrier.  Person to person on-the-snow is so much better than words, spoken or written.

btw, ghost. the school of which i am a part teaches/learns AS MANY different methods of turning the skis as possible!! a great skier should be well versed, in our opinion...should have a full "bag o tricks", which can subsequently be applied whenever and where ever deemed appropriate (or just for the fun of it )

i have personally performed the turn you have just described many times...

we ARE a small institute, however...like maybe 5 of us or so.

zenny
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckT

(what's up with the A-frame?), but I have a deep interest in skiing and understanding skiing.

Chuck
A frames are usually due to either alignement or (especially big ones) a too wide a stance. I think his stance is a little too wide, although st these extremes, is hard to judge it, for me. The skis are clearly not at the same angle, which they should and he's not displaced that much inside - he mived the inside ski "up" too early.

Looks like he's on an off-camber? In that case, it may be a one off and you can ignore the following...

As funny as it may sound, I would have him back-off these extreme angles for a while (he's booting out here) and just work on moving inside the turn properly, make sure his butt is well off that inside ski and that he is more patient with moving the inside ski up (or widen the stance). Then keeping his shins parallel / tipping both skis same amount would follow and then he can get back to these extremes.

(Edit)
on second thought, additionally, the extreme angle of the outside ski may be due to his upper body - he's bending forward at the hips too much - his upper body should be more upright. I would also like to see more counter / ca at this part of the turn.

All these conspire, but I would address the stance / inside ski first.
Edited by razie - 3/16/13 at 3:41pm

Thanks, Razie. How is the skiing up North at this time of the year? We will be in Montreal the first week of April, and I have half a mind to go check out Mont Tremblant.

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