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The "Science" of Dropping Cliffs - Page 2

post #31 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by msolson View Post

anyhow, the big thing to work on when larger air is readiness before you land.  

 

you can see in the picture below i have hands and chest forward of hips, knees bent.  the idea is to hold "ready" in the air until you are about 10 feet off the ground, and at that point make the call to hot-tub, hip check or stomp.  

 

+in the air, keeps hands forward.  this keeps your center for gravity moving forward.  this helps to match the pitch of the fall line so you can go for the stomp.

+to stop straighten your knees a bit, keep your hands forward, and prepare to "stomp" into the snow as soon as you touch down.

+top hot tub, bring your hands back and go limp.  let your backslap and as soon as you hit snow, sit up to prepare to pop back up and ski out.  

+to hip-check, rotate your skis  ~20 deg to the fall-line, and stay seated like a cannonball.  this allows you to stick right where you land, if you feel uncomfortable with obsticles in the run out.

 

 

 

you can clearly see where i skinned under to probe.  landing is down about 6-10 feet below the skin line.  don't air to travese.  it will make your 30's more painful.  

warning though!   I hip checked a boulder on time,  omg,,,  almost ended me...  so,,, be smarter than me and only hip and back check if you know the area!  :) 

post #32 of 35

Steep landing zone is pretty important.  The flatter the landing, the faster you need to be going to reduce the impact angle and overall force. 

 

 

 

P.S.  Don't bother if it looks like one of those easier large drop to a somewhat flat but really deep landing.  Nobody's impressed that you can step off a ledge and massively crater a pillow.  If you can't carry enough speed to actually coast out of the landing with forward momentum it isn't skiing IMO. 


Edited by crgildart - 6/19/13 at 1:40pm
post #33 of 35

The same thing just happened to me today. Hit a drop and then knees banged into my chin. Luckily, my tongue wasn't in between my teeth. 

post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 

Steep landing zone is pretty important.  The flatter the landing, the faster you need to be going to reduce the impact angle and overall force. 

 

 

 

P.S.  Don't bother if it looks like one of those easier large drop to a somewhat flat but really deep landing.  Nobody's impressed that you can step off a ledge and massively crater a pillow.  If you can't carry enough speed to actually coast out of the landing with forward momentum it isn't skiing IMO. 

Sometimes dropping slowly off a big cliff to a hot tub landing is really fun. It's also a skill that's useful in technical billy goat lines.

post #35 of 35

Am only 20 years old but have quite a few years of dropping cliffs experience to contribute.

These are some of the things I was taught growing up:

Scope your line. If possible, I like to get up close to the lip and see directly what Ill be landing on (if you haven't already looked at it from the bottom, or if you don't have somebody with an advantageous position that can relay information to you). If your takeoff is especially steep, or if you're going to hop-turn into your takeoff it may not be possible to get down to the lip. In that case. It is 100% necessary to have scoped the line from the bottom or from the side. Rock landings can happen and it definitely blows when they do.

4 point landing. Have your weight evenly balanced. I like to imagine that the initiation points of my tip and tail rocker are going to strike the snow at the same time. With that being said, it should be noted that the angle of your body is not going to be the same for every cliff drop. Steeper cliffs with deeper landings will dictate weight farther back, whereas a cliff with a hardpack runout will dictate weight farther upright and more balanced, ready to aggressively ditch speed if thats what conditions require. With a harder landing. It is essential that you have strong legs on your impact. If you let your knees collapse and try to ride out a steep landing with the tails of your skis, you are going to wash out every time. A big part of that is being in shape but Ill cover that later. With a soft pow pow powwww landing, you can let the snow do a lot of the work for you. You still wanna have strong legs when you land, but you wont have to work nearly as hard (except for when you start skiing out of your landing of course).

Your landing is paramount! Know the condition of the snow as well as you can, because that is going to determine how you land, and whether or not you are going to ride out cleanly.

Have an exit line chosen before you leap, I like to choose the exact turns I plan on making at the top of each jump.

Practice!  It is impossible to start dropping cliffs and be consistently landing 35+ in the same year. You will fall and tumble down some chutes but its the only way you can get better. The more cliffs you drop. the more your bod will get used to impact and the less your brain will psyche you out each time.

So much of dropping cliffs is mental.There is a reason why you can hike up a cliff band and drop the exact same mellow 15 foot cliff twice in a row, stomp it once and tomahawk the other time. Barring external factors such as hidden rocks etc., the only difference is your mindset going into the drop. Put yourself in the right state of mind before you drop. If it feels wrong, dont do it.

Physical conditioning. The people that consistently do well in competitive big mountain skiing are in excellent shape. Having a very strong core and lower body is essential to dropping cliffs and having the strength to stomp them every time, regardless of your body weight. Have a high strength to weight ration for maximum success. 

It never really stops being scary, it just gets less scary each time you do it. After a while you'll be able to stomp and cliff in sight and you'll feel like a thug! Good luck!

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