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how do you "ski lightly" - Page 2

post #31 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post
 

I have a hard time describing ski technique and often hit delete instead of submit, but I'm going to take a stab at this one at the risk of sounding a little........less than articulate.  Well, this is more of a question than an answer......

 

Are you talking about the type of skiing where you have a "Tigger" sensation.  Almost like you're skiing two footed but on one spring tail (this is where I have a hard time describing what I'm really getting at) 

When I learned to ski powder which was a bit brutal under the surface especially when using the technique that I'd been learning so well on the groomers(The powering or carving turn), someone suggested that I get the feeling of Tigger and think bouncy trounce flouncy, fun fun fun fun fun.   Tigger never really quite touches the ground with any pressure. 

 

Is this the sort of thing you're getting at? 

 

Hi, TC.  I hate to admit this, but somehow there was a giant hole in my childhood reading list.  I basically had no idea that Winnie the Pooh even existed until the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band did a song about him.  Hence, I'm not too sure about the Tigger reference.

 

Nevertheless, I *think* what you're describing is similar to what many here are saying.  The two-footed thing is key, but I'm not sure how to interpret the "one spring tail" as I don't know the reference.  All of what comes next is just how *I* think of how to ski lightly.  

 

Back to the two-footed concept, the idea is to spread your weight as evenly as possible over every bit of surface area provided by the bases of the two skis.  Loading one ski more than the other will cause that ski to drop into the snow surface more deeply and that runs more risk of hitting things.  Equal weighting is the goal through the phases of the turn between initiation of one turn and initiation of the next.

 

As to HOW to initiate the turn, a lot of good advice has already been given here.  You can't do an "active" extension or traditional up-unweighting move without applying too much pressure to the skis in that up move.  You CAN do a retraction or flex-to-release move to change edges and begin the turn as long as you gently and progressively reapply pressure to the newly-weighted skis.  

 

The key at initiation is to move your body mass across the skis (and down the hill) with as little extra weight applied to the skis as possible.  I think the PSIA exercise called "Falling Leaf" can be a great way to feel this.  If you work on it, you can change the direction of your skis 180 degrees with continuous pressure on both skis and almost no up-or-down movement at all.  Practice it on a moderately steepish groomed run and be very aware of eliminating any extra up-movement to get the turn started.  

 

That "turn" can then evolve into a very "light" technique for changing direction and "floating" as softly as possible over obstructions. 

post #32 of 42

Glide across the snow and through your turns avoiding harsh motions.  Continually add and diminish pressure more evenly to the skis, not necessarily the edges.  Watch DH racers who are good on the flats, they steer a flatter ski rather than use higher edge angels, they are gliders (they may be contenders at Sochi this winter too).  The more physically powerful your body motions are, the more pressure you apply to the bases of the skis the more likely you are to go through the crust.  

 

The old French concept of avalment (swallowing) can work well here too, down unweighting.  Just swallow the terrain or the energy built up in the skis.  Just swallow gently.

 

If that isn't working for you try peddle turns, or plan C - Go to the bar.

post #33 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post
 

 

Hi, TC.  I hate to admit this, but somehow there was a giant hole in my childhood reading list.  I basically had no idea that Winnie the Pooh even existed until the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band did a song about him.  Hence, I'm not too sure about the Tigger reference.

 

Nevertheless, I *think* what you're describing is similar to what many here are saying.  The two-footed thing is key, but I'm not sure how to interpret the "one spring tail" as I don't know the reference.  All of what comes next is just how *I* think of how to ski lightly.  

 

Back to the two-footed concept, the idea is to spread your weight as evenly as possible over every bit of surface area provided by the bases of the two skis.  Loading one ski more than the other will cause that ski to drop into the snow surface more deeply and that runs more risk of hitting things.  Equal weighting is the goal through the phases of the turn between initiation of one turn and initiation of the next.

 

As to HOW to initiate the turn, a lot of good advice has already been given here.  You can't do an "active" extension or traditional up-unweighting move without applying too much pressure to the skis in that up move.  You CAN do a retraction or flex-to-release move to change edges and begin the turn as long as you gently and progressively reapply pressure to the newly-weighted skis.  

 

The key at initiation is to move your body mass across the skis (and down the hill) with as little extra weight applied to the skis as possible.  I think the PSIA exercise called "Falling Leaf" can be a great way to feel this.  If you work on it, you can change the direction of your skis 180 degrees with continuous pressure on both skis and almost no up-or-down movement at all.  Practice it on a moderately steepish groomed run and be very aware of eliminating any extra up-movement to get the turn started.  

 

That "turn" can then evolve into a very "light" technique for changing direction and "floating" as softly as possible over obstructions. 

As some others have explained earlier, I'm probably not thinking of the same thing. 

 

I believe the initial thought on this were about the creme Brûlée type snow. 

What I was thinking (at first) was more like the fresh snow on top of refrozen coral reef. 

 

At any rate, my T I GG ER reference may be a little more clear with this visual. 

post #34 of 42
Creme brulee snow is a perfect place for fattness, long rocker, taper, and speed. Combine these and you can ski the stuff with confidence. Go too slow and it gets hard to turn. Turn without calm even pressure and you catch something.

Top 1/3 of skiers left at Gulmarg had this stuff last year when I was there. Hintertux in the alps gets this early and late season. It was a relevation to figure out that charging it made it so much easier.
post #35 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by gpaulski View Post
 

Cool.   But, other than preserving skis, what are the reasons for "light" skiing?

 

One reason would be if you're in the back country and want to be extra careful not to trigger a slab on a steeper pitch.  Of course, if you're that worried about it you probably shouldn't be skiing it anyway, but that's another conversation.

post #36 of 42

I definitely don't do it to preserve my skis except if there's a sharky patch of snow for a few meters that I want to snake through before getting to the meat of the run (if it's so bad that I might get bitten, I don't want to be moving too fast over the stuff either). 

 

And I don't do it because of sketchy snow-pack. If I'm skiing something where I think the lightness of my technique is the line between triggering something or not-- I've made a TERRIBLE mistake already (as JayT implied). 

 

For me it's mainly because some conditions are easier to ski with a light, balanced touch. Just like some condition seem to work better when I'm really driving the skis hard with more weight on one ski than the other. 

post #37 of 42
post #38 of 42
Thread Starter 
My original thinking for the post was when the snow is soft but not deep so obstacles are poorly covered and I want to avoid rocks and trees just under the surface. Breakable crust and very sloughy (is that a word?) snow also seem like good reasons to apply a lighter touch.

either way there are some really good ideas here that I will play with.
post #39 of 42

The Austrian racer Christian Meyer used to sometimes ski with the rear binding slid back so you'd have no binding, just a toe.

Ski like that and you''ve got to ski light or you'll loose the skis. That's pretty much the concept.

Same thing as the notion of "ski like your boots are attached with velcro" above. For some reason though, I just can't get my mind to accept the velcro image.

post #40 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post
 

The Austrian racer Christian Meyer used to sometimes ski with the rear binding slid back so you'd have no binding, just a toe.

Ski like that and you''ve got to ski light or you'll loose the skis. That's pretty much the concept.

Same thing as the notion of "ski like your boots are attached with velcro" above. For some reason though, I just can't get my mind to accept the velcro image.

The time I skied at Stowe in Creme Brûlée snow, Whiteroom (IIRC - or maybe it was epic) told me to lift my toes in my boots.....or something like that.  

post #41 of 42

A few years ago i was at mammoth in may skiing some pretty heavy slush and found that i was able to make some pretty good turns "" skiing lightly "", my usual skiing style is to really stand on my downhill ski and always have the uphill ski along for the ride,but in the slush , it's like crossing a stream, you don't want to really push off on the rock but gingerly or "" lightly "".......with confidence.......of course......go to that next step. I found that when i go to that style of turn that i use my uphill ski more than i do on my usual short turn ripper style of turn.I know it's the wrong time of year to be talking slush but but when your bored at the end of the year you might want to try it......you might just like it!!!

post #42 of 42
Half way through reading this excellent book...."SOFT SKIING - The Secrets Of Effortless Low-Impact Skiing For Older Skiers", by Lito Tejada-Flores.

When I'm getting desperate from about October I read ski books, go on forums, dream/daydream about skiing, check the web site and snow reports, watch YouTube videos etc (I'm sure you can all relate haha)...not long now, I'll be doing my "soft skiing" on Christmas Day! Oh my god, I can't wait!!
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