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How to stop tumbling

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I was skiing on a double black yesterday (listed as some in this forum as one of the toughest), and I caught an edge and tumbled 200 metres and off a small cliff.  Any tips on how to stop a tumble on steeps / bumps?

post #2 of 21
post #3 of 21
Were you tumbling or sliding?
post #4 of 21

Don't start!  :duck:

post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 

Slide & tumble.  I tumbled a few times, then slid over a bit small 4-foot drop, tumbled some more and then slid (I think.)

post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks!

post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 

So it was like this, expect a lot steeper and more carved out bumps.  (and no running in the middle).  I think I lost my ski on my first turn and then tumbled and slid about 200-300m (according to the person that hiked up to get my ski).

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7DLWiy2tZs

post #8 of 21

The post lined above is a very good tutorial on self-arrest technique.  I had a good opportunity to try it out in a chute a few years back and it works well.  As long as you have a pole drag the tip to keep your upper body uphill and kick in   with your toes if your skis are gone.  It should shorten the ride.  Recovering your skis is the next fun thing.

post #9 of 21

Ah, yes I remember the old tomahawk/rag-doll, but it's been quite a while.  It is definitely something to be avoided.  What stopp[ed me was sinking into the 20 feet of soft snow at the bottom of the steep section.

 

How to not start tumbling:

 

When falling do not allow any part of you that is to the fore dig into the snow.   Stab your ski pole into the snow behind you. 

If you get better at falling with practice (although I recommend avoiding this type of practice), you can calculate the right angle to hit the snow with and how much boot to let dig in; careful though; errors are costly.

 

Note: if you have long radius skis still attached, it is possible to lay them down beside you with ever so slight a deviation from your direction of travel and get back up on them.  Do not try this with SL skis; it doesn't work very well.

post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 

thank you!!

post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by annak View Post
 

So it was like this, expect a lot steeper and more carved out bumps.  (and no running in the middle).  I think I lost my ski on my first turn and then tumbled and slid about 200-300m (according to the person that hiked up to get my ski).

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7DLWiy2tZs

 

 

If you are sliding for life – self arrest techniques will help some. But if you are tumbling – nothing much you can do other than bent over and kiss your ass good bye (while you can).

 

All kidding aside, best course of action is figure out how not to be in that situation in the first place.   

Losing your ski on the first turn generally indicate either boot binding interface failure (DIN set too low for the condition / speed or junk under boot) or lapse in technique / tactic.

Don’t know where you are skiing but generally if you rag doll down the hill after clipping your ski on the first turn usually mean you are entering the run too hot.  

post #12 of 21

Those photos were a fantastic explanation.  It made self arrest technique very easy to understand. Thank you.

post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingGrump View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by annak View Post
 

So it was like this, expect a lot steeper and more carved out bumps.  (and no running in the middle).  I think I lost my ski on my first turn and then tumbled and slid about 200-300m (according to the person that hiked up to get my ski).

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7DLWiy2tZs

 

 

If you are sliding for life – self arrest techniques will help some. But if you are tumbling – nothing much you can do other than bent over and kiss your ass good bye (while you can).

 

All kidding aside, best course of action is figure out how not to be in that situation in the first place.   

Losing your ski on the first turn generally indicate either boot binding interface failure (DIN set too low for the condition / speed or junk under boot) or lapse in technique / tactic.

Don’t know where you are skiing but generally if you rag doll down the hill after clipping your ski on the first turn usually mean you are entering the run too hot.  


Could also mean that while you've been skiing groomers, you have developed an unconscious habit of loading the tip while tipping the ski, that causes the binding heel to release as you go "over the handle bars" when that ski digs into snow that you are not used to skiing and dials up a much tighter turn than you were expecting.

post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 

Wow. This is really helpful, thank you.  I was skiing on Gowabunga at Silver Star BC. 

 

How can I know if I'm of loading the tip while tipping the ski? Ill get my bindings checked out as well.

post #15 of 21

Just make a few turns to adjust to the snow conditions and the skis your on, so you can adjust your fore-aft balance for the conditions and equipment, before you find yourself on that critical steep.  If you fall at three miles an hour it might be embarassing, but less likely to hurt as much.  Remember to protect your head (by that I mean don't bash it on a rock or hard surface) even if your are skiing slowly on the flats!

post #16 of 21

Seems like a good place to tell my failed-self-arrest story.

 

I was a Taos a few years ago.  Conditions were fairly firm -- they had Slidey Sam (a mannquin in self-arrest pose) out under the lift.  To be honest, I was skiing kind-of lousy, which contributed to the original fall.

 

I was on Pollux, a steep tree run.  I speared the backside of a mogul, and a ski came off.   In my surprise, I fell.  I immediately twisted to get my feet under me, but as I did so my other ski came off.   (This experience led me to think those who claim DIN too low is a hazard might be onto something.) Somehow in the process I also lost my poles, so I couldn't do the pole arrest technique.

 

I got into the position, feet downhill, on my belly, frantically trying to press my knuckles into the snow.  I don't know if I panicked and kicked, or if I hit a rut, but suddenly I was airborne.  I did a complete 360 backflip.  Fortunately, I landed on a patch of softer snow and my knees dug in.  That slowed me down a lot.

 

But it still did not stop me, and I still couldn't get traction.  But now I was going slow enough to look around, and I saw a three foot dropoff coming up.  So I thought, "do I want to hit a tree now, or after I accelerate off the drop?"  Or hope my luck holds and I miss everything.  (In reality, there is a lot of empty space on a Western tree run.)

 

Well I decided I was moving slow enough to gamble, and I used what little traction I had to steer towards one of the trees growing right on the edge of the drop. And I was right.  Even though I missed with my boot and hit my shin instead, it didn't hurt.  So I sat there awhile wedged up against the tree partially hanging over the edge.

 

Fortunately, a good samaritan came along who brought my stuff and helped me get myself orgainized.  When I stood up to put my skis on, I started to slide on my feet -- a bit of panic there.  But I got them on, and my helper told me in no uncertain terms not to try to prove anything to myself right away, but go ski a couple of easier runs while I calmed down.  Good advise.

 

Anyway, other than "don't fall" or "pay more attention to your poles during a fall" I don't know what I could have done differently.  I was glad I came out of it uninjured.

 

Well, typing this, I see another lesson.  If you know you are skiing badly, figure out what is wrong, don't just bull on through.  This was when I felt my skiing was getting worse instead of better, and the next trip I got my "remedial" private lesson, which fixed a lot of things. I have happily skied Pollux several times since then.

post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post
I was on Pollux, a steep tree run.  I speared the backside of a mogul, and a ski came off.   In my surprise, I fell.  I immediately twisted to get my feet under me, but as I did so my other ski came off.   (This experience led me to think those who claim DIN too low is a hazard might be onto something.) Somehow in the process I also lost my poles, so I couldn't do the pole arrest technique.

While I agree with your conclusion (DIN too low is a high hazzard when ripping), I'm not so sure about the premise.   I have been fortunate enough not to have speard a mogul, but I do remember worrying about exactly that on more than one occasion bombing down mogul runs at Tremblant, wondering if I would be able to keep the correct line and angle my skis enough to glance off the moguls without spearing one of them (I was).  Believe me, if I had speared one, I would much rather have had the binding release and left my ski half-way through it, than left my leg behind.

post #18 of 21

Ghost,

You've got the wrong picture. Part of my bad skiing at the time was being chicken and overturning.  I speared the backside of a mogul at low speed before I really got going.

 

But it was the 2nd ski that should not have come off.  All I did was roll over and put my feet under me.

 

I had recently turned my bindings down because I had some calf muscle tears two years before on a forward fall double heel eject.  It wasnt a big tear, but it took a year for the swelling to go away.  I thought about it over the summer and turned them down.

 

After that day I put them back where they were.

 

But... just last week  before my 1st post-ACL-surgery day, I turned them down again.  I'm hoping the weight I've lost means I can get away with it.  Hmmm....

post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post
 

Seems like a good place to tell my failed-self-arrest story.

 

I was a Taos a few years ago.  Conditions were fairly firm -- they had Slidey Sam (a mannquin in self-arrest pose) out under the lift.  To be honest, I was skiing kind-of lousy, which contributed to the original fall.

 

I was on Pollux, a steep tree run.  I speared the backside of a mogul, and a ski came off.   In my surprise, I fell.  I immediately twisted to get my feet under me, but as I did so my other ski came off.   (This experience led me to think those who claim DIN too low is a hazard might be onto something.) Somehow in the process I also lost my poles, so I couldn't do the pole arrest technique.

 

I got into the position, feet downhill, on my belly, frantically trying to press my knuckles into the snow.  I don't know if I panicked and kicked, or if I hit a rut, but suddenly I was airborne.  I did a complete 360 backflip.  Fortunately, I landed on a patch of softer snow and my knees dug in.  That slowed me down a lot.

 

But it still did not stop me, and I still couldn't get traction.  But now I was going slow enough to look around, and I saw a three foot dropoff coming up.  So I thought, "do I want to hit a tree now, or after I accelerate off the drop?"  Or hope my luck holds and I miss everything.  (In reality, there is a lot of empty space on a Western tree run.)

 

Well I decided I was moving slow enough to gamble, and I used what little traction I had to steer towards one of the trees growing right on the edge of the drop. And I was right.  Even though I missed with my boot and hit my shin instead, it didn't hurt.  So I sat there awhile wedged up against the tree partially hanging over the edge.

 

Fortunately, a good samaritan came along who brought my stuff and helped me get myself orgainized.  When I stood up to put my skis on, I started to slide on my feet -- a bit of panic there.  But I got them on, and my helper told me in no uncertain terms not to try to prove anything to myself right away, but go ski a couple of easier runs while I calmed down.  Good advise.

 

Anyway, other than "don't fall" or "pay more attention to your poles during a fall" I don't know what I could have done differently.  I was glad I came out of it uninjured.

 

Well, typing this, I see another lesson.  If you know you are skiing badly, figure out what is wrong, don't just bull on through.  This was when I felt my skiing was getting worse instead of better, and the next trip I got my "remedial" private lesson, which fixed a lot of things. I have happily skied Pollux several times since then.

 

The dude lying in the snow under top of lift #2 is actually Slim Slidell, not his second cousin.

 

Your story reminds me something Ernie Blake said ‘Not everyone who come Taos takes our ski week, but for those whose don’t, the survival rate is low.”

post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
 

The post lined above is a very good tutorial on self-arrest technique.  I had a good opportunity to try it out in a chute a few years back and it works well. 

 

That's an interesting frame of mind! (I wish I had such opportunities more often, now that I've moved away from the west)

post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post
 

Seems like a good place to tell my failed-self-arrest story.

 

I was a Taos a few years ago.  Conditions were fairly firm -- they had Slidey Sam (a mannquin in self-arrest pose) out under the lift.  To be honest, I was skiing kind-of lousy, which contributed to the original fall.

 

I was on Pollux, a steep tree run.  I speared the backside of a mogul, and a ski came off.   In my surprise, I fell.  I immediately twisted to get my feet under me, but as I did so my other ski came off.   (This experience led me to think those who claim DIN too low is a hazard might be onto something.) Somehow in the process I also lost my poles, so I couldn't do the pole arrest technique.

 

I got into the position, feet downhill, on my belly, frantically trying to press my knuckles into the snow.  I don't know if I panicked and kicked, or if I hit a rut, but suddenly I was airborne.  I did a complete 360 backflip.  Fortunately, I landed on a patch of softer snow and my knees dug in.  That slowed me down a lot.

 

But it still did not stop me, and I still couldn't get traction.  But now I was going slow enough to look around, and I saw a three foot dropoff coming up.  So I thought, "do I want to hit a tree now, or after I accelerate off the drop?"  Or hope my luck holds and I miss everything.  (In reality, there is a lot of empty space on a Western tree run.)

 

Well I decided I was moving slow enough to gamble, and I used what little traction I had to steer towards one of the trees growing right on the edge of the drop. And I was right.  Even though I missed with my boot and hit my shin instead, it didn't hurt.  So I sat there awhile wedged up against the tree partially hanging over the edge.

 

Fortunately, a good samaritan came along who brought my stuff and helped me get myself orgainized.  When I stood up to put my skis on, I started to slide on my feet -- a bit of panic there.  But I got them on, and my helper told me in no uncertain terms not to try to prove anything to myself right away, but go ski a couple of easier runs while I calmed down.  Good advise.

 

Anyway, other than "don't fall" or "pay more attention to your poles during a fall" I don't know what I could have done differently.  I was glad I came out of it uninjured.

 

Well, typing this, I see another lesson.  If you know you are skiing badly, figure out what is wrong, don't just bull on through.  This was when I felt my skiing was getting worse instead of better, and the next trip I got my "remedial" private lesson, which fixed a lot of things. I have happily skied Pollux several times since then.

Some years back I saw a woman in a white one piece and white cowboy hat snowplow turn into the top of Pollux, fall immediately and slide all the way to the bottom. Next lift ride up I saw her doing it again, same result. Not a lot of quit in those Texans. Not a lot of brains either.

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