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Progression [from beginner to expert, in MN] - Page 2

post #31 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by EddyJbird View Post
 

Hello, 

 

I was lucky enough to have a friend drag me and my lady along for a chilly first time out skiing last year on New Years Eve. The weather that night was -18F wearing a jacket that they let me use XXL (I wear a medium) you would think anyone would have had a awful time. Crazy as we are we fell 100% in love with skiing. Skied i think a total of 6 times last year and made the decision that this is now going to be our life.

 

So here we are in the 14/15 season bought all our gear and even though opening day here was last Friday the only day we have taken off has been Monday. What we have decided is we will ski 6 days a week with Mondays being off days. Sundays we will be in a group ski school and Wednesdays we will take private lessons (not together).

 

Now my question is with this much dedication and mileage planned what should my expectations be as for progression? Our first private of the year we took on Sunday coming in with the little we learned last year, I am now skiing parallel and the instructor had me doing edging drills and balance drills after first watching me ski. I just don't know where i should be setting the bar should I be expecting to hit expert by the end of the year or is that to aggressive? I just need some real expectations from your experiences.

 

Thanks in advance for the advice and knowledge!

After reading more, I learned you are taking lessons at Afton.  Vail Resorts Ski Schools really push the 9 levels of rating skiers. I would think that you might progress to level 6 or 7, but it will have more to do with your skiing on your own, than what you get from the lessons.  One of my best friends has told me they are working on a plan to have lessons at Afton to that then send you out for level 6-9 training in Colorado, Tahoe, or Park City (they will be doing this at Mt Brighton as well).  The terrain will limit you more than anything else at Afton, there is a reason many skiers in the Greater Twin Cities area say if you ski one run at Afton, you have skied them all.  I'm not trying to get you to switch area's, but you have 2 locations that actually have more variation in pitch, fall line, and vertical in a shorter drive than where you are going (Coffee Mill, and Welch Village).  At the very least I would recommend you spending a few nights, or weekend days checking out other options and getting the experience on more varied terrain, as once you are comfortable making linked parallel turns on the blues at Afton, your progression in skills and ability will really slow down without the variety to push your abilities and skills.

 

Just my opinion.


Edited by msprace - 12/11/14 at 2:41pm
post #32 of 40
Thread Starter 

Little update:

 

So as terrible as the weather has been we have not been out much especially with holiday parties we have been obligated to, so the 6 day a week skiing is breaking down until we get some cold weather and snow. Having said that we did head out Friday on the advice of people on the forums and some of the ladies co-workers we decided to hit up Welch Village. We were quite surprised with the varied looking runs and terrain as some runs are wide and some are quite narrow.

 

Now for the skiing hit a few blues up front and kind of did a lay of the land. On the 4th run it was a blue and down towards the end it split off and after i had dedicated myself left i looked right to see black signage. At that moment i thought oh crap I know the lady is following me hope this works out well. Much to my surprise i stopped at the bottom turned around and see the lady going down with no "oh crap" moments happening. So as she slides to a stop i proceed to tell her "Babe you just went down a black run" her face was the classic "your so full of crap" look.

 

On to the next run by that time I had decided hell I'm hitting blacks i need a bit of a challenge and I'm ready. Wouldn't you know the lady not wanting to fall behind quickly said well which one are we going down? So we picked one right in front towards the bunny hill side. So we stop right at the point where it pretty much looks like a drop off and we decide i should go first and she can follow behind or slide down sideways. So I barrel down with no issues and get to a flattened spot half way down and slide to a stop to see how the lady is doing. Well at this point i see her pop forward onto her shoulder and proceed to slide on her back/shoulder half way down this big hill. Finally a ski pops off and she throws her leg out to stop, now at this moment I'm thinking holy cow is she okay? what do i do? She just gets up tosses the ski she lost down with rage and starts kicking to get hooked back in.  

 

Much to my surprise when she makes it down to me she re-assures me that she is okay and we get to the lift and head back up. Now at this point I'm thinking i should probably get her on a green, nope she's determined to conquer this hill so we head back down and she made it! Needless to say we hit some more blacks as well as the bar at the base on the backside for a few and headed home for the night. But overall the experience was great and now i got some black terrain out of the way with alot of confidence.

 

Now I'm just thinking of those new ski's on the way that i keep hearing have no top end to them. Hopefully i don't kill myself speeding down and loosing control but I'm pretty cautious not to get so fast i can't control myself. Either way it should be interesting really looking forward to trying something longer.

post #33 of 40

I would be less concerned about what runs you are skiing and way more concerned about skill development.

 

Skiing can be broken down to this........

 

We are making round turns balanced mostly over our outside ski while turning(or letting the skis turn)  and tipping from our femur/pelvis joint.

 

Everything we do, every drill we practice, every skill we learn, helps us achieve the above, eventually we can do the above nearly all the time IF we want to, on any terrain,,,,,,groomers, bumps, tree,powder ice.

 

With limited terrain these are the thing I would practice.

 

Making consistent slow 100 percent parrallel turn down your steepest run and your flattest run and everything in between, my guess is you are unable to do this and it will make you aware of what skills you lack. Once you learn this learn to do even slower.

 

skating - skate on flats, skate down green, eventually skate down everything.

 

Learn to make a retraction SL turn.

 

find bumps ski them, ski them as slow as possible using many different lines.

 

 

learn to be agile. Leapers, Hop turns, stem step turns. Round turns are great but sometime terrain/conditions make tactical moves wanted

 

Find every thing that is not flat to ski on. bank to turn on, jumps to hit, transition to pump

post #34 of 40

EddyJ, it's good to hear your venturing to other areas and hitting the black runs. Way to go, variety is the spice of life as they say.

However, there is a lot of good advice in 3hEr10cK's post, concentrate your focus on skill development. Performance issues in any sport can always be traced back to execution of the fundamentals, the better you are at the fundamentals the easier the advanced movements become.  In skiing a solid knowledge of the fundamentals means you can take your skiing anywhere.

There is a saying, "ski the fast line slow". At Afton that might be doing skiers left on 2 at a constant rate using very round turns. This means every turn will have to be "completed" or turned across the fall line to maintain a constant speed; how slow can you go. When you get good at the left side of 2 take the same technique to skiers right on 2, it's much harder because of the changing pitch and more fun trying to get it right.

 

Almost every day I ski I start on 4 with at least two warm up runs. The first run is all Wedge turns concentrating on turn initiation. The second run is all Wedge Christies concentrating on turn initiation and ski matching. This gets the blood flowing and the mind thinking about technique. If I have time I will do a set of Rail Road Tracks off the left of 5. This gets me thinking about tipping the feet and not steering. Then a run thru the rollers off 6, working on absorbing the roll and pivoting on top of each roll not running straight  thru them. This involves flexing, pivoting and pole plants, all great practice for moguls. These drills are done every day, many times not only at the start of the day.

 

When Afton gets fully open you can go over to 12 and do pivot slips off the top of Sally's Valley then rip the bottom half. Another game we play is to see how many turns we can make down Sally's, this is a variation on the fast line slow drill. Sally's is steep and tight with a roll in the middle making this an interesting game and harder than it sounds.

 

Another great run not open yet is Rosie's, long, flat at the top getting steeper as you go down. Sometimes there is a start ramp at the top because this run is used for race practice. Later in the season it may have moguls on it. This is a great run for practicing your carving.

 

Keep up the practice and trying new things and areas. Then one morning you will find yourself at the top of China Bowl at Vail with six inches of fresh and after one run life will never be the same and you win't be able to get enough.

 

Enjoy the journey.

post #35 of 40
Quote:

Originally Posted by RCC55125 View Post


There is a saying, "ski the fast line slow". At Afton that might be doing skiers left on 2 at a constant rate using very round turns. This means every turn will have to be "completed" or turned across the fall line to maintain a constant speed; how slow can you go. When you get good at the left side of 2 take the same technique to skiers right on 2, it's much harder because of the changing pitch and more fun trying to get it right.

 

To be clear, there is such a thing as "skiing the fast line slow", but it's generally not used in complimentary terms.  "Fast line slow" means that a skier is having to constantly be on the brakes (i.e., intentional hard skidding) because their line (path down the hill) would have them going entirely too fast if they weren't hitting the brakes.  This is how the vast majority of the recreational skiing public approaches their downhill journey.

 

What you are describing is "slow line fast".  i.e., your line down the hill provides enough resistance (through completed turns, etc) that you are free to ski it as fast as you can because you can't get going "too fast" on a well chosen line.  To be clear, "slow line fast" skiing can be done in a manner that results in much slower skiing than "fast line slow".  This method eliminates hard-braking maneuvers and enables your skis to be used as precision instruments instead of coarse brushes.

 

The concept of "fast line slow" vs. "slow line fast" has been discussed ad infinitum here and I don't want to hijack this thread to devolve into that discussion again...  Just wanted to correct the terminology used above.

post #36 of 40
Thread Starter 

It's been some time since I have updated this so down time at work is as good of time as any right?

 

Not been to active with the schedule over the past 3 weeks still have skied quite a bit but not as much as we would like. I had my nephew up from Kansas for Christmas break needless to say with no season pass for him and no gear it was getting quite expensive on the old pocket book to take him with. So rather than leave him out of the action we didn't go without him except date night, having said that he did make some good progress for his first time on ski's.

 

After reading quite a bit on the forums and a little foot pain I took the plunge last week and got custom foot-beds made. Only got to ski once on them so far as we had to drive my nephew back to Kansas but wow what a difference! Also got an alignment/canting done on my boots which I had to drop off another day and didn't pick them up until we left I have not skied on them yet. Also my new Kastle MX78's have arrived and are currently having bindings mounted and will be ready on Friday. Also going to drop of my Rossignol Experience 83's to get remounted to fit the ladies boots as those will now be hers. 

 

Really excited with the changes and proper sized ski's to see what this weekend has in store for us. I'm sure come Monday I'll have plenty to talk about and fill you guys in on as I'm also planning on a lesson this Sunday. Not had one for quite some time now with the holidays and everything going on but I'm sure my instructor will be at least a little impressed with the improvements. We have been playing games like how many turns we can make, how short of turns we can make, and how fast we can stop. I'd like to think I win every time but I know I don't dare tell the lady that, I like to stay out of the doghouse. Oh and almost forgot job hunting in Salt Lake City, definitely where we want to be next year! 

post #37 of 40
Thread Starter 

So it's been awhile figured i'd give a quick update. Really over the past month we have been really slacking off on the skiing, think we have a total of 10 days or so in the past month. Also kinda fell behind on lessons guess life got a bit to busy for a while there, it also does not help that we commute 3 hours total every day to work. Guess it was just nice for a bit to get home before 10pm for a change but that time has re-energized us so back to the busy schedule.

 

Back to skiing I did drop in a lesson few weeks back and what he had me working on in that hour was really mostly aimed at carving and a run or two at the end into the moguls just to touch on it. Realistically that lesson happened I think Jan 25 and then we didn't ski for almost 3 weeks. Fast forward to last night and I remembered what my instructor Joe had been teaching me and the lady wanted to have me show her as well.

 

What we did was spend a few hours working on carving mostly me showing her what drills we did and then her following me. Now I kept working at it and increasing my speed, at some point I quit forcing my knees to roll over and started using just my body mechanics, speed and g-force. That's when it happened the big Ah Ha moment I couldn't believe what happened, with just maybe 2.5hrs of work including that lesson i just learned to carve. In a single moment it was all so easy, I still can't believe that it just happened like that. After I nailed it I decided hell i'm going to speed this up and try some GS turns and some gate turns that I see all these guys doing down the hill and that also worked! At that moment I was in heaven, super fast speeds and in control not feeling like I could get tossed at any moment while smearing down the hill.

 

Needless to say the rest of the runs we did last night for me were spent at speeds I had been dreaming of on ski's. At one point down a run I hit a small flat before a drop and i thought here we go i'm about to super G this damn thing in a high speed jump. Needless to say I only flew a few feet but it was still amazing. Luckily for me tomorrow starts the first day of our vacation and we are not leaving for Breckenridge until Friday so we have 2 more days for me to perfect my skills further. We will be out there mostly at Breck but will hit Vail as well since we are driving out. We will be there Sunday - Wed so if anyone out that way would like to ski or show us around the mountains a bit let me know and we can get together. 

post #38 of 40
Downlod the epic mix app and use the epic guide feature. Will give you a good guide around the mountain, decent outline of trails to take, what lifts to use nd sides to get off, etc. i used it at keystone and breck worked real well. Eliminated sitting in front ofa map or better yet guessing what run to take when a map wasnt available after getting of a lift. Will be very beneficial in vail due to the size of vail. Have fun breck just got 7+ inches of new snow.
post #39 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by EddyJbird View Post
 

So it's been awhile figured i'd give a quick update. Really over the past month we have been really slacking off on the skiing, think we have a total of 10 days or so in the past month. Also kinda fell behind on lessons guess life got a bit to busy for a while there, it also does not help that we commute 3 hours total every day to work. Guess it was just nice for a bit to get home before 10pm for a change but that time has re-energized us so back to the busy schedule.

 

Back to skiing I did drop in a lesson few weeks back and what he had me working on in that hour was really mostly aimed at carving and a run or two at the end into the moguls just to touch on it. Realistically that lesson happened I think Jan 25 and then we didn't ski for almost 3 weeks. Fast forward to last night and I remembered what my instructor Joe had been teaching me and the lady wanted to have me show her as well.

 

What we did was spend a few hours working on carving mostly me showing her what drills we did and then her following me. Now I kept working at it and increasing my speed, at some point I quit forcing my knees to roll over and started using just my body mechanics, speed and g-force. That's when it happened the big Ah Ha moment I couldn't believe what happened, with just maybe 2.5hrs of work including that lesson i just learned to carve. In a single moment it was all so easy, I still can't believe that it just happened like that. After I nailed it I decided hell i'm going to speed this up and try some GS turns and some gate turns that I see all these guys doing down the hill and that also worked! At that moment I was in heaven, super fast speeds and in control not feeling like I could get tossed at any moment while smearing down the hill.

 

Needless to say the rest of the runs we did last night for me were spent at speeds I had been dreaming of on ski's. At one point down a run I hit a small flat before a drop and i thought here we go i'm about to super G this damn thing in a high speed jump. Needless to say I only flew a few feet but it was still amazing. Luckily for me tomorrow starts the first day of our vacation and we are not leaving for Breckenridge until Friday so we have 2 more days for me to perfect my skills further. We will be out there mostly at Breck but will hit Vail as well since we are driving out. We will be there Sunday - Wed so if anyone out that way would like to ski or show us around the mountains a bit let me know and we can get together. 


Welcome to the ecstasy of carving!  

 

Now, before you go out west, figure out how to slow down without using a hockey stop (unreliable at high speeds on soft, natural snow).  You need to be able to do "funnel turns."  Envision a lane down the trail shaped like a funnel, with the wide part near you and the narrow part down the hill.  Get up to carving speeds, traveling across the hill inside the wide part of the imaginary funnel, then figure out how to progressively narrow your turns as the funnel shrinks.  How on earth to do that?  Stand up taller and begin to smear your turns.  Friction will slow you down.  Easy does it on soft snow.

 

Also, try hockey stops for emergency situations.  In soft snow, you may cartwheel; you need to find your limits so you'll know when a hockey stop is do-able.  

 

Breck can be crowded.  You need to be able to avoid moving obstacles that appear ahead of you with no warning.  Carving has its downsides, and running into people because you can't stop or slow down is a very big issue.  When you get to Breck, carve your turns only if you find very few, or even zero, people on the trail.  Do not go near anyone ahead of you.  Pass waaay on their side.  The "hero" soft snow will invite you to blast down at high speeds, since you won't skid out in it.  Don't do that until you can safely avoid others who ski across in front of you when you least expect it.  Believe me, they will do that.

 

Oh, and congratulations on finding the carve!  It's so much fun, isn't it?  A very, very guilty pleasure.

post #40 of 40
EddyJBird,

Well done. Well done indeed.

I look forward to seeing this newfound carve. This is when skiing gets fast and fun smile.gif Keep learning, and watch out. Skiers tend to form a whole batch of new bad habits once they learn how to carve. They get too addicted to the feeling of centripetal force and manufacture angles with their body rather than let them build.

Drill: Think of each turn as a full C shape. At the top of each turn, drag the outside pole in the snow. (This is the pole you *don't* touch normally) Keep driving it through the snow all the way through the turn. Switch at the top of the next turn. This will prevent you from manufacturing angles, And promote early pressure to the outside ski.

Go rip it up, see you on the slopes.
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