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going to steeper terrain

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I am attempting to move to steeper terrain using the carving skills I have picked up here.  At first things were not going well.  However, this weekend I think I started to figure a couple of things out, so I wanted to bounce it of the crew here at Epic.  


At first, I was trying to get get on the new edge immediately, and flex my inside leg quickly.  The thought process was this: tip the skis really quickly and you can make a sharp turn.  Well, that plan just sucked.  Skidded turns, and losing the outside edge were the results. 


Plan B; Patience.  Now this was a tough thing to come up with because one would think the opposite is required to control speed.  Here is what I did.  I think I am doing the edge change early, way before the fall line, but used easy edging pressure (less flexion?) until I got past the fall line.  Once I started to cross the fall line I flexed the inside leg aggressively which by chance really straightened the outside leg and gave me great edging and a very strong turn.  I released the edges a bit when I got perpendicular to fall line and then started the patience game again.   Oh, one more thing; tons of forward driving pressure.  Hard to explain it other than it was tiring. Driving my knees forward very aggressively for some reason allowed me to get much better edge angles earlier than usual.  Can't explain why though.  Lesson here? When you think you are finally driving your knees/body forward enough, drive it further.  Holy cow.


Am I on the right track?  I will try to get vid next week.  One last thing....we are not talking hero snow.  I'm talking the good scratchy stuff with some bits of ice to keep you on your toes.   


BTW, did ever tell you guys SL skis rock?  Ya, SL skis rock.  



post #2 of 8

Video needed!   :)

post #3 of 8
A clean carve on a steep pitch is very hard to do for most mortals without a ton of guided practice, excellent fitness, and gumption. My point is, don't beat yourself up on this one if you're not making fast progress.

What are you calling steep? Fwiw, Punch headwall is about the steepest I can rock cleanly, and then only when I'm having a good day. Not that I should be your model! Just trying to ground things in middle aged guy amateur reality.
post #4 of 8

Yes please - post a video and include a shot from the side so we can see what 'steep' is. Where we ski (Fernie and Castle) one could almost define 'steep' as the pitch at which carving is not an option and fast skidded turns are mandatory. My point is true steeps are not carvable by mortal skiers so don't worry about it as long as you can get down in control and with enjoyment.


post #5 of 8

Semantics lead and mislead.


True edge locked 'carving' is fun, exhilarating, and looks good-on appropriate terrain.  


Taking this credo into steeps can work if you have good runout and controlled access so nobody can dog your line and present a dangerous obstacle.


But carving can be done with drift from the tips at the top of the turn and tail at the bottom.  Gradually applying edge pressure and angle and backing off in the turn does make for true carving even if you don't leave pretty rails.  Varying turn shape with different release and initiation strategies all make for speed/momentum control while carving throughout the turn. 


This nuanced take on carving in the steeps took me a good four years of study to know the difference.  Folks will see your control far more than they would any possible railed tracks on steep runs.  IOW instead of being a jackass going way too fast on an open run, your carving skills will show everyone how it is done.

post #6 of 8

SL skis are great, but IMHO if you are carving pure edge-locked-in turns on steeps you will very quickly be going at a speed that requires a greater radius than your SL skis can make a pure edge-locked-in turn while being tipped enough to hold the g-force.  You can still make pure edge locked carved turns on steeps, but on a speed ski at a much larger radius and relying on wind drag for speed control.:devil:  Make sure you have a good run out and pre-run the course at a slower speed to check out the compressions; you don't want to be turned into a pretzel at terminal velocity where the steep flattens out :eek.

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Okay, I said steeper, not steep :)  QCanoe, it is the headwall and the rest of Punch that I am talking about.  Since you know the trail, I found a great way to hit it.  When I come to the trail I ski around the unloading station and start my carve on top of the headwall.  You can do a nice clean carve right around the station and continue to carve down the slope.  It was a good day to do it because I was able to hit this particular trail without anyone on it, which is rare.  It is a great run to practice getting out of the comfort zone because it does not have a bad fall line or constant grade changes.  I guess by steeper I am meaning that point where most people would get uncomfortable carving, while the local ski racing teams can rip on them.  


I will eventually get some video. Just trying to figure out if I am on the right track, pun intended.  


Before anyone yells at me.....The unloading station is not used.  



post #8 of 8


It sounds like you're on the right track. A couple thoughts....


Early edge change- good. The timing of pressure transfer/transition depends a lot on how your CoM tracks. 


 Driving my knees forward very aggressively for some reason allowed me to get much better edge angles earlier than usual.

Yes. Creating more knee angle permits steeper edge angles. Just be careful not to over-leverage your skis with the forward pressure. It can take pressure away from the bottom of your feet if overdone.


Sounds like you're dialing things in. The last video I saw of you looked very good. 

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