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Skiing icy steeps - Page 2

post #31 of 33

Thanks to Bob.


As usual.  ;-)

post #32 of 33
A second component is pressure control as mentioned earlier. Two examples being insufficient pressure and excessive pressure. Both have similar results but different causes.
First thing to realize is leaning into the hill moves the body away from the edge and this includes the outside hip. When this occurs the outside leg is fully extended but too short to keep pressure on the outside ski. Dumping the hip can also produce this result. So at all points keeping the ankle to hip distance within the range of reach in that leg must occur. This includes every phase of a turn if the intent is to maintain edge purchase in every phase. In other words no up moves through the turns. That does not mean the leg never fully extends though. It only means we don't exceed it's reach as we either allow the feet to swoop out to the side, or we dive our body into the turns.

The second example is when we press so hard that the edge platform cannot support us and the snow simply sheers away. Frozen chicken heads being an example of this. So is excessive (unintentional) skidding late in any turn. Higher edge angles at this point are far less effective than absorbing the excess pressure by flexing that leg. This gives the ski a chance to grip again and if done early enough not lose grip in the first place. Which necessitates applying strong pressure elsewhere in the turn. That corresponds with where our leg is longest and in most cases that is the middle of the turn not the end.

So there is a quick readers digest version of why controlling the centrifugal forces is so important. A detailed explanation of this is available in Vagners book A ski instructors guide to the physic and biomechanics of skiing. It is a very dry read and not everyone's cup of tea. That being said the whole concept of controlling how hard we press on the skis and when that makes sense is worth exploring. LeMaster covers it breifly in his new book as well, as do many other ski authors of note.

Grace I do hope this helps you understand that a couple of different issues may be involved and the advice from a good instructor live might be the most effective way to help you figure out what is giving you problems. Plan on a day or two working with them though since their watchful eye and feedback will help so much more than we can here.
Edited by justanotherskipro - 2/11/15 at 7:10am
post #33 of 33

I have more questions for the Princess of Monaco,


Specifically what steeps??  I have a feeling you don't mean what many here typically regard as 'Steeps' (i.e High Rustler, the Cirque, Stauffenberg, Tower 3 chutes, etc).  


Where do you ski, and which runs are we calling 'steep?' Also, what do you mean icy??  On piste, I haven't seen real, blue ice in years, and yes I ski mostly in the east.  Real ice is an off-piste condition due to high winds and bad weather events, and can be a real widow-maker on the truly steep.


I ask because the technical advice you seek that would best fit the conditions you actually face, might not need to be so specific as 'steep ice.'  But rather, just general flaws in your technique that can be improved.

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