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Sliding down the hill...

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
...when it's not what you had in mind.

I have had three occassions now (all at Baldy) where I have hit ice, lost purchase, and gone for a wild ride, waiting to see where and how I'd land. Yesterday I managed to miss the trees and came to a halt when the terrain leveled out enough for me to dig in my boots enough to halt the sliding.

A few weeks ago, in South Bowl, I skied into an area where patrollers were beginning to show up, as I was neither the first nor last of the day to be the human bowling ball heading for the pins (trees). On that occassion I was able to get my skis below me just in time to kick at the tree that would otherwise met my head. I lost my skis, but the impact slowed me enough so that the next tree did stop me when I kicked my boots at its trunk when I got close to impact, but not before some light pinballing off a couple other trees. I was very pleased to walk away from that with some deep bruising.

The first time was a few years ago, stupidly skiing alone in an area and in conditions that warranted a skiing partner. What stopped my slide that time was a natural halfpipe wall, to the top of which I slid before sliding back down to a stop.

What all of these incidents have in common is that not one second of any of these rides held any enjoyment whatsoever.

Looks fun:


"Another factor, and one which seems to be ignored by a lot of people
is what you wear. When I'm skiing slopes where I'm exposed to a
dangerous fall I take off all my shell material - Nylon, gore tex,
60/40 whatever, and ski in pile pants and a sweater. If you fall on a
steep icy slope wearing nylon you slide so fast your chances of
catching yourself aren't good, even if you know what you're doing."

post #2 of 4
I remember the second time I went skiing at killington, We went on a blue run that ended up going to a black with no other opitions. Took off the ski's and butt slided the whole way down. Course now adays I wouldn't think twice about it, but that did freak me out. Isn't baldy at alta?
post #3 of 4
Do you know the ski pole arrest technique? You may not have been able to use it in these instances, but it's saved my bacon a couple of times. Grab the pole near the basket with one hand and up above that with the other, wherever you can. Dig the tip into the snow/ice as hard as you can. It brings your feet downhill where you can use them as well to stop or slow your slide. Doesn't work all the time, but can be a piece of your arsenal.
post #4 of 4
A couple of weeks ago, I hit ice on top of Jewett at Bousquet, which is steep, and started to slide.......I gained speed very quickly. It's not a long run, but you can get tons of speed on the ice and hardpack, and there are trees everywhere at the sides and bottom.

I couldn't dig the pole tip in using both hands, but it did slow me down. Having boots downhill won't stop you on ice. Nothing will. But poles do slow you down.

I suppose I was lucky to have them in my hands. I never put the straps on, but I don't recall ever losing both poles when falling. First instinct when it's warranted is to dig in that pole, first and foremost.

Thanks for the tips, ryan.
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