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You know those sharp little moguls

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
that are made when people hop their tails around to intiate the turn, and then skid down the back of the mogul? How do you ski them if you are not a tail hopper - which I cannot seem to do? I ran into some of these moguls today and for the life of me, I could not ski more than a few of them without serious speed control problems. The moguls in question had an impossibly short turn radius and a very sharp dropoff down the back of them.

Greg
post #2 of 20
Pivot slips
post #3 of 20
I share your pain. Those mogules are elliptic and they lay in the direction of the fall line. There is a very angular hard sometimes icy track close to the fall line consisting of just a ski length of straight track before you have to hop. Even if you could "hop" it would not solve your speed problems my friend. I consider myself still with age over 40 as a good mogul skiier but I to have the same problem you have with speed. If you look at FIS mogul racers you can see that they are not doing any round turns, they do like you said, hop their tails over to the next straight part of the track on their way sliding down an icy back of the previous mogul. Then they absorb the impackt with their leggs and knees and try to keep their weight forwards so that they dont lose their balance. I can still do it for a couple of truns in a moderate slope but there is so much wear and tear on your knees and other body parts (never ski moguls in boxer shorts) that I simply find no pleasure in it.

My suggestion is to leave those moguls to other specialists and consentrate on more moderate and naturally shaped moguls without any tracks going down in the middle. Then the techniqe should be: picture the track in you head, you can see the straight part of the track lets say going to the right (right hand turn). Now direct your skis perpendiculary to this track (left hand turn) and digg your ski tipps into the soft snow piled upp to the left of the track. Keep your leggs fearly straight and as you hitt the soft piled snow on the hillside of the bump where nobody has skied you bend your knees to reduce the impact, jack your skis uphill and explode through the snow in a spectacular manner. The reason you cannot ski like this in man made bumps or in bumps with those pro tracks is that the moguls are too steep and they are too hard and everything is too narrow.

Hope this helpes.
post #4 of 20
Greg,

Well, you don't always have to ski the rut. they've always the technique of picking a consistent turn shape and doing it no matter what the moguals are doing under your feet. No wait, that's even harder to do. How about doing a slide slip on the sharp point of the mogul (kind of like a rail slide). Now that ought to be real satisfying!

Tail hopping is not that hard to do if your weight is centered. Here's a drill for regular slopes that might help you get there. Do a traverse across the slope lifting the tail of your uphill ski so that tip of the ski maintains snow contact. Start by lifting the tail just a little and for short periods of time. Keep trying until you can hold the tail high (think touching the tail to your butt) and most of the way across. Then do it trying to bend the tip of the ski. Then do the same with your downhill ski (that's going to be a bit harder). Next try to make medium radius turns where you lift the inside ski (left ski on a left turn) once you've reached the fall line. Then lift the inside ski before the fall line and tip the inside ski tip into the new turn. When you can do this, try shortening the turn radius until you are making short radius turns with the inside ski lifted and tipped. Once you've got those down you should be able to do tail hop turns in the moguls just fine.
post #5 of 20
If you are looking ahead you are able to change your line...if a line change is not possible then you bridge the sharp one.
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by gehoff
that are made when people hop their tails around to intiate the turn, and then skid down the back of the mogul? How do you ski them if you are not a tail hopper - which I cannot seem to do? I ran into some of these moguls today and for the life of me, I could not ski more than a few of them without serious speed control problems. The moguls in question had an impossibly short turn radius and a very sharp dropoff down the back of them.

Greg
Ahhh some of my favorite bumps. Actually all bumps are my favorite bumps. I have yet to meet one that I did not like. This type of bump presents the biggest challenge and mind game available in bumps. Especially when they are solid ice and get to be the size of Volkswagons with a 8 foot drop behind them.

Answer, ski the bump corridor in an offensive (Slow line fast) mode rather than a defensive (fast line slow) mode. That does not mean ski around the bumps as you will encounter the steep backsides doing this. It means ski within the zipper corridor with a much more controlled rounder line.

Key number 1. Slow your feet down and turn the top of the turn much more slowly. The steep backside is angled uphill and terminates in the bump above and to the side. Get your ski tips aiming for that uphill terminus where the cliff isn't. When you go across that uphill terminus the tips and tail are usually off the snow. Give a large forward movement at this point with the hips and guide the tips around the banked portion of the mogul opposite the steep face. Keep your turn round and guide the tips right around to the next terminus. You never drop into the rut. It requires a fair amount of sinking in the hips when approaching the terminus and a fair amount of forward movement without up at the terminus.

Key number 2. Face down the hill but not as countered as traditional bump skiing. Wait for the pole touch and touch the pole a bit further across the fall line than traditional zipperline. The pole is still levered down hill. This encourages a turn finish instead of a hockey slop.

Key number 3 Patience, Patience, Patience. The tendancy is to rush the turn entry. Its hard for me to have the patience to let the turn develop in bumps like these. Rushing the turn entry guarantees a slam dunk ride.

With these three things a comfortable low impact ride can be achieved. I do it all the time.

Now I realize this is clear as mud and a picture is worth a thousand words.
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierre
Ahhh some of my favorite bumps. Actually all bumps are my favorite bumps. I have yet to meet one that I did not like. This type of bump presents the biggest challenge and mind game available in bumps. Especially when they are solid ice and get to be the size of Volkswagons with a 8 foot drop behind them.
Pierre, you are a sick, sick man. :

I have only seen a few, VERY few, folks who can take that slow line in those bumps as I think you described. I am utterly amazed and impressed at how slowly and how much in control they can go. Me, under those conditions? I still suck it up and take it like a man with a huge compression. And my knees and back hate me afterwards. What I won't give to figure out what is it that you ugly bump lovers do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierre
Key number 1. Slow your feet down and turn the top of the turn much more slowly. The steep backside is angled uphill and terminates in the bump above and to the side. Get your ski tips aiming for that uphill terminus where the cliff isn't. When you go across that uphill terminus the tips and tail are usually off the snow. Give a large forward movement at this point with the hips and guide the tips around the banked portion of the mogul opposite the steep face. Keep your turn round and guide the tips right around to the next terminus. You never drop into the rut. It requires a fair amount of sinking in the hips when approaching the terminus and a fair amount of forward movement without up at the terminus.
Clear as mud! : Mind explaining this bit again? I am having some trouble with your terminology, i.e. "uphill terminus" and especially this sentence, "The steep backside is angled uphill and terminates in the bump above and to the side. Get your ski tips aiming for that uphill terminus where the cliff isn't."
post #8 of 20
Pierre,
I generally find your posts very informative and insightful. I truly enjoy reading them and am always glad to see a response coming from you. That said, I have to admit I don't have the slightest idea what the XXXX you are talking about... Please try again. What ever you are saying sounds great and I am dying to understand it. Thanks.
post #9 of 20
I think of these kinds of bumps as being shaped like a boat laying on it's gunwales. Hence, I call that sharp point at the downhill side the "prow"...

Pierre, correct me if I'm wrong here, but what I think you are saying is to use the "prow" of the bump as a pivot point and make the turns on the sides of that "prow", making sure to slow the skis at the apex to allow your hips to move forward effectively over your skis before the skis go down the side.

An exercise that Ric (vail snopro) taught me in Big Sky is to make multiple turns on a single bump. This would likely help to increase your precision in these kinds of bumps,too. Try to make two or even three turns across the top of each bump. This will of necessity slow down your rate of descent while increasing your accuracy with tipping and turning.
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
What kills me is that you all sound like extremely proficient skiers. I'm talking about some bumps that were made on a steep slope by high intermediate/low advanced skiers that lock their feet together and probably don't see much use for the front half of their skis. These are not supermen (women), but they are pretty good at skiing the troughs of these particular bumps (Lookout Mountain at Northstar for you Tahoe types).

I was doing pivot slips and it was beating the heck out of me. It just amazes how these guys seem to ski these bumps with a much lower energy expenditure than I. They did not appear to be slamming into the top of bumps and absorbing all that much. They seemed to be able to create a high edge angle early and control speed through a better skid than I could get, at least that's what I seemed to be seeing.

Pierre - Like everyone else, it sure sounds to me like there is something in your post to think about, but I am not understanding. A picture is worth a thousand words - any videos been posted on this site that might illustrate? Thanks to everyone for your replies.

Greg
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by gehoff
They seemed to be able to create a high edge angle early and control speed through a better skid than I could get,
Greg,

Exactly. When you are moving your weight forward early in the turn it allows you to create higher edges angles earlier. The exercises in my earlier post are one way to get there.
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by josseph
Pierre, you are a sick, sick man. :

I have only seen a few, VERY few, folks who can take that slow line in those bumps as I think you described. I am utterly amazed and impressed at how slowly and how much in control they can go. Me, under those conditions? I still suck it up and take it like a man with a huge compression. And my knees and back hate me afterwards. What I won't give to figure out what is it that you ugly bump lovers do.


Clear as mud! : Mind explaining this bit again? I am having some trouble with your terminology, i.e. "uphill terminus" and especially this sentence, "The steep backside is angled uphill and terminates in the bump above and to the side. Get your ski tips aiming for that uphill terminus where the cliff isn't."
I will not agree that I am sick because I enjoy the biggest baddest iciest steepest tightest bumps I can find.

I have finally put together a decent concise and simple program to teach this method to the average advanced skier in a reasonable amount of time. Say a four day clinic. I ran this program this year and it was an overwhelming success even though I will make several changes for next year. We called it Bumps Without Brusies for the Non Athletic Skier.

I will say this. Its hard to decribe this without pictures or drawings. This method is NOT INTUITIVE and must be taught. I took me five years to really put it together and figure out how to teach it effectively. It is very much the Slow Line Fast technique. Skiing moguls in control with grace is not just a fluke needing years of practice. Its damn good skiing that must be taught to achieve it in a reasonable amount of time. I skied little else but moguls for 40 years before I put it together.

I will try again. These rutted sharp moguls are formed by skiers who's intentions are to go as fast as possible down the fall line. IF YOU FOLLOW THEIR PATH YOUR INTENTIONS WHETHER YOU WANT THEM OR NOT IS THE SAME. They aim the tips slightly off the fall line pivot the tails and drop more or less into the rut. They either take a big beating or learn to absorb in a super human fashion.

The moguls on either side of this macho zipperline are irregular and lead into this zipperline. The super zipperline moguls are angled to match the pivot angle used by these skiers and angled back uphill into these irregular moguls. The key here is to turn further across the fall line and pivot higher uphill on these bumps where the drop is very shallow. This puts you turning higher up the bumps and using the side opposite the sharp drop as a sort of half pipe for turning instead of dropping in the rut. The turn size increases and the need for flexion and absorbtion is greatly reduced.

You can just about forget making these turns unless you are willing to invest some time in understanding what the " Slow line fast" really means. Once you understand it your intentions have changed and so does your eye for picking out the best path.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierre
The moguls on either side of this macho zipperline are irregular and lead into this zipperline. The super zipperline moguls are angled to match the pivot angle used by these skiers and angled back uphill into these irregular moguls. The key here is to turn further across the fall line and pivot higher uphill on these bumps where the drop is very shallow. This puts you turning higher up the bumps and using the side opposite the sharp drop as a sort of half pipe for turning instead of dropping in the rut. The turn size increases and the need for flexion and absorbtion is greatly reduced.
If I understand you correctly, your turns are in sync with the zipperline turns, except they are rounder, and their apex is to the outside of the zipperline?

Or perhaps you mean your turns are 180 degrees out of phase with the zipperline turns, so that where the zipperline is going left, you are going right?
post #14 of 20
Pierre - what happens when the sides of that mogul are just rock (because the mogul is a boulder with snow on top)? ..... these are often the bits that get me.... or when you come around a bump to find... a tree stump right in front of you...

These stupid things are what gets to me.... my instructor often gets annoyed because I ski the steepest section of our gnarliest run the best - I KNOW the tree stumps & rocks are on the less steep areas.... so they worry me much more....

I find it tricky to plan to turn on top/sides in case it is a barely covered rock... granite is NOT my friend!
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by josseph
If I understand you correctly, your turns are in sync with the zipperline turns, except they are rounder, and their apex is to the outside of the zipperline?

Or perhaps you mean your turns are 180 degrees out of phase with the zipperline turns, so that where the zipperline is going left, you are going right?
In sync with the zipperline but not written in stone.
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by disski
Pierre - what happens when the sides of that mogul are just rock (because the mogul is a boulder with snow on top)? ..... these are often the bits that get me.... or when you come around a bump to find... a tree stump right in front of you...
The very nice thing about learning to ski the slow line fast in bumps is that you are the controller of when and where you go. Its easy to change lines or alter just a bit to miss a rock or stump. I do not teach rhythm for skiing bumps. I teach matching turn size as dictated by the moguls in front of you.
post #17 of 20
Pierre, many thanks for your explanations. I do like the idea of the slow line, and especially I like the concept of doing it fast. However, my problem is figuring out where that slow line of yours lies in those really ugly moguls. I think I am getting what you are saying. It rained yesterday, and now the temp plummeted 15 degrees. I should have plenty of Pierre moguls to work with this evening.
post #18 of 20
Simple: Just do a little pivot over the back of the moguls, don't ski the from trough to trough. Light on the edges, firmer on the pivot turn and keep those edges sharp
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by skierzzzzzz
Simple: Just do a little pivot over the back of the moguls, don't ski the from trough to trough. Light on the edges, firmer on the pivot turn and keep those edges sharp
Thank you for your suggestion, Skierzzzzz. In fact, that's the way I usually ski ugly moguls. However, I am always interested in new approaches to skiing moguls. Pierre's idea is extremely intrigueing to me, and I like to learn how he skis them. Afterall, this is an instructional forum, isn't it? And we are all here to exchange ideas and to learn from each other, aren't we?
post #20 of 20
A few of my friends were on the bump tour in the early days and they told me something I still use today:

Keep Turning! No matter where you are just keep turning, stay balanced, upper body down the fall line.
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