Originally Posted by jayhawkskier
Downhill Skiers Are Fast... But How Fast?
by Uri Berliner
But in the Sports Illustrated Winter Olympics preview issue, the magazine says downhillers max out at a much more modest 50 miles per hour. The Encyclopaedia Britannica reports the average winning speed is 40 to 50 miles per hour, but it says nothing about top speeds.
Those quotes are for the 1930s. For winners, average maximum speeds on typical WC courses for men are around 80mph, average speeds are a bit over 60mph, and median speeds are a bit under 70mph. The record top speed in a WC DH course is 100.6mph set last season by an Italian on the Lauberhorn (=Wengen). I got those figures from a sampling of winning times and race distances (what a concept) and the typical time needed to reach the average speed.
A side note on DH speed and air. The fastest Hahnenkamm might still be held by Franz Klammer (not sure) who averaged over 66mph. He had *lots* of big airs. They say you're faster when you minimize air time. However, you actually accelerate faster in the air than on the snow if you keep your tuck; the slowdown happens when you land with error from long jumps. But Klammer was simply lucky, he nailed the landings of *all* his jumps on the course. Look at the footage, it was astonishingly rare skiing even for him.
Originally Posted by davluri
what I'd like to hear is speeds for big straight-lines in gnarly steep chutes. Squaw, Jackson, Whistler, AK. anyone?
Very funny. Schussing a slick chute in normal clothes you hit over 60mph by 200 ft vertical. If your clothing is very slick and snow is ice, you hit almost 70. 200' vert is a short chute. Of course in slow snow you might get that down to 55 [Edit: hmm, maybe 50]. But shooting a 300' chute like Alta 2b would be homocidal given the runout into Laramie Bowl. Sadly, it has been.
Now, shooting the little guys on the Alta side of North Baldy would be manageable.
Originally Posted by Dougo
Most expert runs are in the 30's with steeper sections in the 40's.
For the U.S. in general? Reduce by 10 degrees.
Originally Posted by ptjanis95
"When it is wrong, it is usually obvious. When the gps agrees with another unit, or the car spedometer, or the bike odometer, or a mtb odometer on a summer ski run, it is probably correct."
I started using the Alpine Replay app on my iPhone everyday. It is within 1 or 2 mph of my car so I trust it.
You shouldn't. On skiing pitches the vertical errors are far greater.
Edited by whippersnapper - 1/25/15 at 5:51am