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Technique adjustments on steeper terrain - Page 4

post #91 of 123
Cool Steve!! Contrats on the progress.
post #92 of 123
I found that when I ski steeper terrain that is still within my comfort level, as long as I continue to get early edge engagement at the top of the turn above the fallline (High C) my speed increases for the first turn or two and then remains the same.

For a while I was trying to ski steeper terrain at the same speeds I would get carving turns on the easier stuff. Thats obviously not going to happen without a big change in turn shape or a lot of braking movements. I wanted to remain in control.

In order to let myself go though I need to remember that skiing in control doesn't necessarily mean I can stop on a dime, it means I can easily control where my speed is taking me. Once the mechanics are in place there is still that mental battle to get through in order to let them work.

Now I just need to get that working in the bumps... I know I have the skills to ski them I just haven't broken through the mental wall yet.
post #93 of 123
You hit the key ssh, patience in the top half in order to let the turn develop.
post #94 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
Why, thankyou Miles: , but when I say twice the rise over run, that would be an angle that has twice the tangent, i.e. roughly 55 to 60 degrees. 70 to 80 degrees: is where I start to get worried about doing summersaults over the tips.
45 deg is very steep and I doubt very much you do summersaults over tips at 80 deg and live to tell since you fall pritty far down the slope. Sounds like some exagurating.

In steep bumps for instance you only need to skip one turn and you are in lots of trouble!
post #95 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6
I doubt very much you do summersaults over tips at 80 deg and live to tell since you fall pritty far down the slope.
That's what makes it worrisome.
post #96 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
That's what makes it worrisome.
I guess thats where the expression "ski or die" comes from
post #97 of 123
Actually in those days I was invincible, and metaphysically incapable of coming to any physical harm, let alone dying.

I remember people said I was crazy for skiing where I did. I saw a picture not too long ago and thought I recognized where I used to ski. It was scary; I think they were right!
post #98 of 123
Especially since there was no snow....
post #99 of 123
I made it down my first black run without falling and used
a pole plant to aid staying centred. I also remembered stopping
at the end of each turn. Once I had got the hang of
linking turns on the steeps I progressed to the point where I was
finding black runs easier to ski than chopped up groomed runs.
I have of course had many falls in between my first run and now
14 years later which I put down to ending up in the backseat occasionally
at the end of a turn. My falls have never been injury as I always pick lines where I know I would not hit anything if I was to loose it.
Skis with sharp edges combined with tightly buckled good fitting boots
also contribute towards a successful descent of steep terrain.
post #100 of 123
For me the primary thing is to be cognizant of the limitations the steepness imposes on me:

Limited strength and limited equipment plus some basic physics add up to the average acceleration of my CM in the axis perpendicular to the fall line becoming smaller as the pitch increases. Eventually, as steep becomes cliff, I become unable to accelerate my CM at all.

One reasonably simple metric of "good" skiing is the average acceleration of the skier across the hill. So as the terrain gets steeper, the skiing becomes less "good".

So in steep terrain, technique must reflect reality. I personally (I realize Pierre says this is wrong) finish my turn more and get more perpendicular to the fall line. Then I pivot (yes, such a dirty word) my skis into the fall line and brake (oh no, did I just say that? language filter!) until I stop moving across the hill and then I cleanly complete the bottom half of the turn.

Since I am at the limit of my technique, gear, and fitness during the bottom half of the turn, I find it to be a Bad Thing(tm) to do anything other than ride the edge. When I find my skis making ugly noises or flapping about, its because I forgot this point. Dealing with speed control in the top of the turn adds effort where I can spare leg muscle and edge grip, and has the side benefit of making committment to the new turn less scary than it would be if I left the top half properly round.

It is not possible for me to make nice round turns without uglyness for speed control in them somewhere as the terrain gets steep. It is not possible for anyone to do that, though some can do much better than I. Eventually you run out of leg or ski in the bottom half of the turn.

When the terrain gets really steep, like winch-cat steep, the technique has to drastically change. Acceleration across the hill becomes small, and even the bottom half of the turn must be less-than-clean in order to keep speeds reasonable and forces small enough to not overcome my legs or skis. I tend to travel more directly down the fall line in these situations, making the commitment to each new turn smaller and easier.

Pierre, you mention that one can choose to ski an average speed by rounding one's turns. I'm no speed demon, but I'm not a huge fraidy cat either. I don't think on a 35 degree pitch that I can choose any reasonable line that doesn't involve me going scary fast or having to do something inefficient/technically "ugly" to pull energy out of the system. Isn't sliding sideways while balancing on my edges (dissipating large quantities of energy in the process) less work than firing my quads to resist the forces they generate when I plant 'em?
post #101 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skiingman
Limited strength and limited equipment plus some basic physics add up to the average acceleration of my CM in the axis perpendicular to the fall line becoming smaller as the pitch increases. Eventually, as steep becomes cliff, I become unable to accelerate my CM at all.
I’m guessing that you’re talking about your ‘speed across the slope’ here. Our speed in that direction depends on how well we redirect our momentum from being down the slope (end of old turn) into being across the slope (for use in new turn initiation). On a true vertical surface, sure - there’s no way to do it. But even on very steep slopes (say, 80-degrees) it’s still possible so long as the snow’s cohesion is up to the task.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skiingman
One reasonably simple metric of "good" skiing is the average acceleration of the skier across the hill. So as the terrain gets steeper, the skiing becomes less "good".
Not sure I’d agree with the idea that a skier’s skiing becomes ‘less good’ because the slope is steeper. I think a steep slope may be more challenging for a given skier and a given skier’s skill may not be up to the task of ‘good skiing’ but it’s not the steepness itself that wreaks havoc with us - it’s our reaction to the steepness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skiingman
So in steep terrain, technique must reflect reality. I personally (I realize Pierre says this is wrong) finish my turn more and get more perpendicular to the fall line. Then I pivot (yes, such a dirty word) my skis into the fall line and brake (oh no, did I just say that? language filter!) until I stop moving across the hill and then I cleanly complete the bottom half of the turn.

Since I am at the limit of my technique, gear, and fitness during the bottom half of the turn, I find it to be a Bad Thing(tm) to do anything other than ride the edge. When I find my skis making ugly noises or flapping about, its because I forgot this point. Dealing with speed control in the top of the turn adds effort where I can spare leg muscle and edge grip, and has the side benefit of making committment to the new turn less scary than it would be if I left the top half properly round.

It is not possible for me to make nice round turns without uglyness for speed control in them somewhere as the terrain gets steep. It is not possible for anyone to do that, though some can do much better than I. Eventually you run out of leg or ski in the bottom half of the turn.

When the terrain gets really steep, like winch-cat steep, the technique has to drastically change. Acceleration across the hill becomes small, and even the bottom half of the turn must be less-than-clean in order to keep speeds reasonable and forces small enough to not overcome my legs or skis. I tend to travel more directly down the fall line in these situations, making the commitment to each new turn smaller and easier.
Your descriptions are pretty good. Reading thru them we can clearly envision what you’re doing out there. Nicely written!.

If you’re willing to try something entirely different this season, try keeping your Speed Up late in a turn in order to Slow Down overall on steeps.

Specifically, when you induce Braking late in a turn you are destroying all that useful momentum. Convert that momentum ‘Down the hill’ into momentum ‘Across the hill’. If you possess sufficient momentum across the hill (and deliberately avoid diving across your skis) you’ll be able to engage your new edges right at turn entry - and get much easier speed-control from the top of the turn thru the apex - thus preventing excessive acceleration.

If you have lost all your momentum by braking severely late in the last turn you’ll have nothing to redirect across the slope - and no way to set the edges until you have your skis accelerating like mad down the fall line.

Whadaya think?

.ma
post #102 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelA View Post
But even on very steep slopes (say, 80-degrees) it’s still possible so long as the snow’s cohesion is up to the task.
That capability gets progressively smaller as the slope gets steeper. I'm not going to try any 80 degree slopes, but its noticeable even on a 40 degree slope. There is a reason why the SL and GS course guidelines set out maximum pitches, IMO its because if you make the course too steep for too long the skiing becomes more defensive and tactical and boring to watch.
Quote:
Not sure I’d agree with the idea that a skier’s skiing becomes ‘less good’ because the slope is steeper. I think a steep slope may be more challenging for a given skier and a given skier’s skill may not be up to the task of ‘good skiing’ but it’s not the steepness itself that wreaks havoc with us - it’s our reaction to the steepness.
I think you are absolutely right in the sense that many (most) skiers have psychological and technical hangups that make a challenging slope bring out the worst in their skiing rather than the best. What I was trying to point out was something different; that the skiing is less "good" because the skier is using more of their talent/skill controlling speed instead of accelerating across the hill in an exciting fashion.
Quote:
Whadaya think?

.ma
Very interesting stuff. I wonder if we are using terminology in the same way? When I say "start of turn" I mean the transition point where I'm headed across the hill. The "top" for me is the portion before I reach the fall line, and the "bottom" is the portion after the fall line until the transition.

I consider the braking I describe to be at the "beginning" of the turn, I'm braking my "across the hill" momentum. When I stop sliding across the hill, I'm in a strong position to hook my skis up in the fall line and start accelerating across the hill in the other direction. My point in doing this is to allow me to cleanly complete the portion of the turn that requires the most strength (the bottom half) with the cleanest technique. Then I get to do my speed control at the top of the new turn, a place where the forces are small and balancing on my sliding edges is easy. On truly steep terrain, this plan isn't sufficient and I slide in more phases of the turn.

I'll mspaint a pic for clarity.



edit: I suck at drawing and this mouse is horrid, but the turns on the left are supposed to be very round, and the ones on the right are supposed to have a smaller radius of CM movement at the top than at the bottom because of what the pivot at the top does.
post #103 of 123
OK, so here are a couple awesome images from Ron LeMaster that (in my mind, anyway) illustrate what I'm talking about:

Round turns:
http://ronlemaster.com/images/2005-2...s-2005-2c.html

The skis are more or less headed in the same direction as the CM at any frame in that montage.

http://ronlemaster.com/images/2005-2...5-gs-2-wm.html

This skier is either late and low at the beginning of the sequence or merely going too fast to make a clean, round turn in this terrain change. In frames three and four, the skis are down the hill while the skier is still headed across the hill. By the last frame the skier is hooked up and clean.
post #104 of 123
Skiingman,
A couple of decades ago I found a solution the the ski's flopping around problem, high-speed skis. However, now that I'm older and wiser, I think your method or a variation there of may be preferable. I can see how it is preferable for you to brake in the top of the turn, but I think the shapes you have tired to draw have a subjective error in them. As I understand it you are braking with your edges pointing straight down the hill to kill your accross the hill speed (just killing speed will do since your heading across the hill). The problem is that because your edges are pointing straight down while you do this they are doing nothing to resist gravity, and you are actually gaining downhill momentum all the time you are braking. What you see as a sideways path could actually be diagonal in real time/space. Perhaps it would be better just to carve slightly uphill and start carving a turn sooner while taking longer to come back around to the downhill line, relying essentially on making the total path longer.
post #105 of 123
Yeah there is certainly always a component pulling me down the hill, I chose not to illustrate that and just illustrate the forces my skis are creating.

If I was better at drawing, you'd see that as soon as I reach the transition (lets say I'm headed straight across the hill at this point, though in practice usually not quite) and point the skis downhill, I do start to head downhill. As I brake, my acceleration downhill is constant, so the CM scribes a path that is not circular, but rather a function of my acceleration(braking) and g*sin(theta).

The diagram means to show that this path has much smaller radii than the bottom of the turn, because my (de)acceleration across the hill is constant and large, and I'm not assisting gravity by accelerating myself down the hill.

Heading across or even uphill definitely works and is very easy and efficient, but I have an ideological and stylistic objection to doing it unless I'm dead tired and no one is around.
post #106 of 123
You probably will find it hard to change your technique since you probably have only one.
A steeper terrain requires more quickness and power output which will allow you to control your speed. If you cannot control your speed and become faster than you need to go back to the flat terrain and learn how to finish a turn.

Regards.
post #107 of 123
It's just a slight modification to completing the carve a little farther uphill and doing the braking on the way up. Beware the uphill skier when your turning right round.
post #108 of 123
LOL, where did that guy come from? I'm going to make a statement, feel free to diasagree.

Statement: If a competent skier can ski a gorgeous round turn of radius R on a 25 degree pitch at 30mph as a best effort, they cannot ski a gorgeous round turn of radius R on a 40 degree pitch at any speed. The radius of the turn they can ski cleanly will be a simple function of the slope, assuming the gear and skier are capable of the speeds that rapidly reach towards insane.

Meanwhile, many people fool themselves into thinking their steep skiing is as pretty and efficient as their shallow skiing, or that the inefficiencies of their steep skiing are errors. I'm pointing out that you simply cannot do on a 40 degree pitch what you can do on a 25 degree pitch. Anyone who has ever set or run a steep GS or SL knows this.

Ghost, I here what you are saying, but this:
Quote:
Beware the uphill skier when your turning right round.
is the heart of my ideological objection. I personally find it to be a Bad Thing(tm) to do that to my fellow skiers, particularly on our tree-lined less than 100m wide groomer Steve has given us.
post #109 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiingman View Post
LOL, where did that guy come from? I'm going to make a statement, feel free to diasagree.

Statement: If a competent skier can ski a gorgeous round turn of radius R on a 25 degree pitch at 30mph as a best effort, they cannot ski a gorgeous round turn of radius R on a 40 degree pitch at any speed. The radius of the turn they can ski cleanly will be a simple function of the slope, assuming the gear and skier are capable of the speeds that rapidly reach towards insane.

Meanwhile, many people fool themselves into thinking their steep skiing is as pretty and efficient as their shallow skiing, or that the inefficiencies of their steep skiing are errors. I'm pointing out that you simply cannot do on a 40 degree pitch what you can do on a 25 degree pitch. Anyone who has ever set or run a steep GS or SL knows this.

Ghost, I here what you are saying, but this:

is the heart of my ideological objection. I personally find it to be a Bad Thing(tm) to do that to my fellow skiers, particularly on our tree-lined less than 100m wide groomer Steve has given us.
I just started turning uphill these last two years after being exposed to the idea here. I almost had a headon doing it. That's why I posted the caveat. IMHO it's safer to ski down the thing at 60 than it is to ski up it at 25 with someone else sking down it at 50. Besides, sking fast is fun.

From what I can tell your saying, "If your going to brake, do it at the top of the turn, keep your edge locked in at the bottom when you cross the fall line", that's my take on it too.
post #110 of 123
Steep and speed totally intimidate me. There's no way I'd ski a vertical groomer the way I'd do a wide flat blue! And yes, it is purely mental but going at mach. I just isn't fun (being middle aged probably lays its part). So I do what most do, and start turning the skis early, and make the turn more pronounced, which is pretty well standing on the brakes through the turn.

However, my amazing buddy who totally elevated my skiing in one afternoon last winter introduced a new idea. We were on a steep bump run (soft bumps though!), and he said to not turn the skis across the fall line so much (or at all). So pressure control/absorption was all I had left. This was a whole new concept (typical racer attitude of course) and one that I've been exploring with interest ever since.
post #111 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
IMHO it's safer to ski down the thing at 60 than it is to ski up it at 25 with someone else sking down it at 50. Besides, sking fast is fun.
LOL, exactly.
Quote:
From what I can tell your saying, "If your going to brake, do it at the top of the turn, keep your edge locked in at the bottom when you cross the fall line", that's my take on it too.
[/quote]
Yup, thats it, with the caveat that in really steep stuff all that goes out the window and its just about staying on top of the skis and not doing anything drastic.
post #112 of 123
I feel like when you apply the most pressure and kinda brake at the beginning of the turn, you can let off the brake as you end turn 1 and engage turn 2. Like you guys said.
post #113 of 123
Wow. This thread really speaks to me. I love steeps but I'm not that good at them.

I've been skiing seriously (some years more than others) for 25 years and thought I was pretty competent. I didn't think I was a superhero or anything, but I was pretty happy with my skiing.

Two years ago I got to ski out West for the first time in many years and discovered that at 45 degrees my skiing turned into a series of hop turns. While I was resting and taking a photo, a couple came by making big smooth round turns, chatting with each other as they went. Ok…

I still thought my problem was mostly fear and with practice and maybe a few minor adjustments I’d be fine. A made some progress, and managed to turn my hops into a series of linked braking maneuvers.

So I went to JH Steep and Deep camp. I would say it was a rude awakening, except our instructor made it a gradual awakening. There was one other guy in our group who was even older than me, and we attributed a lot of his and my deficiencies to outdated straight ski technique that needed to be unlearned. After a lot of reading and thinking, I’m suspecting that may be a bit of a cop out, and maybe my technique always sucked.

I made a lot of progress over the 4 days of camp, but still have a long way to go. I recognized a lot of the things our instructor was talking about in the references ssh pointed me at (in another thread), and having a coherent description of how it is supposed to work is a big help, at least for me.

Back to specifics… skiingman’s writeup makes a lot of sense to me. (I don’t do it his way – it never occurred to me to try.) I’d be interested what some of the big guns think about it. I hope some of them will chime in.
post #114 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
As I understand it you are braking with your edges pointing straight down the hill to kill your accross the hill speed (just killing speed will do since your heading across the hill). The problem is that because your edges are pointing straight down while you do this they are doing nothing to resist gravity, and you are actually gaining downhill momentum all the time you are braking.
Exactly my own thoughts on it...

We want to convert our downhill speed into speed across the hill so we can 'kill it' there rather than allowing it to additively tranfer into our next turn's downhill speed.

---
When a skier has sufficient momentum across the hill they could just twist the skis and 'skid sideways' across the hill while they redirect them to rapidly point downhill again. This changes their edge-angles and points them toward the next turn but does nothing to control their speed.

But what if our skier doesn't twist their skis hard enough to break the edges free - rather they apply just enough twisting torque to initiate a slow 'scarve' into the new turn? Yes, I mean right at turn-entry - immediately after edge-change...?

Assuming the skier hasn't made a big diagonal move across their skis, at transition they will have minimal overall 'speed' in the downhill direction and maximum overall 'speed' across the hill. If they manage their upper body such that it moves on a mostly complementary path with the direction their skis are traveling then they will have some 'useful speed' available (rather than 'undesirable speed').

Since the skier's Body Mass is now moving across the hill, they can use the body's momentum across the hill to better engage those new edges. Also they can now scarve the skis into the new-turn entry which prevents most of the normal acceleration that would otherwise occur at this point.

Diving over the skis while twisting them back toward downhill does nothing for speed control - it just changes the direction they're pointing... right back into the direction of maximum acceleration. By *not* making that big lateral move at crossover, the skier prevents the upper body Mass from continuing on downhill where its lateral speed of crossover would simply be additive to their downhill-speed problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skiingman
Statement: If a competent skier can ski a gorgeous round turn of radius R on a 25 degree pitch at 30mph as a best effort, they cannot ski a gorgeous round turn of radius R on a 40 degree pitch at any speed.
Hey, that was pretty sneaky. Didn't think I'd read it so carefully, did ya? Your statement is correct if the subject skier is making their 'best' effort just to get the 25-degree slope turn done properly. Not so much otherwise.

I've seen a number of skiers who actually produce better turns on a 35-degree slope than on a 20-degree slope. The reason for such a reversal is that an energetic and athletic skier can hide a multitude of movement sins because their higher kinetic energy blasts right through blobs of snow that would otherwise reveal their weakness.

.ma
post #115 of 123
Skiingman,

On a non-threatening groomed slope, how early would you say your edge engagement is? Would you say you have your bases showing up the hill in the top part of the turn?

Contrary to what you are describing, I think its a lack of early edge engagement that causes a lot of problems in the steeps. If one is sliding the skis sideways they are unlikely to be moving into the turn until after they set the edge at the fall line. Thus, the skis are essentially railing down the hill until the skier can get back inside enough to tip them over and bend them into an arc.

By contrast, if you roll the skis over in the top of the arc you can bend them sooner and get them through the arc of the turn in a shorter turn. Extending the arc at the bottom of the turn or drifting can hold the speed in check but still allow for a powerful transition using the momentum of the previous turn to bend the ski.

Untamed upward redirection of the CM which can be a relative non-issue on the easier slopes will eat your lunch on the steeps when it prevents early edge engagement. Engaging the skis in the top of the turn gives the skier more options at the bottom.

I understand where you are comming from though. Personally, I've tried to go down the route of more commitment to the turn so its just a different approach. So far it has been working for me, it can be tough to generate the will power to drop yourself off the face of the earth though to get that kind of a transition on a steep run.
post #116 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by onyxjl
Untamed upward redirection of the CM which can be a relative non-issue on the easier slopes will eat your lunch on the steeps when it prevents early edge engagement. Engaging the skis in the top of the turn gives the skier more options at the bottom.
This gets right back to the concept of 'early ski pressure'. Pretty hard to have any pressure on the ski if we've used a big 'up move' combined with a big lateral move from old turn into new.

On steeps the 'up move' is invariably also an 'out move' - directed away from the slope which launches us out into space as a kind of ballistic projectile.

OK, so we don't travel very far outward but on steeps the slope drops away from us quicker so the net effect is like that of a much larger thrust. We end up 'dropping' quite a bit further before our skis again receive useful pressure. While we are dropping downward we are also accelerating at the maximum rate possible (32fps/s) in a generally-downhill direction. This will aggravate the speed issue once our skis hit the snow and are deflected - especially if our skis are now pointed directly down the fall line.

.ma
post #117 of 123
Put another way, if you totally carve your turns from arc to arc, your skis only spend an instant pointing straight down as they go through the arc, but if you pivot or skid or brake the entry they point straight downhill for a longer time. I could be wrong though; killing speed has never been one of my goals.
post #118 of 123
Remind me never to ski in front of you as we come to the lift line...

.ma
post #119 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
runs that are defined and thus less than 100m wide (tree-lined).
HAHAHAHA - you gotta come skiing out here some time. My mental image up until I got to this part was more like 4m wide. 100m wide I'm trying to picture it....

Oh well, as the others said, hopefully there's not much adjustment. Just more of the same. Of course when the run is 4m wide instead of 100m wide you may not be able to carve every turn...
post #120 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
HAHAHAHA - you gotta come skiing out here some time. My mental image up until I got to this part was more like 4m wide. 100m wide I'm trying to picture it....

Oh well, as the others said, hopefully there's not much adjustment. Just more of the same. Of course when the run is 4m wide instead of 100m wide you may not be able to carve every turn...
You can carve turns on 4-m wide trails with 208 SGs, just not speed-control turns.
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