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What did I do wrong?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I was skiing two weeks ago on a realatively steep slope (mid-atlantic black diamond). The trail was narrow, ungroomed trail under the lift. The middle of the trail flattened out and had a good 12 inches of fresh untracked snow! I was worried that the soft, deep snow would slow me down, so on the last steep bit before the flat part, I pointed my skis downhill instead of makingthat last turn to get my speed up.

Well, instead of cutting through the snow, my skis stopped ejecting me from both skis.

So, since my choice of technique obviously did not work, does anyone have advice for me on how I can better approach this type of situation in the future?

THANKS!
post #2 of 21
it depends on why you double ejected? Is it possible you hit something submerged? Bindings too loose?

Without this info it's anyone's guess.
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
hmmmm, I did not feel anything submerged when I dug out my skis and poles. My bindings are set at a 6 (I think... tho I don't have them here with me)
post #4 of 21
I am guessing the snow was wet or had a high moisture content. Generally a flatter slope such as you describe generally will have heavier snow because of it's relative angle to the sun and consiquently become very sticky.

a possible compliment to your tactics would be to anticipate this sticktion and push your skis ahead of your hips a bit the next time you anticipate sticky snow ahead. This change in snow texture occurs many times when skiing from a shady area into a sunny area where snow may go from frozen granular to sticky slush. Look ahead and anticipate conditions.

good luck!
post #5 of 21
Bud's got it. You did the right thing as far as it went, but needed to anticipate that the snow was going to slow you down a lot.
post #6 of 21
This is a problem telemark skiers can relate to.

If I am running a flat ski I better look out no matter how much I anticipate. If I have the skis on edge with some turn pressure and I am in a strong position with my hips over my feet, I can power through just about anything in alpine mode.
post #7 of 21
Or your skis are too short. I often get this "over the handlebars" feeling if I run the skis flat in heavy/deep snow. Have to keep on edge, with the skis hitting the oncoming snow at an angle.
post #8 of 21
When I was first on snow and in very heavy cloud, I asked some of the good skiers how they managed. They said that they skied by feel through their feet. Many trials and many errors later I developed that feel.

You'll get the feel for heavy snow in time to pull your feet forward and regain your balance. In really heavy snow, you just have to sit way back and keep the tips up to reach the bottom. Don't tighten your bindings...they did their job.


Ken
post #9 of 21
Wax. Use it. Skiing this past monday in warm wet conditions, my skis needed a fresh layer of wax. Since I kept feeling the slow-down, I ended up in the back seat. Without the right glide you can end up on your butt or your head.
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman
..a possible compliment to your tactics would be to anticipate this sticktion
Excellent advice, and a great new word for the skier's dictionary!

sticktion...
post #11 of 21
A few decades ago binding manufactures figured out that people were wrecking their knees in forward twisting falls. They surmized that the extra weight being put on the toe in this type of fall was adding a frictional restraining force. So they compensated with antifriction pads, and clever pressure release mechanisms that made the toe piece release sooner when the binding was subjected to the forces of a "forward" fall. I haven't looked at any modern bindings, but I suspect they are still made this way, only better.

You are in effect the victim of a safety feature that was designed to have the binding release easier in just this type of fall and save your knee.

What should you do? Well you could up the DIN, but that's risky, and I would not advise it. Assuming that your release level is appropriate for the strenght of your knees and your forward pressure is set correctly and the binding is working ok (is at a marker ), you can try to smear out the impact over a longer time. The next time you hit the super-super glue straight on, lift your skis so they are barely touching the snow and gradually let them sink back into it. Leaning back so that the forces do not put so much weight on the toe, but spread more onto the heel is another trick that will help.

Bare in mind, that you still have to stay in balance, and a little skill development might be needed.

I hope this helps.
post #12 of 21

Ejection - Queen

Since I didn't see the snow but maybe this correlation will help. All good advice but I'd rather double eject and face plant than do my knees in. When skiing a groomed run that has mounds of powder/crud etc. on the sides and wanting to go through it into the trees etc. I will sit back and get my tips up when hitting the berm, then regain normal stance CM etc. to ski whats on the other side. Otherwise (de-pending on the berms snow quality etc.) one can really bury their skis. As I said really don't know if this was condiition etc. But "works for me" in right conditions.
post #13 of 21
What skis were you on?

I ran into the same problem with a pair of rentals a few years ago.

Lack of wax maybe? or just not made for crud?
My k2's seem to bust straight through the stuff.

Anyway, I think the skis have a lot to do with your ability to move through the conditions you've described. Some of the instructors here may be able to better analyze this.

Just my 2 cents
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rayl1964
What skis were you on?

I ran into the same problem with a pair of rentals a few years ago.

Lack of wax maybe? or just not made for crud?
My k2's seem to bust straight through the stuff.

Anyway, I think the skis have a lot to do with your ability to move through the conditions you've described. Some of the instructors here may be able to better analyze this.

Just my 2 cents
Thanks everyone for all the advice!

I ski on Dynastar Exclusive Carve. They have a pretty agressive sidecut.
My skis had just been waxed, so I don't think that was it.

I can cut right through crud, etc in them, so I must have done SOMEthing wrong.
post #15 of 21
A big pile of wet sticky snow can put the brakes on you a lot more than quite a bit of crud. The only thing you did "wrong" was not get laid back enough in anticipation of the stopping force. I think Pete's explaination about what to do is pretty good.
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
I really appreciate all the advice. Now I have something to work on. Hopefully I can practice more for my trip to the "big" mountains in Utah this March.
post #17 of 21

The transition

Sometimes when you move from steep to flat you will fall forward a little. That push forward plus the powder may have amplified the momentum. You didn't necessarily do anything wrong except double release. Go back and do it again and watch for the transition and the forward lean. Careful about tightening your bindings, but you may need to tweek a bit.
post #18 of 21
Speaking of slope transitions, just out of curiosity, what bindings? If your bindings are not some sort of free-flex design then when your skis get bent a lot, the distance between toe and heel shortens, but since your ski boot doesn't squish the binding has to release.
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
Speaking of slope transitions, just out of curiosity, what bindings? If your bindings are not some sort of free-flex design then when your skis get bent a lot, the distance between toe and heel shortens, but since your ski boot doesn't squish the binding has to release.
I have Look-Nova bindings.....
post #20 of 21
Same thing happened to me. I went from packed snow to fresh snow gun snow. Skis stopped and I kept going over the tips. Both skis were pointing straight down the hill, without a skier.

Your body and skis are travelling a specific rate of speed. Then your skis hit the sticky snow and slow down. However your body is still travelling at the same rate as before. If your bindings are not set high enough to hold you to the ski given the differential in speeds and the resulting forward force, you come out.

So in my opinion you have three options. First slow down before hitting the slow snow. This will lower the differential in speed and diverging forces. Second, shift your weight back, so you have some room for your body to travel and slow down by tightening your muscles. Third, crank up your bindings, however I agree this is dangerous and I would not recommend it.

Mark
post #21 of 21
Sheena,

Snowsnakes, gotcha in their pool of glue. Beware next time.

RW
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