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Powder help

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I’d like to try to get some help on powder skiing. My background: 43 years skiing, (live East, 1 trip West/year), 59yo, good shape, (for an old guy), level 8-9 in East, (can ski ice & steeps with the best of ‘em for my age), no more bumps if I can help it. I think you get the picture. Skis: Metron M10 & Rossi B2.

It took me awhile to “relearn” to ski with shaped skis and widen my stance, but I’ve got it down now. My question is, if I happen to get lucky on my trips out west and get powder, (more than 6”), do I ski it with a wide-track or put the feet back together? I would think the latter would provide more float, but I’d like some opinions from you lucky western skiers.

I’ve had pretty good success on previous trips by sticking the boards together and employing the “bounce” to get turns initiated. Is this necessary with the newer skis? I haven’t been fortunate to try them in true powder, just a bunch of wet slop in Tahoe last year. This year’s trip BTW is to Vail in mid Feb.

Thanks all!!
C.B.
post #2 of 15
CB,

It depends on depth, density, turn shape, speed and the float of your ski relative to your weight. You should adjust your stance width and pressure distribution as needed. In general, the deeper the snow, the better off you are with a closer stance and more equal weighting of the feet. This is to help avoid having to deal with vertical differences of the feet.
post #3 of 15
C.B., I find that I can maintain a very similar stance in soft snow/powder to the one I use on groomers (hip-width). I also do very little vertical bouncing, choosing to use a patient turn entry and nice C-shaped turns most of the time. Sometimes, on difficult snow and/or steep terrain, a little bit of inside leg extension can help with the initiation (which I find to be the key to making smooth turns).

YMMV, but I'd encourage you to continue to reduce the movement in your turns (as you have undoubtedly done in moving from straight skis to shaped ones). Less is more (see Arc's quote in my sig!).
post #4 of 15
Whether you have to narrow your stance in powder probably depends more on how you use the wider stance on groomers. If you're still principally a foot-to-foot skier with the wider stance, you probably will do better in powder trying to narrow your stance. If you've developed good two-footed skills along with the wider stance, then the same stance should work in powder.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

Further

Thanks!!
Expanding on that, I think that most of the time I'm weighting the uphill ski somewhat as opposed to my "old" stand-on-the-downhill-ski technique. (anybody remember the "reverse shoulder" technique of the 60s? I lost that eons ago).

Anyway, maybe I'm 70/30 downhill to uphill. If I've come that far, should I practice the same thing in powder? I'm assuming my mid-fat B2s will provide float. Also, is speed still my friend in powder? In the maybe 10 times I've been in significant snow, I've found that letting the speed build helps alot.

Thanks again!

C.B.
post #6 of 15
CB,

Try doing a search for "pwoder" in this forum. Here's a good thread on the topic from last year....

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread...399&highlight=
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by C.B.
Anyway, maybe I'm 70/30 downhill to uphill. If I've come that far, should I practice the same thing in powder? I'm assuming my mid-fat B2s will provide float. Also, is speed still my friend in powder? In the maybe 10 times I've been in significant snow, I've found that letting the speed build helps alot.
Sounds to me like you'll be fine! Yes, speed is still your friend (as is pitch!).
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by C.B.
Thanks!!
Expanding on that, I think that most of the time I'm weighting the uphill ski somewhat as opposed to my "old" stand-on-the-downhill-ski technique. (anybody remember the "reverse shoulder" technique of the 60s? I lost that eons ago).

Anyway, maybe I'm 70/30 downhill to uphill. If I've come that far, should I practice the same thing in powder? I'm assuming my mid-fat B2s will provide float. Also, is speed still my friend in powder? In the maybe 10 times I've been in significant snow, I've found that letting the speed build helps alot.

Thanks again!

C.B.
You've got the two-footed mode working. The trick in powder is making the turn initiation two-footed with equal weighting and equal edge angles. Then you just kind of go with the flow. Speed is only your friend in that you need to carry some from turn to turn, so you don't want to turn too far each turn. That aspect will depend upon the steepness and how much resistance the snow produces that keeps your speed down.
post #9 of 15
Get over to Alta Utah. They get powder on a regular basis and it stays for a while. I just watch the regulars and learn from them, and a lesson once on a while doesn't hurt. I ski out west 2 to 3 times a year. About 10 to 12 days total. It's the only way to learn. Smooth is the word of the day. Nice c turns, feet closer than normal, get some speed up, arms out to the side. Last April in Utah we got 3 feet overnight. First time I skied so late in the season with snow up to my waist, face shots all day. It was hard to stay balanced. My wife trys to ski it like a groomer. Doesn't work. You have to go with the flow and not let the speed get to you. If you fall no big deal. Just have the powder cats on so you can find you're skis. Oh, watch some good movies. Great way to see how the best do it.
post #10 of 15
CB, for myself, I find that the width changes, vertically more and horizontaly some, depending on the primary skill being used to turn the ski. If a skier is in say trees or big bumps and is steering the skis to get a tight turn shape then the feet closer together will be best. Closer doesn't mean stuck together either, because too tight together will inhibit independant foot and leg movements. In this situation you need the skis acting as one big plank underneath you. In longer turns in the open if you have good independant foot and leg movements, then wider, as in vertical seperation will work well. The skis will be running more out to the side of you instead of underneath you.

If you are arcing big long powder turns at speed, then feet together will not work too well. Just the opposite will be true in tight trees or bumps with highly steered turns. So versatility is key here, as usual. In the end it is not much different than good skiing anywhere. Just less forgiving to pushing, steering, stance, and pressure issues. later, RicB.
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by eyeski
If you fall no big deal. Just have the powder cats on so you can find you're skis.
Eyeski, do guys wear those out west? I'm headed to SLC and Alta, Bird, Brighton, and Solitude in 2 days, and wondered if I should look into something similar to the good ol' suicide straps that I once had back in the day... so what exactly are these powder cats? Should I get em (since I'm sure this being my first trip out to Utah I'll be falling in the deep stuff!)? I can't really do much if I lose my ski, we don't get that kind of snow here and I've never had to find one under a deep coat! Please let me know! Thanks!
post #12 of 15
c.b.
the "bounce" will help you get 2 footed, but too tiresum to keep up for long. Once you get balanced on both feet, flex your inside ankle and leg to get your turn started and then extend through the turn. You don't need to get your skis out of the snow, but the method I describe will will allow your skis to "float" enough to remain balanced. Be patient at the top of the turn and don't try to brake. A strong forward pole plant helps you move toward your next turning decent.
I sometimes change the width of my skis to allow snow to either build-up in front of my legs, or apart more to let it pass through them, depending on the situation. As stated above, glued together is not the greatest idea.
Either ski will do fine, if you like skiing fast, the b2 will be really stable.

Hope it helps.

ps, there are other techniques that some might want to add for powder skiing. All are good!

RW
post #13 of 15
Quote:
widen my stance
Why? Boots loose? That's the only good reason for a wide stance.

Anyway, do loosen your power strap and top buckle on your boots in soft snow, and loosen any flex adjustment. Keep equal weight on both feet all the time. To turn, all you need to do is to strongly tilt the old downhill ski to the little toe edge and bring your weight across the skis as they cross the fall line. Balance in a good comma position...hips toward the hill and shoulders downhill and outside hand way down the hill. Finish your turns to control your speed.

Powder cords are brightly colored cords or cloth tape that are attached to the outside of your bindings and tucked into your cuffs. If you pop off a ski, you find it by finding the powder cord. I've seen folks use powder cords in 3" of fresh snow...I don't know why. If you ski on top of your skis and edge them so they turn you, you won't lose a ski often unless you hit a hidden obstacle. If you muscle your skis around in steering turns, you'll lose them more often. The ski is usually just where you came out, and you've slid downhill. You can use the tail of the other ski to rake the snow to find the ski if it's buried. It always seems to be farther uphill than I guessed.


Ken
post #14 of 15
Move to Utah!
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by steelman
Move to Utah!
I'm hoping this trip makes me agree!! Now since I'm skiing by myself almost every day, I just hope I can figure out how and where to park near Alta/Bird and Sol/Bright in case it dumps... I found parking maps for the PC area online tho, so I have that set. Wish me luck!
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