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North Carolina Skiing (MA Request)

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
This past Sunday, 3/26, I managed to get my sixth day of the season in and the first turns since the first week of February. The video was taken at Cataloochee, NC on the steepest trail available which was 20 degrees in the first section of the video and 15 in the second part, your typical easy blue run. The conditions were fresh and man-made snow scraped off to reveal nice patches of East Coast ice. I was trying to make varied turns of short and medium length at moderate speed. I did not feel comfortable or smooth in the first section of video maybe skiing about 80% of my groomed ability and felt slightly better in the second section. Any tips and comments are appreciated.

http://media.putfile.com/Skiing-Cata...-Upper-Omigosh
post #2 of 16
Hi, I dont have much time for a proper MA but heres what I think.

Good solid skiing. Maybe a little too solid. You dont really work with your leggs the way you maybe should so I would like a little more upper lower body separation, some angulation and more legg flexing and extending. Now you are banking your turns a bit and your hipps are rotating slightly in each turn creating some eccess skidding. You can see that from your skis drifting apart after crossing the fall line at each turn. Outside ski goes away from underneath you. Its all in the hipps hipps. Hipps are in angulation etc.... You are right, the second clip was better. You really hacked up the competition on the hill and if you want you can go as far as you want in this sport. Hope this helps.

Tom
post #3 of 16
Cornbread,

You remind me of me a little in your skiing (see HERE). You tend to finish your turns with a strong down-stem (old outside ski slides out as tdk6 indicated). In addition to keeping your hips a little more countered, I would also suggest more patience in finishing the turn. In other words, turn with progressively increasing pressure and avoid the breaking slide that you use to start the new turn.

I used to do such a breaking slide and still display a little of that sometimes. What works for me (in addition to finishing the turn) is to absorb the end of the turn and thus have a much more active A/E (a little like HERE).

NOTE: the examples of my skiing are only to explain where I am coming from. There are plenty of issues in my skiing that I am working on, but I find we may have some common ground (at least for the groomed skiing). You may be miles above me off-piste.
post #4 of 16
I dunno. I had more fun watching the locals than watching Mr. Cornbread. Flashbacks man, Flashbacks.

L
post #5 of 16
Cornbread,

There ain't no rust on them edges! This is nice comfortable, "in control" skiing for this trail. If we had all of our guests skiing like this on our similarly pitched trails, the world would be a lot safer place. In the first section you were using edge sets in the middle of your turns to control speed. In the second section you let the skis work a little more. This is wonderfully effective for NC, but as the difficulty of the slope increases, you find yourself running out of ammo to deal with the slope.

Have you ever had your alignment checked? Your stance width is all over the map. Sometimes you have good separation, sometimes the feet are locked together, sometimes you are "A" framed (feet apart, thighs together). It looks like you are having a hard time keeping your skis on the same edge angle. If you look at the second section of the clip, at the point in the first turn after you pass the camera, just before your pole plant, notice the inverted "V" shape of space between the legs and the odd position of the right leg below the knee. That is an example of why I'm concerned about alignment. At this point in the turn, we want to see the line of the right side of the body (from the feet to the shoulders) making a backwards "C" shape. Here, we can see the upper body launched down the hill and the lines from the hip to the shoulder and hip to the knee bend to the right instead of to the left. If you advance the clip to later in the turn, you can see that backwards "C" shape appear after you've passed through the fall line. I don't think your possible alignment issue would prevent you from getting into this position earlier in the turn, but my guess is that you are fighting the skis way too much to make it easy to do this. You should not worry about trying to make technique adjustments until your alignment has been checked and adjusted if necessary.

Caveat Emptor: I'm only a PSIA level 2 instructor. There has been some recent debate contending that I could not possibly know that of which I speak. You could be getting less than what you are paying for.
post #6 of 16
The snow conditions make me envious. Our conditions have been frozen granular the last two weeks. Skiing south of the Mason Dixon line looks pretty decent. I thought the run you were on looked a lot like Cup Run at Snowshoe.
I would say without a doubt, you were the best skier on the mountain that day!
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the comments.

Lonnie I thought you'd enjoy seeing that video. It can get pretty scary in the mountains of NC at times.

I definitely knew there was some skidding going on, especially in the first section of the video. I think of it more as a "skarve" that I used for speed and control on the intermittant ice patches that I was encountering. This is probably the same technique that I used while skiing ice back in the eighties on 200cm SL boards. Unfortunately it was not pefect cord. Still, I was on a pair of 160 Atomic SL:9s and I probably should have been able to carve right through those ice patches. So I guess this video is better for analysis as opposed to one where I feel like I am really on or in perfect conditions.

When I first went to shaped skis, I did not use as much up and down weighting and unweighting that I used on the straighter skis. Four years ago, I had an instructor at Snowbasin tell me he'd like to see more movement in that area. I thought I had but are you saying I should have more movement in that area and maybe even flex or pressure the front of my boots more?

One thing I did notice this particular day is that on certain occasions I would actually almost stand up coming out of a turn with my weight shifted from the balls of my feet to nearly being equally distributed on both of my heels and tails of the skis. I would not call this skiing in the back seat but it was just a weird move that would pop up every now and then. You can actually see where I felt this occur in the first section of the video just before I reached the cameraman (:10). Thoughts?

As for allignment, I do have InstaPrint insoles and had the canting adjusted on the boots when they were made. I set it back to normal on one boot shortly after as it just felt weird on the snow. I do not recall the boot fitter saying he was concerned with other issues or that the sole allignment needed to be corrected. I'll say this about the Atomic skis, they do feel very squirrely to me compared to my longer pairs of 180cm skis. That particular day was only my fourth day on them and they may be all over the place on the snow but they sure are fun.

Besides the alignment issue, are there any tips or drills to employ while skiing on flatter sections? I often fool around with one footed skiing and things like that for balancing but more for the fun of it while on easier terrain. If it can lead to more efficient skiing in less than ideal conditions all the better.
post #8 of 16
CB,

Those squirrelly skis and your undoing of the cant adjustment are big red flags. Most of the time an alignment fix will trigger an immediate "O my God" reaction. But when you learn to adapt to misalignment, you develop a whole host of movements that could make an aligned stance feel funny and possibly not work initially. When you fix the stance, you need to change the movements too. That said, it could very well be that the canting you had done did not fix the problem and undoing it was an improvement. We've had a couple of good bootfitting threads that discussed possible issues. What you need is a second opinion and some on snow help.

Upunweighting is mostly a relic of straight ski technique. I'd take your Snowbasin's instructors comments to be more along the line of what TDK6 has recommended. Your lower body is not very active. It's the old Austrian advice "Bend zee knees. $5 Pleeze!" You can get your legs more active without doing upunweighting. What I see you doing is using a slight upunweighting to slide your feet underneath you to get your upper body inside the new turn. IF you have an alignment problem, this MAY be the most effective movement for YOU to get a turn started. Bending the legs more MAY inhibit this movement.

Your fondness of one footed exercises is another supporting sign of an alignment issue. Standing on one foot eliminates the disparity between the feet and allows you to overpower the weak edge preference of an under or overcanted foot. One exercise that can help is to ski "one footed" with the other foot remaining on the snow surface.

I hesitate to recommend other exercises because the odds are that you are going to get the biggest bang for your buck eliminating alignment concerns. Otherwise it's like trying to run a 100 yard dash with 10 foot climbing walls every 10 yards.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Rusty you may be on to something. I took the liners out of my boots, placed the insoles on the footbed, buckled the cuffs and stood in a natural skiing stance. My left knee is fairly centerd over my toes and the leg is centered inside the boot. However, the center of my right knee is noticebly over my right little toe and my right shin is closer to the right cuff or outside of the boot. The cant that I set back to normal was the right boot. The reason I did this was because I felt like I could not get and keep my skis on edge as easily. Maybe the initial correction was too much or the wrong way??? Speaking of which, which way do I adjust the cant? More towards the center or more towards the outside. I guess if this does not fix the problem, there are always shims. What is reccomended, inside the boot, on the boots sole, or on the binding (is that possible)?

One more thing regarding the hips. There are times when I'm skiing groomers that I feel that my hips are out of whack. Almost like they are pushing or rotating out (not sure if that is what's actually occuring). It does not happen all the time but appears every now and then when I feel like I am not really skiing my best. Also, I never really notice it off-piste or in the bumps. Kind of like that finishing a turn on both heels, standing up on the tails thing. Any thoughts?
post #10 of 16
Glad to see that you avoided the cattracks
post #11 of 16
CB,

With regards to alignment, we've reached the point where I'm going to step aside and let those who are more knowledgable about fixing the problem take over. There are some really knowledgable boot fitters on epic, but they are not very active. You might try PM'ing Bud Heishman. Hopefully some other bears will chime in with some other recommendations. Anyone? Buehler?

With regards to the hip feelings, this could be a result of an adaptation movement to let the skis slide underneath you. It could be something else. But don't worry about it. Get your alignment fixed first, then go forward from there. The 100 yard dash is a whole new experience without the 10 foot climbing walls on the track.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by roundturns
The snow conditions make me envious. Our conditions have been frozen granular the last two weeks. Skiing south of the Mason Dixon line looks pretty decent. I thought the run you were on looked a lot like Cup Run at Snowshoe.
I would say without a doubt, you were the best skier on the mountain that day!
Maybe the top of Cupp Run but Upper Omigosh does not come close to steepness and challange as that of Lower Cupp. Most of the terrain at Snowshoe is pretty tame but all of it at Cataloochee is.

Cataloochee is actually the second highest ski mountain in the state of NC. Beech peaks out at a mile high and is the highest ski mountain on the East Coast. The altitude, and computerized snowmaking, allows them to have decent conditions.

As for the best skier, there were several guys and gals who were ripping it up that day. I'd say I could hang with them. Most, however, were there to enjoy what little snow remains of the season. Some of the folks in that video did not look to graceful, maybe myself included, and that may be what you typically find on any given weekend in the South but there are many folks who can flat out rip. In my opinion, the best tend to hang out at Sugar Mountain, when they are not closed for the season that is. Although, Lonnie and his wife may disagree with that as they are both incredible skiers brought up skiing in the South at many different areas.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Powdigger
Glad to see that you avoided the cattracks
Funny, I felt like I was on a cat track the whole 3 1/2 hours I was there, and it was not crowded! I kept looking over my shoulder the entire time having a Lonnie like flashback thinking I was at Deer Valley.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie
Hi. This is a test post.
Why???
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornbread
Funny, I felt like I was on a cat track the whole 3 1/2 hours I was there, and it was not crowded! I kept looking over my shoulder the entire time having a Lonnie like flashback thinking I was at Deer Valley.
Looked like most of the skiers were in control there and actually new the code. You were pretty safe for that far south of Mason/Dixon.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornbread
Why???
I couldn't delete my messages in this forum. But now, thanks to ssh, I can!
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