Originally Posted by supdog42
New to the forums and I am sure this has been exhausted in some manner, but can someone give me some thoughts on the best way to tackle the fear of skiing the steeps?
I ski blues comfortably and can carve without a problem here, but when moving to extremely steep slopes I seem to forget everything I have learned due to fear. I need to get over this hump in order for me to progress.
I guess I am looking for some "key thoughts" to remember when facing my personal death run.
You already know it's in your head, which is good. Mental roadblocks are easy to get over (it's the physical ones that are tougher!). I think one important thing is to realize that you can safely ski any groomed slope, no matter how steep, with a good traverse. Temper that steep pitch by going across the hill. Maybe start with granny turns, then go a little faster, then when you're comfortable start to link turns and pick up speed.
When I first started skiing, I was also a little skittish on steep blacks. A good friend coached me down a very steep trail one time using traverses to get started. Once I realized I could do it, I got a tremendous confidence boost. What I learned that day was that I could tackle any trail on the mountain if I knew how to stay in control. That confidence sticks with me to this day.
Once you advance and gain confidence, you will find that traversing all the time is cumbersome. Generally, on a steep trail, if you start in a traverse you will be stuck in a traverse, and every turn will be like the first turn. When you realize that the traversing is holding you back, start pointing your skis downhill more, and soon you'll be skiing regularly. After studying a trail (if necessary) I literally throw myself down the fall line to get started, and then make a lot of turns to keep speed in control, adapting on the fly. If I ever get out of control for any reason, I would go for the traverse (perhaps briefly) as a safety net.