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Season's Gleanings

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
As I skied my last runs of the season this morning in weather just a couple of degrees below rain I thought about all the cool new stuff I learned this winter and was able to incorporate to the betterment of my turns. Every year has been this way--so much better than last year, which was amazingly good and infinitely better than the year before that. Where's the ceiling in this sport? Where's the plateau?

Some of the stuff I had fun playing with this year:

Alignment: The idea of body alignment serving ski/snow alignment. I want the skis to ride on roughly equal edge angles; to be the same distance apart tip to tail, throughout each turn, and turn to turn (not converging or diverging, nor narrowing and widening); to be in close to the same fore-aft plane (tips even) accounting for the slope angle. To get equal edge angles, my leg shafts need to complete a parallelogram with the feet and pelvis. To keep the skis equidistant my hips need to be moving forward over my feet and everything, skis, feet, hips need to be going to same direction (everything goes left or right). To keep my tips even, I create functional tension all the way up the inside half of my body--my cue is to pull the inside binding up toward my butt without allowing the ski to leave the snow. The tension is gauged on the amount of crank needed in any particular turn.

Pressure: Letting my weight shift naturally to the outside ski at the apex and then pressing down firmly to bend it, a feeling akin to hitting a ball off the sweet spot of the racquet or a driver. Bend it like Beckham.

Posture: Hands outside skis, elbows ahead of spine. Slight forward learn so weight comes down on the talus not the heel.
post #2 of 13
Nice post Nolo!

All the things we tell our selves, and one another in a myriad of ways.

I guess it just takes years and miles to get through. Muscles learn slowly by suggestions to the ear.

We closed here on sun baked slush. Ego snow with big forces generated in high energy turns. Riding a single edge is reinforced.

Now, another week extension in the Rockies. The plane leaves tomorrow evening. I can learn again the significance of sharing these joys with the next generation.

Lot's to appreciate!

post #3 of 13


Reflecting on the past several years and where I am in my skiing I have much to be grateful and much to glean from the past few season..

1. I'm VERY happy with where I am in my skiing.
2. It takes a long time to cement new movements into muscle memory.
3. not all exercises work for all skiers. Many times what works to fix something in one persons skiing, has adverse affects in others.
4. Injuries happen. Sometimes it makes us much better skiers.
5. Getting older SUCKS.. it takes so much longer to recover from bumps, bruises and injuries.
6. Video MA is brutal!

Most of all, I have a wife that supports me in my passion.

If you find a mate that is that supportive, hang on to him/her and make it work!

post #4 of 13
Like Nolo, I feel every year that I'm making great strides in improving my skiing.

When I turned 40 (more than 25 years ago), I had this feeling that I'd encountered a physical wall, that I was skiing as well as I ever would, that everything would deteriorate as my physical capabilities dwindled. I had a couple of dull seasons and then experienced some sort of gain I no longer can recall and realized that improvement remains possible.

After that, I noticed regular little additions to my skiing game. Then along came shaped skis to make everything easier. Now I can ski all day, day after day. I can relax better and make more efficient use of the gear.

It's wonderful.
post #5 of 13
I agree that skiing is a constant learning process, no matter how good you get.

For me this year the biggest thing was really getting in touch with leg extension. Working with gradually lightening the outside ski while gradually extending the inside ski, not too quickly.

These subtle motions have made the biggest difference in my skiing and helped me to make smooth(er) transitions from turn to turn and to use less rotary motion.
post #6 of 13
Well I agree dchan, getting older sucks.

But, the alternative isn't good either.

For me it's the same. When you bucklethe boots and click into the bindings, there's always a feeling of mystery.

Will I still be as good as last year? What if something happened to my body over the past Summer that won't allow me to ski like I used to?

At 55, that first run is always a question. Am I as good? Did I lose any talent?
I put on a few pounds, is my stamina gone?

My first run of the year was in Resolution Bowl at Copperin knee deep powder. All those questions were answered after 50 turns and a growing smile that turned into a chest heaving heart pounding oh my god when I got to the bottom.

I didn't have a great ski year because of conditions here but three trips to Colorado kept my year up to par. Best conditions I've seen out there in many years. I found new thrills in the back country around Loveland and ABasin. More so than years past. My skiing is as good as ever. Yes, my trips to the medicine cabinet in the middle of the night might be more frequent and I stop a little more on long bump runs but by God, I'm skiing as good as I ever have.

I made it through another season unscathed. Going to Church on Sunday might be helping.
post #7 of 13
I learned that I still have a lot to more to learn.
Learning opens the doors to more learning.
post #8 of 13
My body is ready for the lifts to stop but my mind says, please wait I have a couple things I am still changing and I really need to groove these changes before summer.
Oh, Loveland is still open... time for a road trip....
post #9 of 13
My feet (crammed into a size 6 boot) are ready for a break and after 120 days, they deserve it. March was about skiing bumps, and had a blast doing it. After 3 days of zipperline skiing, my back reminded me why I don't ski zipperline much anymore. I will probabally forget that by next March.
I worked on being more centered on my skis, better precision in my edging movements and staying taller (longer) in the bumps. I feel my skiing is still on the upswing.

post #10 of 13

playing around

[quote=nolo] I create functional tension all the way up the inside half of my body--my cue is to pull the inside binding up toward my butt without allowing the ski to leave the snow. The tension is gauged on the amount of crank needed in any particular turn.

The above is a killer focus, the best description I have ever read for generating and maintaining a strong inside half.

My favorite mountain playground move this year has been to "ground" the uphill edge of the OLD uphill ski right before the turn transition (after which this ski becomes the new outside one). It feels really cool when I do it accurately.

Rick aka Fastman gave an excellent description of this move in a thread a couple years ago here: http://forums.epicski.com/showthread...9&page=1&pp=30

Tomorrow I'm gonna combine both focuses on the sunsoftened hardpack at about 11 am. Sick.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
That's Inside Leg Extension, vera. This link will take you there: http://forums.epicski.com/showthread...9&page=1&pp=30
post #12 of 13
After a six day spring fling.

Spring conditions can be the best!
Snow snakes live in the warmer snow near the base of mountains.

Soft bumps are good for one's self esteem.

Wide skis are good in all kinds of soft snow.

Soft flexing boots work fine!

If the ski/walk locking device in the AT boots are not clicked into ski mode, Getting down the steeps is fine, but back seat trouble comes with the first set of bumps.

Good company makes the ski day even if the snow is not bottomless cold smoke.

Two beers on the patio at Pepi's after a sunny spring day makes one very sleepy.

There is more, but I can't remember. ( after the two beers)

post #13 of 13
What did I work on learning this year?

*inside leg turning initiated by tipping the knee
*shortened my poles by 4 inches - definitely helped with my "chicken wings" problem
*was introduced to "buddy bumps"

thanks to Rusty (Guy) and the trainers at Winter Park for help with these things.
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