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HELP in spring slush!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I've only skied a few days in true slushy spring conditions but I do not remember a sensation like I had this past weekend in Utah. I repeatedly felt like the skis were running out from under me. I know the conditions that grab and release your skis, but this seemed different.

I'm sure I get in the back seat just as often as most intermediates but this happened repeatedly and unexpectedly in moderate terrain at moderate speeds. I felt like I was in a good position until I almost lost my balance. I moved my bindings into their forward position for day two and did not have as much problem but it may have been I was becoming more accustomed to the conditions.

Any suggestions other than - Take a lesson!
post #2 of 16

Moving your bindings foward allows you to be further back without such serious consequences as you were previously experiencing. It's a band-aid, not a permanent fix.

Same thing happened to me too. The solution was to get some courage and ski more forwards. Now I understand why the clinician was telling me to get forwards all the time. And I understood why the problem was more pronounced on the skis that did not have the bindings moved forwards.

BTW, The difference in binding position was all of 1 cm.
post #3 of 16
F.A.T.- Functional Ankle Tension

shoot the clinician who says get forward. it's the first cousin of getting back.......get centered.

get into a good stance, a little flex in the ankles, a little flex in the knees, a little flex in the hips. from the side it looks like the middle of the shoulders over the middle of the pelvis, over the middle of the boots. make sure your knee cap is over the middle of your foot, over the second buckle from the toe. get off your boot tongue......quit hammering/levering the front of your boot.

now.......pull the forebody of your foot up. the move should be imperceptible. no angles should change. no one should be able to see it. you should feel muscular tension in your shin. it's called dorsi-flexion.

now go ski crud.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
now.......pull the forebody of your foot up.

Sounds interesting. Does that mean I was losing my balance to the rear and it was just accented by the slushy conditions?

Somebody wrote about carrying your weight with your skeleton instead of your muscles and late in the day as my legs got tired I tried to keep my weight pushing from my hip down to my heel. It seemed to help but by that time I was so worn out I was rubber-legged. Pushing down with my heel sounds a lot like pulling up my forefoot but it also sounds like moving the weight back instead of being evenly balanced. I'm not quite sure why it helped but evidently it did.
post #5 of 16
I love slush. It's Spring powder. Not that fine grabby stuff, but proper corned up slush. It's different from groom though; it's quite fast, and your feet will be going over and through things, throwing you off balance easily. Edging becomes super important, to cut through it, and of course balancing on edges is harder than flats. Add to that the uneven surface, and balance is even more key. Rusty Guy's advice on balance is worth noting down.
post #6 of 16
ant....i got done teaching yesterday and had the very same thought about how much i love corn. i went in to hang up my skiis and a fellow pro was mentioning how well fat skis performed in the stuff.

steveturner i'll toss out one more thought......vertical thighs. if your quads are tired i'll wager your rear end spent the day about three to five inches behind your feet. think about spending an hour in a semi wall squat with a fit ball. it's gotta hurt and build up a heck of a lot of lactic acid. that semi squat is what i have heard termed horizontal thighs. look at skiers and you'll see it all day.

get your quads perpendicular to the terrain.

lastly.....balance on the front of your heel. that is where your tibia would exit the bottom of your foot if it did so and the point where you want to stand. any balancing in front of that will cause a myriad of issues.
post #7 of 16
Originally Posted by steveturner
I repeatedly felt like the skis were running out from under me.
In what part of the turn? The Middle or the end?

post #8 of 16
For whatever its worth, I've always said that I love spring conditions perhaps even more than powder days. (gasp). Don't get me wrong, a virgin untracked line is worth hiking for, and its heavenly also, but I just find spring snow to be an absolute gas....also worth hiking for and quite possibly just as rare or perhaps even more rare than a good powder day, depending on where you live. It can often mean selecting the right slope, following the sun, which means that hour to hour, the best run to ski on will change.

I personally think that run selection can make a big even something to consider in this thread.

Regarding how to ski it..... I'm not sure right now the best way to explain it so I will have to hold off until we get some slush around here in the next month then I will comment what I do. One comment though, keep your speed up, stay center balanced, use the bases of your skis instead of your edges. More later... Have fun...
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
In what part of the turn? The Middle or the end?


I they seemed to run away from me early in the turn.

There's obviously some difference of opinion here. dewdman42 says "use the bases of your skis instead of your edges" while ant says "Edging becomes super important, to cut through it". Frankly I found that staying on an edge seemed to make it easier to keep my balance and control my speed.

Some of the comments about the appeal of spring slush seem oriented toward steep terrain where the soft conditions but my challenge was on a typical blue cruiser where the challenge was to keep the skis gliding at an even pace instead of going through the slow down speed up cycles. Most of the steaper runs actually seemed easier in some ways than they did earlier in the year when the snow was packed.

Would a softer ski make any difference in slush? I was skiing softer but wider skis than I usually use.
post #10 of 16
steve - I think you CAN do what both ant and dewdman said...

keep them on edge - but you will be skiing a strip that includes a big line along the base rather than the narrow bit of metal.... so you ski a WIDE edge (that is metal edge and some base), rather than a SKINNY edge (just metal)
post #11 of 16
Yes softer skis will help. I personally don't think you need "fat" skis. By today's standards almost everything is plenty wide enough. But softer is good.
post #12 of 16
I was skiing it yesterday (I like it, too) ... someone we were skiing with talked about how their skis got knocked around and it was hard. I smiled and said "it's sloppy powder". Powder tactics translate really well -- and, yes, it's faster snow, though.

Writing this now makes me think of the older Bob Barnes posts in which he talks about skiing with "intent". To me this not only means I need to go where I want to go, but I need to drive my skis through the muck with a certain force -- not speed per se -- but I want to be actively steering my skis instead of doing a skidded deflect from lump to lump.
post #13 of 16

Some helpfull hints for spring corn or slush:

I use mid-fat skis.
I use a floral wax to even-out the fast and slow snow.
Functional tention in ankles as rusty guy stated.
Tighten your abs and obliques.
Keep the tips of your skis more even (no big tip lead)
Keep your skis parallel and with same edge angles
Stay neutral fore-aft to not get thrown forward or get behind.
Keep moving with the equipment (toward the direction of the tips of the skis)
Use turn shape to control speed.
Be patient and let the snow build-up under your bases while edging.
Keep skin covered, no short sleeves or shorts and use gloves (the snow is very abrasive).

Have fun!!

post #14 of 16
What has worked for me in slush was to ski a pseudo powder stance/style, which means feet together, low edge angles, and putting even pressure down on the flats of the skis. Surf over the slush! Wider skis really help a lot.
post #15 of 16
At the PSIA event last weekend, I just took fat skis as a matter of course. Everyone was grumbling about slush.... except me!
Some techo racing mates with pocketsful of fancy rub on weirdoWax helped, of course. For the fine grabby stuff.
failing that, cross-cross on some ordinary wax, even paraffin. Just like a crayon.
But fat skis are awesome in the real stuff. It's just like powder.
post #16 of 16
Originally Posted by ant
But fat skis are awesome in the real stuff. It's just like powder.
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