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# Perception vs. Reality: Ski Tracks; What is really happening? - Page 3

Quote:
 Originally Posted by SLATZ Cross posted again. Cleanly scribed, not brushed. Think of it this way. Using the diagram here, as the skis come around and under you the red leg gets shorter but the horizontal element is the same. At transition the red leg is shortened and tipped. As the new turn develops and the angles increase the diagram flips over and the blue leg is the long one. The tracks would then converge to the transition, where they are as wide as the horizontal element, then diverge to the apex where they are as wide as the ski separation.
SLATZ, I really do understand the separation you are talking about (as it was the purpose of this thread), but that alone cannot make ski tracks like I have shown in any of the diagrams. The reason for this is that what you describe involves the inside ski tracking parallel to the outside ski. If you claim that it is not tracking parallel to that inside ski at that instance then how is it not? You are correct that none of this would be possible without vertical separation, but if you keep the two skis parallel just as they are in transition while you are increasing and decreasing your vertical separation you end up dragging the inside ski in one direction or the other (depending on whether you are before or after the apex). Remember you are not just looking at a point on these curves – you are looking at a series of points because you cannot just count the area that the skier’s boot takes up… you have to account for the entire ski, which at the least is going to be 155cm but probably upwards of 165cm. What you describe minus the small rotary I have mentioned would create a huge tip divergence and the skier would then be dragging the inside ski as they increased their vertical separation. I have included a VERY crude diagram to show what the track would look like without the small redirection at the top and bottom of the turn (bottom of the turn is not as serious of an issue because it only involves letting the two skis carve back toward each other as your vertical separation decreases).

The dark red in the image represents what would happen if you kept the ski roughly parallel with the outside ski - simply place a 'ski' at points along the red line that correspond to tangent lines from the blue line (outside ski).

Also, check out the picture below from Ron LeMaster. In this sequence you can see in several areas where Benny has his skis pointed toward each other or away from each other (frames 1, 6, and 7, and a little bit in frame 4 and 9, although 4 and 9 are at the apex so do not apply as heavily to the discussion). Look at the different positions between frames 6 and 7.

http://www.ronlemaster.com/images/20...l-2-SR-wm.html

This image of Ligety shows a similar story.
http://www.ronlemaster.com/images/20...l-1a-flat.html

Later

GREG
Quote:
 Originally Posted by ssh I am not sure how one could focus on constant width, per se, given the more complex body position sensations that one would need to manage. I find that by maintaining relatively consistent stance width (in terms of "horizontal separation" in this thread), I can keep both skis on the snow, transition using any of the various transition approaches (from the Phantom Move or ILE to a weighted release at the opposite end of the spectrum), and allow the forces to guide my movements.
Steve has jumped ahead of us a little and brought up a really good point, and it is actually where I wanted this thread to arrive (and hopefully after an eventual discussion of CM paths it will arrive there - possibly in another thread). Tracks, while they can tell you a lot about your skiing, they should not be manipulated to look like any particular form... nor should your natural stance be manipulated to lay down any particular shaped tracks. Your tracks are a result (why in the green diagram I labeled track width resultant) of two other factors (vectors if you prefer).

Later

GREG
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Bob Peters Max, knee angulation may not be taught in PMTS but there is a subtle amount of knee angulation occurring on the left (outside) leg in the pictures of Harald earlier in this thread. I'm not saying it's a lot and I'm not saying there's the slightest thing wrong with it, but that is not a completely straight leg. There's probably 5-10 degrees of knee angulation going on there. I think that's an example of the minor direction "guidance" or "steering" that most skiers produce through the phases of good turns. In my opinion, of course.
I'm not qualified to address this comment so I sent your post to Harald Harb and the following is his feedback (paraphrased).

Harald doesn't think about his knee or feel his knee relative to lateral angulation, steering or a rotary movement. The focus is to get pressure under the foot to the ski edge and make sure that pressure holds the ski edge in the snow. Harald does watch video of his skiing to fine tune his knee position because it may be too soft (under edged) or too bowed (over edged). This is an alignment issue and has nothing to do with ski technique or movement.
...and I think that is very telling, Max. Whether or not it's there, Harald doesn't think about it. This is true of many of us for many aspects of what we do on snow, especially since it's not actually possible to think about what we're actually doing. We need to mostly just trust that the right thing is happening.

As a teacher/coach, I may give a student one focus in order to generate an outcome. That focus may be connected to the outcome in ways that the guest doesn't understand while exercising it. Often, when it's successful, I'll come back around and explain what was happening and why we did what we did, always encouraging them to keep their focus narrowed, though, on the one thing that will make a difference.

Just because we're not thinking about it doesn't mean it's not happening. Just because it's happening doesn't mean it's "bad" or "good". Just because eliminating something make a better turn for a given skier in a given time in their growth doesn't mean that the movement eliminated was "bad", either. "For everything there is a season," perhaps.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by ssh This is true of many of us for many aspects of what we do on snow, especially since it's not actually possible to think about what we're actually doing.
Prior to a movement becoming automatic don't you think about preforming that movement?
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Max_501 Prior to a movement becoming automatic don't you think about preforming that movement?
Yes, most definetly Max. I think what everyone may be overlooking is the intent of the action, because what we intend to accomplish, directly affects the muscle recruitment patterns. The idea that HH has a few degrees of knee misalignment is much less important that what he intends to do with his movements.

We opperate in a body that has multiple connection points across the knee, with built in shock absorption, even in the ligaments, and hence some slack. In a high dynamic turn just the stress of the forces will cause some variation in the knee alignment, and so might the guiding torque and hip tension which we utilize to keep everything going the same way. This is different in my oppinion, than if a person was to say, intend to actually move the knee out of alignment to achieve higher edge through knee angulation. This will recuit different muscles, and thus produce different results along with much greater stress on the knee. Not to mention the effectiveness and efficiency isues. Even though from an exterior perspective we may want to classify them in the same category, there is very different muscle recruitment happening, and certainly different outcomes.

I think that it is important that we tie what we see together with what is happening, along with what was the intention. Otherwise we can very easily miss the actuall muscle recruitment that happened, and miss out on how to recruit our muscles differently to improve or change our movements.

There is a difference between what joint is moving and what muscles are doing the moving and why. For me this is what kinetic chain recruitment is all about. How do we ellicit efficient and effective movements, through a simple focus or intent. The feet are not the only place though. One could argue that keeping constant foot/ski width is a good exercise if it developes a feel for and recruitment of the muscles and alignment to effectively move towards the unconcious guiding that can finally set our effective foot width free. later, RicB.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Max_501 Prior to a movement becoming automatic don't you think about preforming that movement?
Often, yes. But in isolation. Simplified out of the context. Since the overall situation is overwhelming to the mind and impossible to hold in the mind and do given the compressed timeframe of a ski turn, we isolate movements or skills for advancement. But, when we take it back out to "skiing", we can't think about more than one thing or we'll become overwhelmed and effectively paralyzed.

It is also true that a coach may ask a student to concentrate on a movement or position or something that is secondary or tertiary to the goal movement. Or even is designed to stop something from happening. Again, that doesn't mean that these movements or positions are good or bad or static or always appropriate. Just that, right now, the coach judges that they might help.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by RicB I think that it is important that we tie what we see together with what is happening, along with what was the intention. Otherwise we can very easily miss the actuall muscle recruitment that happened, and miss out on how to recruit our muscles differently to improve or change our movements.
This is so important that it's worth highlighting and repeating. Intent, what is happening, what we see. Note that what we see leads to interpretation both of what is happening and (often) intent. As we have seen here at Epic, some times--perhaps most often--those interpretations are inaccurate, at best. Something to keep in mind, I think.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by RicB There is a difference between what joint is moving and what muscles are doing the moving and why. For me this is what kinetic chain recruitment is all about. How do we ellicit efficient and effective movements, through a simple focus or intent.
...and, I would respectfully add, with a focus or intent that can be adjusted as the skier improves.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by ssh ....and, I would respectfully add, with a focus or intent that can be adjusted as the skier improves.
Totaly agree Steve. The way I see it, is that once we put new movements into the body and utilize them enough to take ownership, there is no longer a limitation to the intent this movement can be used for. The new focus or intent may only be needed to get the ball rolling, or for an occasional reference. The hardest part really is getting a new movement/recuitment pattern into the body. Varying the use usually comes much easier once we own it. Later, RicB.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by RicB The hardest part really is getting a new movement/recuitment pattern into the body. Varying the use usually comes much easier once we own it. Later, RicB.
From my practical expierence the hardest part is getting an old movement pattern out of the body, the more the skier is skilled the harder it is.
Quote:
Originally Posted by skifex
Quote:
 Originally Posted by RicB The hardest part really is getting a new movement/recuitment pattern into the body. Varying the use usually comes much easier once we own it.
From my practical expierence the hardest part is getting an old movement pattern out of the body, the more the skier is skilled the harder it is.
I think that the only way to remove a pattern is to replace it with something. Just as with habits of life. And creating the new pattern is difficult because it requires effectively removing the old one.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by ssh I think that the only way to remove a pattern is to replace it with something. Just as with habits of life. And creating the new pattern is difficult because it requires effectively removing the old one.
Agree ssh - but first things first - only if you get conscious of a pattern, you can change it. This sometimes can occur very difficult, especially if the movement has been automatically used for years.
More than enough is to much
Many, also good skiers use a lot of parasitical movements, which work against dynamic skiing. Lots of these unnecessary muscle movements are not seen at first view from outside, because they only hold a body part in a position. So what should be wrong, if the distance between your feet, either horizontal or vertical or back and forth tends to vary automatically during a turn, as we are not skiing on 2,15 m skis with no waist anymore?
Track and line
One should not confuse cause and effect, the track is effect, the line is cause. High level skiing requires always to plan ahead the line, but in high level dynamic skiing you first plan the line of your CM and let the rest more or less occur, the effect you can see in your track.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by skifex Agree ssh - but first things first - only if you get conscious of a pattern, you can change it. This sometimes can occur very difficult, especially if the movement has been automatically used for years.
Right on! This is what I was trying to communicate (and perhaps not very well). However, I don't even need to be conscious of the pattern that needs to be changed or how to change it if I have the aid of a good coach.

For example, Spring '05 Epic's own Uncle Louie was skiing with me at Loveland. He noticed something in my skiing. He said to me, "I'd like you to make turns behind me, and, as you do, touch your outside hips with your hands in each turn." I did as bidden. The result was my first real experience of crossunder on modern carving skis. He later told me what he saw and why he was doing that. But, I didn't actually need to know.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by skifex More than enough is to much Many, also good skiers use a lot of parasitical movements, which work against dynamic skiing. Lots of these unnecessary muscle movements are not seen at first view from outside, because they only hold a body part in a position. So what should be wrong, if the distance between your feet, either horizontal or vertical or back and forth tends to vary automatically during a turn, as we are not skiing on 2,15 m skis with no waist anymore?
Lord, do I know this one! I have spent the past three years taking stuff out of my skiing, thanks to excellent coaching. But, it is still about removing the extraneous stuff, for me.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by skifex Track and line One should not confuse cause and effect, the track is effect, the line is cause. High level skiing requires always to plan ahead the line, but in high level dynamic skiing you first plan the line of your CM and let the rest more or less occur, the effect you can see in your track. [/font][/color]
That's the thing, too. And to do that, one must let go of much of one's concept about "right" and "wrong". And discussion here has taught me that folks are very, very hesitant to do that!
Quote:
 Originally Posted by skifex From my practical expierence the hardest part is getting an old movement pattern out of the body, the more the skier is skilled the harder it is.
Yep, this is the other side of a single coin, but it has to start wiht something new. We can't just stop doing something without adding. something. A kinda of metamorphosis from the old to the new. Still I think from a movement perspective, the hardest thing is to get the body to move in a way or context it has never done before. Later, RicB.
Skifex… love that term: Parasitical Movements. Hadn’t heard it put quite that way before.

Heleva, Not sure where this is all going. Skifex’s point that ‘our tracks are an outcome of what we’re doing’ pretty well sums it up. Everyone seems to agree that there’s generally no useful reason to deliberately force a particular relationship in our tracks. (Though to miss a rock while still keeping our balance might be one…).

---
A few of us mention above that we often prefer to ski techniques that produce diverging/converging tracks. Our desire at times to maintain a wide stance is *not* a desire to artificially demonstrate even-width tracks. The track-width is merely an outcome (and proof) that we’re maintaining the wide stance.

Why incorporate a wide stance? Dunno, depends on what we’re up to I guess: A desire for more stable lateral balance in tough conditions? A wider range of potentially rapid lateral CM movements without the need to adjust ski positions? How about a wider range of tolerance for absorbing sharp & sudden (though small) terrain undulations? How about less need for precision in our CM / Base-of-Support relationship? (As the Wedge turn automatically delivers)

---
Perhaps the term Redirection should be dropped from use in discussion of ski-technique because it's far to vague to be meaningfully descriptive. Every moment of every turn has us essentially redirecting both skis independently of each other.

We can redirect each ski with varied amounts of Rotation, Edging or Pressure. We can redirect an individual ski by applying any mix of these skills - including any single skill in isolation of the others. Personally, I’d prefer that people not use the term redirection as a substitute for the actual mix of skills they envision in accomplishing the 'redirection’ they're referring to. I'd rather hear their specific idea. A Ski-Turn is by definition a continuous redirection of the skier and both skis.

Come to think of it “Parallel” is a pretty poor term most of the time too but we’re kinda stuck with it. The only time we can actually SEE our skis as actually being Parallel is when we look toward our feet while skiing and see our two skis (however bent) with both tips and tails the same distance apart (parallel) from that particular perspective. From any other perspective they will seem to be two arcs; possible congruent, possibly concentric, possible not much of either.

Come to think of it, if the core discussion of this thread is “What’s really happening” then perhaps for clarity it would be best if people clearly separate intention from mechanics in their descriptions. (Or at least, connect the two concepts with separate statements; one about cause, the other about effect.)

---
On the topic of The PSIA-Turn: Not really sure there is an official turn technique any more. PSIA has gradually moved toward a skills-based ideology rather than a technique-based ideology. Specifically, the trend is toward teaching fundamental skills to accomplish anything - any turn technique you desire - rather than a particular turn technique. In days of old, PSIA may have had a particular Demo-Turn that embodied the best ideas but I’m not sure that exists any more. (Anyone know?)

Heluva, Gotta disagree with the statement that “The inside ski must undergo rotary if you are making a ‘RR Track’ turn…” Perhaps you have additional (unmentioned) constraints in mind when suggesting it? Regardless which track-relationship we are laying down with our given technique the Inside-Ski can easily track either proposed path with only tipping or only pressure. Guidance may be accomplished a number of ways (without rotation - or even torque) that do not promote tail displacement or smearing.

I also do not see an need to make a redirection move of any kind to produce diverging/converging tracks. As I tried to describe in a previous post I think such tracks are a natural outcome of tilting legs (the collapsing parallelogram thing where the top side is partially restrained). The degree of automatic ski divergence/convergence is determined by our leg/base-cant alignment.

Slatz, I’ve not found The Skier’s Edge locally yet. Could you describe what he means by the ‘Local Steering Angle’ just a bit more? I don’t mind the technical geekery. Like your posts above too. Pretty much on the same wavelength with you on this topic.

.ma
Quote:
 Originally Posted by michaelA Heleva, Not sure where this is all going. Skifex’s point that ‘our tracks are an outcome of what we’re doing’ pretty well sums it up. Everyone seems to agree that there’s generally no useful reason to deliberately force a particular relationship in our tracks. (Though to miss a rock while still keeping our balance might be one…).
Not to nit-pick... but I said that back in this post...
Quote:
 Originally Posted by michaelA On the topic of The PSIA-Turn: Not really sure there is an official turn technique any more. PSIA has gradually moved toward a skills-based ideology rather than a technique-based ideology. Specifically, the trend is toward teaching fundamental skills to accomplish anything - any turn technique you desire - rather than a particular turn technique. In days of old, PSIA may have had a particular Demo-Turn that embodied the best ideas but I’m not sure that exists any more. (Anyone know?)
There is not. It's all about the skills to do whatever you want to do when you want to do it.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by michaelA Slatz, I’ve not found The Skier’s Edge locally yet. Could you describe what he means by the ‘Local Steering Angle’ just a bit more? I don’t mind the technical geekery. Like your posts above too. Pretty much on the same wavelength with you on this topic.
Amazon is your friend! Although, of course, Amazon Prime is very dangerous, indeed... :
Heh, heh, I actually did notice that Heluva - and conceptually included you when I wrote the word 'everyone' in that statement.

Just wondering if there was something else (specific) on the topic of ski-paths you were intending us to examine.

.ma

PS: How's the detailed CM-path drawing going? The shear multitude of required parameters necessary can be pretty entertaining.
I enjoy written material on paper far too much to visit Amazon very often. Gets way to costly. I try to find older books in my local used book shops. Scored a 1967 'White Book' not too long ago.

And speaking of Old PSIA stuff, did ya'all know there used to be Five turn-types in the official PSIA centerline model? The fifth (highest) turn-type used to be the "Diverging Parallel" which is exactly what is described in this thread as 'diverging/converging'. It's also described in Bob Barnes Encyclopedia. This turn-type was folded into the 'Dynamic Parallel' turn when they decided it was just a variation on the same underlying technique.

.ma
Quote:
 Originally Posted by michaelA PS: How's the detailed CM-path drawing going? The shear multitude of required parameters necessary can be pretty entertaining.
They are done. They have been done for awhile. There are only two variables to be considered; amount of upper body counter, and amount of horizontal separation (whether it is narrow and constant or wide in transition and narrowing at the apex). Watching the old videos of my skiing will give you a taste of what it [breifly] covers.

I have been waiting to introduce them until I can communicate that in the divergent/convergent tracks situation, even though there is forward momentum, vertical separation alone cannot slice cleanly scribed arcs on the snow because the ski is simply too large of a footprint... Everyone is right, the reason the tracks diverge and converge is vertical separation. The reason the tracks are cleanly scribed however is dependent on that tiny little factor I have been trying to point out. The only saving grace so far is that it isn't a concious movement per se and because of that fact if a skier skis and lays down divergent/convergent tracks the movement is taking place whether they choose to acknowledge it or not and doesn't really effect the skiing being done.

The purpose of this was to not only point out movements in each area that most skiers are unaware of or ignorant of for whatever reason... but to show that equal width 'RR-tracks' being laid down on the snow may in fact not be the mecca of skiing as some periodically suggest. There are better focal points for skiing. Track width should not be one of them. Left to their own devices your skis and legs will do what they need to in order for the skier to maintain balance (assuming the skier has the ability). This fact is why the potential CM line is interesting to observe when a constant track width is being strived for and when it is not.

Later

GREG
What 'move' is it that you see everyone making, conscious or not? What is the 'tiny little factor' you refer to? (I know it's probably above somewhere, just can't seem to spot it)

I'll certainly be interested in your take on CM-lines and thoughts on how a constant-width track vs. a Diverging/Converging track affect the CM path. I tried to convey some unusual thinking about potential CM paths in the 'Directional Movement' thread. Didn't seem real popular.

.ma
I just tried to post the info on The Skier's Edge plus a bunch of descriptions and somehow it wouldn't go. Something to do with a cookie from Amazon
Possibly because I posted the website of Human Kinetics, the publisher.
Also a bunch of stuf on diverging parallel
I'll try the diverging parallel again.
The way I saw it described in the first publication, that came with the video, was: as pressure is transferred to the outside edge of the uphill ski, the downhill ski is "left short of completion" as it straightens when pressure is removed. The tracks diverge as the turn ends. (back then, on straight skis, we were on one ski at a time most of the time)
The thing the jelled it for me was Arcmeister's "cowboy" drill and a D Teamer talking about "seamless turns".
Ellen Foster described Centerline as "a taller, narrower, more elegant stance". It seemed to come from what Aldo Radamus called "grouping" a couple years earlier when he talked about changes in thechnique for breakaway gates. "Grouping" is just what we're talking about here, narrow horizontal distance with vertical separation.

### apples-to-apples

Quote:
 Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier There are only two variables to be considered; amount of upper body counter, and amount of horizontal separation (whether it is narrow and constant or wide in transition and narrowing at the apex). Watching the old videos of my skiing will give you a taste of what it
To my amazement in this whole thread, different ski characteristics and their effect on the CM line are not brought up in a word. The properties of pressure contribution and progress of the ski/binding system during a turn, has a very dominant influence on the movement of CM. I.e. my experience of Austria Skitest spring 2006: out of tested twelve slalom race models (equal length) of the most known ski brands each model required a different motion of CM. There are very sharp distinctions such as some models don’t allow to shift weight on the inside ski but compel to angulation and outside ski pressure.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier The only saving grace so far is that it isn't a concious movement per se and because of that fact if a skier skis and lays down divergent/convergent tracks the movement is taking place whether they choose to acknowledge it or not and doesn't really effect the skiing being done.
Are you referring to the redirection you pointed out earlier?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_501
Quote:
 Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier The only saving grace so far is that it isn't a concious movement per se and because of that fact if a skier skis and lays down divergent/convergent tracks the movement is taking place whether they choose to acknowledge it or not and doesn't really effect the skiing being done.
Are you referring to the redirection you pointed out earlier?
Yes. By that I meant that if the tracks are clean (no brushing a ski or dragging a ski) the move (small redirect) is occuring. It isn't bad - in fact it is good - it makes the turn possible. I also don't believe it is a concious "okay I am going to point the inside ski in direction 'X' now..." but rather is a result of pulling the inside ski back [notice I have been very careful about how often I referred to it as a 'rotary' movement - opting for the term 'redirect' in most posts instead. I did some homework last night and I will have a compare an constrast post coming up later to try and round this discussion off before I introduce the CM diagrams.

Later

GREG
Quote:
 Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier Yes. By that I meant that if the tracks are clean (no brushing a ski or dragging a ski) the move (small redirect) is occuring. It isn't bad - in fact it is good - it makes the turn possible. I also don't believe it is a concious "okay I am going to point the inside ski in direction 'X' now..." but rather is a result of pulling the inside ski back [notice I have been very careful about how often I referred to it as a 'rotary' movement - opting for the term 'redirect' in most posts instead. I did some homework last night and I will have a compare an constrast post coming up later to try and round this discussion off before I introduce the CM diagrams.
In PMTS the redirection (also called passive steering) is a result of of movements we are taught to do. The redirection occurs when the legs are flexed and then tipped. Flexed legs have a large effect on redirection. This has been talked about in PMTS for many years now. See page 178 of "Anyone can be an Expert Skier II" for details.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Max_501 In PMTS the redirection (also called passive steering) is a result of of movements we are taught to do. The redirection occurs when the legs are flexed and then tipped. Flexed legs have a large effect on redirection. This has been talked about in PMTS for many years now. See page 178 of "Anyone can be an Expert Skier II" for details.
The discussion on page 178 is slightly different than we are discussing here because it discusses tipping to steer both skis... Do note though, I claimed from the beginning that this was a movement that was inherent in pulling back and lifting the heel of the inside ski. More later...

Later

GREG
Quote:
 Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier The discussion on page 178 is slightly different than we are discussing here because it discusses tipping to steer both skis...
About half way down in the first paragraph, "The inside ski leads the tipping activity and should always be angled slightly earlier then the outside ski."

It seems likely that one of the results of this movement would be the inside ski diverging as its put on edge before the outside ski begins to edge.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier Do note though, I claimed from the beginning that this was a movement that was inherent in pulling back and lifting the heel of the inside ski.
I'm not sure if pulling the free foot back contributes to the result you are seeing...but the redirection you are seeing is a RESULT rather than a MOVEMENT. BTW, in high lvl PMTS lightening (rather than lifting) becomes the goal so you often don't lift the tail of the ski (unless you need a very fast tansition like in an SL turn).
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Max_501 BTW, in high lvl PMTS lightening (rather than lifting) becomes the goal so you often don't lift the tail of the ski (unless you need a very fast tansition like in an SL turn).
That is what is coined the 'superphantom'? I haven't memorized the books. The outcome between lifting and lightening would mostly likely be the same - although more noticeable with a faster transition (ie. slalom), which makes perfect sense if you think about it you have 1 meter to get the inside ski onto its new track or 5m to get the inside ski onto its new track...

Later

GREG
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