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personal challenge

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
this year i want to really try to ski powder. i have the right skis for it, i think.
salomon scream 10 x-hot. got a good deal last year.

anyway, set with decent(?)powder skis, i should be able to do it right? so why am i so terrified of the deep fluff?
i have done it a little, but when i have i pretty much grit my teeth and hope i make it in one piece.
i feel like i don't have any control. it freaks me out.

any tips to get serious about tackling this stuff?
post #2 of 14
Karrieann, I bookmarked this thread about powder...hope this helps!
post #3 of 14
Originally Posted by karrieann View Post
i have done it a little, but when i have i pretty much grit my teeth and hope i make it in one piece.
i feel like i don't have any control. it freaks me out.

any tips to get serious about tackling this stuff?
THAT might be your problem...reeeelllllaaaaaxxxx. Powder is all about letting go, float.

Plus, falling in powder is sooo much easier and softer!
post #4 of 14
I'll agree it's much easier to fall in powder. Too easy for me.
post #5 of 14
It is also about technique. If you are a pusher (you push your tails to turn), powder skiing is going to be a lot of work. On the other hand, if you can carve a ski, you need not change anything for skiing the fluff. So, the question is are you ready?

post #6 of 14
You are used to getting an immediate reaction from your skis on hard snow. In powder there is a delay, and every difference in depth or consistency changes that a little. You need to have some patience and allow things to happen in a slightly slower rhythm. Trying to force the turn does not work and tires you out. Get a little instruction and you should start to feel in control.
post #7 of 14
I'm not giving any advice. I'm just saying what I did. I found a hill that was steep enough so that I didn't get bogged down, and started out by hardly turning at all, gradually increasing the amount I turned away from the fall line. Because the snow is so deep and soft it slowed me down a lot, so speed control wasn't a consideration. Just watch out for blind rollers and bumps that look like rollers but are really much sharper in profile. You can get a concussion in deep snow if you try hard enough. Oh, and the bigger trees don't move, so don't hit them.

If you tip the skis to too big an angle they just sink, so be patient and don't try to turn on a dime. Also try to treat both skis as a single unit and balance on "it".
post #8 of 14
Speed and pitch are your friends in powder. And as Phil said, relax! Once you get the hang of it, there's no better feeling. I got some great advice when I first encountered powder:

Now I can't get enough of it!
post #9 of 14
post #10 of 14
karrieann, you are going to have so much fun!!! The first order of powder play is to smile, which loosens both sets of cheeks. Second, so what if you fall if you're learning? The deeper the snow the softer the fall. People here are going to tell you to do this or to do that, but because I'm a big believer in this guy Maslow, I would surmise that you already know how to ski powder, you just need to transfer what you already know and do to this new context, like you could do if I asked you to run in a swimming pool. In fact, skiing in snow, like running through water, is all about anticipating the resistance and adjusting your timing to the medium in which you are moving. It's not so much power but touch that works "in" snow vs. "on" snow. The only way to school yourself in touch is by experiencing it in a consciously aware manner. And know that no great powder skier got there without quite a few falling "experiences" and no one expects even the greatest powder skiers to not fall occasionally--it's just the nature of the medium. Just remember the immortal words of Evel Kneivel: How can a man know pleasure if he's never known the experience of digging packed snow out of his ears?
post #11 of 14
I don't have that much experience in powder, and certainly not the waist-deep stuff YET, but I had a lot more fun last year when I decided to liken it to riding a horse. Not in any technical sense, but in the sense of relaxing. The horse knows when you're tense, and one that doesn't really have any reason to like you will probably not give you a very good experience because it feels your tension. Personally, I feel it is similar to skiing powder. Relax, gentle movements, have fun with it, falling is no big deal and it probably won't be into a pile of crap. Probably.
post #12 of 14
Nolo sez: Second, so what if you fall if you're learning?

1. The snow clogging the bindings makes it take forever to get back in.
2. The snow clogging the goggles makes it hard to see.
3. The snow in the boots makes the toes freeze.
4. The snow gets even more tracked up while struggling to get up and going again. Which makes it more likely that the skier will fall again.
5. It wears the skier out getting up so that they have to quit before getting the hang of it.

Nolo also sez: And know that no great powder skier got there without quite a few falling "experiences"

Unfortunately considering the above, this is true! I maintain that the hardest thing to learning to ski deep snow is finding untracked snow on appropriate terrain. Unless you live really close to a mountain that gets lots of snowfall and can take days off to ski it when it gets storms, your learning experience is going to depend alot on luck.
post #13 of 14
Miles, I would hope that the consequences of falling, which you have nicely enumerated, would give some stakes to making the kind of distinctions that prevent future falls or at least reduce them. However, I think if you are going to learn powder, you are going to have to buy into a few falls and the consequences therefrom. If you can't take a few falls, stay on the corduroy.
post #14 of 14


Karrieann, Not too long ago I was in your boots. Ability to ski powder but psychologically absolutely not ready. Psyched OUT! With help of friends an some great tips from Chris Fellows NASTC I started.

1. Imagine/visualize my ski's about 6" apart and nailed to a piece of plywood. You have to use them together.

2. Start just going in a straight line. Find some powder alongside a run and just go straight, get the feel, stay centered, float and absorb. Move in slow motion.

Read all the posts cited-theyre good ones.

3. After getting comfortable doing #2 make little slow adjustments and turn just a little and carry the turn out (like back to groomer)

4. When yoou gain some confidence and start turning etc. When you get into more challenging terrain keep your hands up (exaggerate height) and plant your pole out in front and down the hill (direction). This -when learning- exagggeration will keep your core in the right direction and give you flow and rythmn.

Keep at it, non't get discouraged and start off like a beginner choose your hill, depth, lack of trees etc. Good luck!
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