Are you saying that I should be 90deg countered while skiing across the hill? I thaught that much countering was banned from modern skiing. Shouldent we look in the direction we are skiing, more in a square stance?
1 - a 90 degree counter is crazy to think about...and always has been for recreational skiers. perhaps some racers USED to use that much counter 20 years ago.
2 - Typically, skiers are using what is actually called "anticipation", not "counter" when they have an exagerrated position at the turn finish, with their torso faced down the fall line and their skiis traveling across the hill. Anticipation is still useful and has its place in modern skiing, but in my view probably not in a wedge progression. Its really most useful when talking about steeps, bumps, perhaps pow, etc. Basically its a high level skill for extremely short radius turns in difficult terrain. Beginners and intermediates probably shouldn't even be thinking about it in my view.
3 - The modern way to ski does NOT eliminate counter. We still want to be a bit countered. Perhaps not as exagerrated as 20 years ago, but it needs to be there nonetheless. This means torso is facing to the outside of the ski path, NOT SQUARED. You would only be squared at the transition point. (note that with anticipation it is the opposite, at the transition is where your torso and skis are facing different directions the most).
Additionally to that, beginners quite often fall into the trap of rotating their torso towards the inside of the turn in an effort to pull their skiis around. So, teaching them a bit of an exagerrated counter is not neccessarily a bad thing. That is better than if they start out square and try to pull their skiis by over-rotating. Keep their torsos facing the outside by one means or another. Leading with the inside hip is certainly one way. However, as they complete the turn they need to square off in preparation for leading with the other hip into the next turn. So, lead with hip as you begin the wedge turn and travel through the fallline, reduce the hip lead as you complete the turn.
4 - I feel its also a big mistake to teach them to keep their torsos pointed down the fall line at that level because what I have seen is that they tend to contort into all kinds of terrible body positions to maintain that "anticipation" stance and they get the wrong idea about it. Anticipation is a completely different concept from counter. At that level, its counter that you want them focusing on, not anticipation.
I have an intermediate friend who has some nasty habits we're going to try to cure him of this season. He has had so called expert friends tell him repeatedly to "keep his upper body facing down the fall line", " keep his hands down the fall line", "face the fall line", "reach for the fall line", etc.. meanwhile he is making these medium sized turns where that is completely the wrong thing to do. He also rotates to the inside way too much and loses his outside ski edge every time, which starts up a vicious cycle. I will even see him rotating to the inside and reaching his arms to the outside to try to satisfy what all these people have told him over the few years he's been skiing. In short radius turns he looks good, skiis wind-shield wiper back and forth while he keeps his upper body facing down the fall line, but he's not carving his turns and he does not "complete" his turns that way because if he tried to complete a turn he would probably over-rotate to try to pull them around. Through experience he has learned that if he completes a turn, he loses his outside ski edge and then his balance goes to hell.
An interesting point about anticipation is that if you finish a turn in an anticipated position, your torso is WAY inside of the new turn. Not countered at all! An expert skier knows what to do with that, as the legs unwind underneath him/her, but a beginner skier that does not know about countering can easily get the idea that from this position they can pull their skiis around. Hence a bad habit forms.
Its going to take a lot of work to break my friend down and get him thinking a completely new way. Summary, he has no concept of counter whatsoever and is innappropriately trying to use anticipation. So what could an instructor have taught him in his first days of skiing that would have set him on the right path?