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Carved turns on narrow, steep terrain

post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 
This is my first post regarding technique and I am hoping some of you folks can chime-in and help me with a couple things.

There is a very strong PSIA emphasis on carving in most situations. Is it possible to fully carve turns on relatively steep terrain when you have, say, only a 12 foot corridor? Does the geometry of the ski allow it to fully carve the turn, without skidding, to keep within such a narrow space and maintain speed control?

All insight appreciated.

(Previously, I accidentally posted this thread in the General Discussion area....)
post #2 of 62
[quote=Loonatic;624654]Does the geometry of the ski allow it to fully carve the turn, without skidding, to keep within such a narrow space and maintain speed control?[quote]

Nope.

I'm sure the instructors will jump in with the detail, but this is why advanced skiing requires more in the skier's "toolbox" than just the purely carved turn.
post #3 of 62
Yes, I have carved many turns on very steep 15 foot corridors using super-g skis. However, the radius of these curves was about 30 to 60 feet. With an 11-m sidecut radius ski, I could carve 180 degree turns in a steep 12 foot corridor, but that would be on what western skiers refer to as ice, not what you would find on Blue Mountain or Calabogie after 3 days of freeing rain. For those conditions, I would be scraping my short turns or carving turns with about a 6 to 12 m radius.

Edit: Oh! Speed control! Yes, at no time in all the chutes I carved down did I ever exceed the speed limit of my skis (that is once I switched from GS to SG skis). We don't need no schtinking speed control turns.
post #4 of 62
Ghost, if you're making a 60ft radius turn in a 15ft corridor, then I take it that means you are only making parts of arcs. What do you do for speed control?
post #5 of 62
I say it should be possible to carve a turn within a narrow corridor -- however, you're not going to get very far around the arc before you're out of the corridor (and presumably slamming into a tree). Since one of your qualifications was "speed control" along with the pure carved turn, then I'll have to say that turning in such a tiny space with no skidding is just not possible.

Carving definitely has limitations.
post #6 of 62
I've been following that thread too. While I admit that I have been skiing at unwise speeds on some of the narrow corridors I was on, these were mostly not marked runs in bounds. In fact I can only remember 1 run that I came across that was on a trail map and was steep enough with a turn near the bottom that could not be taken easily at the speed generated by arcing turns down the corridor. When I returned to the ski hill a few years later the run was no longer there. I think the crux of the matter is that the terrain being referred to as appropriate for carved turns with a short-radius ski like the Head Supershape is limited to trails marked on a trail map. These trails are generally not 90 degree ice chutes with a 90 degree turn at the bottom.
post #7 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wear The Fox Hat View Post
Ghost, if you're making a 60ft radius turn in a 15ft corridor, then I take it that means you are only making parts of arcs. What do you do for speed control?
The Sonny Bono - Michael Kennedy stop technique.
post #8 of 62
I have NEVER EVER played football on a ski hill.
post #9 of 62
Thread Starter 
Other than Ghost - who apparently doesn't need speed control - what are people doing when they are not carving? Are you guys skidding the top? Bottom? Middle? I find that lifting my uphill/inside ski slightly off the snow allows my downhill/outside ski to come around fairly quickly in a controlled manner. Is this a PSIA no-no?
post #10 of 62
In a 12-15 foot corridor you have to make TWO turns to stay within that corridor, a left one and a right one, which gives you 6-7 feet to complete each turn. In the hope of not scraping your skis an the rocks or trees on each side and allowing about 2 feet on each side, you need to make each turn to completion in 4 feet for speed control. Now consider that the transition between turns takes at least 2 feet which takes away 1 foot of space from each turn and we are down to making each 180 degrees turn in the space of 3 feet in steep terrain.

I would like to see a video of that.

....Ott
post #11 of 62
Dear Crazy Person from New Hampshire,

Hmm - and there are those who claim PSIA has an excessive focus on skidding. Who knew?

A skis sidecut describes its natural turning radius. A ski with a 12m sidecut would need over 72 feet of width to make perfect 1/2 circle carved turns. Of course, one can decrease the turning radius by bending the ski, but let's leave that one alone for now. As Ghost has noted, one need not make perfect 1/2 circle turns to make carved turns. But making "arc" tracks that are only 1/6 the width of circle tracks won't give you any significant speed control unless you are in deep heavy powder. One could say attempts to do this in a steep chute could quickly cause one to resemble a real ghost.

I'm guessing that it would be theoretically possible to make hop or pedal turns down a steep chute without skidding. Calling those a carved turn would be a stretch though.

For the record, "PSIA" teaches a lot of skidding in wedge turns, wedge christies and basic parallel turns. PSIA instructors do teach a lot of carving because it is so much fun and a very efficient method of skiing. However, it may help to think that PSIA trained instructors teach movements that may be used to achieve different kinds of results, only one of which is carving.
post #12 of 62
Loony, ya got your initials mixed up there, I fixed it for you!

No need to thank me, just lending a hand

Let the games begin!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Loonatic View Post
This is my first post regarding technique and I am hoping some of you folks can chime-in and help me with a couple things.

There is a very strong PMTS emphasis on carving in most situations. Is it possible to fully carve turns on relatively steep terrain when you have, say, only a 12 foot corridor? Does the geometry of the ski allow it to fully carve the turn, without skidding, to keep within such a narrow space and maintain speed control?

All insight appreciated.

(Previously, I accidentally posted this thread in the General Discussion area....)
post #13 of 62
Might be possible on a 8M 150cm ski. Otherwise doubtful on a longer ski.
post #14 of 62
How much speed control do you need? For golf-cart skiing, you cannot achieve it (edit: by arcing) in a steep 15 foot corridor. For your interest, here is how far you would have to tip your skis with a 13-m side-cut radius (about 43 feet) ski in order to achieve a given turn radius. Note to turn completely 180 degrees in 15 feet you need about 7.5 feet radius. I'm pretty sure my tips and tails would be slipping on ice when cranked over at 80 degrees.

0 42.65092 25 38.65486 50 27.41548 75 11.03887
5 42.48862 30 36.93678 60 21.32546 80 7.406254
10 42.00296 35 34.93759 65 18.02506
15 41.19762 40 32.6725 65 18.02506
20 40.07875 45 30.15875 70 14.58747
post #15 of 62
>>>How much speed control do you need?<<<

It depends how many doglegs or hairpin curves the trail has. Not every chute goes straight down.

....Ott
post #16 of 62
I have to agree with Rusty. If PSIA only taught carving why would we also teach sideslipping and christys? I have to say if your on a steep pitch in a narrow chute. What makes you comfortable and alive is what will work for you.
post #17 of 62
It shouldn't have to be a perfect carve. Some smear worked into the carve is fine skiing. The key is to not bottom out at the bottom of the "C".

That's just my oppinion. Most skiers, in tight spots, smear the carve a little, wouldn't you say? A smooth transition and some hang time is fun, pretty and funtional.
post #18 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by ramshackle View Post
The Sonny Bono - Michael Kennedy stop technique.
Skied by that tree at Heavenly that Sonny hit....they placed a commemorative plague on the tree he hit that says, "I got you babe":
post #19 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post
It shouldn't have to be a perfect carve. Some smear worked into the carve is fine skiing. The key is to not bottom out at the bottom of the "C".

Excellent point about not bottoming out. You want some energy left to convert into an effortless transition or else you'll be forced to hop and swing the next turn.
post #20 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post
Skied by that tree at Heavenly that Sonny hit....they placed a commemorative plague on the tree he hit that says, "I got you babe":
A "commemorative plague": : : !!??? Well, I guess that's one way to get people to stay away from the tree. Wouldn't want to be "got" by that one!
post #21 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post
It shouldn't have to be a perfect carve. Some smear worked into the carve is fine skiing. The key is to not bottom out at the bottom of the "C".

That's just my oppinion. Most skiers, in tight spots, smear the carve a little, wouldn't you say? A smooth transition and some hang time is fun, pretty and funtional.
Since the original question was:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loonatic View Post
...Is it possible to fully carve turns on relatively steep terrain when you have, say, only a 12 foot corridor? Does the geometry of the ski allow it to fully carve the turn, without skidding, to keep within such a narrow space and maintain speed control?...
it seems like talking about "smearing" turns avoids answering the question. The answer is yes, if you want to "ski the fast line very fast." But if you're looking to maintain an apparently safe speed, the answer is "no;" there must be at least some rotary involved in the turn. (let's not get into the entirely bogus "inactive rotary.")
post #22 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by icanseeformiles(andmiles) View Post
But if you're looking to maintain an apparently safe speed, the answer is "no;" there must be at least some rotary involved in the turn. (let's not get into the entirely bogus "inactive rotary.")
Really?

Rotary effort is not necessary to skid turns, or scarve turns, or tail steer either for that matter. Additionally, with the possible exception of waist steering moves, leg rotary very quickly compromises the integrity of your stacked body.

But back to the original question, is it possible to make perfect carves/arcs in a 12 foot corridor in steep terrain? I doubt it and I doubt you would want to.
post #23 of 62
My answer is, sort of.


You can carve turns, but not the entire turn. The technique that seems to work the best, while looking the smoothest and fastest, seems to be a combination of old school hop turns, and carved gs/sl turns. Carve the initiation and gut of the turn, try and get as much rebound out of the ski as you can, exagerate this rebound with a little hop/skid into the next turn. Try and land carving if you can.
post #24 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by borntoski683 View Post
Rotary effort is not necessary to skid turns, or scarve turns, or tail steer either for that matter. Additionally, with the possible exception of waist steering moves, leg rotary very quickly compromises the integrity of your stacked body.
What good is a stacked body, when you're about to plow into a rock wall? What would that do for it's integrity? Bob Peters said it best when this topic came up last year...

http://forums.epicski.com/showpost.p...&postcount=243

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post
CalG:

See, I don't agree with what I *think* is the underlying premise of this statement. I may be wrong, but I think you're saying that you would prefer to be carving your turns in the same conditions as Lonnie's photos. If that's truly the case, then I don't think you really understand (and perhaps have never encountered) those same conditions.

Those photos were taken in Space Walk couloir in the JH backcountry. It averages about 45 degrees (real, measured, honest degrees), averages about 20-40 feet in width, and the snow was very, very hard the day Lonnie and Laure skied it. Just to spice things up, it has an extremely narrow choke point about ten turns above where Lonnie is in that photo, and it also features a major dogleg in the cliff wall, so if you were to fall where Lonnie is skiing you would smack the side of a rock wall - hard - as soon as you started sliding.

IN THOSE CONDITIONS, I've never, in thirty years of skiing things like that, watched anyone carve turns down that kind of couloir. I've seen it done in soft, powder snow, but I've never seen anyone even TRY to carve turns in that kind of conditions. That includes watching and skiing with some of the best-known skiers in the world at any given time.

I'm not saying it can't be done. I'm just saying that the smart way to ski something like that is to do a skidded, braking, stabilizing turn each time you drop into the fall line. Trying to carve turns in that would take far more cojones than I've ever possessed.

This is somewhat off track from SSH's original question in this thread, but I also think it applies. I'm always *hearing* about people carving stuff like the chute and the conditions Lonnie is skiing in that photo, but I've never ever seen anyone actually do it.
Here are the photos for reference...



post #25 of 62
Dude,

That ain't 12 feet wide.
post #26 of 62

Narrow Chute - Carved Turns

Ques. Carved turns 15 foot wide chute?

Ans. NO

Explanation. Why would you want to. Rocks are really hard.
post #27 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
Dude,

That ain't 12 feet wide.
Yeah, but this part is. Notice, I'm NOT carving....

Edit, here's the chute from a distance.

I've got a cold 3.2 Utah beer (assuming you are of age) for anybody that can carve turns down Dummy Chute at Alta. (I'll see if I can get a photo of it Friday, Sat or Sunday...)
525x525px-LL-vbattach1082.jpg
525x525px-LL-vbattach1083.jpg
post #28 of 62
This might help, too. Click on the image to be able to see it a little better.

Space Walk is the one highlighted in red. The crux is circled in yellow.

post #29 of 62
Bob Peters wrote: "IN THOSE CONDITIONS, I've never, in thirty years of skiing things like that, watched anyone carve turns down that kind of couloir. I've seen it done in soft, powder snow, but I've never seen anyone even TRY to carve turns in that kind of conditions. That includes watching and skiing with some of the best-known skiers in the world at any given time."

Sounds like Bob Peters never saw Ghost ski a chute.
post #30 of 62
Well, I carved the "Chute" once at Tuck's top to bottom, point 'em straight to jump the crevasse at the top and yee haw, but that was on nice soft spring ice and doing about 50 on my old Fischer Alu-Steels. 'Course you had to be going that fast for those things to carve anyway. But something like that on real ice? Not me... no death wish.
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