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# Carving Steeps

Can you carve turns on steep terrain slowly? If yes, what technique or tactics do you use? If not, what limitations prevent you from doing so? Or do you not have any desire to carve turns in the steeps?

and as a follow up question...

What mechanism do you use to tighten a turn radius or add speed control when you have reached the limitations of what your skill, terrain, conditions, or equipment can accomplish with a carved turn?

* My usage of "you" refers to each individual specifically, not generally to all skiers. So if you have a technique or tactic you believe in, or that others can do but you cannot yet, explain what you feel is preventing you currently.
yes -- it is all the same technique, but you need to increase the tempo of your rythm and ensure you've got the top part of the turn. As the turns become shorter, you will most probably exceed the ability of the ski to carve, after which the turm becomes more of a "drifting" turn (think dirt racing).

Mike
Quote:
 Originally Posted by onyxjl Can you carve turns on steep terrain slowly?
For me, no. The crucial word is "slowly".

Personally, I think the three words above are mutually exclusive.

Let's look at this in more detail...

For "steep", I'll use 40 degrees or steeper. To me, that's about the point where steep begins.

So, on a 40-degree slope with smooth snow, as soon as I drop into the fall line, I'll accelerate very quickly. Let's say I have a short-radius carving ski (like the Head SuperShape ) with an approximately 12-meter turn radius. That means that if I'm doing a "pure" carve, I'll have traveled nearly 80 feet from transition point to transition point. : And that's counting point-to-point, not the path of travel.

I can't do the math, but 80 linear feet on a 40-degree slope would probably amount to more than 30 feet of vertical drop from one transition to the next. I don't think there's any possible way to do that "slowly".

Now, you can over-finish each turn by continuing uphill, thereby dumping speed, but all that's doing is taking you from fast to slow, fast to slow.

You can also argue that very aggressive carving could tighten up the turn radius. But in my own opinion, that requires a lot of speed to enable the angles, which, of course, goes against the definition of "slowly"

So, my answer is no. I'd find it very enlightening to learn how it could be done.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Bob Peters So, my answer is no. I'd find it very enlightening to learn how it could be done.
I'm right there with you Bob.
I agree with Bob Peters. When I see carve, steeps, slowly, my first reaction is: you have to choose any 2 of those words to go together. A little bit like cheap, strong, light in the bike world. Any 2 will work, but all 3 together are mutually exclusive.
Agree with Tom. Carve, Steeps, Slowly - pick two.
I agree with Bob....carving on the steeps means world cup level speeds.
pick two; service, quality, price. Now start a business.
pick two; vocabulary, grammar, speed. Now learn a language.
pick two; whiskey, caffeine, vitamin B. Now wake up.

carving slowly on steap pitches requires one of the above. It works well for me though I can't prove I'm carving and I'm not entirely sure I'm all that awake.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by onyxjl Can you carve turns on steep terrain slowly? If yes, what technique or tactics do you use? If not, what limitations prevent you from doing so? Or do you not have any desire to carve turns in the steeps? and as a follow up question... What mechanism do you use to tighten a turn radius or add speed control when you have reached the limitations of what your skill, terrain, conditions, or equipment can accomplish with a carved turn?
Steep terrain is best skied using a quick hop turn to control speed if you are looking to stay in the fall line. Carving requires patience to allow the ski to drop through the fall line before you can control speed with your edges. The longer it takes for the ski to swing through the fall line, the more the speed will build and require scrubbing before the next turn is initiated.

All in all, I must agree with the prior posts. The three factors you desire are mutually exclusive (think triangle). You can get any two at the expense of the third.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by onyxjl Can you carve turns on steep terrain slowly? If yes, what technique or tactics do you use? If not, what limitations prevent you from doing so? Or do you not have any desire to carve turns in the steeps?
No I cannot carve down steep terrain slowly
Limitations: speed
Desires: I do have great desires to carve at all kind of speeds but cariving steeps slowly is a catch22. If we are talking RR Carving anything steeper than european reds are abowe my level. GS courses are also set so that we need to scrubb some speed off frequently when it gets steeper.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by onyxjl What mechanism do you use to tighten a turn radius or add speed control when you have reached the limitations of what your skill, terrain, conditions, or equipment can accomplish with a carved turn?
If you are making RR-tracks and turning at your skis natural turn radius, lets say 14 meters its hard to tighten the turn without loosing your carve. The way you do it is offcourse by inclining more, angulating more and adding more pressure to your ski tips but there are limitations. On softer skis it will be easier to tighten the turn radius and if your skis are tuned correctly it will help as well. One problem encountered pritty quickly is boot out so high raiser plates, narrow boots and totally flushing ski stoppers all help to tighten the arch. Normal way of controlling speed for me would be to pivot to skidd. Going across the hill or even uphill is not really an option and that effective since that requiers a lot of space and when you need to hit the brakes there is usually very little to spare.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by onyxjl * My usage of "you" refers to each individual specifically, not generally to all skiers. So if you have a technique or tactic you believe in, or that others can do but you cannot yet, explain what you feel is preventing you currently.
My experiance of people carving steep terrain is that they are not carving even though they think they are. Or lets say they are not making RR tracks anyway. These same individuals usually cannot carve at all and it is very easy to find out and porve. Just ski behind such a person and look at the ski tails. I have lots of video filming from such situations.
My take on carving is that it requires a lot of practice, great skill, muscel stamina, equipment and currage. My limitations at the moment are fittness based because Im over 40 and have a bad back. Im also recovering from a meniscular tear injury.
all of these replies really seem to nail it. Carving only on steep slopes is not something we will see too often. The mechanics of the skis would make the turns quite large and the speed would be way too high. Skidding or slipping will need to happen, and so what, there is nothing wrong with that, both are important parts of skiing.
What everyone else already said : No. Not slowly.
(Actualy, I can't properly link several carved turns on really steep terrain. I lack balls, skills and strength for it)
Great question and great replies. My thoughts exactly. Further, I think this topic addresses why it is hard for so many intermediate skiers to make pure RR type turns. They do not like the speed that these turns generate even on mild blue runs (if they have some length). I believe these folks skid and or pivot the skis some as an almost unconcious way to add some braking to the turn. A hard habit to break. Not necessarily a bad habit, but one that limits their progression to the next level.
Fully carved from transition to transition? How "steep"? Which skis?

I think it's possible to carve much of each turn given the right conditions and terrain (width of the run and the strength of the snow, primarily), but you'll have the acceleration of the fall line in every turn that is unavoidable (the fast/slow that Bob Peters mentions).

I have been playing with both applying a little bit of extra tip pressure into the snow through the use of rotary pressure there and also extra edge angle by really driving my inside foot over to an extreme angle. I find that the two approaches result in similar movements (!!!!), and that when combined, I can really tighten a turn dramatically. I haven't played with it enough yet on very steep terrain to know how it's going to work there, but I did play with it on Monday on a groomed black at Copper (Rosi's) and found it fascinating and fun.
You can't carve every turn.

I have practiced and practiced redirection at the top of the turn. the key is not to try to carve the top of the turn.

The mistake most skiers make is to try to carve the top of each turn only to pickup far too much speed and then scrub off the excess speed by skidding the bottom of the turn. A very rough, ugly, defensive way to ski.

I come acroos the hill let my skis drift sideways into the fall line and then carve back across the hill.

This is not only much more elegant and finesseful then skidiing the bottom of the turn but it allows you to fully carve every other turn and keep your speed in control. It is alos an offensive mindset rather then defensive.

With much parctice (timing is crucial here) you can almost make the redirection unnoticable.

It is really nothing more than an across the hill sideslip.
I would be very curious to see how Max_501 would respond here, as the knowledgeable PMTS skier.

There is no question that PMTSers would attempt a High-C turn and thus try to carve from the transition. But I would have to imagine that they would brush carve their turn.

I have been trying to do High-C turns with no re-direction and it is amazing how tight one can turn with enough tipping. Nevertheless, I know I am not doing a clean carve and I know that the ski could never bend enough to cleanly carve the 3-5 meter radius in which I turn.
If you want to see people carving turns on (moderately) steep slopes, watch a WC downhill--which answers the question about whether you can do it slowly. As for very steep stuff, a really useful turn is what the DesLauriers call the "pedal hop carve"--basically you start your turn as an old fashioned pedal hop turn, and to the degree that you want, rather than hopping all the way around, you hop into the fall line and carve your way back out of it (a steeper version of what atomicman describes above).

I you want to see this, watch the Chamonix segment of Warren Miller's impact--Hilaree Nelson O'neill starts one pitch by going in on a rope, and then doing hop turns until she is comfortable enough to open up and let the turns become pedal hop scarves and pedal hop carves--it's all a matter of degree, and the more time you are willing to spend in the fall line (and thus the faster you are willing to go), the more the turns can become pure carving. To watch pure carving in pretty steep stuff (nowhere like what Hilaree is on) see Nobis's skiing in the same segment (that's why he's fun to watch compared to lots of ski pro's who don't carve so cleanly on steeps.
I assume that becuase of the nomenclature used by Onyxjl we were discussing groomed slopes. Yes/NO?

HOp turns are certainly not carved at any speed on any slope?: :

Additionally, WC racers often must use redirection on steeper slopes to make it through the course. If they carved every turn they would blow out of the course.

Bode won a race last year and intentionally slid the top of every other turn for this very reason. The racers that tried to carve each turn blew out of the course

The ones that skied defensively were slow.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Atomicman I assume that becuase of the nomenclature used by Onyxjl we were discussing groomed slopes. Yes/NO?
How steep do groomers get? Give me a short soft ski like a Salomon Equipe SC or Rossi 9S Oversize and I can carve slowly on a lot of black groomers, depending how slow slowly is.
Would it be possible to carve turns slowly on steep terrain in, say, chest deep snow?
Quote:
 Originally Posted by therusty Would it be possible to carve turns slowly on steep terrain in, say, chest deep snow?
Nice try, but I do not think you will get many bites. I think the mutually exclusive terms are chest-deep snow and steep terrain. The carving powder thread is in the archives somewhere though.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by therusty Would it be possible to carve turns slowly on steep terrain in, say, chest deep snow?
I think so. In fact, I'll prove it. You send me to CMH for a week and I'll get video, ok?

Who me? I can carve anything slowly 97% of the time
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Ghost How steep do groomers get? Give me a short soft ski like a Salomon Equipe SC or Rossi 9S Oversize and I can carve slowly on a lot of black groomers, depending how slow slowly is.
Damn Steep: Whistler many, Blackcomb plenty , Snowbasin, Iceberg Gulch & Lower Bull run at Crystal Mountain Washington!

Warm Springs at Sun Valley Idaho, is deceptively inclined. Very very long groomed run that will absolutely have you going Mach before you know it and is not partcularly wide. Beverly Hills or Cow's Face off the summit chair at Mt. Bachelor is similar but much shorter. Cornice bowl at Mammoth.

Just the ones off the top of my head!
Why would you want to?

If you don't have the skill to ski the steeps fast, why are you so concerned with carving on them?

Why not go to a less steep slope and learn to carve there, with speed, then you will gradually start to feel more comfortable skiing the steeps with speed.
Err, if you're genuinely carving on a really steep (according to Bob Peters definition : 40°+) piste, you're building a lot of speed. It not only a matter of skills, but also of sheer strength. I can't hold it for too many turns and end up skidding to cut some speed.
I like Atomicman perspective. Will try that.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Atomicman ...Additionally, WC racers often must use redirection on steeper slopes to make it through the course. If they carved every turn they would blow out of the course. Bode won a race last year and intentionally slid the top of every other turn for this very reason. The racers that tried to carve each turn blew out of the course The ones that skied defensively were slow.
You are talking about the Lech GS last year arent you? Yeah, he beat the competition by more than a second per run if I dont remember incorrectly. Bode was saying that his boot set up was different for right and left turns. I think it was carving right, skidding left.

Interesting veiwpoint on defensive skiing.... could you tell me more about it!
Quote:
 Originally Posted by tdk6 You are talking about the Lech GS last year arent you? Yeah, he beat the competition by more than a second per run if I dont remember incorrectly. Bode was saying that his boot set up was different for right and left turns. I think it was carving right, skidding left. Interesting veiwpoint on defensive skiing.... could you tell me more about it!
what i meant by defensive skiing in this context was rather then proavtively and intentioanlly scrubbing spedd by drifting the top of the turn, you ski reactively and for survival (in a race course anyway) be forced to skid the bottom of the turn.

One tactic is (offensive) intentional the other is (reactive) defensive.

does that make some sense.

### Pedhopivot - Pedal hop pivot feather carve move

Quote:
 Originally Posted by tdk6 You are talking about the Lech GS last year arent you? Yeah, he beat the competition by more than a second per run if I dont remember incorrectly. Bode was saying that his boot set up was different for right and left turns. I think it was carving right, skidding left.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Atomicman what i meant by defensive skiing in this context was rather then proavtively and intentioanlly scrubbing spedd by drifting the top of the turn, you ski reactively and for survival (in a race course anyway) be forced to skid the bottom of the turn. One tactic is (offensive) intentional the other is (reactive) defensive. does that make some sense.
I believe you are talking about the Stivot move (Pivot/Feather/Carve) that we discussed in this Stivot/Steering Carve thread http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=33741

This photo of Bode in a GS course at Park City by Ron LeMaster illustrates the Stivot move

Quote:
 Originally Posted by onyxjl Can you carve turns on steep terrain slowly? If yes, what technique or tactics do you use? If not, what limitations prevent you from doing so? Or do you not have any desire to carve turns in the steeps? and as a follow up question... What mechanism do you use to tighten a turn radius or add speed control when you have reached the limitations of what your skill, terrain, conditions, or equipment can accomplish with a carved turn?

As the others have said, you can't carve 100% of the turn on steeps slowly but you can carve some of it.

I have used a pedhopivot (a combination of the DesLauriers "Ski The Whole Mountain" pedal hop carve move and the stivot move) - pedal hop pivot feather carve move when skiing Philippe's (a 50 degree couloir that flattens out to 40 degrees according to the Mammoth Ski Patrol) at Mammoth.

There is a good photo of Philippe's at http://patrol.mammothmountain.com/At...philippes.html If you click on Path Information on this photo, you will get more information including slope angle and aspect.

The avalanche control map for all of Mammoth mountain is at http://patrol.mammothmountain.com/Atlas/Atlas.html where you can click on individual maps and then click on Shot Placements to see avalanche trigger locations or Path Info for other information.

If anyone has seen similar maps/images/tables that list slope angles for trails at other ski areas around the world, please post the link to them.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Atomicman Damn Steep: Whistler many, Blackcomb plenty , Snowbasin, Iceberg Gulch & Lower Bull run at Crystal Mountain Washington! Warm Springs at Sun Valley Idaho, is deceptively inclined. Very very long groomed run that will absolutely have you going Mach before you know it and is not partcularly wide. Beverly Hills or Cow's Face off the summit chair at Mt. Bachelor is similar but much shorter. Cornice bowl at Mammoth. Just the ones off the top of my head!
Thanks for that. I am really intrigued by the idea of a steep groomer, it sounds very appealing to me. Could you give me some more info please?

I would call something steep if I can stand straight up and reach the snow\ice with my hand held out horizontally from my shoulder. When last I saw a steep run I wasn't really into defining how steep it was, but I do recall asking about grooming, and was told that their grooming machines couldn't groom the steep runs because they were too steep for the machine to make it up (or down without tipping over, memory fades). How do they groom these steep runs? Do they put the grooming machine on a winch?
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