|I was practicing a couple of things last weekend namely pole planting (trying to get it right - I've heard how good pole planting technique can really help control speed and balance in steeps)
Balance, yes, speed control, I'm not sure. Often poor pole plants are just a symptom of the real problem of not skiing right with the feet. Big arm swings are used to help pull the feet around. Get the foot skiing right, then just use the pole plants for timing and balance. Try skiing without poles. If you're successful, use the poles to enhance your skiing. Hold the grip somewhat firmly in your hand. Don't swing the arm and pole much. Try keeping your elbow somewhat close to your side and reaching downhill by bending your body...angulation. Keep the pole tip close to the snow and don't allow the arm and pole to get past the fall line.
|and speed control carving by sliding the front of the ski (beginning of the carve) while trying to keep the back of the ski and the last part of the carved turn as clean as possible.
You need to get the skis on edge as early as possible, certainly before they reach the fall line. Allowing them to slip-brush-whatever is OK for speed control if the surface is smooth. Make the turn sharper at the beginning and all the way through the turn, finish somewhat uphill, and gently modulate the edging angle to hold the carve through the various parts of the turn--with your ankles strongly tip the uphill ski and somewhat strongly tip the downhill ski (the muscles used to "invert" the foot (tip outward) are weaker vs. the muscles used to evert (tip inward), so lead with the weaker move). Modulate where your weight is on the ski during the parts of the turn to keep the front & back edges engaged. Too much tip pressure at the bottom of the turn will cause the tail to skid. Of course, getting back on the ski causes the tail of the ski to jet ahead and throw you back and out of control. Angulation and counter are very important for edge angle and edge hold. Look at this pic of Nicole Hosp
on a gold medal run--feet horizontally close, vertically separated for angulation; very little tip lead; upper body tipping to the outside of the turn (vs. the outside leg); hip & shoulders turned toward the outside of the turn; inside hand leading. For a pole plant, she'd just move the elbow and wrist, not the shoulder.