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Similarities between Gate skiing and Tree skiing...

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Just curious if you guys have ever thought about the similarites between racing and tree skiing......manditory turns, the importance of line choice, etc. Any thoughts? I think they have much more in common than most people think.
post #2 of 18
For me there is almost no similarity.

The only thing I find the same is, to a certain extent, your turn location is dictated by foreign objects. And I think that extent if very limited.

In trees, there are many choices of lines. In gates, one.

In trees, the snow is usually kinda soft. In gates, it's usually hard.

In trees there are bumps. In gates it's flat.

In gates you try to go as fast as you can.

In trees you try to have fun while not dying.


Oh, one very important thing is the same about gates and trees. Working on skiing either well will make you a better skier and making you a better skier will make you better at skiing either well.



I recognize that others will have a different, and in HS case opposite, opinions and I'm cool with that.
post #3 of 18
I never saw a good slalom skier who couldn't handle trees, but I've seen plenty of tree skiers who couldn't finish a slalom.
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by learn2turn View Post
In trees, there are many choices of lines. In gates, one.

In trees, the snow is usually kinda soft. In gates, it's usually hard.

In trees there are bumps. In gates it's flat.

In gates you try to go as fast as you can.

In trees you try to have fun while not dying.
In trees, there are many choices of lines. Same as in gates.

In trees, the snow is usually kinda soft. In gates, there are also variable snow conditions that a skier must adapt to.

In trees there are bumps. In gates, there are holes and ruts.

In gates you try to go as fast as you can. In trees, you're trying to get from the top to the bottom as efficiently as possible, without trees or bumps or cliffs getting in the way.


I'm being caddy, but many of the skills are interchangeable.
post #5 of 18
Gee, I wonder how ski racing started? Do you suppose it might have been a couple of guys trying to get from one side of the forest to the other side, first?

They thought, 'Hey, this is cool, but for it to be fair, we both have to take the same path".

So, viola'! Stick a few "trees" in the ground, and you have a race course....

What are the biggest differences? Gates don't have branches reaching out to snag you, and the penalty for missing a turn in the trees is much greater.
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by vail snopro View Post
Gates don't have branches reaching out to snag you, and the penalty for missing a turn in the trees is much greater.
I love bashing gates, and I love bashing snow covered branches out of the way. I've found some trees are much better than others for this. The best day of branch bashing I've had was at Jackson Hole, luxurious soft snow filled boughs. The worst I've had was one branch near treeline on Bachelor which had the flexibilty of rebar. I still have a lump from that one.
post #7 of 18
Just don't try shinning a 12" diameter aspen. Even the best gate clearing technique won't work well on such a specimen.

post #8 of 18
Would be interested to know how you can select a different winning race line other than prescribe by gate set? There is only one line for race that describes the shortest distance between points; taking another is wasting time.

For trees a concept of line is lost other than that associated with fall. Like bumps, to speak of a following a determined “line” is specious in that the best that even the most accomplished can achieve is a few turns along their chosen path. Immediate adaptation with variables outside of one’s control on a free course rather has you following a general “route” than line.
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by vail snopro View Post
Gee, I wonder how ski racing started? Do you suppose it might have been a couple of guys trying to get from one side of the forest to the other side, first?
Sounds like a Highway Star ski-off competition to me.
post #10 of 18
Tree skiing seems like it has much more in common with mogul skiing than racing gates.
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonDenver View Post
Would be interested to know how you can select a different winning race line other than prescribe by gate set? There is only one line for race that describes the shortest distance between points; taking another is wasting time.
How much racing have you done? While there's only one way you're allowed to go around a gate (well, two in hairpins and flushes), there are infinite ways of approaching a gate. Such decisions are made prior to skiing the course, and then again in a split second when coming down. Choosing the fastest line comes with experience in making such decisions on the fly, as well as knowledge of one's ability, choosing a line appropriate to that. Where tree skiing helps is that one must also make quick line decisions when coming down. While in ski racing, you're picking the line that's fast and in tree skiing you're picking the line that is the safest, the easiest or the most fun (will lead you to that 10' drop), the act of making decisions is applicable to both.

As a coach, my best racers are the ones who can ski anything (trees, bumps) as proficiently as possible and without stopping.
post #12 of 18
Cross clearing or shin clearing tree trunks has never worked very well for me. I don't intend to try to work on that skill either.

And FWIW eastern tree runs can be every bit as hard surfaced as the race hill.:
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by medmarkco View Post
Cross clearing or shin clearing tree trunks has never worked very well for me. I don't intend to try to work on that skill either.::

I learned to race by cutting maple saplings for slalom poles. Those poles and ten more years of breaking bamboo over the knees is something I pay for every time in have to kneel on a hard surface.
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonDenver View Post
Would be interested to know how you can select a different winning race line other than prescribe by gate set? There is only one line for race that describes the shortest distance between points; taking another is wasting time.

For trees a concept of line is lost other than that associated with fall. Like bumps, to speak of a following a determined “line” is specious in that the best that even the most accomplished can achieve is a few turns along their chosen path. Immediate adaptation with variables outside of one’s control on a free course rather has you following a general “route” than line.
One line? MMM... I'd argue to the contrary. http://www.modernskiracing.com/road_not_taken.php

Highway Star .. I think that a racer can definitely benefit from skiing in trees for the reasons that you pointed out. Is it exactly the same? No, but I'd say that you are on the right track. Good call!
post #15 of 18
Arguably the best advise for skiing gates and tight glades?

"Look Ahead."
post #16 of 18

Trees and Slalom

Last time I cross blocked a tree IT dislocated my shooulder.

Make a mistake and take a flush of spruce head on and see if you do more than break your goggles.

In trees unlike slalom I don't always search for speed - maybe it's the slightly torn rotator cuff tendon or ligament I did 3 weeks ago. MRI next Wednesday.

Breakaways or even old bamboo didn't keep jumping out in front of me like those dam trees keep doing.
post #17 of 18

Trees and Slalom

"Arguably the best advise for skiing gates and tight glades?"

"Look Ahead."[/quote]


YES but even more. Don't look at the trees, look at the snow between the trees where you want to go. If you look at the trees thats where you'll end up - IN THEM.
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Highway Star View Post
Just curious if you guys have ever thought about the similarites between racing and tree skiing......manditory turns, the importance of line choice, etc. Any thoughts? I think they have much more in common than most people think.
Snow conditions are never the same in the trees as they are in a course. Plus, if you skied a line of trees with the same offset of a slalom course, that would be a pretty odd line to try to take.

What do you think they have in common?
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