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Strategy/technique to navigate ice moguls with frozen crust?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Looking for some insight on tactics and techniques here, please!

We have been having some spring conditions here, which allowed giant but very tight moguls to form. Well, our recent mid-winter blast came through, and these giant moguls refrozen into unmoveable and impenetrable ice moguls. Then we had 12" of fresh wet snow filling in the troughs. The wet snow got skied in and chopped up, and then they froze hard over night into ugly crusts. I should also add that these moguls were very tight, many irregular in shape that is typical of an overused slope populated by both freestyle team with tight zipper lines and by hackers scraping off sections and by everyone else (myself included)somewhere in between these two extremes.

Any advice for technique/strategy/tactic to do these ugly things (besides staying away from them)? I had the most gawd awful time with them yesterday.
post #2 of 18
I'll share with you what I was told Sunday when I asked that same question to a guy that skis bumps at my hill as good or better than anybody else. I had the illusion from the previous weekend when things softened up that my bump skiing had improved. This past weekend looks like we encountered similar mogul conditions. About 9 inches of fresh, over frozen moguls, with some manmade snow that slabbed up just to make it more variable. The advice I got was I had to hold my position and make sure that my tips remained in the fall line and endeavor to ski straight down the bumps, not around them . My first question to my mogul advisor was how can I control my speed doing that and not start going Mach 1 after two moguls. He laughed and told me try and hit the mogul higher up on the side of the bump and above the trough.

Anyway, easier said than done. I struggled to say the least. This same guy goes out to Winter Park a couple of times a season and believes our icy, frozen moguls at home are typically more of a challenge for him than what he encounters at Mary Jane. Its just amazing to me to see guys ski bumps in what I think are impossible conditions with ease and never have to bail out. Interestingly, the best bumpers at my hill all ski staright skis. But I think its definitely the Indian and not the arrow.
post #3 of 18
i've been struggling with the same conditions. I don't know if this is good advice or not, but I've been attempting to let my skis run as straight as possible, as much absorption as I can do, and when the line/bumps lets me, I crank my skis across the top of a bump to ditch excess speed. Unfortunately, if my chance to ditch speed does not come evey five turns or so (or i start sitting back), I'm bounced out. And not very prettily either - because if skiing in control on this stuff is hard, skiing out of control on this stuff is even harder.
post #4 of 18
To ski in crust you need to be able to brake it and that requires some force. One good way to do it is by "airplane" turns. Jumping up in the air while turning and slamming down with force crushing through the crust. The advise roundturns was handed by the mogul skier is the same advise I would be giving with the only exeption that that is the advise I allways give. Use the moguls to get yourself up and unweighted insted of skiing arround them. In these pictured conditions skiing arround the moguls is close to impossible since skis will not obey a gentle touch. You need to get up on top of the moguls and up into the air.
post #5 of 18
Josseph,

I was just this weekend giving someone the same advice as roundturns noted (ride higher out of the trough). From the lift, one could see that 30% of the slope had snow on it with texture. My observation is that, heck, we have a 1 in 3 chance of hitting soft snow to turn in if we just make turns randomly. We ski on less than 1% of the snow surface going down the trail. Fitting that one percent into the 30% of the trail that has soft snow is a doable task. Just make turns where the soft snow is. In mixed snow conditions, this can be easy as riding the high sides of the ruts.

On a totally frozen over run though, my primary tactical advice is to make extra turns. Stay out of the deep ruts because you can't make extra turns in them. But the deeper the ruts are, the larger the moguls are as targets for making extra turns on. Where originally skiers made one turn to make the mogul, you can make 3 turns (on the face, on the top and on the back side). Where a long mogul creates a spine, you can make many turns hopping the sides of the spine for the length of the mogul. The idea here is that where turns are getting only a fraction of the gripping/stopping power as they would on softer snow, you need to make that many more turns to compensate or else you will end up going faster.
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input, everyone. Get out of the troughs and hit the tops of the moguls. That was also the on-the-hill advice I got. Seems that in my desire to work on my mogul skiing skills this year, I concentrated mostly on the zipper line in the trough. I had totally forgotten about skiing the tops of bumps, from bump to bump. And the conditions yesterday absolutely kicked my butt.

More turns is also a good idea.

The advice about being less gentle and smash through the crust is also sound. Though this runs contrary to my tendency since I tend more toward the finesse side than brute force side. My skis broke thru the crust in the troughs. But since I couldn't apply rotary at all when sunk in the crust and in the troughs, I would fly through about 4 turns and then get spit out. Splat.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by roundturns View Post
I had the illusion from the previous weekend when things softened up that my bump skiing had improved.
Hey Rountturns! I, too, was under delusions of grandeur from the previous weekend!: Boy, was I mistaken.
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by roundturns View Post
I'll share with you what I was told Sunday when I asked that same question to a guy that skis bumps at my hill as good or better than anybody else. I had the illusion from the previous weekend when things softened up that my bump skiing had improved. This past weekend looks like we encountered similar mogul conditions. About 9 inches of fresh, over frozen moguls, with some manmade snow that slabbed up just to make it more variable. The advice I got was I had to hold my position and make sure that my tips remained in the fall line and endeavor to ski straight down the bumps, not around them . My first question to my mogul advisor was how can I control my speed doing that and not start going Mach 1 after two moguls. He laughed and told me try and hit the mogul higher up on the side of the bump and above the trough.

Anyway, easier said than done. I struggled to say the least. This same guy goes out to Winter Park a couple of times a season and believes our icy, frozen moguls at home are typically more of a challenge for him than what he encounters at Mary Jane. Its just amazing to me to see guys ski bumps in what I think are impossible conditions with ease and never have to bail out. Interestingly, the best bumpers at my hill all ski staright skis. But I think its definitely the Indian and not the arrow.
7s bump skiers are a breed of their own, some of the best bumpers I have ever seen but one trick ponies. Most cant not make decent turns out side of the bumps.

Straight skis are better at bumps(straight-down the hill windshield washer turns the type of turns those guys do at seven springs) because you can skid way easier.


How to ski frozen coral reef bumps? strong core, and relize they are always going to feel like crap. I doubt that would ever 'feel' good but with practice it could "look" good.
post #9 of 18
For ice very sharp edges are nice... I finally demoed some atomic slalom race skis and was very impressed. If possible turning on the top and carving on the backs of the moguls~around rather than fall line through the troughs? I ski in the midwest MI and was dealing with tight slushy moguls freezing up into ice.
post #10 of 18
Ice and coral bumps, my favorite snow conditions. What is the secret? Slow the feet down at the tops of the turns and ride higher up the bumps.
post #11 of 18
Pierre, we got some of that icy bump crap going on at Boyne Mtn. right now. Get in your flying machine and come tickle yourself pink.
post #12 of 18

My advice to you...

...is to go ski the mahogany rail. Just kidding! I just make round turns using the banks (sides of the bumps). It's not a whole lot different than running SL in icy ruts. Stay ahead of the terrain changes, and don't violate the groove...
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by josseph View Post
Thanks for the input, everyone. Get out of the troughs and hit the tops of the moguls. That was also the on-the-hill advice I got. Seems that in my desire to work on my mogul skiing skills this year, I concentrated mostly on the zipper line in the trough. I had totally forgotten about skiing the tops of bumps, from bump to bump. And the conditions yesterday absolutely kicked my butt.
Common misconception, but zipperline mogul skiing does not mean skiing the trough. You should follow the trough, but turn up the sides of the moguls, crossing the trough instead. Skiing high on the bump does not mean skiing over the top, but skiing on the side of the bump, near the top.


Quote:
The advice about being less gentle and smash through the crust is also sound. Though this runs contrary to my tendency since I tend more toward the finesse side than brute force side. My skis broke thru the crust in the troughs. But since I couldn't apply rotary at all when sunk in the crust and in the troughs, I would fly through about 4 turns and then get spit out. Splat.
As has been said before, ski straight though the breakable to the next bump, and use the lift from the bump to absorb some speed, and change direction.
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
7s bump skiers are a breed of their own, some of the best bumpers I have ever seen but one trick ponies. Most cant not make decent turns out side of the bumps.

Straight skis are better at bumps(straight-down the hill windshield washer turns the type of turns those guys do at seven springs) because you can skid way easier.


How to ski frozen coral reef bumps? strong core, and relize they are always going to feel like crap. I doubt that would ever 'feel' good but with practice it could "look" good.
Then your not admiring the right bumpers. Most of the good bumpers I know can "do it all" when it comes to skiing, all mountain, extreme, and, yes, even racing.
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2-turn View Post
Then your not admiring the right bumpers. Most of the good bumpers I know can "do it all" when it comes to skiing, all mountain, extreme, and, yes, even racing.
I pionted out a specific group of bumper at Seven Springs(anyone from &s wil tell you the same thing that mountain has amazing bump skier that suck everywhere else...) not Great bumper everywhere which some are great skier otherwise...
post #16 of 18
For dealing with Icy Moguls...

Get up early. Break out the RCs and hit the groomers for some first tracks!
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiRacer55 View Post
...don't violate the groove...
post #18 of 18
Josseph,

I've been skiing frozen bumps with deep tight troughs and coral breakable crust on the rest of the bump with a foot of cement under the crust all week. I have been focusing on trough zipper line skiing (skiing the hard smoother areas). First, you have to be in the zone of going fast in a tight line. To do this, you need to be more one footed (both skis working alike), a tall relaxed stance, allow skis to make a little rounder turn (a little on the coral on the side of the bump), and be able to open your ankle joints after impacting the bump.
When I was tossed out of the line, it was because my ankle joints were closed and couldn't make the next turn quick enough. Then it is up the ruff side and down the ruff back until I could get a new line.

The biggest mistake people who were trying to follow me made was braking. That usually ended up with the coral crust braking through and tearing their skis off their feet.

I must admit, it has been challanging and I'm looking forward to powder bumps.

RW
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