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Carving Corn?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I generally find that I can carve faster high edge angle turns on cold snow, but corn makes me wanna skid more than carve.

Is this flawed technique or a required adjustment to conditions? I use a Contact 11 (122-72-102) which carves well in softer cold snow.

Michael
post #2 of 21
It doesn't have as much hold as hard snow, so your skis want to wash away. The key is to be light on your edges, making very gradual movements. Pretend you're skiing on eggs and you don't want them to break.

Also, a ski that's wide enough so your boots don't drag in the soft stuff will help.
post #3 of 21
Skiing corn snow is one of the true joys in skiing. but a lot of people are unclear on what "corn" really is. In fact, a lot of people have probably never really skied on real corn snow. Its only found in certain locales and only in spring conditions and further, any given slope only has true corn on it for maybe an hour or two per day. Before that its crusty crap and after that its slushy crap. You have to know how to watch the sun and watch the shadows and look at the hill and follow the sun around the hill catching that perfect moment of when the snow is converting from crusty crap to slushy crap and is perfect corn in between.

When you find it, you won't have to be light about anything. its one of the most effortless surfaces imaginable for carving your skis. You won't be making perfect racing arcs, but you won't care either.
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by borntoski683 View Post
When you find it, you won't have to be light about anything. its one of the most effortless surfaces imaginable for carving your skis. You won't be making perfect racing arcs, but you won't care either.
The March Utah sun served up some nice midday corn at Mineral Basin earlier this month. 30F at 9AM, 50F at 2PM.

Its a great surface, but not for hyper carving. Any suggested strategies?

Michael
post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by barrettscv View Post
Any suggested strategies?
Wide skis. Ski fast. Carve. Smile . Repeat until it is gone.
post #6 of 21
Barrett,

Carving in corn takes a high early edge, after the fall line, it tends to slide under the ski edge. The trick is to reduce the edge angle after the fall line and use the stored energy in the ski to move into the next turn on a high edge. As borntoski states, you need to be light (espicially on the bottom of the turn as you reduce and release your edges). Corn is very common in the spring in the east. The man made granular base softens and corns up and tends to stay as corn.

RW
post #7 of 21
Fatter skis


someone had to say it....

if you do the above forget about being light on your feet and low edge angles crank those suckers over and watch the railroad tracks form.

trust me I know, mineral Basin Baldy Bowl

post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by borntoski683 View Post
When you find it, you won't have to be light about anything. its one of the most effortless surfaces imaginable for carving your skis. You won't be making perfect racing arcs, but you won't care either.
Attack it. Ski aggressively. Fast. Stay on your edges. Don't try to skid your turns.
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by borntoski683 View Post
Attack it. Ski aggressively. Fast. Stay on your edges. Don't try to skid your turns.
x2

also it has WAY WAY more hold than any hardpack snow ever. Hardpack is tough to get an edge on corn will make everything super easy.
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by borntoski683 View Post
Attack it. Ski aggressively. Fast. Stay on your edges. Don't try to skid your turns.
x3 . Don't forget to smile:
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by barrettscv View Post
The March Utah sun served up some nice midday corn at Mineral Basin earlier this month. 30F at 9AM, 50F at 2PM.

Its a great surface, but not for hyper carving. Any suggested strategies?

Michael
A great opportunity to really work on two-footed skiing. Tip and drive 'em both. No twistie. Guarranteed centripetal force - life can't be sweeter.
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info.

I'm headed to Bachelor in mid-April. I'll ski my Inspired by Nobis in the afternoon. The strategy is to put more edge in the beginning of the turn and sympathetically reduce edge-angle towards the end of the turn. Avoid pivoting, as always. Simply put, ski aggressively with a slash-it-to-start/surf-it-to-finish style and make the most of the skis energy while in transition.

Sound like a plan?

Michael
post #13 of 21
You forgot the most important step. SMILE.
post #14 of 21
barrett,

you got it!!have fun!

RW
post #15 of 21

Just to interject...

I agree that there seems to be a huge divergence on what "corn" skiing is.

I grew up in my skiing journey with the understanding that corn skiing was a very rare, very special condition that only existed in situations where there was very little traffic on a particular slope. Borntoski683's definition is almost identical to mine. You almost NEVER - inbounds - see what I was brought up to believe was corn skiing because the innate reality of skier traffic destroys the natural freeze-thaw cycle that results in corn snow off-piste.

Ergo... corn skiing to me doesn't involve bumps, doesn't involve groomed slopes, doesn't involve anything that can usually be reached from a ski lift. It's all about smooth, open bowls or faces that are operating only on the natural cycles of sun and temperature.

"Real" corn skiing to me is that rarest of natural conditions that results in the smoothest, most predictable, EASIEST skiing there is. You can ski any pitch, any slope, any nutso chute you can imagine with confidence.

"True" corn skiing, however, typically only lasts about an hour per day on a given slope. Once the full sun has been on a smooth, frozen snow surface for longer than that, the snow starts to soften to a depth of three or four inches or more. When that happens, the snow surface starts to get that snow-cone, sloppy, inconsistent quality that a lot of people seem to associate with what I would call "resort corn". If you haven't skied backcountry corn to contrast with resort corn, then I would submit that you haven't really experienced some of the best skiing conditions know to man.

In summary, I think there are multiple definitions of corn.
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post
I agree that there seems to be a huge divergence on what "corn" skiing is...
..."True" corn skiing, however, typically only lasts about an hour per day on a given slope. Once the full sun has been on a smooth, frozen snow surface for longer than that, the snow starts to soften to a depth of three or four inches or more. When that happens, the snow surface starts to get that snow-cone, sloppy, inconsistent quality that a lot of people seem to associate with what I would call "resort corn". If you haven't skied backcountry corn to contrast with resort corn, then I would submit that you haven't really experienced some of the best skiing conditions know to man.

In summary, I think there are multiple definitions of corn.
Hi Bob,

I guess I, sadly , need to restate my descriptive term as resort corn.

But I was thinking of this;

Quote:
But back to technique...

I'm (trying to) describing the sun softened midday snow found at the end of the season.

To be specific by default; not the early day hard snow or the end of the day soup.

What technique and type ski would you suggest? Is it time to get your old Dynastars out?

Cheers,

Michael
post #17 of 21
Very rare in nature, common on groomed man-made surfaces here in the mid-atlantic. Ok, it's not exactly "corn snow", but I think it skis very similarly. Man-made snow contains less air, and it goes through many freeze/thaw cycles around here. Sticky "mashed potatos" only during first couple thaws, after that it's air-free and fast. Groomers break it up into small corn sized pieces that warm and soften. Yummy!

I guess I've never skied real corn, but if it skis like the man-made corn, I agree with Bushwacker that it is easier to carve trenches in soft rather than hard snow, for me at least. I suppose it depends on what you are used to skiing.

I don't think you really need fat skis for corn. If it gets deep, then maybe it's no longer corn, becoming "wet granular" (I love wet snow and can't bring myself to use the S word, but you know what I mean.) I can see fat skis helping in deep S.
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post
In summary, I think there are multiple definitions of corn.

I call the rare stuff "perfect corn". From there you have frozen corn, wet corn, etc. To me any time the crystals have grown large the word corn can come in.

Anyone tried evening corn? I've skied a lot of it on sunset skis on Bachelor. It is thawed out and loose, but as the sun sets it stops melting and the excess water drains out. You are left with the mashed potatoes without the water content, and it is fast and fun to fling around. (Back to the original post, it makes for bad carving)
post #19 of 21

Corn

I think Medmarko hit it on technique for corn, two footed skiing in corn. Even pressure throughout the turn stay in middle of ski.

Corn is not just Midday. The very best corn I have skied is a Squaw Valley in April. Start on Emmigrant and follow the sun around the hill, Emigrant to Siberia to Headwall to KT22 to Red Dog and then its about 130 PM and time for a beer. The beer is to wet the dry burned lips and to cool that big smile down a little.
post #20 of 21
corn:


post #21 of 21
As far as the question goes, there's nothing wrong with a little skid at the end of your turn, you have to get those kernals moving so you can hear them sing!
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