Originally Posted by Atomicman
this is where redirection comes in so handy. Rather then defensively scrubbing speed at the bottom of the turn where your are heavy anyway, you intentionally drift the top of the turn when you are light and the let the ski hook-up in the fall line or if you are running gates the riseline.
This allows you to return to speed that you can carve.
AtomicMan, good tactical advice on any snow condition in many ways. This is one of the many benefits of early edge engagement.
I agree with you also that there are very few elite skiers that can truly maintain a carve on truly steep and icy surfaces. Of course, both of those terms are very relative. Different people have much different ideas of what constitutes "ice" and what constitutes "steep".
One thing that I like to do on ice, is really commit to the outside ski. Reach out over that outside ski with my arms and upper body. LeMaster has some interesting things to say about it on page 107.
I think on ice a lot of people instinctually hold back the weight from their outside ski. They are afraid to stomp on it. They are afraid that will make it slip more. They have heard people talk about skiing on eggshells and after all if you put all your weight on an egg, its gonna break! But that is in fact exactly what you need to do. I say, do everything you can to put weight on that outside ski as if your life depended on cutting a groove into the snow with your BTE of that ski. Putting MORE weight on that ski will make the edge hold better. It takes faith and commitment to do this.
An analogy, for those familiar with mountain biking or dirt biking is to put all your weight on the front wheel when you have to make a tight corner in slippery mud. Some might say, "well if you put more weight on the front wheel, won't that make it slide out?". The answer is no. Putting more weight on it will make drive into the ground with more force then the force that is trying to slide it sideways. It will make it stick more. The gut instinct is often to avoid putting weight on the front of the bike, because somehow your instincts are that more weight will make more skid. But its exactly the opposite. More weight = more stick. You must have faith and confidence this is true and then do it with commitment. I have raced dirt bikes in the muddiest of slick slimy surfaces and believe me, this is crucial skill.
Skiing is very similar with the outside ski. If you want it to grip, you need to get your angulated weight on it. The more the better. Not suddenly or abruptly, but smooth movements as Atomicman talkd about. But ALL OF IT. The icier the snow is, the more this is true.
Of course if it is truly steep and truly icy, then the ski isn't going to hold and that commitment is going to result in skid out low side fall on your side and slide fast on the ice. So....how committed are you?