Originally Posted by raj
I just made an impulse purchase of this book on off-piste technique based on recommendation in threads in this forum in the last week. Its a very short and simple book (good) and the credentials of the people behind it seem top notch (mogul champs). However, the technique it advocates seems counter to most stuff in this forum or HH's books or even my instructor lessons on Mt Hood. I am just confused.
1) Narrowest possible stance.
2) Highly active inside ski: no issues there. I agree.
3) No angulation at turn entry (seem very banked)
4) Feathering: low edge angles continuously for speed control
5) Most pressure on UPHILL ski in the second half of the turn.
6) Soft edge angles in the so called "high C" part of the turn.
I actually see the point of a lot of it as speed control in moguls and we all do some of this intuitively in tight terrain but in terms of what is ideal for all mtn skiing, the advice seems counter to what I read on this board, other books or PSIA instruction on Mt Hood. I am not interested in any flame wars or PSIA vs. PMTS vs. this method, just a curious confused skier.
I haven't seen the book so it's difficult to comment on specifics. This isn't meant as an attack in any way, but also please keep in mind that your summary may not be exactly with what John might have been trying to convey in his own words.
That said, I think one key is that the book seems to be aimed at "off-piste" skiing. As we learned in a thread here a couple of weeks back, that term means a lot of different things to a lot of different people.
To me, the term off-piste applies more to powder/crud/off-trail skiing, but it *sounds* like John's thoughts might be aimed primarily at mogul skiing. The points about very narrow stance and significant involvement of the uphill ski would, I think, support that interpretation. If you watch top-level mogul skiers in competitions, I think they practice a lot of what you've listed in points 1 through 6. I've seldom seen serious mogul skiers doing much more than feathered edging (almost never trying to "carve" a turn). They also practice very even weight distribution.
So, if John's main focus in the book is mogul skiing, I don't see very much in your summary that seems out of line. It gets a little fuzzier if the book is aimed more at *my* definition of off-piste skiing, which would be crud/powder off-trail. In that kind of off-piste skiing, here are my responses to your points:
1. I wouldn't get very hung up on "narrowest possible" stance (although I would still normally ski a pretty narrow stance).
2. I wouldn't agree very much with this one. 50/50 weight distribution is about the furthest I would go toward a "highly active
inside ski". Most of the time, I'd still be predominantly skiing on the outside ski.
3. I'm okay with that one, although I'm not sure the "seems highly banked" quite makes sense in conjunction with "no angulation at turn entry".
4. Feathering is fine with me. If you *need* speed control given the conditions, the line, or the speed, feathering is a good way to do it.
5. I can't figure that one out at all, unless this is somehow aimed, as I said above, at mogul skiing. Even then I can't quite figure out why this would make sense.
6. I'm okay with that one as well. It sounds from your description that John's book is NOT aimed at teaching people to carve turns on blue groomers. Hard edge angles increase speed and that's not necessarily what you're always looking to do in off-piste skiing.
As to the question of John's advice contradicting many of the other things you read here, you need to keep in mind that skiing involves infinite combinations of terrain, conditions, tactics, and intended outcomes.
One of the main points of contention in many of our online arguments here on Epic is that one type of turn or technique might not be appropriate for every kind of skiing you'll run into. That's why some of us are proponents of learning every way to turn a pair of skis you possibly can and then adapting your turns to the conditions of the day.