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How To Self Arrest Head First? - Page 3

post #61 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew R View Post
As much as I do not like to disabuse you of your high opinion of your self
'

Where'd you get that? Find anything I've ever said about how rad I am and I'll owe you a beer. I don't brag.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew R View Post
there is actually only one way to become proficient at a new skill and that is practice it, unless you happen to be an autistic savant - nothing to do with being open or closed minded, just a fact of life that motor skills need to be learnt and then practiced until they become automatic/ sub conscious/instinctive. The more critical the skill the more often it has to be practiced in order to avoid or reduce skill fade.
I wasn't saying people shouldn't practice, just that they should be open to new/different methods. Your statement just seemed close minded.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew R View Post
Obviously not knowing all the facts but on the information you presented I would suggest that going 60+ miles an hour and then having to 'suddenly turn to avoid a skier' smacks of poor risk analysis and situational awareness. Skiers do not just appear from 'nowhere'. Perhaps your risk analysis missed the important last question - what if things change, how will I react?

In bounds or out of bounds it doesn't matter once the objective risk increases then it has to be actively managed. This is normally by intelligent risk assessment based on training, knowledge and experience. If one is lacking in experience than only training and knowledge can help until the relevant experience is built up. Normally one does this by practicing in a safe environment rather than 'taking a chance' on the real thing.
Agreed, but skiing is a risky sport, and even more risky if you're trying to improve past a certain level. The incident I described was actually the only time I have really injured myself (aside from a coupe concussions) in any sport. I tend to ski aggressively, but extremely carefully. Minimizing risk does not mean you have to stop skiing fast.
post #62 of 88
To come back somewhere near the point of the thread, this video I found on TGR shows how to self arrest using an ice axe falling in a number of ways. I know you wouldn't carry an axe while skiing (though i've seen a Black Diamond poster that suggests otherwise ), but perhaps the technique shown here can be applied to using a pole.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LM3xLshmNnk
post #63 of 88
A fall I had a Copper during Trekchick's GTG reminded me of this thread, and I used the techniques described by Bob Peters earlier.

From the top of Spaulding Bowl, I skied down the left spine to a rollover to drop into a steep chute. The wind had left a shallow cover on some rocks right at the roll over and my left ski was ripped from my foot pitching me forward. As I fell forward I lost the second ski and one pole and was sent headfirst into the chute. Aware I was accelerating, I got my remaining pole and started engaging the tip next to my left shoulder. This allowed my feet to swing downhill, and I was able to start engaging the toes of the boots and eventually stop on a 40 to 45 degree section...steep enough that I could touch the slope while standing up. The only problem at that point was, one ski and a pole were 100 yards uphill and the other ski had sailed clear out past the apron about 1/4 mile away.

I'm glad there wasn't real exposure in this line, but the self-arrest technique worked very well even though I had no skis on, however in firmer conditions, I doubt I could have stopped.
post #64 of 88
I tried the pole technique in Bob's photos this past Sunday at Solitude on a steep groomer. Works great. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!!
post #65 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
A fall I had a Copper during Trekchick's GTG reminded me of this thread, and I used the techniques described by Bob Peters earlier.

From the top of Spaulding Bowl, I skied down the left spine to a rollover to drop into a steep chute. The wind had left a shallow cover on some rocks right at the roll over and my left ski was ripped from my foot pitching me forward. As I fell forward I lost the second ski and one pole and was sent headfirst into the chute. Aware I was accelerating, I got my remaining pole and started engaging the tip next to my left shoulder. This allowed my feet to swing downhill, and I was able to start engaging the toes of the boots and eventually stop on a 40 to 45 degree section...steep enough that I could touch the slope while standing up. The only problem at that point was, one ski and a pole were 100 yards uphill and the other ski had sailed clear out past the apron about 1/4 mile away.

I'm glad there wasn't real exposure in this line, but the self-arrest technique worked very well even though I had no skis on, however in firmer conditions, I doubt I could have stopped.
man, that's a fall. It is so hard to think rationally, think at all, in that situation. I have learned this technique when I was 16 and had it in my mind ever since, but have yet to remember to use it in a sliding fall, of which I have had too many. could be your professional training and state of mind?
post #66 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post
could be your professional training and state of mind?
LOL, and it could be me thinking, holy shit, I just keep going faster! I better stop!
\
The bigger problem for me is I really flail when skiing on one ski.
post #67 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vince F View Post
I tried the pole technique in Bob's photos this past Sunday at Solitude on a steep groomer. Works great. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!!
Yes, it's a great technique. Basically the same as one of the methods that climbers use to self arrest using an ice axe.
Some of the more interesting stories involve a climber barely managing to stop, just short of a drop off of thousands of feet.
post #68 of 88
Times like this make you think... "should I have bought the better poles??""
post #69 of 88
Any reason I shouldn't slide my hand all the way down to the basket? Nobody thanked me for that tip, is it wrong? It seems to gives more control of the pole and more power to dig in. Anyway, that's the way I learned it, from a Dick Hall video. Bob seems to trying to grab the pole with his elbow. Also I think it was advised to push yourself up from the snow. I'll try to find the video and review.
post #70 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post
Any reason I shouldn't slide my hand all the way down to the basket? Nobody thanked me for that tip, is it wrong? It seems to gives more control of the pole and more power to dig in. Anyway, that's the way I learned it, from a Dick Hall video. Bob seems to trying to grab the pole with his elbow. Also I think it was advised to push yourself up from the snow. I'll try to find the video and review.
You're absolutely right.

I think you get the most leverage when your hand is down at the basket. My only explanation on why I was higher up on the pole was that I really didn't NEED to stop immediately at the particular location where those photos were taken. I probably was unconsciously a little lazy with hand position.
post #71 of 88
OK, thanks! What about pushing your body away from the slope as you dig the pole in? Maybe depends on whether or not you still have skis on.

I can't find the film, "Telemark Workshop", I think I gave it to a friend. When telemark skis were skinny it was hard to engage edges while sliding on your hip without pushing yourself back up onto your skis (boot out).
post #72 of 88
From my own experience, you want to leverage your upper body downward into the slope not only to get more drag on the pole, but because most of the braking power comes from the toes of your boots digging into the slope. The pole mostly keeps your upper body aligned uphill so you can dig in the toes and stop. Push too high or try to stop too fast and you risk the cartwheel. I actually think its best to bear in with the pole, driving our shoulders and chest into the slope on the pole, and rather than rise at the shoulders, arch at the hips to create the leverage on the toes of your boots. OTOH, that sounds like the instructor movement analysis. If the need arises, I'm sure you'll know what to do, but practice can't hurt. The problem is, you can easily cover over 50 yards on steep terrain while all this happens. Hope you have a margin of safety.
post #73 of 88
I just cannot think of any time I've ever gone down on steep hardpack and not been able to arrest with my skis while still holding on to a pole.
post #74 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Summit View Post
I just cannot think of any time I've ever gone down on steep hardpack and not been able to arrest with my skis while still holding on to a pole.
You merely lack the Marker experience.
The double ejection/yard sale phenomenon is especially exciting.
post #75 of 88
I think pushing yourself up applies greater force to the pole and to your feet. I can see why you wouldn't want to do it too soon or too fast.

The video I learned this from was made for Telemark skiers, whose skis don't come off, in the day of skinny skis. Trust me, you cannot engage edges while your legs are parallel to the surface on typical free heel gear from that day. Falls were more frequent and falls where this came in handy were much more common. Perhaps the variation of pushing one's body away from the hill is more appropriate in that context. I'd certainly be very careful about pushing myself away from the slope on something as steep as where you fell, Cirque!

As I've mentioned, I practice self arrest every time I fall. Unfortunately, I don't fall enough and have forgotten how to do it!

I'm going to be relying heavily on the pole in a situation where both skis come off. Releasing from Voilé bindings leaves the slippery rounded metal toe irons on my boots. This just occurred to me.
post #76 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
Times like this make you think... "should I have bought the better poles??""
Who would have imagined that sharpening the ends of your poles would turn out to be as important as sharpening the edges of you skis?
post #77 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richie-Rich View Post
Being that the circumstances that render one in a situation where self arrest is needed are accidental (one may argue due to clumbsiness as you stated), and that by definition an accident is an event that occurs unexpectedly and unintentionally, dont you think that at the same time you find yourself tripping over your own skis and sliding down a mountain you could also land on that 4130 steel ice pick?
Like I said its a cool idea, but not very safe in the circumstances it was made to be used in. If you're on a powdery mountain offpiste it maybe good, but certainly not inbounds.
I ski with the whippet. If you get lost in the woods, how are you going to open that emergency can of beans safely? When your can of gas is done, how are you going to puncture it to compress it? many, many uses!!!
I don't use it in the Poconos but only use it when on really steep terrain, like Mt. Snow or Stratton.

Quote:
Or easier still, instead of having a moderately injurious collision with a snowboarder, said snowboarder ends up having a chro-moly steel unicorn?
and that's bad??? more powder for me.


seriously, I use a whippet (mostly at Tuckerman Ravine) whenever I use crampons, since when using crampons there is no other way to stop. Getting the crampon points into the snow will stop your foot immediately while your body keeps going downhill. Therefore, You have to get your feet in the air imediately or your leg will break in two, and a whippet or ice axe is the only way to stop.
It is designed very nicely, in that holding the pole normally results in the point pointing forward in your hand. when you slip, it's almost natural to jam the point into the snow.
Skiing with it is a little daunting at first, but one gets used to it, and an unconscious awareness of where it is comes naturally.
I won't carry it with me out west, and I wouldn't ski with a whippet unless I were doing climb to skiing, and only if I were using crampons, but actually skiing with it is not that bad.

And getting back to the thread, mountaineers developed a self arrest for crampon use. I have practiced and can self arrest, but my first response will be to get my feet downhill and then get my skis to stop me.
post #78 of 88

Bump for Throwback Thursday. 

post #79 of 88

 

 

</End thread>

post #80 of 88

I'm just finding this thread in my search for self arrest techniques while skiing. Using a pole and using a whippet would have been wonderful had I had them while falling two days ago. I lost my ski near the top of a run in the backcountry. I fell  and lost my other ski and both my poles, quickly realizing that I wasn't going to stop sliding if I didn't start fighting-- I used every limb I could get into the snow to try to stop me. I was falling, flipping around, head down hill, then feet downhill, then head downhill, on my back, on my stomach, every time I could dig anything into the snow, I did--hands, elbows, knees, heels, toes, anything. There was no time to think about it, I was falling so quickly. Finally, after falling 1,000ft, I was able to dig both heels into the snow and come to a stop before launching off a 30 foot cliff. I had no skis, I had no poles, I had no whippet to stop me, just adrelaline and the will to fight like mad. If anyone else ever finds themselves in this position, do whatever you can to stop yourself. I do not regret it. I would be in the hospital or in a wooden box right now, had I not.

post #81 of 88
Here's an interesting article on the topic:
https://www.wildsnow.com/13541/safe-climbing-steep-snow-ski-mountaineering/
Quote:
Regarding arrest while skiing, one thing should be clear. If you fall while already moving downhill at speed, on steep hard snow, you will not be able to self arrest. Period. I’ve observed a lot of false confidence by people in this situation, speeding down steep couloirs with an axe in one hand, or Black Diamond Whippet self arrest ski pole grips at the ready. I repeat, if you fall while skiing at speed on a steep slope you will slide and tumble — and my not stop. Thus, the old adage of extreme skiers still holds: falling is not an option.
post #82 of 88

I completely agree. It seemed like a lot of the above comments are great in theory: using your ski pole, using a whippet, ect, but in practice, having just fallen myself, I didn't even know my poles were gone until my friend asked me where my gear was after I stopped. There was absolutely no time to think about holding onto a ski pole. I wasn't skiing fast, but I obviously had some speed going into the fall. The snow conditions were very firm though, and the only thing that stopped me in the end was the slope angle lessened from about 45 degrees to about 30 degrees, the snow got a little softer and I was able to dig my heels in. Otherwise, if the slope had stayed at 45 degrees and if the snow had stayed as firm as it was above, I would not have been able to stop myself with my heels. You are totally right-- I was about 15 feet from the edge of a cliff after falling 1,000ft-- I was 15 feet from falling not being an option. I think it is easy to be over confident in your equipment and put yourself in circumstances that can lead to terrible consequences. I truly don't think a whippet would have helped, maybe . .. maybe it would have if I'd been able to hold onto it . .  . still processing. Stay safe everyone. Know where you are and know what the consequences of a fall may be. (I'm not telling people that a whippet isn't a good idea to carry, it may save your life, but using your brain and thinking through the consequences of a fall is very, very important.)

post #83 of 88

If I found myself on a 45 degree slope with really firm conditions I would side slip all the way down and not think twice about it especially if there were any rocks or cliffs in the vicinity. I have a feeling I will never encounter said conditions :eek

post #84 of 88

Very wise. I hope you never encounter these conditions either.

post #85 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

Here's an interesting article on the topic:
https://www.wildsnow.com/13541/safe-climbing-steep-snow-ski-mountaineering/
Quote:
 Regarding arrest while skiing, one thing should be clear. If you fall while already moving downhill at speed, on steep hard snow, you will not be able to self arrest. Period. I’ve observed a lot of false confidence by people in this situation, speeding down steep couloirs with an axe in one hand, or Black Diamond Whippet self arrest ski pole grips at the ready. I repeat, if you fall while skiing at speed on a steep slope you will slide and tumble — and my not stop. Thus, the old adage of extreme skiers still holds: falling is not an option.

 

The designer of my favorite ski could tell you all about it, if he were still alive.

 

RIP Arne Backstrom, I will be forever in your debt slarving around on your flipcore idea.

post #86 of 88


For sure. I've been thinking about Arne a lot the past few days since I took this fall. He was one of my childhood friends-I grew up skiing at Crystal Mt. with Arne and his family. RIP Arne Backstrom.

post #87 of 88

Ski pole self arrest is useful for falls on firm, lower angle terrain, to stop a potentially long, accelerating slide before it gets going. It won't be effective at speed, like the man said, or on  steep terrain. My son was ski cutting, rock garden at squaw--40ish degrees-- after bombing it, in dust on crust conditions. Despite side slipping it with his pole held across his body with the point in the slope--piolet en ramasse if he were ice climbing, essentially in arrest position before he fell--he lost it and slid into the rocks. (No serious injury). 

 

One way to practice would be to try and arrest every time you fall, even if you're not sliding.

post #88 of 88

Good point-- the ski pole arrest is probably very helpful and useful in certain circumstances and should be practiced just in case we ever need to use it. Thanks.

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