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Skiing steeper terrain - Page 2

post #31 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by trtaylor57 View Post
One of my goals this year is to ski steeper terrain (the steeper east coast groomed blacks). What are some tips/pointers I should keep in mind? I want to avoid skiing in a defensive position, of course, but I'm not really sure what I should be doing correctly.

Thanks in advance.
TRT,
How about naming some specific black runs you are targeting at the mountains you regularly ski. Terrain does matter, and the amount of home made snow vs natural also may matter as well.
post #32 of 57
Holiday -
Your point is interesting. I did have a persistent problem with bending at the waist that took a long time to get rid of.

So obviously it can be overdone.

I do still find the phrase helpful, though, if I start to get psyched out and find myself leaning into the hill. Maybe it is strong medicine to be used sparingly.
post #33 of 57
One of my all time favorite holistic exercises is to simply widen the stance to shoulder width. This sounds simplistic however, by taking a wider stance, the transitions between turns become easier because the edge change is less intimidating. the new outside ski can be engaged before the cm passes outside (to the inside of the inside foot) the base of support. This adds a great bit of security to the edge change which helps calm the nerves.
post #34 of 57
Thread Starter 
LF,

Yes, someone suggested I do that earlier and I received a very helpful response.

I'll also be at Sugarloaf this year (my first time). Do you have any similar suggestions?

Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
TRT,
How about naming some specific black runs you are targeting at the mountains you regularly ski. Terrain does matter, and the amount of home made snow vs natural also may matter as well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by trtaylor57 View Post
The west side at Hunter and the North Face at Mount Snow are examples of terrain I have not yet skied, but would like to give it a go this year.

I'm (just) ok skiing terrain less steep than these. But, I'd like to shorten my turns and stay out of the back seat.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White View Post
trtaylor,

Before venturing clair's way, take way-out and the z-chair. From that lift, you get a good look at Clair's and by watching other skiers, you can get a good idea of the conditions of the day.
Annaporanna is almost always bumps and is narrow and very long. West way (K44) looks easy from the top of the trail, but it pitches wildy down and the cover is often sparce.
A good route to warm up for the west side is taking the A-lift, and skiing cliff to racers edge. Work on making round turns and skiing slowely. If you can do these trails with fluent linked turns, then look at Clairs and if conditions look favorable, go for it.

RW
post #35 of 57
When I lived in the East, I found World Cup Run to be the easiest black run at The Loaf. Also, If you are staying at a Sugarloaf property, lessons are free with lodging. (hope they have not changed this!) IMHO, the Loaf has the best ski school in New England, so take advantage of it. The entire resort is so fantastic that you will be enticed to explore it. But warning-You'll never want to ski another New England Resort after Sugarloaf! Have a great time!
post #36 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisamarie View Post
When I lived in the East, I found World Cup Run to be the easiest black run at The Loaf. Also, If you are staying at a Sugarloaf property, lessons are free with lodging. (hope they have not changed this!) IMHO, the Loaf has the best ski school in New England, so take advantage of it. The entire resort is so fantastic that you will be enticed to explore it. But warning-You'll never want to ski another New England Resort after Sugarloaf! Have a great time!
Thank you. I have a sibling who recently moved to Franklin County, so I'll be skiing Sugarloaf a few times each year. Can't beat free food and lodging

Oh, BTW, I recently ordered your book on Amazon. Looking forward to receiving it.

Tim
post #37 of 57
Steep terrain has a slightly different set of rules than moderate terrain. There is less grooming and that which is groomed may not turn out good. Chuncks, crud and avalanche debris are considerations. Also the things that work on moderate slopes may not be good for steeps. On steep slopes the hill edges the skis so people have a tendancy to over edge. This makes the skis take off, weight moves back and speed gets out of controll. The solution to this is to keep moving forward towards the tips of the skis as the skis are flattened on the snow at the turns inniation. Try to keep both skis flat on the snow for an instant to slow down the crossover move. Then you can keep your feet under your body relative to the steepness of the hill, not to gravity (the body stays perpendicular to the skis). From here you can controll the turning of your feet under your body and use turn shaping to controll speed. Try to maintain ski/snow contact. Many people use excessive stepping and hoping moves on steeps. These moves result in loss of balance and ineffective use of skills. The best skiers can shape turns of any radius at any speed, regardless of the steepness of terrain or snow conditions.
post #38 of 57
dogonjon,

What you wrote is another vote for what I've been calling the "strong neutral". Keeping both skis flat for an instant at transition allows for more recentering to take place.
post #39 of 57
Excessive stepping and hopping? What is excessive?

I think I understand where you're coming from. There is some merit to this, but also some danger too. Hop turns and pedal hop turns could easily be described as excessive stepping or hopping. Since these are pretty standard techniques for the steeps, it seems harsh to call this excessive. The more skilled a skier you are, the steeper the terrain you will be able to ski "normally" before resorting to hop turns. I submit that one should consider the ability of the skier and their comfort level on the steeps before labelling stepping and hopping excessive. They may need to establish a comfort level with hopping before they are ready to rip normal turns on the steeps.
post #40 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogonjon View Post
The best skiers can shape turns of any radius at any speed, regardless of the steepness of terrain or snow conditions.
I would suggest this is a bit optimistic.
post #41 of 57
First, for the sake of the original poster we ought to note that this discussion has drifted into terrain quite a bit steeper than he was talking about ("the steeper east coast groomed blacks"). I don't think there are many opportunities to do hop turns in-bounds in the East.

Second, as an "improving" skier who loves steeps (up to a point, anyway), I liked theRusty's post. When I first started skiing steep stuff, I did lots of hop turns. A lot of what I've been working on since then it getting rid of them and using real, flowing turns instead. But I am still glad I have a solid, reliable hop turn to fall back on if I get in over my head.
post #42 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post
I don't think there are many opportunities to do hop turns in-bounds in the East.
I think I probably hop turn more in the East because those darn trees are so much closer together.

I like what you say about the hippity-hop...good to have, great confidence booster knowing you have it, good to do something more fluid when possible.
post #43 of 57
You can find a few (parts of) runs steep enough in the east to practice hop turns and such, but these techniques are hardly needed. I can remember finding a run steep enough to try out "bicycle" turns at Mt. Tremblant back in the day. Of course I also remember that I went back to my regular skiing pattern after having spent a sufficient amount of time upgrading my skill set, and straightlining the same run a few times.
post #44 of 57
Thread Starter 
Here is video (2 mb .wmv) of someone sliding on one of the double-blacks on Hunter's west side.

Just prior to the slide it looks (to me) as if this skier is leaning into the hill and has little to no weight on his downhill ski. He then loses his edge and goes for a slide.

I did not witness the slide, but know those who did, including the one who shot the video. They said they were concerned for a few moments.

Discuss.

Tim
post #45 of 57
He also seems to have made a badly timed poleplant on uphill side which seems to be pulling his arm back throwing him even farther into the hill.His wieght is then almost compleatly inside ski which kicks out his downhill ski.
post #46 of 57
I just looked at this frame-by-frame in V1.
It's a little blurry, but I think he may have crossed his tips just before he went down. The next frame they are uncrossed, but the tails are starting to break loose.
post #47 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post
I just looked at this frame-by-frame in V1.
It's a little blurry, but I think he may have crossed his tips just before he went down. The next frame they are uncrossed, but the tails are starting to break loose.
I don't have any fancy frame-by-frame software, just the regular windows player. It looked to me like he was skiing on his right foot only with the left ski in the air and he just let it get in the way and stepped on by the right ski. Good thing he wasn't on a steep run or it could have gotten ugly.
post #48 of 57
Ghost -

THe basic version is free, and worth every penny.
http://www.v1sports.com/Academy/ALL/index.asp

All it costs is a nag to buy the upgrade everytime you start it.

And when the tips crossed it could have been more of a step on than ski-over sort of problem.
post #49 of 57
You can also watch the video nice and slow with something like VLC which I would suggest in addition to V1. It tends to play anything you throw at it without external codecs.

The skier in the vid seems to throw the skis around with a reaction readily visible in the upper body and then stands on the uphill ski repeatedly in some sort of braking maneuver. Tough way to ski reliably. More importantly, I've not been to Hunter in ten years so perhaps the video is playing tricks on me, but calling a moderately pitched groomer "double black" does no one any favors.
post #50 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post
Ghost -

THe basic version is free, and worth every penny.
http://www.v1sports.com/Academy/ALL/index.asp

All it costs is a nag to buy the upgrade everytime you start it.

And when the tips crossed it could have been more of a step on than ski-over sort of problem.
Thanks. I just downloaded it. He is a little out of sorts earlier on, but the fall happens when his tip slows down enough that he ends up on top of the outside ski with the inside ski. He is not trying to ski on his right leg only; he just has a stronger right leg. He is a little too far back on his heels and over-rotates too.
post #51 of 57
Haven't seen the vid and I don't know which trail he is on, but Hunter is suprisingly steep. The guy that built that place must have owned a dynamite company or a mine or something.
post #52 of 57
Skiingman -
Well, I wasn't going to say it, but now that you did...

It looks like the trail is only about 20 degrees. (Maybe 25 at most, but I don't think so.)
(For those of you with a new V1 to play with, try the little red triangle on the toolbar.)

On the other hand, it isn't really a groomer. It has some smallish but real moguls, and judging by the slide, its icy.
From the spray, there may be sugar over the ice.

The snow conditions are most likely a lot more challenge than the steepness.

It also looks like the part he negotiated successfully (before the vid) may be steeper.
post #53 of 57
Back to the Bode Miller video, a couple of things to point out....

Note the part where they say to commit to the outside ski. That means that he has very little weight on the inside ski.

Note how much he has both skis edged. Note that he has the skis on edge well before they reach the fall line.

Note that his leg bones aren't very far apart on the steep stuff. The inside leg is pretty much retracted to lessen weight on that ski, so the feet appear to be far apart, but he really doesn't have his legs far apart. You will have better balance on that outside ski and easier balance transfer to the other ski at the transition with the legs parallel.

Note that on the more aggressive turns how early his hips and shoulders turn to face the outside of the turn (called counter). This is more than just facing down the hill. The earlier the better, not wait and "ski into the counter."

Note how his body is slightly bent forward at the waist early in the turn to allow his legs to put more edge angle on the skis early in the turn while balancing with the upper body. This is called angulation.

Note how little his arms move for pole plants. I'd suggest moving the arms even less, with the arms held somewhat out, hands out wider than the elbows, inside arm forward and high, the outside arm back and low, and mainly use a flick of the wrist for the pole plant motion. If you let your outside arm wrap around your body and twist you toward the hill, you're doomed.

To keep your weight properly centered, pull both feet back during the transition between turns, and keep pulling the inside foot back during the turn. Forget the old canard about the angle across the ankles equaling the angle across the hip bones equaling the angle across the shoulders. Inside foot back, lots of counter in the hips & shoulders, and you'll ski better.

Here's a paradox for you. The more aggressively you ski the steeps, the more control you have to ski any speed you want. If you ski them timidly, you'll soon be out of control. Really get your head and shoulders down the hill ahead of your feet. They aren't, really, but it should feel like you're diving into a pool. Be very sure your shoulders tip down the hill, never back toward the hill. Be very sure your zipper is facing the outside of the turn, and the earlier in the turn the better.

I don't like the way Bode Miller skis. I feel that if he combined his amazing talent, his hard work, and very good technique like the Austrians and some others show, he'd be consistently unbeatable.
post #54 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post
Skiingman -
Well, I wasn't going to say it, but now that you did...

It looks like the trail is only about 20 degrees. (Maybe 25 at most, but I don't think so.)
(For those of you with a new V1 to play with, try the little red triangle on the toolbar.)

On the other hand, it isn't really a groomer. It has some smallish but real moguls, and judging by the slide, its icy.
From the spray, there may be sugar over the ice.

The snow conditions are most likely a lot more challenge than the steepness.

It also looks like the part he negotiated successfully (before the vid) may be steeper.
The trail is Upper Claires (see picture from that day). I can't give you a figure for its steepness. It is somewhat steep for Hunter, but not its steepest. And I think most everyone understands that it is hard to capture the effect in stills and videos.
post #55 of 57
Well, I think that photo supports my opinion that the snow conditions are a lot more of a problem than the steepness itself. Steep ice doesn't have to be all that steep in absolute terms to be challenging. It is a little narrow by modern standards, too.

The shape of the moguls is interesting too -- they have spines running down the hill, rather than shelves or deep ruts across the hill. That is a good sign, meaning they were cut by better skiers. My only complaint would be the chaotic section in the middle.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think this is a trivial slope. I spent a lot of years getting beat up by this sort of thing before I got the hang of it.

One trick that really helped me was to throw a too-hard trail followed by a too-easy trail into the mix once in awhile. The just-right trails will seem a lot easier afterwards.

Have fun this winter... steeper is funner.
post #56 of 57
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone. This has been hugely helpful to me.

Tim
post #57 of 57
Make your peace with gravity. Use ski design, angular momentum and a strong belief that once your pole contacts the snow every thing will work out fine.
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