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Training terrain for bumps and all mountain skiing

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I have many times read the good advice to work on easy bumps first. My issue is that, at least in the Tahoe area, they've been hard to find. Much of the blue terrain upon which easy bumps could form is annihilated by the grooming machines on a nightly basis. Most of the bumps I do find end up being so deep I feel like I'm getting lost in the troughs, and I'm a tall fellow!

My solution has been to work on whatever terrain I can find, be it groomer, crud, or other off-piste conditions. There is quite a lot of terrain of the appropriate steepness to be had in the trees. Will skiing this terrain help to build the movements I'm going to need for these more challenging bump runs? The other thing that an ESA coach suggested is skiing the berm on the edge of groomed runs as a build your own bump line.

Thoughts on appropriate training terrain to simulate easy bumps when there aren't any actual easy bumps to be found?

-Adam
post #2 of 13
You hit one of my real peeves in the way most mountains manage terrain. No bumps until you're virtually into double-black territory. Nowhere to learn.

Somethings you can try are--

Any kind of good skiing fundamentals will help so just work on making your skiing better ON ANY TERRAIN. The list here is endless.

Practice turn shape for speed control and making round turns. Complete your turns at the bottom half. Make sure the top half of your turns are round. (It's real common to see intermediate bump skiers rush a pivot at the top of their turn, then they're off to the races).

Work on short radius turns a lot. All types-- carved, skidded, pivoted, etc. Practice some short radius turns keeping your upper body square facing down the hill.

Nail short-radius turns on steep groomed. If you can't do short radius turns on steep groomed, you think you'll do better in steep bumps?

Work some skiing real soft on your edges. Explore different edge angles.

Practice balance in every which way imaginable. The list of drills is also endless here. Mix up short and long turns-- hour glasses, funnels, lane changes, pain-in-the-S turns, one long, one short, one long, etc. The thing you want to emphasize is getting both your fore/aft and lateral balance such that you never have to re-adjust to make the next turn. Eliminate the "gathering zone" so you can do exactly what you want when you want to (or have to). So for example, say you are alternating long and short turns, you get 2/3ds of the way thru a long turn and want to throw in a short turn. Do you have to correct a bit fore/aft or laterally to start your short turn the other way? If so, that delay could kill you in the bumps. Work on that kind of stuff.

You should also work some on absorption. Maybe try some traverses in moderate bumps and allow you skis to come up and down without your head bopping up and down.

You can also work on absorption in your free skiing. Some call it squishy turns. Some call it skiing up-side-down. You flex the transition point between turns and extend in the middle of the turn. That mimics what will happen in the bumps. It feels kinda weird, all loosey-goosey. I find it best to start practicing this with shortish-medium turns. As your skis are nearing the point where they are most perpendicular to the fall-line, allow them to draw closer to your torso by flexing. As they are beginning to head straight down the hill in the fall line, allow them to extend away from you.

That's just some ideas. Have a great season.

-Ken
post #3 of 13
I've read that Northstar (?) makes easy bumps with grooming equipment.
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by abertsch View Post
The other thing that an ESA coach suggested is skiing the berm on the edge of groomed runs as a build your own bump line.
I was just gonna suggest that.I think tat what's even better is if you have a mini-terrain park with a nicely groomed spine in it. Practice making a simultaneous edge change just as your feet cross over the spine. You can also practice flexion and extension on this piece of terrain flexing as you come up to the top and extending down the spine.
post #5 of 13
Some of the Colorado resorts actually have Blue/Black runs where the side of the groomed run also has bumps. Keystone is one that comes to mind and a few of the trails at Breck are actually like this. You get the steepness of a blue run and the smaller more consistant moguls to work with. If you get tired you can always cut out and ski groomer the rest of the way and then cut back in. Many of the trails on the OutBack are Blue/Black.
post #6 of 13
One thing to consider is submitting a request/suggestion to your local ski area management. My resort experimented with setting up "training bumps" on easier terrain. We have plans to continue the experimenting this season. Customer input always helps these things progress faster.
post #7 of 13
Learn2turn, Thanks for the great pointer, this is exactly what the instruction forum need. I will sure to try it this season.


thx
RBC
post #8 of 13
Some runs that start out smooth will have easy bumps on them at the end of the day. Most areas I've been to have at least one easy bump runs at the start of the day too, but you have to find them. Ask a patroller or ski instructor you see in uniform. They are usually happy to tell you.
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
I was just gonna suggest that.I think tat what's even better is if you have a mini-terrain park with a nicely groomed spine in it. Practice making a simultaneous edge change just as your feet cross over the spine. You can also practice flexion and extension on this piece of terrain flexing as you come up to the top and extending down the spine.
Flexion/Extension is one of the best skills to develop when you are skiing variable terrain. I suggest working on this skill a lot.
post #10 of 13
Nice post, Learn2turn

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post
Flexion/Extension is one of the best skills to develop when you are skiing variable terrain. I suggest working on this skill a lot.
In addition to Flexion/Extension as Heluva mentions, combine that with being able to change edges while flexed, extended, flexing & extending. That'll also help avoid Learn2turn's "gathering zone".
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by MilesB View Post
I've read that Northstar (?) makes easy bumps with grooming equipment.
I skied those manmade bumps at N* years ago, glad to hear they are still doing it. They are an excellent learning environment. They were very large, long, smooth round moguls. I can't understand why more areas don't do this with all the money they spend on terrain parks, it seems like a no brainer.

I would love to see areas also leave more easy blue runs ungroomed. Also when this is done it is important to never groom the chosen run.

Learn2turn has laid out some great things to practice as prerequsite to skiing moguls, but at some point you need to experience the real thing. Sadly the gap from practicing drills on groomers to skiing steep often firm bumps is quite large.

Thanks,

JF
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post
I would love to see areas also leave more easy blue runs ungroomed. Also when this is done it is important to never groom the chosen run.
I've heard that having a packed, groomed base greatly enhances snow preservation, especially as we get in to spring. Perhaps that is one of the reasons resorts don't leave blue runs that are NEVER groomed? Or maybe it's just what they think their customers want? Sadly I think most of us bears are in the minority!

-Adam
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by abertsch View Post
I've heard that having a packed, groomed base greatly enhances snow preservation, especially as we get in to spring.

-Adam
That is actually true. The problem is after the snow gets groomed the formation of the bumps changes for the worse, usually slick snow between mis-shaped piles of granular snow. I call it skiing lumps instead of bumps.

Thanks,
JF
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