Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA
Large unweighting movements are sometime a nessecary evil, as the skis will tug you every which way if they are flat on the transition. I prefer airborne transtions in this stuff wheather its good technique or not. Its just plain easier and more bullet proof to not worry about your skis getting ripped off between turns.
Not evil at all. When snow conditions are heavy, wet, mushy, etc, it is exactly proper technique to use strong weighting and unweighting (including 'airborne' turns.)
The problem of course is that the mush wants to takes your skis where it wants, not where you want. If a ski has good weight on it and is being controlled, you can drive through the mush. If a ski is unweighted then the mush will overpower the ski. The question then becomes under what circumstances are skis unweighted and how do we overcome that?
The first thing is a narrower stance as has been mentioned already. If the skis are closer together, the weight distribution will be closer and therefore the skis will be more likely to do the same thing. The biggest problem I see when people are stuggling in mush is that they do not properly weight the inside ski. If they have all their weight on the outside ski, that ski will carve, but the unweighted inside ski will get grabbed by the mush, fly off in some nasty direction, and down you go. Next time you find yourself struggling in the mush, pay attention to that inside ski, I'll bet you'ff find that's where the problems are mostly coming from. Kepping the skis closer together and 'skiing them like one big ski' is a good survival tip for folks who are struggling. Of course, it is better technique to have a wider stance, but until one can ski an inside ski strongly the wider stance will kill you in the crud. Once you get more comfortable, then try getting back to a wider stance to increase balance.
So as in the above, the problem in crud is the unweighted ski. Now, in transition, BOTH skis may be unweighted and be likely to be grabbed by the crud. Transition is the second biggest challenge to skiing crud. One technique is to try to get the skis OUT of the crud while at transition while at the same time using strong rotation to turn the skis in the air. One uses body compression and the weight loading on the skis during the end of the preceding turn build up force than can then be released to 'pop' the skis out of the crud during transition. Turn em hard in the air and then drive them into the carve of the next turn. Build up compression and repeat. This technique is basically driving your ski hard THROUGH the crud during the compression part of the turn, and pulling them up and OUT of the crud to turn them during the transition phase. Of course depending on the depth and nastiness of the crud, one may or may not have to literally get the skis airborne, it may be enough to get them free of the bulk of the junk.
Mark Elling covers this in a great chapter on crud in his book "The All Mountain Skier." Highly recommended.