or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Beginner Zone › Skiing in flat light
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Skiing in flat light

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
For the first time yesterday I skied in flat light and it was disorienting. I would stop and feel like I was still moving. I felt light-headed, dizzy at times. If someone hadn't told me it was due to the light, I would have thought I was sick.

So, after lunch, I stopped at a couple of shops to ask about goggle lenses and someone gave me a lens to look through that provided a much crisper definition. Unfortunately, they were out of those lenses but I ended up with yellow lenses that were much better than mine.

Any recommendations for skiing in flat light? Which lens color/type is optimal ( I have Smith anthem goggles). Any other recommendations beyond switching goggle lenses?
post #2 of 25
A good book and a bottle of red wine always do it for me. I just don't ski on flat light days.
post #3 of 25
If you have the option, stay near trees. They will block the light coming from one direction which will allow for some shadowing. You don't have to ski right next to them, but within 50 feet or less would usually be best.

That being said, it's never easy and there is no magic bullet for flat light.
post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post
A good book and a bottle of red wine always do it for me. I just don't ski on flat light days.
Well, I should say I just don't ski at my hill, where all the serious stuff is above treeline, on flat light days. If I were in Washington or Colorado or BC I'd stick to the woods. But then, I'd read and drink less...

Looks like this right now:
post #5 of 25
One suggestion: ski more slowly.
post #6 of 25
Try different colored lens to find the right one for you. Trees are good and so are other skiers. Flat light skiing, not that we do that here,: is about keeping your speed down and making balanced turns. Getting sick is from Vertigo. Wierd huh. I'm color blind so it does help but only to a point. Sometimes you just got to call it a day.:
post #7 of 25
Ski Spirit, where did you ski? Did the dizzyness go away? That would be scary.

Don't ski? If I had listened to that kind of recommendation, I would not have skied Sugar Bowl yesterday.

I pulled into the Judah lot, and a lady insisted that it was too wet to ski as the snow was sticking to her goggles. I politely said thank you, and went skiing. She was kinda put out that I was not heeding her advice. I knew that conditions change rapidly. It was a fun day!

Sometimes waiting is a good strategy. Get as many runs in as possible.

Good luck with your goggle search.

Denis.
post #8 of 25
I ski MOSTLY in flat light - Use yellow, gold and rose colored lens in Carrera goggles --they WORK

In my book skiing in flat lite is JUST part of the sport . Don't fear it --FEAST on IT Bro !!!
post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 

Skiing in flat light

Quote:
Originally Posted by heisoktoday View Post
Ski Spirit, where did you ski? Did the dizzyness go away? That would be scary.

Denis.
I was at Squaw. The dizziness came and went. I wasn't dizzy in the afternoon with the different lenses but I didn't ski as much as I would have liked to. And the fact that I felt like my head was spinning did have an impact on my skiing. I tried to focus on the person ahead of me and that helped a bit. There were not a lot of trees where I was skiing.
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ski Spirit View Post

Any recommendations for skiing in flat light? Which lens color/type is optimal ( I have Smith anthem goggles). Any other recommendations beyond switching goggle lenses?
I really like the Smith Yellow lenses for when it is storming. If there might be some sun than I use the Sensor Mirror. The Sensor Mirror is more expensive, but for me it almost as good as the yellow in flat light and has a wider range of light conditions it works well in.

When skiing in bad flat light and limited visibility, ski next to trees, rocks, lift towers or snow making stuff. Any non moving objects will help give you definition of the slope and reduce the amount of vertigo.

It does not matter how much you ski, if you are in the middle of an open slope during a whiteout it is disorientating and potential dangerous (skiing off a cliff).
post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 

Skiing in flat light

Quote:
Originally Posted by StormDay View Post
I really like the Smith Yellow lenses for when it is storming. If there might be some sun than I use the Sensor Mirror. The Sensor Mirror is more expensive, but for me it almost as good as the yellow in flat light and has a wider range of light conditions it works well in.

When skiing in bad flat light and limited visibility, ski next to trees, rocks, lift towers or snow making stuff. Any non moving objects will help give you definition of the slope and reduce the amount of vertigo.

It does not matter how much you ski, if you are in the middle of an open slope during a whiteout it is disorientating and potential dangerous (skiing off a cliff).
Thanks for all of the recommendations everyone! Stormday, I was trying to get the Sensor lenses as they looked the best but yellow worked well yesterday also.

Thanks for the point on whiteouts. I've only skied once in a whiteout and it was on trails I already knew. In that case, I felt like I actually skied better as I had to go on feel. But I can't see doing it on a trail I've never been on!
post #12 of 25
Defining terms here, though. You may ski a lot in flat light and enjoy/embrace it in a place where there are trees around. Above treeline is a whole different ballgame.
post #13 of 25
The lens idea is not bad...but improvements are marginal at best, dont waste money buying goggle after goggle....as stated there really is no cure.

Best tips are:

Ski near trees - they help provide contrast
Ski near people - ie follow someone - it helps
Drag your poles - a little trick if you feel sick is to hold your poles firmly in your hands, and drag the tips in the snow...they act as feelers and help with balance.

Basically take it easy, and take long hot chocalate/lunch breaks is all you can really do.
post #14 of 25
We're known for flat light here. I went down Ptarmigan Bowl the other day, here was the view. If you click the little camera, you'll see it's a movie as I turn around.

The best thing is to ski the mountain when the light is fine and get used to the slopes and conditions. Then, if that isn't sufficient for you, stick close to trees. They help create more shadowing to know the snow texture in addition to providing you with some assistance in knowing the slope angles. Next, if the above two items aren't helping, following someone about 20 feet behind helps a bit. Ski more slowly and in control, constantly monitoring what your feet are telling you about the slope and snow surface. Don't freak out! If needed, stop, take a deep breath and relax.

But I had so much fun going down the totally empty bowl with a foot of fresh over groomed that I did it three times in spite of (as you can see) almost no clues to help me get down other than familiarity with the slope.
post #15 of 25
My fav, flat-light bump run. sibhusky just stuck the camera in a snowbank.
post #16 of 25
I bought Oakley Crowbars with a Hi-Intensity Yellow lens at the beginning of this season. So far they've been my favorite goggles, and my most used this season. They kill it in flat light. They're doable when it gets really sunny but I'd rather have iridium or persimmon if when that happens.
post #17 of 25
Southcentral Alaska in winter sort of defines flat light for me. We deal with it nearly every single day. I was miserable until I got a set of Smith's with Sensor Mirror lenses, based in part on recommendations on this forum from previous threads. I love 'em, but can't compare them with anything other than dark-tinted Spy goggles that didn't cut it where we now live.

Good luck in your search.
post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks again everyone. It was the Smith Sensor mirror lenses that I thought were the best also but none were available for sale that I could find at that point.

Thanks for the general input on different lenses for different conditions. The vast majority of the time, mine seem fine......although really sunny days are not optimal.

Do a lot of you have multiple sets of goggles or lenses for different conditions?
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ski Spirit View Post
Do a lot of you have multiple sets of goggles or lenses for different conditions?
Different conditions? I wish I was so lucky...
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ski Spirit View Post
Do a lot of you have multiple sets of goggles or lenses for different conditions?
yes. For skiing Tahoe it nice to have a good flat light google (Sensor Mirror) and good bright sunny day (spring skiing) goggle like Smith's Platinum Rose lenses.

I have more/different lenses but those 2 are cover the bases and I would only recommend getting those.
post #21 of 25
the best advice i have received for skiing in flat light is this
'let your skis run wider under your body during turns, so as to maintain more contact with the snow, rather then the up and down you usually do. up and down, you lose 'touch' with the snow and therefore are more susceptile to unseen changes in terrain. if you let the skis run wide, you feel the snow for longer and therefore get a split second more to react to changing terrain such as bumps.'
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ski Spirit View Post
For the first time yesterday I skied in flat light and it was disorienting. I would stop and feel like I was still moving. I felt light-headed, dizzy at times. If someone hadn't told me it was due to the light, I would have thought I was sick.
I have struggled with motion sickness my whole life. I love roller coasters, but they make me sick. I have to always be watching the road when I am in a car and I won't even think about getting on a boat. Unfortunately it affects me while I am skiing as well. At first I thought it might be altitude sickness, but I realized that I didn't feel that bad on sunny days and got so sick on cloudy days that I would have to stop skiing. A little internet research and I found that the rhythmic motion of skiing has been found to cause motion sickness in some people and poor visibility can greatly increase the onset and the symptoms.

Last year I pushed it on a flat light day and I got disoriented very quickly. I felt dizziness, nausea, light-headedness, etc. to the point where I got sick on the mountain twice before quiting for the day. This really got me upset because I love to ski and I am lucky to get 12 days in a season so I can't just sit out the cloudy days. Over the summer my Dr. gave me a prescription for the motion sickness patch that you wear behind your ear for 3 days at a time. I have skied 7 days so far this year and 3 of them were in poor visibility. I have worn my motion sickness patch every day of skiing and I have felt fine. Obviously this hasn't helped my vision on flat light days and I still occasionally get mildly disoriented because of the poor visibility, but I keep waiting for the nausea to kick in and it hasn't. The only side effect is my mouth gets dry as hell but I can ski all day in any conditions so I am not going to complain. Now if I can just get my Dr. to get me out of work from December-March for my "ski sickness" life would be perfect.
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by StormDay View Post
yes. For skiing Tahoe it nice to have a good flat light google (Sensor Mirror) and good bright sunny day (spring skiing) goggle like Smith's Platinum Rose lenses.

I have more/different lenses but those 2 are cover the bases and I would only recommend getting those.
exactly the same!
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ski Spirit View Post
Do a lot of you have multiple sets of goggles or lenses for different conditions?
I think you'll find that a few skiers do have multiples; I have two sets.

The long-term change, not mentioned above, is simply learning to use a different focus on the terrain around you.

Peripheral vision has different contrast and color properties than focused vision.

As one builds confidence and speed (in any light, really), the gaze spot changes to further and further away from the skier. The immediate surroundings are then processed by peripheral vision. So, one gets more accustomed to using it, and less disoriented when direct focus gets difficult.

Obvious corollaries:

- the lens that looks best in shop may not ski the best for you; it's hard to examine things without focusing on them.
- the lens that works well for someone else in the same terrain and light may not be right for you, because they're simply looking at a different part of the terrain
- advanced skiers can find situations where peripheral vision is removed quite disorienting, e.g. headlamp skiing
post #25 of 25
Thread Starter 
I think I've said thanks several times. But one more time...thanks. Epic is a great source of info for those of us seeking more knowledge and this is certainly a group of highly knowledgable people!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Beginner Zone
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Beginner Zone › Skiing in flat light