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Steep Terrain - Okay to lift the inside ski? - Page 2

post #31 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_501 View Post
For you guys that ski steeps, what motivates you to tackle something like the chute shown at the end of this vid?
I don't understand the motivation. Of course, they probably don't understand my motivation to make posts about ass scratching.
post #32 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by drewski180 View Post
Is it poor form/technique to lift your uphill ski (as it is becoming the downhill ski) as you go to make a turn on really steep terrain. Should you keep both skis in contact with the snow the entire way through the turn or is it alright to lift that uphill ski to bring it around easier/faster? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks
My opinion, FWIW, is that lifting one ski or hopping to change edges is a "safer" method when one is in doubt about his/her abilities to change edges without catching or tripping over the edges during edge change. It certainly takes a bit more skillful execution to leave the skis on the snow during edge changes in the steep narrow stuff. This should be the goal and is a trademark of a very high skill level but when in doubt a little hop or lift at edge change is the safer option.
post #33 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by ESki View Post
Personally, I think it's really a matter of preference. Leave the new inside ski on the snow or lift it a bit (tip on the snow). As long as you roll it as you lighten and/or lift it in the transition. This the key.

Here's a short quip I dug out of my book text (IMHO of course). This refers to pretty darn steep terrain in particular:

"The technique is not much different from the movements you use on moderate terrain. You’ll still rely on the essential movements of sound all-mountain skiing. The main modification: Steep skiing requires more of a “pedal” move in transition—that is, an active switch in leg length during the transition, mimicking the action of pedaling a bicycle.
The goal is to minimize the vertical drop between edge-sets, and therefore minimize the time you accelerate in free-fall as you get from the control phase of one turn to the control phase of the next. The bottom of the turn is the control phase, where you need to achieve a very efficient setting of the edge to control speed and maintain the option to stop completely if necessary. (photo here)
To release the turn and flow into the next, there is an active weight shift onto the uphill ski, created by retracting the downhill foot as you actively extend the uphill leg. As the downhill foot is retracting and you are pushing off with the uphill leg, you want to immediately tip your new inside foot decisively toward its little-toe edge (down the hill), so you lead the edge change with this light foot. This movement will draw you down the slope, naturally releasing the uphill foot and ski to flow through transition and become the weighted outside ski in the new turn. " (end quote).

Persoanlly I also feel that keeping the inside foot light and/or actively lifting it as the ski comes throught eh falline can actually enhance edge grip on hard snow. Also, can provide a rutter, if you will, when ripping big turns in soft steep snow while carrying any combination of weight ratio as long as the angle of the two skis are at least similar.

Bit of a random tangent there at the end but may be interesting to a few.

Ciao-
E
Working toward what Eric was showing at ESA, in some of the narrower, steeper chutes at Alta this week, I definitely found myself relaxing the old stance ski and lifting it if I had to make a very short turn. If I had just relaxed the old stance leg and tipped the foot, I would travel down the fall line for a bit, and pick up speed, whereas I wanted to move across the skis immediately and finish the turn without picking up speed. The downhill pole plant, level shoulders with the fall line, combined with really unweighting the old outside foot, brought the skis around in a hurry. Watching a ski video the other day (Anamoly I think), pretty much everyone skier in a really steep pitch was either really unweighting or actively lifting that old stance ski to aggressively turn without spending too much time in the fall line. When skiing more open crud, I didn't find myself lifting the ski, but lightening and using the pedal turn-definitely. It makes all the difference in terms of control, balance foot-to-foot, and achieving angulation.
post #34 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post
The downhill pole plant, level shoulders with the fall line, combined with really unweighting the old outside foot, brought the skis around in a hurry.
Well said. Lifting is the fastest way to release and get into the new turn asap.
post #35 of 58
So, i just returned a few minutes ago from a short backcountry run out my back door. it's 300vertical of around 35 to 45degrees, with lots of popcorn like shapes underneath. The entry is through a cliff band, into trees, then through the boulder garden/popcorn field. the snow was the abundant pow we've had here, since the only one that skis this run is me, with the top inch turned into a little crust. I had a good time, with some nuts and bolts skiing, and as I was skinning up I was looking at my tracks. it was very apparent in the tracks that I release the old outside ski by retracting, sometimes give a little push off the uphil ski, and am sometimes off the snow for a moment. it's a retract/redirect and once again in natural snow, where you have to be in a certain spot, its my go to turn. sometimes there is just a retract, sometimes a distinct up unweighting coupled with the retraction of the old outside leg. is it bad form, I think not. just a way to enjoy tougher snow in tigher spaces.

Anyway, just thought i'd throw my observations from a steep tiring climb (more tiring then it had to be, as the cold snow underneath was sticking to my wet skin and making the feet feel like a ball and chain, note to self, remember glop stopper wax for skins next trip).

Also, while I agree with your statement above, Bud, I hope people don't see these nuts and bolt options as cheapened turns. it's very valuable to have a bombproof edgechange that gets you where you want to be, when you want to be there without questions.

Dawg, I'm glad your working on that and I'm also glad you had the opportunity to ski w/ eric to follow up on our time together. sounds like you've got a good handle on it now.

Max, I'm a very cautious skier, but as with anything, it's a matter of degree. I enjoy the mind game of pushing my personal boundries, and the mind game of making the right turn at the neccesary time is something i enjoy. a wide open field doesn't interest me, I need trees, rocks and features in moderately steeper pitches to increase the engagement level.

Cheers,
Holiday
post #36 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Holiday View Post
...
Also, while I agree with your statement above, Bud, I hope people don't see these nuts and bolt options as cheapened turns. it's very valuable to have a bombproof edgechange...
If virtually all freeskiers, steep/"extreme" skiers, and racers lift the old outside/ new inside ski at times, it can't be that bad.
post #37 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post
If virtually all freeskiers, steep/"extreme" skiers, and racers lift the old outside/ new inside ski at times, it can't be that bad.
Its not bad but the question is more importantly why they lift it? I see not too good skiers lift their new inside ski in the air and try to angle it in the fall line and beyond causing the outside ski to stay behind resulting in a very nasty upper body rotational movement into the turn, back seat balance and crash. In fact that is exactly what a total novice first timer will try to do on the bunny hill if he is not instructed correctly. The freeskiers you refer to in videos are not necessarily technically great skiers and the circumstances are pritty horrifying with the dangers of avalanches, rocks, drops and glacier cracks luring close by. Those are not role models for technically how we should try to ski in steep terrain. They are good examples of what it looks like when it is being done when conditions are extreme. Note that those guys are not picking the new inside ski off the snow as a isolated move with the intent of making turning easy. They usually jump with both feet up in the air. Sometimes only one gets up out of the snow sometimes both but in deep snow its usually the old downhill ski since the slope pitch favours it.
post #38 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_501 View Post
For you guys that ski steeps, what motivates you to tackle something like the chute shown at the end of this vid?
I've never skied something with that kind of exposure nor that kind of pitch over that duration. But I have skied above exposure. And I have skied at similar pitches for much shorter vert sans the exposure. So FWIW I'd say the motivation to ski something like that is the same motivation that motivates a person to try skiing for the first time, for a beginner to tackle a blue, an intermediate try a black, an advanced skier to drop into a double black. It's progression, you start on easier terrain and master your skills slowly expanding your comfort zone until the mountain is your oyster.
post #39 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilT View Post
I've never skied something with that kind of exposure nor that kind of pitch over that duration. But I have skied above exposure. And I have skied at similar pitches for much shorter vert sans the exposure. So FWIW I'd say the motivation to ski something like that is the same motivation that motivates a person to try skiing for the first time, for a beginner to tackle a blue, an intermediate try a black, an advanced skier to drop into a double black. It's progression, you start on easier terrain and master your skills slowly expanding your comfort zone until the mountain is your oyster.
Exactly, you grow into it and eventually you grow out of it ....
post #40 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
Its not bad but the question is more importantly why they lift it?.
I say...to get the quickest release of the old outside ski, quickest move to the new outside ski and least chance of getting hung up during the edge change.


"Note that those guys are not picking the new inside ski off the snow as a isolated move with the intent of making turning easy. They usually jump with both feet up in the air" TDK

I think you need to take another look at some big mountain footage. I know you ski well, TDK, but I don't think you are seeing these movements as clearly as you could. They are retracting that old outside leg to get a quick release and transfer to the new ski. they are not jumping both feet in the air most of time, but retracting and rolling through neutral on one foot instead of the 2 on a full contact, weighted release turn.

Also, there are some damn good technical skiers on those vids. we watch them ski daily at squaw and you don't end up skiing unskied cols on film and radical spines in AK because you are a chump. yes, some of the new schoolers don't have as high of skills on the ground as some and they are there because they can huck w/ loopy style, but most of the those boys ski awfully well. this footage that CT Kook put up is perfectly thought out as technical big mt lines with good execution and for someone to say this guy is not a good technical skier is a bit off.

Anyway,
i had a good morning massaging some steep chalk on 5 or6 non stops at squaw this am thinking about this. what's interesting is the transition point for me, after the more exposed turns, where I am completely retracting the old outside, then in as the exposure lessens, I move toward a full contact 2 footed release. It is as Bud said, the retract off the snow is safer, and more secure. does that mean we shouldn't use it? as you know, I thank not. I reiterate, that I think it's not bad form. If i didn't have this move, I wouldn't want to ski some of the lines i skied this AM, for example. Anohter example would be ESA tahoe last year... Eric D had joined our group w/ Mike Rogan (i was video guy). Our Squaw guide had made a sketchy turn into the Portal that was a "if you miss it, you could die" turn. he did one turn finish, no edge change, to get over the crux and still looked very sketchy (good skier, level 3, long time squaw guy). Mike is amazing skier and technically super solid, but looked in and said "not for me", then eric D made 3 precision short turns using just this technique we've been discussing, peeked over the edge and was gone. Scott (Dawg) and I followed Mike around... Was that poor form on E's part? since he was the only one w/ solid enough tech to feel totally bombproof launching turns here, I don't think so.

Anyway, just a long office afternoon after a great steep skiing AM, so sorry if this was long winded. I really get irritated when people dis this type of skiing. it's classic ski instructor misdirection, where the idealistic gets in the way of the REAL.

cheers,
Holiday
post #41 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Holiday View Post
"Note that those guys are not picking the new inside ski off the snow as a isolated move with the intent of making turning easy. They usually jump with both feet up in the air" TDK

I think you need to take another look at some big mountain footage. I know you ski well, TDK, but I don't think you are seeing these movements as clearly as you could. They are retracting that old outside leg to get a quick release and transfer to the new ski. they are not jumping both feet in the air most of time, but retracting and rolling through neutral on one foot instead of the 2 on a full contact, weighted release turn.

I really get irritated when people dis this type of skiing. it's classic ski instructor misdirection, where the idealistic gets in the way of the REAL.

cheers,
Holiday
I could not agree more with you on your last paragraph here above.

Retracting that outside ski was the way we used to ski back in the 80s. Im not sure when it started and when it was supposed to end but check my verbiere clip here below and tell me what you see:

http://ski.topeverything.com/default...nt&ID=1069DB24

When this clip was up on epic for the first time back in 2004 I got a lot of feedback that it was wrong not to keep my skis on the snow. Lots of experts handed me the ide that the way I skied in this particular clip was showing poor technique. What do you think?
post #42 of 58

nuts and bolts skiing

nice clip, TDK.
That is what I've referred to as nuts and bolts skiing. it's not refined, and smooth, but active and engaged, getting the job done. based on the amount of snow your moving, i'm guessing their are some real forces here so it must have some good pitch, what do you think, maybe 37 or 38 degrees, nice wintery wind and skier packed chalk?

you get back on the first turn and shot out a bit, but you catch up well. You also get a bit inside on a couple, but I have no issues w/ the retract, redirect. there are 2 other things I focus on for these turns and it looks like you do these things in all but the last 1: tip before you turn. in other words, if the first move after the release/retract is to tip the ski toward the new edge, not try to turn it, then it works. Second: engage the edges before the crossing the fall line. if you have transfered while retracted/ light or in the air, then you engage prior to the fall line the skis behave much better. in your last turn when it looks like you were avoiding the cat track, you went beyond the fall line and got overrotated because you didn't have the resistance of the engaged edges to that rotational force.
i think the first point is where so many people have trouble w/ this turn. if your first move is to turn that newly lifted, lightened ski, you are screwed. if you tip it toward the little toe as your first move, you can be good to go.

as the pitch lessened, i bet thing smoothed out significantly and you were styling it. ski teachers giving this type of skiing a hard time can send people backwards in my opinion. instead of making things happen, skiers can get too passive. stating that you could maintain contact and smooth it out if you so choose and feel confident isn't wrong, it just needs to presented in such a way as to not be negative. if this cattrack you are above was a 500 ft cliff and you wanted to make those same turns, you'd probably use the same release today, and probably ski it slower, even if you could ski that pitch w/ a full contact 2 footed release.

thx for the pics.

holiday
post #43 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_501 View Post
For you guys that ski steeps, what motivates you to tackle something like the chute shown at the end of this vid?
I know the question wasn't directed to me, as I'm not one to really go in for mountain-extreme-slow skiing. Though I suppose I'm starting to feel the urge to explore that side of things now in my old age. However, I've pondered this question for some time, and as near as I can figure it, it's basically the same as mountain climbing, only going in the other direction and with skis. Challenge and feeling of accomplishment.
post #44 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_501 View Post
For you guys that ski steeps, what motivates you to tackle something like the chute shown at the end of this vid?

Adrenaline!
post #45 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrooK View Post
Adrenaline!
There has got to be more to it than adrenaline. Adrenaline is why you straight-line a narrow chute with run out, not why you would slowly make your way down one with these turns.
post #46 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
There has got to be more to it than adrenaline. Adrenaline is why you straight-line a narrow chute with run out, not why you would slowly make your way down one with these turns.
Not true. You achieve adrenalin when you break your "adrenalin-boundary", which is definitely broken if you believe your life is at stakes if you make just one mistake. So adrenaline is a big part of it. Another part is accomplishment. And being able to brag about it is actually also a factor
post #47 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post
If virtually all freeskiers, steep/"extreme" skiers, and racers lift the old outside/ new inside ski at times, it can't be that bad.
Do you have the same balancing skill as the above said skiers?

Just sayin'....
post #48 of 58
I don't know about CT but I know that you and I do at least. I mean, can't you see what it says under our usernames.
post #49 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilT View Post
I don't know about CT but I know that you and I do at least. I mean, can't you see what it says under our usernames.
Pssst. I know I dont!
post #50 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post
Weak.

Well, do you?
post #51 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post
Phil, you're a ski instructor.
Aka I'm a super hardcore elite expert.
post #52 of 58
Well looks like you deleted you original post, but here's the rebuttal anyway....

Is it misdirection by the coach or the student?

The original statement is basically "all of these great athletes do this so it must be OK."

The implication here is "I" want to ski like a world class skier (FWIW, I'd put eski in that group). That is a worthy, albiet lofty goal.

That was countered by "Ok, are you a great athlete, ie world class skier?"

If the answer to #2 is no, then we must think about if what they do and can do (based on their skier development) is appropriate for us to do given OUR skier development. Are these the same? The answer to this question might be yes. But for most mere mortals, I don't think that's the answer.

Now what I'm not saying is that there aren't times when we'll all be on one ski. I think that's been shown in this thread. But in the context of the original question, "is lifting a ski in steep terrain OK?", my next question becomes "Where are we more in balance, with 1 ski on the snow, or 2 skis on the snow?" Even the SLIGHTEST contact with the snow with our "other" foot (or any other 2nd point of contact for that matter (ie poles)) gives our brain the cues it needs to balance and gives us a tremendous amount of stability. How long can you balance on 1 leg while standing still? Two legs? How about while moving? Virtually everyone I know will say that they are more balanced with two feet on the ground.

So my next question for you is, why would we want to compromise our balance by taking away 1/2 of our base in the most difficult skiing situations? I don't. Do you?

Now I'm not saying an early weight shift or relaxing the inside leg or what ever you want to call it isn't needed warranted, what I'm disputing is the original premise of "Should you keep both skis in contact with the snow the entire way through the turn or is it alright to lift that uphill ski to bring it around easier/faster?" Quite simply for most folks in most situations lifting the old outside/downhill ski is poor technique. Proper technique is a release of the old downhill/outside edge by flattening the ski to the snow. This can be done in concert with relaxing and that ski (which makes the move easier). If done properly, one can make this release move AND maintain ski/snow contact which affords us better balance. I won't dispute that as things REALLY become steep, this is a VERY difficult move to make. Again, what I'm disputing is the fact that completely lifting the old downhill ski off the snow is a better position of balance than striving to maintain ski snow contact. It's simply a goal. That's it. Do I expect people to be 100% successful with it? No. Does that change the fact that I can make it a goal in my skiing? No.

So my opinion on the matter here boils down to, while skiing (or any other movement sport), there's plan A and there's plan B. Why go to plan B if you don't have to?
post #53 of 58
Well, IMHO this lifting the inside ski thing is "OK" if it's voluntary. Reading the original post doesn't tell the whole story. The first picture that came to mind was someone who is afriad to release the inside ski when terrain gets steeper (and depending on the skier, this could vary from a moderate blue to as steep as you want).This skier would then push the old inside/new outside ski out onto an edge widening the stance, they would then find that they could not get the old inside ski to turn without lifting it off the snow and bringing it in to match. This is an example of where the lift would be "not OK".

I think that as Lonnie says, moving both skis together should be the ideal. If you can't do that when you want to, then your skiing is lacking. If you are moving the skis sequentially as a tactical choice, then I don't see a problem with it.
post #54 of 58
<<
I think it probably would be better put as 'Is lifting the inside ski bad form?' as opposed to being something that is OK to do(there is nothing objectively wrong with lifting the inside ski.) The answer depends a lot on how steep is 'steep', what the conditions are, and what your objective is. It also depends on whether or not you are lifting the ski to compensate for not properly releasing the edges or are trying to get the skis around too fast due to anxiety over the pitch and terrain - usually these two scenarios are when unintended stemming or lifting takes place.

By bad form I don't mean ugly or improper, I am referring to an unneeded movement that may not be the most efficient or productive use of energy, and may compromise your balance at a future time. Extending the new inside leg as you enter the turn is more efficient and will allow a better strong inside half early in the turn.

You will pick up a lot of speed on steeper terrain while turning and if speed control is your objective you might be tempted to lift the ski, pivot, and jam the skis to bleed off speed. This can get you in trouble pretty quick on steep terrain.

Just because it's steep, I would say its not the most efficient way to start a new turn. Of course, others may differ and this all depends on what school you come from(PSIA, PMTS..). As others stated, I would concentrate more on extension of the new inside leg rather than lifting, unless of course the conditions call for it. It can turn into a habit that is hard to break and creeps up elsewhere. 

 
>>>>> First of all, when it is steep(>45 deg) your downhill leg is pretty straight, and the uphill leg very bent- geometry. Second, you can't extend the new inside ski-which is the downhill ski at the beginning of the turn, because it is already extended. you need to transfer weight to the uphill ski, which is bent, and straighten it, which is another way to say push on it. As you are doing this, retract the downhill leg, to take away any weight from it. When i see inexperienced skiers turn on steep terrain, the most common mistake is to keep weight on both skis, and try to make a hop turn off both skis. Which doesn't work, as it is impossible to hop off a straight leg, as the downhill leg is. The result can be that they are making a shallow turn, less than 45 deg, and pick up a lot of speed, typically in the back seat.
post #55 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by rod9301 View Post

... When i see inexperienced skiers turn on steep terrain, the most common mistake is to keep weight on both skis, and try to make a hop turn off both skis. Which doesn't work, as it is impossible to hop off a straight leg, as the downhill leg is....

Yeah, I think part of the issue is that a lot of the "always be two-footed, racers and steeps skiers are doing it wrong" crowd actually don't ski steep terrain, so they don't have an appreciation of the mechanical demands of the environment. 
post #56 of 58
The more I address/try different movements in skiing the more I agree with CTKook. Instead of trying to ski a certain way adjust your movements to stay balanced in any conition or terrain. Ski outside the box.
post #57 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post

The more I address/try different movements in skiing the more I agree with CTKook. Instead of trying to ski a certain way adjust your movements to stay balanced in any conition or terrain. Ski outside the box.

x2
post #58 of 58
I think Bud Heishmann and Eric DesLaurier above and a few others nailed it for beginners/intermediates, while keeping both skis on the snow is a great goal - it does require a very high level of expertise. Now this humble intermediate who is a beginner-intermediate and is practicing working on negotiating the steeps in a very controlled relax fashion, a bit beyond the turn-sideslip-turn part, runs into the most common problem, on Right turn - still wedge out when turning downhill, especially from a standing-start, and in the clip below you will see lets say how those learning work on it. The slope is at Catamount, called Catapult, its steep enough for yours truly (~30deg at a certain point as per this site http://ski-degrees.synthasite.com/) and in my humble view much harder than wolverine at Windham and jericho at jiminy because of the varying conditions on the slope - ice,changing fall line, moguls - i have skiied all of them calmly, and as relaxed as I can be). I was skiing with my pal chuck, who is a level 3 instructor actually, and you can see, inside leg rises to help turn(the tip too!), and i do jam my downhill leg which after this video was recorded, i have learnt to flex more naturally over the downhill leg, and discovered the better edge grip that delivers..anyway, this is from a relative novice for the experts on this forum:
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