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How long --- ski powder follow up.

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
The thread "How long does it take to learn how to ski powder" has spurred a follow up question in my mind.

It seems that many Bears responded that if you are a good enough skiier on the groomed that the transition to power will be very short. That said do any of you have hints (skills or whatever) that will help midwestern and eastern skiiers to pick up skiing the powder quicker?

I'll start with a couple:
1. It should be obvious, but look for opportunities to ski the less than perfectly groomed snow. Like small bumps, edges where soft snow can build up, and any fresh snow you can find. This will help you work on balance, ski/snow sensitivity and if you are a dedicated carver help you remember that there is more to skiing than leaving perfect tracks on the groomed
2. Don't expect a short dedicated race carver to work well in powder. I have some 160 cm Volkl 6 Stars, but I would not expect them to work in powder. So get some all mountain type or even more dedicated powder ski.
3. My opinion and my way of saying it, but practice short radius turns on steep sections.

Anybody else want to chime in on this
post #2 of 23
- find a powder pitch you would feel comfortable straightlining if it was a groomer.
post #3 of 23
Don't be afraid to fall in pow (it don't hurt).
Move down the hill, speed is your friend.

Finding a ski can be challenging if you fall a lot.
Avoid treewells.
post #4 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

Finding a ski can be challenging if you fall a lot.
Back when Berthoud pass still had a lift, my friend and I rode up and observed a fellow on the steep face under the lift, looking for a ski in the powder. We went down a different way and on the way up, found him still there, with a couple of helpers this time. We went down a different way again and while going up, he was still there with about 6-7 people probing the foot-deep powder for the missing ski. We went down to join in the effort.

Right after we got there, another fellow came along and asked the hapless skier where he fell. The ski-less one pointed to the divot where he landed. The newcomer sidestepped up to that spot, then counted "one-two" sidesteps up from there. He drove his uphill pole into the snow. CLACK! He reached down and pulled up the missing ski.

We all just stared at each other as he handed the ski to the guy and proceeded down the hill.
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the hints and advise. But I see my question was not clear enough. I waasn't looking for powder hints. There have been a couple of good recent threads about that on the forum. I was looking more for hints/suggestions (if any) that skiiers could use on their home midwest or east area that would help prepare them (in advance) for the technique they will need when the get to powder.


That might be a harder question, but I thought there might be some general suggestions floating around out there.
post #6 of 23
Well if it ever snows significantly at your hill, get out in it.
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
- find a powder pitch you would feel comfortable straightlining if it was a groomer.
that can be a good way to find yourself stuck halfway down the hill.
post #8 of 23
shopping for an answer?
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by skugrud View Post
Thanks for the hints and advise. But I see my question was not clear enough. I waasn't looking for powder hints. There have been a couple of good recent threads about that on the forum. I was looking more for hints/suggestions (if any) that skiiers could use on their home midwest or east area that would help prepare them (in advance) for the technique they will need when the get to powder.


That might be a harder question, but I thought there might be some general suggestions floating around out there.
Go water skiing.

When you get a snow storm, go quickly to your local hill with long skinny skis and ski before they can groom it.

Get used to skiing faster.
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by skugrud View Post
Thanks for the hints and advise. But I see my question was not clear enough. I waasn't looking for powder hints. There have been a couple of good recent threads about that on the forum. I was looking more for hints/suggestions (if any) that skiiers could use on their home midwest or east area that would help prepare them (in advance) for the technique they will need when the get to powder.


That might be a harder question, but I thought there might be some general suggestions floating around out there.
Pick an area that is not groomed (solid ice doesn't count). Stop above the area and make one turn in that powder/crud/chop and then back to the run. Everything went well, make 2 turns etc.

Ski these area s straight lining at lst and work on your balance. Once you get comfortable/balanced/fore-aft/lateral then ski a little further and make one big turn maintaining your balance.

This area has a little berm connecting to the groomed. Ski thru the berm and into the pow/crud etc. make on large (maybe bouncy) turn and return to groom. What are you doing skiing he berm-learning fore aft balance, something you will later need in the trees, chutes or anywhere the snow is irregular because of other skiers or just the hill or snow conditions.

Get out into the trees, ski slow, don't look at the trees look at the gap between them where you will go. Go slow at first, this will give you the advantage of learning to turn in all types of postures and positions. Some of the best powder is in the trees.

These are "little" ways you can get ready for REAL powder at your home midwest etc. area.

Skucrud Hopes thats what you were looking for. Pete
post #11 of 23
I cannot ski powder simply because I just have not had enough exposure to it so I'm interested in this thread. In chopped up snow I either carve through it on my SL skis if it is shallow enough or make sure I do an airborne edge change to not trip up.

In pow I weight my skis evenly (or you get a knee in the chin and the other ski buried!) and tip them to start a turn. This seems to work well on shallow slopes, I have yet to try steeps. On fat skies it looks like you can ski pow almost like the groomed as long as you go fast enough.

I ski everything on sl skis which probably doesn't help!
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by skugrud View Post
...do any of you have hints (skills or whatever) that will help midwestern and eastern skiiers to pick up skiing the powder quicker?
Rule #1 Don't be last.
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post
Don't be afraid to fall in pow (it don't hurt).
Move down the hill, speed is your friend.

Finding a ski can be challenging if you fall a lot.
Avoid treewells.
I wonder who bitched at you for day getting you to do this.

powder, go as fast you can, look down the hill, move the hill and allway keep turning is a great start.
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by skugrud View Post
That said do any of you have hints (skills or whatever) that will help midwestern and eastern skiiers to pick up skiing the powder quicker?
Try something like this..

First off, golf a lot this summer. Start calling in sick and use vacation time to golf. You can't take your sick time with you, so be sure to burn it.

Next, around next September start organizing your finances. Really this just means you should have a few grand in the bank. Be sure to get out of any leases you have or find a way to rent your house.

Now here's the important part: around the first of October you'll want to walk into your boss' office and quit your job. That should give you plenty of time to arrive in your favorite western destination by November so you can secure a job and be a ski bum for the rest of winter.

Coming from the midwest, I found that really improved my powder skiing.
post #15 of 23
Again the question is how deep is the powder? If the snow is from the midwest or east it will usually be to shallow to be bottomless, although there are exceptions. Skiing snow up to about 18 inches, and you will be skiing off a base, unless you can afford specalty skis. When skiing off powder with a base, you must wait to pick up some speed before the first turn. After that the turns are done with patience, waiting for the ski to work. this is all done as if you were skiing a groomed area, but again with patience. Bottomless powder is similar in that you first must wait for some speed. The slope should be steep enough because of the resistance of the powder. As said before just go straight down the hill the first time. On your second try pick up some speed, then drop your hip slightly to the inside of one ski and be very patient. The ski must build up pressure, as it does it will turn. The most important thing in powder is patience, first in some speed and second in your turns. Never rush your turns. You will be exhausted after only a few runs. So relax and enjoy.
post #16 of 23
Practice skiing with your boots touching. If you dive into the pow thinking you're going to spread your stance and carve, I hope you like the taste of snow. (That was what I did in my first ever powder turn) The "two footed" approach worked for me personally- try keeping your feet as close as possible and practice your pow turns- remember, always maintain control or at least be looking far enough ahead to be able to deal with the landscape if you're in the backseat a bit.
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
I wonder who bitched at you for day getting you to do this.
That would be you. :

To the OP.

I skied lot of crud, moguls and trees the two years before I moved to UT. I think that experience helped me become a better more complete more agressive skier. Another important aspect is the fact that if you can struggle through the pain of learning moguls, the the easy fun process of learning to ski pow will be cake for you.
post #18 of 23
1. be very centered...absolute
2. two feet skiing together..can't be lazy
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoWork View Post
Practice skiing with your boots touching. If you dive into the pow thinking you're going to spread your stance and carve, I hope you like the taste of snow. (That was what I did in my first ever powder turn) The "two footed" approach worked for me personally- try keeping your feet as close as possible and practice your pow turns- remember, always maintain control or at least be looking far enough ahead to be able to deal with the landscape if you're in the backseat a bit.
wrong on so many levels.....

you boots should never touch seriousally, unless your comp bump skiing and even those those guys dont tocuh.

2 footed is a great way to learn but the real trick to great powder skiing in pressure managment between both skis all along each lenght.

Quite often I ski powder fast on just my outside ski, sometime if I get kicked I am on the inside ski but thats only a recovery move.
post #20 of 23
I skiied in the east for 12 years before moving out west. The biggest change was learning to keep both planks evenly weighted. I developed a bad habbit of only weighting the downhill ski when I lived out east, and that didn't transfer too well into western powder skiing.

Fat skis also help, a lot. Anything less than 85mm at the waist is going to be a real challenge. Even then, my 179 PEs are almost too skinny, really.
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaggy View Post
I skiied in the east for 12 years before moving out west. The biggest change was learning to keep both planks evenly weighted. I developed a bad habbit of only weighting the downhill ski when I lived out east, and that didn't transfer too well into western powder skiing.

Fat skis also help, a lot. Anything less than 85mm at the waist is going to be a real challenge. Even then, my 179 PEs are almost too skinny, really.
I weigh 210lbs, but I find that at cruising speeds (I honestly have no idea how fast) on my 108mm waisted skis, I can easily make nice long 1 footed turns and still not hit bottom much at all.
post #22 of 23
Lots of people in midwest and east ski by pushing on the firm snow and bracing their body on it. I used to be like that. In bottomeless powder of the west, that fails miserably because the snow is "bottomless" and can't be "braced" against!

The idea of being "balanced" on BOTH of the skis are what will transfer over to powder. Simple as that. Of course, it's easier said than done.

Being able to balance, both for-after and laterally, by relying on the subtle feedback from the snow, is what skiing powder is about. So, try to "feel" the snow, as sensitive as possible, even on groomers, will go a long way in preparing for powder.

Still, the best pratice of skiing powder, is skiing powder.
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by skugrud View Post
Thanks for the hints and advise. But I see my question was not clear enough. I waasn't looking for powder hints. ... I was looking more for hints/suggestions (if any) that skiiers could use on their home midwest or east area that would help prepare them (in advance) for the technique they will need when the get to powder.

That might be a harder question, but I thought there might be some general suggestions floating around out there.
As a powder junkie for many decades it's my opinion that there is no technique you can practice in non-powder snow that will do much to make you a better powder skier. Powder skiing is 3-deminsional and cannot effectively be practiced in a 2-deminsional setting. IMO the essential key is patience. All novice powder skiers have problems because they try to rush (i.e. force) the turn to happen. Every type of deep snow has it's own rythm, which is complimented by the stiffness of your skis. You have to allow the ski to flex and possibly surface before the turn happens in deep snow. It is not a technique so much as a feel of what your ski is doing. The best thing to do to be ready to ski powder is to concentrate on the feel of your skis, and not to practice a particular technique.

The new super wide skis have totally changed powder skiing so that it no longer requires so much of the two ski balancing act. With fat boards you can essentially stand on one and then the other in deep snow just like on hardpack, but you still have to wait for the turn to happen.
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