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First attemp to jump off a cornice (w/video)

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
Hi folks,

Last weekend on my last day of the season I decided to try to ski right into a cornice at A-Basin, but the landing was unsuccessful. I am looking for some feedback to see what I did wrong and how to approach it next time I try. BTW, I had read some of the old threads about this (very useful) but I want to see specifically what went wrong in my attempt.

A couple of things about the run. When I decided to do it I had previously traversed into it. The snow was soft and the slope flattened out fairly quickly so it seemed like a good place to try it for the first time. Also, it didn't look that big of a cornice from the side, but as I was launching off it the landing seemed REALLY far away, I gotta say I got really freaked out. But it was fun! So now I really wanna learn how to do it properly, even though I'll have to wait 6+ months for the next try.

On the video I notice that I leaned to the right pretty quickly, which I'm guessing was my natural reaction when I got scared at the top. I appreciate all the help I can get.

Simon

post #2 of 50
That looks like an instant replay of my first cornice jump last season... I did the same damn thing, man- don't feel bad. Try hitting it straight- if you land on edge you'll probably bite it like we're both apparently awesome at. When you land (not sure if this is good advice, but it worked for me) STAY BALANCED & get ready to absorb impact with your legs- keep your feet together and when you land, basically just sit down- once you have a footing, straighten out your legs a bit and ski off... I think the biggest thing about dropping in is keeping your shoulders square to the fall line and the skis lined up so they want to scoot out of the landing spot, not catch an edge. You wouldn't hit a jump sideways, right? Imagine you're schussing a ramp next time. It's what worked for me!

disclaimer- I'm not an expert or an instructor, but I had a very similar problem with drop-in landings. The biggest thing? Repitition. It's the best feeling in the world when you get it right, too...
post #3 of 50
don't lean back. you want your body to be perpendicular to the hill, not parallel.
post #4 of 50
Hi Simon,

Looks like you were sitting back when your skis touched down--probably because you aren't super comfortable in the air yet. To get that comfort, dial it back a notch and start with some straight-lining. Find a spot where the cornice is vertical or maybe has a very short drop, but where the slope below remains steep. Step up to the edge, let your tips hang over, and push straight off. As soon as you start to move, drive your tips down--this will bring your hips forward and keep you centered. Land going straight, and crank a couple of GS turns to slow down (or if you are at the Basin, bang a long left turn back up to the ridge so you can hit the West Wall cornice again. Repeat as necessary until you are completely comfortable with the speed. At this point, you want to minimize the air and focus on the sensations in a more controlled environment. BTW, you can get away with skiing up to the edge of an in-bounds cornice, but don't try this in the backcountry. The cornice may well collapse on you.

Once you've gotten comfortable, back up four feet or so and hit the lip with some speed. Pull your knees up as you lift off. You'll get some good air, but now you your body will automatically do the right thing in the air & you'll stay over your skis. As you approach the landing, extend your legs about half-way. Your knees are still bent, but now you have some room to flex to absorb the shock. That's all there is to it.

I'd be remiss if I didn't put a plug in for Eric (ESki) and Rob Deslauriers book here: Ski the Whole Mountain: How to Ski Any Condition at Any Time . That's where I first heard this advice and it worked really well for me.
post #5 of 50
you freaked out before you even started that run.

If you dont think you can do it, you never going to be able to do it.

Lets face it that like maybe a 3 foot drop, all you have to do is drive you entire body forward, and land with soft legs, and you will be able to run out. There is no skill here, its all just 'going for it" and not freaking out.
post #6 of 50
As soon as you hit the edge jump and pull your knees to your chest. This gives you more control in the air. Don't lean back as everyone has said. Expect that when you hit the snow you will stick the landing and ski away. Expect to fall into a pile and that's what you will do. Stick just one and you get it. You will be looking for bigger and bigger drops.
post #7 of 50
How not to drop a cornice skier 1 who fell


How to drop a cornice skier 2 who stuck it cleaned

this was fairly small drop slightly larger than the one in the video but trust me if you get your body like skier 2 I can pretty much promise you will land something like that.
post #8 of 50
From where he "jumped" to where he landed was at least 10' Bushwack I thought like you but pause the impact you will agree I think. Still a very pedestrian drop.
post #9 of 50
Thanks to Phil, and Geoffda, I did the Cornice several times, twice Successfully!!!
No vid of me, but I have vid of Geoffda and Philpug!
May post later.
post #10 of 50
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the responses. BW you are right that I freaked out before starting, add to that the sensation of how "big" it looked the split second I was airbone and then you understand why I lean back and to the right, which is my natural defensive reaction when I feel I'm losing control.

Still, it was an incredible sensation! I'll try to practice and absorbe as much information from your responses and try it again next season.
post #11 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski=free View Post
From where he "jumped" to where he landed was at least 10' Bushwack I thought like you but pause the impact you will agree I think. Still a very pedestrian drop.
Yeah, the cornice has definitely been giving up 10 footers lately if you hit it with any speed.
post #12 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by simonbda View Post
BW you are right that I freaked out before starting, add to that the sensation of how "big" it looked the split second I was airbone
Why don't you go smaller. Nothing wrong with building confidence by working up to bigger drops. I'd say you were over your head, if only because of what was going through your mind. Looks like you had fun though, and that means a smaller drop will be less intimidating.
post #13 of 50
Thread Starter 
Geoffda, I just re-read your previous post and it is extremely informative. Thanks for the great tips about practicing and getting comfortable before attempting it again. And the book you recommended seems like a steal for $10 on Amazon, already on my shopping cart.
post #14 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post
Why don't you go smaller. Nothing wrong with building confidence by working up to bigger drops. I'd say you were over your head, if only because of what was going through your mind. Looks like you had fun though, and that means a smaller drop will be less intimidating.
Definitely. As I said, it didn't look that big from the side, which shows my inexperience. And right before I tried it 4 guys did it in succesion which led me to think "hey, that doesn't look that hard!"
post #15 of 50
That cornice is one of my favorite in the whole world. TC does have some vid that might help, a bottom view. Bush's side view pics are textbook body position. Here is another good example of body position:

post #16 of 50
Video one: Philpug
post #17 of 50
Video two:
Geoffda & Fourtysix&2(snowboard)
post #18 of 50
Nice videos. I loved that cornice, although I never tried to catch that much air. I think the trick is not to look before you leap. I just loved the speed it gave me. It is really different from anything that I've skied in the east. What other mountains have cornices like that?
post #19 of 50
simonbda,

No advice here, just kudos on posting a video of you messing up and asking for help.

That's the only way to learn and improve, but so many people don't want to go out on a limb. Plus this also helps out others like me... Dropping in like this is something that i'm not very good at, and would love to improve on.
post #20 of 50
Trekchick vbmenu_register("postmenu_908365", true);
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Video two:
Geoffda & Fourtysix&2(snowboard)


Whoa, Trekchick, was that you doing the heavy breathing? I'm gonna have to get a 3rd ski!
:
post #21 of 50
Thread Starter 
TC, nice videos. See? they make it look so easy that I had to try!

Taw, the nice thing about that cornice is that the slope flattens out quickly so there is more room for error. I wouldn't have tried the same at the ridge in Taos or the Cirque in Snowbird because an error there and you end up tumbling for hundreds of feet.

Jaobrien, thanks for the encouragement. The great thing about Epic is that there are so many great skiers eager to help you out. I don't think I would have had such a great season if it wasn't for the contagious enthusiasm and passion for skiing that you see on this board.

And at least I didn't end up like this (skip to the 5'30" mark):

post #22 of 50
I was thinking about this alot last night after I went home from work because I had a similar problem- I kept invisioning the times I crashed & burned and tried to see how I screwed up. Yep. Too far in the backseat. You guys were right. I'm definately going to tattoo staying forward on my brain for my next drop-in. I must say, tho- there's been at least twice when there was a bit more pow that I actually went over the handlebars because the tips dove after I landed. Maybe this is why I associated impact absorbtion with sitting a bit back. Man... I guess I need some seeeeerious work...
post #23 of 50
Where are the cornices at Taos that you are thinking about? At the top of Stauffenberg and Juarez? Are there others. I ski there about once a year.

taw
post #24 of 50
Thread Starter 
Yes, the cornices at Taos are on the ridge. I don't think there's one that is right off the lifts.
post #25 of 50
simonbda look again at the two pictures BWPA posted. First skier fell, sencond skier landed cleanly, ya? Now look at their hands, second jumper has both hands in front, hips over heels. Think about reaching for your landing with both poles, if you drop a hand back you're gonna end up in the back seat.
post #26 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoeLarryCheese View Post


Whoa, Trekchick, was that you doing the heavy breathing? I'm gonna have to get a 3rd ski!
:
That's what happens when a girl has snowgasms
post #27 of 50
no expert here, but look at Phil's picture, the easiest way is to match the pitch with your skis and keep the hands forward. keep your upper body still and somewhat neutral. No need to jump off, as you descend, you should basically match the terrain and land smoothly.
post #28 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoWork View Post
I was thinking about this alot last night after I went home from work because I had a similar problem- I kept invisioning the times I crashed & burned and tried to see how I screwed up. Yep. Too far in the backseat. You guys were right. I'm definately going to tattoo staying forward on my brain for my next drop-in. I must say, tho- there's been at least twice when there was a bit more pow that I actually went over the handlebars because the tips dove after I landed. Maybe this is why I associated impact absorbtion with sitting a bit back. Man... I guess I need some seeeeerious work...
If your going over the handle bars get longer skis.
post #29 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post
no expert here, but look at Phil's picture, the easiest way is to match the pitch with your skis and keep the hands forward. keep your upper body still and somewhat neutral. No need to jump off, as you descend, you should basically match the terrain and land smoothly.
Yup, no real jumping, just point 'em down the fall line and think moron edge.
post #30 of 50
Hands out front is the most imortant thing to remember IMO.

Don't try this
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