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ICE

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I am 16 years old and I am an advanced skier. I am not as good as you, but I hope one day I will be!!!! But my question is, I ski in Qu├ębec where there is a lot of ice on the trails and when there those ice spots, particularly on steeper trails, I slip on them and I am tired. Can you help me??
Hope so
Have fun
J-P

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post #2 of 19
First of all, learn to tune your own skis. to start with, buy a file, a 1 or 2 degree edge file guide, vices, and a clamp for your file and guide. ask for advice at the local shop or look around at other posts on this site for advice. there are some websites that have instructions, but i dont know what they are. someone else will surely be able to pitch in on that account.
secondly, do you know how to carve turns? real carving; what you see racers doing coming down, leaving 2 thin 'railroad tracks' in the snow/ice? as soon as you can really carve, ice, for the most part, is much less of a problem. what you need to do when it's too steep to have pure-carves, is to get your skis as far on edge as you can and pressure your outside leg really really hard. allow the tail of the ski to skid out (otherwise you'd be in a pure carve, and the purpose of this turn is, well, not to pure carve) as much as necessary to control your speed adequately. essentially, if you use enough edge pressure, ice is not very difficult. your xscreams (i assume that's what you're on) are decent on ice. not razor-like like a race ski, but not fat ski board-like. you shouldnt have trouble on all but the iciest of days with sharp xscreams and carving race-based technique. then again, i'm a racer so i'm biased. btw, this does not take years of practice to learn... i'm 16 too

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It's not bragging if it's true - Mohammed Ali

There are two reasons for everything, the good reason and the real reason
-J. Pierpont Morgan

If life was easy everyone would be successful.
post #3 of 19
If where you are skiing is all ice then forget it.

If you are dealing with patches of ice, the trick is to pick out where you turn. So gingerly pass over the ice and turn where there is snow.

It means looking down the run and planning where you will make your turns. On wider slopes, usually the snow is better closer to the edge of the slope.

Bottomline, sharp edges area a really good idea, try to ski an easier slope than you are used to. Stay balanced on the center of your skis, and remember to ski gingerly over ice, turn where the snow is. Always keep looking a ahead for that next place to turn.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by wink (edited February 25, 2001).]</FONT>
post #4 of 19
wink, dont just forget about it! Our last race of the season (which we won to win the league! ) was so icy, and i am NOT exagerating having skied all over the east in all kinds of cnditions, could have been skied on with ice skates. my sl's were so sharp that i cut my hand carrying them up the mt. combined with good racing technique, holding an edge wasnt much of a problem. on my GS skis, i could have held an edge on pure, and i mean pure ice with edges that sharp. a trail full is manageable just work at it!
tsk..tsk... see what you get with volants?

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It's not bragging if it's true - Mohammed Ali

There are two reasons for everything, the good reason and the real reason
-J. Pierpont Morgan

If life was easy everyone would be successful.
post #5 of 19
Glytch your comments are well taken, but I don't know of too many people that can or are able to sharpen their skis "razor" sharp. Without sharp edges, ice becomes a battle of controlled skids, and very tight muscles, not forgetting how uncomfortable it feels not to ahve a solid edge. It isn't fun for the average skier.

As a racer that knows how to tune skis, well if that's fun and you are accomplished at skiing on ice , so be it.

I think for most skiers, "boiler plate" ice conditions is something that should be avoided.

For people with excellent balance and turning skills but tempered with finesse, along with very sharp edges, then why not.
post #6 of 19
I'm with you, wink. We average folks don't ski ice for fun. However, it is a challenge, and if we can learn to ski ice, then our edging skills and our confidence both go up a few notches. But again, FUN?! I don't think so.
post #7 of 19
This is a question that really interests me too. Ice basically scares me. I'm not an advanced skier (yet), and having accidentally ended up on the Lauberhorn Men's Downhill race course in Wengen 5 weeks ago - that was during my 4th week of skiing on snow - which was very icy, finishing in an almost sheer drop of sheet ice, my confidence hasn't exactly improved. I was glad I was alive and uninjured after trying to sideslip (!) down that last bit and crashing out rather badly. You're all allowed to laugh.

Thank you for any further tips that anyone of you could offer for COPING with ice, if not enjoying it, which I don't expect.
Cheers.
Charlie
post #8 of 19
Charlie,
for us mere mortals that are not racers there is a saying that is about right. "you don't ski ice you survive it." I hate the stuff and often find myself sliding just like you. I consider myself a PSIA Level 9 however that doesn't mean I can ski everything. I have many unchartered areas I need to improve in too. My main tip is to keep working on balance and staying centered on your skis. Keep your skis well tuned with razor sharp edges and when you hit the ice, maintain your balance and keep reminding yourself that it's ok to slide sideways some or a lot depending on your skill. As you get better at balance you will find that your whole body may slide sideways but you won't end up on your butt.

That's my .02 and yes you will hear me yell whooops or arrgggghh when I hit the ice too..
post #9 of 19
imo, the worst advice someone can get for skiing on ice is "plan where to turn". that's an invitation for skidding and wiping the mountain clean of whatever snow was there. yes, it works, but it's not a good way to go about things. a better approach is to concentrate on learning how to carve strong turns with a bit of counter-rotation to get the edge bite really flowing. Honestly, a solid medium range turn with your edges locked will not release if your technique and the ice remains consistent. learn to apply pressure smoothly but very firmly to your edges and feel the edges take hold. short turns are harder to really get to bite and most shaped skis dont cope to short turns on ice well. also, have STEADY, reasonably firm pressure on your boot tongue. think about it; most of the ski is in front of you and without pressing against your tongue you are only using the edge directly under your foot and on the tail of the skis. by using forward pressure, you use the entire ski and you're standing on a lot more edge. you CAN ski on ice. it's not impossible and can be a lot of fun. once you learn to ski it, it becomes almost as enjoyable as powder; you can apply a lot more pressure to the ski if it's on hard snow without it giving out under you, so you carve tighter turns at higher speeds. feel the G's! i encourage you to try to ski on ice and dont give up on it. if you live in the east, imo the best skis are Shorty slaloms. they can do everything on hard snow and moderately well in soft stuff.
post #10 of 19
Skiing on ice: just like with everything else, you can not (truly) enjoy it, unless you know how to do it.

When you learn how to ski it (and actually, it comes quite naturally with a good carving technique), you would not notice ice any longer. Everything would just be a different degree of hardness.

Echoing Glytch: Carving on soft snow, you can not make tight arcs, since your skis just wash away. There is nothing like a feeling of perfecly carved turn, when nothing gives under your feet. Once you make that perfect turn, you get hooked to that feeling of power and balance, and you start looking for the most icy trail on the hill.

How to get there..... well... start with perfecting your carving. Go on a freshly groomed green slope and start laying those arcs. Stop after every 10-15 turns, look up and study your tracks. Every skid you see - would mean lost of control on ice. Perfect your balance and fluidity. Ice does not forgive any sudden movements. Gradually progress to steeper terrain and harder snow. With steeper terrain make your turns tighter and more agressive (still keeping the turns carved).

There is one mental block one has to overcome on the road to mastering steep and hard terrain. However hard and steep it is, your body should always be ahead of your skis (sounds scary, does not it). Think about it this way: your skis are the tools that change the direction your body travels DOWN the slope. You start pressuring your skis, directing your body down the slope, that is the key to good intiation of a clean arc. If you start your turn pushing up off your skis - that is when you gonna skid.

Other than that: take a lesson so an instuctor can point you your mistakes and explain how to correct them.

VK

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Speed does not kill, the difference in it does...

<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by VK (edited February 26, 2001).]</FONT>
post #11 of 19
I found when skiing back east the best way to learn to turn on ice and not skid out was to edge softly into the turn at initiation and then finish the turn strong. Skid outs usually happen to me at the start of the turn. I think this helps to set the edge and help prevent skid outs. This will at least get you comfortable with carving on icy conditions and to progress towards what Glytch was getting at.
post #12 of 19
I tend to agree with a bit of what everyone is saying, but remember that more often than not you encounter ice on the run outs where it's really busy on the way home. In these circumstances carving can be a bit of a problem. It's more a cse of picking your way through the crowd. And when it's icy, that's not fun. Options?

Try to carve right down the outside of the track, avoiding everyone? Tempting and often effective, but not particularly safe.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Just chill out and take it easy along with everyone else. Pick your route, try to turn where there is snow, but be conscious that this will inevitably take even more snow off.

Take the chair back down. A cop out? Possibly, but after a hard day, there's no fun in dodging crowds on an icy slope with tired legs.

JB
post #13 of 19
Sound's like everyone has covered the topic very well. I just wanted to mention. As you initiate the turn use enough speed to make the ski de-camber but not enough to break the edge from the ice. Definaltly learn to tune on your own.
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks every body for your advice.
But two more question:
Are X-Scream good on the ice?
and how many degrees should I file my edge??
Thanks a lot for your answers
Have fun
post #15 of 19
Gonz, i said don't pick where to turn because that discourages carving. it messed me up when i was learning to deal with real ice (as well as having skis that were ridiculously torsionally soft, which does not apply, debatably, in this situation). carved turns are not sharp and abrupt and are not accomplished in a small bit of snow, as is the assumption with 'pick where to turn'. to really ski ice, to ski it effectively, one must carve, not look ahead for a place to SKID successfully. yes, it works, and is fine as a survival technique, but more important is the ability and technique to carve the entire hockey rink... err... trail
post #16 of 19
Just wanted to throw in a quick observation on the "look for snow" method. If it's a wind-blown trail where all the powder is almost gone, looking for a patch of snow isn't going to save your ass. If it's a matter of skiied-off patches of ice, the snow that's there isn't going to be enough for a full carved turn, or worse, it'll be collected in troughs and gullies. Try whipping out a turn in one of those if you're not expecting it! I think your best bet is to maintain your natural turning rhythm. Keep your eyes downhill and your weight forward. If you back ends skid, it's the ice's way of biting you in the ass and keeping you forward.
post #17 of 19
Gonzo,
Huh? I don't think I ever mentioned picking a spot to turn. I did say something to the affect of surviving not gracefully skiing but that's me. and with proper balance and good carving skills I survive ice pretty good considering I live out west and ski CO and UT a lot. Maybe you mis-read something somewhere.

Anyway, lots of good advice. now go ski and practice...
post #18 of 19
regarding how to ski well on ice, i would recommend some lessons.

before i joined my college ski team, i hated ice; couldn't ski it to save my life. after a couple days of instruction from the team on GS Technique, ice wasn't a problem. in fact, it is VERY fun knowing that an obsticle that previous gave you trouble, something most people hate, you've tamed. that's why some of us consider skiing ice to be fun and love it.

but different conditions require different technique. if you feel you need to improve in a particular aspect of skiing, get some instruction.
post #19 of 19
nahh Gonzo,
you are just getting old. Welcome to the old farts club..
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