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Speed control/ narrow trails???

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
When traversing the top of a mountain,on a trail barely as wide as your skis,nothing but a wall on one side and a seemingly bottomless abyss on the other or your casual jog through the trees turns into busting through branches skis sunk deep in a skier made rut with no place to turn out.Is there a way to control speed effectively? Or just yell YAAAA HOOOO and let it rip?
post #2 of 7
I had one like that in Lech Austria a couple of years ago and luckily I was skiing with a local ski instructor friend who showed me how.

The trail was lightly skied, maybe a half dozen tracks, steep enough to where you couldn't let it run more than a few seconds and about ten feet wide and in the middle of nowhere as many trail in Europe are.

Abyss on the left, rocjwall on the right and the trail sloping quite a bit to the left toward that abyss and ending into a two thousand foot drop off a rock ledge a bout 500 ft ahead.

After I mentioned the curious tracks left by other skiers he told me that at what looked like the end of the trail it just made a hairpin right turn which could be skied under certain circuymstances but was best negotiated by taking the skis off and walking around the hairpin only four feet wide.

The he explained and showed me how to ski it and why the tracks were so curious. NEVER make a left turn toward the abyss, it would be certain disaster if a slip or fall occured. So we skied it.

Start from next to the rock wall and ski to within two feet of the drop off and make a right turn HARD and just before hitting the wall let your feet drift into the fall line and ski within two feet of the abyss and make the right turn, and repeat. It amounted to J-turns with almost coming to a stop before seeking the fall line. He did it with such elan that it was sure he had done it many times before. Sideslipping or wedging was impossible with ankle deep fairly heavy snow.

But there is alway the expert's method when in daubt, take the skis off and hoof it until you are sure you can make it safely. Letting it rip without knowing EXACTLY what it gets you into is not an option (at least not without a parachute).

Didn't we just hear about a death in a tree well?

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
I've done as you have described in those situations,that works well.What I'am talking about is trails 12" wide with zero room for turn,edge, or wedge.Any thoughts?
post #4 of 7
Don't get on a twelve inch trail in the first place, but if you see it coming get off those slippery boards the best you can and walk.

post #5 of 7
This may sound dumb, but sometimes I just use my poles [img]smile.gif[/img] - stick them into the snow in front of me and just lean on them, its an effective brake and if you're not going fast enough (which I wouldn't be on such a narrow trail) you won't fall over.
post #6 of 7
Getting some pressure on the fronts of the skis by pushing down on the toes and pressuring the fronts of the boots slightly and at the same time adding just a little rotary into the slope with counter down the hill. This will allow the tails of the skis to skid easily and drag into the sides of the ruts. Caution must be taken so you don't bust out of the ruts on the kangaroo bumps and jam the tips into the slope and lose the backs downhill.

This method does not work well where you're downhill leg is fully extended and you're uphill knee is in you're chest. Traverses that steep get hairy no matter what.
post #7 of 7
The visual game is to intently watch the narrow track coming up and whenever the shapes of the surface on that track allows, very briefly skid ones skis sideways slightly out of the direction of movement to absorb some of the speed. The key is to do it in the best locations so one doesn't catch an edge. That may be short flat smooth sections or the side of something smooth to bank up against briefly. When the track looks ugly with up and down or ruts just let the skis run through to remain in best control. -David
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