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Tryout Tasks discussion

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Day 1

These are the tasks everyone skied. The order of these task was for Group 1. We had four groups and in the end we all skied the same tasks on the same pitches (except for 1 scenario) Since each group skied them in a different order, each group had differing conditions for the tasks.

Tasks were done with no demos provided. Outcome based descriptions left open participant interpretation and selection of tactics & movement patterns to acheive described outcomes.

Morning: groups of 15 w/three selectorsTask List:

1st selection team
-Medium Radius transition to Short Radius

Turn Shape: Round carved. Carved & Shaped from edge change through following transition; speed carried across fall-line into turns.

Distinct transition point from medium to short, no series-of-turns transitions, maintain fully rounded, shape, dynamics and speed;(i.e. no braking/shortswing turns)

terrain/run: Intermediate Run:Frozen Spring
snow full of tracks from previous day. Moderate steepness rolling to short steeper section. Tranisiton to short turns to occur near, but before terrain transition.

- Bumps. Round carved turns from above fall-line. Utilize ski design/turn shape from above & thru fall-line not rut/face of bump for speed control

terrain: Steep entry, pitch flattening slightly to a bench 1/2 way down, pitching into a steeper second 1/2. Approx 75-100 yds overall. Large bumps with varied lines and shapes. Hard frozen conditions.

- Free Run: Show dynamic movement and creativity through an inspiring run. Utilize ski design, vary turn shape & movement patterns to best utilize terrain and speed control etc. (paraphrase through memory etc. Task name is free run: different selectors gave similar descriptions of run goal due to differing conditions).

Terrain: Old Lady Slide Moderately steep To Steep. Wide Concave slope/Bowl with angled fall-line entry. Frozen slush w/tracks from previous day peppered with small-medium and large chicken heads (some human sized & larger) frozen in place. Some patially formed bumps in most oft skied section, with areas of cut up frozen crud out to the less skied edges. Some foliage and an occassional rock showing from snowmelt. Overall run length approx 250-300 yds.[/b]

2nd selection team
-Ski carved, dynamic short radius turns along a medium radius path (defined as a tight GS track which crosses the fall-line completely with no traversing)

Terrain: Moderate pitch w/very slick featureless surface ((groomed but no 'roy) Almost beginning to soften, still firm yet not as ice-rink like as the first group had. Very wide slanted slope with double fall-line, slow signs and public beginning to show up in small interspersed groups. Overall run length approx 175-200 yds)


Ski a corridor which begins as a medium radius width, narrows evenly to 1/2 way down run at which point it is a short radius width. Corridor then widens evenly until it reaches the starting width at the final turn.

Carve to carve, round energetic turns with high edge angles above & through the fall-line. Dynamics carried well across hill through transitions w/no traversing. Maintain consistent turn shape and speed throughout turn size adjustments and terrain changes.

Run length approx. 150 yards. Hourglass bottleneck at approx. 75 yards Moderate groomed terrain rolling to steep groomed at-after bottleneck.

-Medium radius turns w/no poles in ungroomed terrain

Ski Carve to carve finished turns maintaining balance & speed control throughout the run. Turn shape remains consistent from beginning of run through finish.

terrain: Somewhat steep ungroomed convex slope in upper half and concave slope in lower half with forming bumps and skied out crud. Upper half firm, wintery snow (not frozen) changing to warming and deepening crusty crud changing to slush by the end. Overall run length 150-175 yards. graded protion ends before we enter the slushy flatter section.

-Afternoon combined groups (30 + participants & 6 selectors)

Free run w/Short radius. Ski a variety of short radius turn shapes. Dynamics, inspiration & creativity high. Maintain balance. Turns shapes, terrain use vary by choice and proactivity to terrain rather than loss of balance and reactivity to terrain.

Terrain: Rasta Chutes. Steep & steepening convex slopes, undulating terrain visible for only 3-5 turns from starting point. Varied surface -formed & forming bumps, skied crud. Thickening, wintery snow at top warming gradually throughout run to slush at bottom[/b]

Short & Medium radius transitions. Ski 4 of each in a continual cycle throughout run. Carve to carve turn shapes. Ski snow contact through transitions and above fall-line. No airplane turns for medium, or rebound/air turns for shorts. Radius & shape choice remains conistent for the sets from top through bottom of run regardless of terrain or condition changes.

terrain: Very steep concave double fall-line chute approx 80 yards long (mid-Cirque) dog-legging into a long open lower bowl. Snow in chute wintery firm with low long bump shapes Snow at dog-leg into bowl deep cooling snow on the way from afternoon sun slush to evening freeze, warming gradually to slush at bottom of run. Overall run 200-250 yards.

-- Heh, this is taking longer than I anticipated. So It will have to come in installments. I formatted it for some commentary between the tasks. I will update this post with some descriptions of task performances later. Apologies for the incomplete/unedited nature of it. Still a lot going on here at home even though I was hoping to still be at Snowbird on this date.

post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 
Day 2

Rhythm Changes - Carved Short-Radius Turns to Braking Short Radius transitions(or vice versa)

ski a series of round, carved, speed generating short radius turns with carving from edge change through and all the way across the fall-line followed by a series of braking short radius turns

Once selected, the number of turns in each set remains constant. Number of turns in each set and which type to start with left up to participant.

terrain Groomed (chips run) beginning on a very flat section (30-40 yards) rolling to moderately steep pitch (75-80 yards)

I chose to start with Carved Short Radius turns first to get some movement going. I did not select a number before I started [b(mistake)[/b] I made 10 turns to the breakover and switched to braking turns and did 10 of them, At this point I noticed I was really eating up the terrain and realized 10 was too many per set to give the visual effect the selectors would judge as the ideal tactic for the demonstration, this distracted me into over working the turns and as I transitioned back into carved turns I failed to move along the length of the ski more aggressively than I had on the flatter section above and fell into a slightly unweighted turn entry instead of getting a higher & earlier pressured edge angle to get the turn size and speed control I needed. This resulted in a different turn shape than my first set of carved turns, and also lessened the visual constrast between the braking and gliding turns.

Medium Radius Turns in Bumps

Ski a set of carve-to-carve, high/early edge angle, Pressured above the fall-line, simultaneous edge release Medium Radius turns down a consistent corridor. No airplane turns, no stepping.

terrain: Silver Fox; Moderately steep, to steep bumps. Slightly crunchy yet wintery carvable snow with a few unexpected hard spots, ice chunks and holes strewn throughout.

Although this was one of my better runs it wasn't perfect. I did ski a consistent corridor, but on the first 3 turns I was seeking pressure above the fall-line with variable results, as I approached the selectors (who were defining the corridor) I felt one stepped transition and made the conscious adjustment to simultaneous releases and succeeded in pressuring the arcs above the fall-line consistently. There was still a slight gap between edge change to pressured arc. I had a good feel of constant pressure throughout the arcs as my skis traveled down and up and over the bumps. I was skiing very fast, and getting high edge angles throughout and felt smooth. I may have been moving in/laterally too much at times which may have caused some diverging of my inside ski. Right after the run I felt like I had skied an 8, but it may have been a 7 though I do not really know. One of the main tactical differences on this run from my others was selecting the first 3 turn entry spots and nailing each and every one, from there on down it was a matter of maintining the tempo of directional movements and timing/variance of muscular tension to keep turn shapes and sizes consistent depending on what terrrain I encountered. Possibly one of the most proactive movement patterns/runs I have ever skied as I was able to choose turn entry points and determine edge angles and muscular tension/output/etc. in advance.

Lane Changes

Split a medium radius corridor down the center. Ski a set of short radius turns down one corridor, then transition to the other corridor with a medium radius turn. Alternate this pattern to the end of the slope.

All turns to be carved, dynamic, fully rounded shapes. Number of turns for each short radius set to remain consistent. Turn shapes to remain consistent throughout task. Corridors to be maintained throughout task.

Terrain: Moderate groomed, softening in the mid- morning sun, corn atop slick icy areas. Consistent fall-line changing to left slant for last one to two sets of turns depending on tactical approach. Easy to let terrain draw skiers to the left out of prescribed corridor.

I stuck to the parameters of the task on this one pretty well, except for the carved above the fall-line short radius turn shapes. The slight pause between edge change and pressured arc I felt in the Medium Radius Turn Through Bumps delayed the development of a carved arc until halfway from edge chage to fall-line, necessitating more steering/pivoting than they were looking for. However, Turn shapes, sizes timing and corridors were maintained well, even across the slanted final slope. I felt I had acheived another focal and tactical victory here for myself, even though the score was most likely a 6 due to the above mentioned technical inconsistencies.

So that was the first set of tasks for the second day. The second set and final large group afternoon tasks still to come. (if there is any interest...)
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Day 2
Selection Team 2

Carved Medium Radius turns w/no poles, groomed terrain.

Moderately steep to flattening groomed terrain

"Tight" GS corridor with turns and speed carried completely across the fall-line but remaining within the corridor.

Deb Armstrong's run was the definition of dynamic. Possibly the only one who came close to skiing the parameters of the task. Most of us skied way too long a turn shape, and either went too wide of the corridor, or too much down the fall-line with turn finishes. One of the selectors who watched Deb' run turned and hollered.

"just do it like that!"
my reply...

"If I had an Olympic Gold medal around my neck I would!"

Pivot Slips

CM/feet do not deviate from the fall-line through a series of pivot slips. Speed remains constant, no speeding up/slowing down.

On-Off groomed medium Radius carved turns

Use the edge of a groomed run as your transition line for a series of medium radius turns. Turn shape is the same both on and off the groomed, edge change occurs at the line, and timing of this is the same for either turn. Turns should extend equally into each tearrain zone, approx 1 cat track width. Fully rounded, completed turns carved and pressured from well above the fall-line; no airplane turns.

Terrain: Highly canted double fall-line to start, into a moderate face, groomed surface slushy, ungroomed with deeper crud and forming bumps. Very indistinct line between groomed/ungroomed due to traffic in the area.

afternoon large group tasks

Dynamic Short Radius Turns

Moderately Steep to Flat Sunbaked Crud of varied depth, boot deep & deeper in places.

free run
Upper Cirque - Shot 13?

Ski it fun inspiring and creative with one stipulation, making short turns by the time you pass the selectors.

Terrain: steep, firm, carvable, undulating chute with hip/ridges to play on either side. Rocks and small trees define edges.

[ April 29, 2004, 10:15 PM: Message edited by: Roto ]
post #4 of 13

it seems many of the tasks were done in bad or at least not the best of snow conditions. Is this a deliberate strategy of the evaluators or was it just bad luck that there was so much bad conditions a the area?

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Some of the condition choices were intentional I'm sure But most of them were just the time of day. As I stated in the first day post, the conditions described were for group # one, the other groups all did the same tasks under differeing conditions, some quite ideal, as we experienced for some tasks also.

It's just how Snowbird is in the spring I guess.
post #6 of 13
Great details Roto, thanks for for sharing the information. It sounds like you will try again, is there anything about the tasks you think could be changed or improve on to make the process better?
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
The process was fine. The tasks? I think the selectors did a good job selecting tasks to show what people are capable of.

There was some buzz about the lack of any park/pipe skiing for us alpiners among the other disciplines, and among some of us as well. Park time was supposed to happen at some point after the ski cut though.
post #8 of 13
Why do Alpine Team members need to demonstrate park and pipe stuff, Roto? Why annex this one freestyle niche and not others?
post #9 of 13
What else is involved in the selection process besides skiing tasks, Roto?
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by nolo:
Why do Alpine Team members need to demonstrate park and pipe stuff, Roto? Why annex this one freestyle niche and not others?
I don't necessarily think all alpine members need do it. The question came up from people in the SBD & Nordic tryouts about how much time we spent in there, and the answer was none. There was some yakking about the topic among SOME participants and observers, not that anyone was upset about it or anything. For my part I don't really care that there was no park skiing prior to the ski cut. I think the tasks we skied showed what needed to be seen just fine. The park, after all is just another place to apply fundamentals.

As far as some Team Members who can and do coach in there, it just seems to make sense to me that it happens to some degree. I think it does & will simply out of the natural development of professionals as they keep abreast of the industry.


Indoor presentations
-One 10 minute prepared, one 5-7 minute impromptu

Personal interviews with the selection staff

Peer coaching among tryout candidates

Leading the group clinic stylie

M/A scenarios

what else I cannot say, but all the above was included in the pre-tryout info we received
post #11 of 13
Roto, thanks for the inside glimpse. I'm in awe.

Can you tell us who the "selectors" were? How many scores did they give you and what scale did they use?

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by WVSkier:
Roto, thanks for the inside glimpse. I'm in awe.

Can you tell us who the "selectors" were? How many scores did they give you and what scale did they use?

We never see the scores. there were 68 particiapnts (Some tryouts have upwards of 80) and the selectors see and score every one over the two days "skiing tryout," so feedback is pretty much minimal. They did a voluntary feedback session in which we spoke to whatever selectors we wanted to, but most of them would ask "what do you think?" more than anything a tactic to jog the memory (I think).

I posted a list of selectors earlier, if not in this thread, one of the other Tryout ones.

Dave Merriam
Jay Evans
Shawn Smith
Finn Gunderson (US Ski Team)
Calvin Yammamoto
Carol Levine
Dee Byrne
Ray Allard
John Armstrong
and "Razor"

I think the scale was 1-10 but that's an educated guess based on some limited comments from selectors

I think there are task scores and movement pattern scores that comprise an overall number for each task or something, but that is just a guess.
post #13 of 13
Nolo makes an interesting point, why worry about skiing in the park or pipe? Maybe the answer would be the popularity of these venues, but there are many different events that could be included to reflect different types of skiing: racing, competitive mogul skiing, big air etc...
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