>>>With my low altitude lungs and lack of good conditioning I am out of gas before I can get to one of those places to ski in those conditions<<<
Pierre, you are talking? What about me?
: . I hadn't done hop turns in years, but when the situation presented itself, adrenalin made it possible.
But still, I found it MUCH easier to do sideways hops than hop turns. Doing hop turns in narrows it is imperative that the bite of the skis ends in a platform exactly across the fall line to allow you to do the next one without gaining speed.
The common mistakes made which end in disaster are that the tail slide ends before being across the fall line and thus accelerates the skier toward the rocks and neccesitates an imidiate hop turn to the other direction to avoid disaster.
The other one is letting the tails come around too much and sliding backward, but the most common, really, is getting tangled up in the pole plant. Sliding into a pole planted downhill will have going on your belly the rest of the way.
Yet it is hard to do a hop turn without a pole plant. The correct way is to have your pole and your skis leave the snow at the same time.
All of this is from experience in my younger days seeing skiers make those mistakes and wondering why they didn't learn the correct technique before entering that kind of terrain. I guess they were pushing the envelope.
Pierre, you talk about Europe skiing. It is so different from skiing here that many US skiers complain bitterly
First the trail marking. It is getting better but the easiest trail markings more often than not, because they are so long and have andulating natural contours, include steep sections which would be black over here. Tough for novices who can trust a green slope over here.
Also, trails often divide and are simply numbered and don't have a difficulty sign on them, just six inch orange round plaques on top of poles declaring that this in number 36 or whatever.
Last year, skiing down from the Valluga at St. Anton toward Stuben, a very long intermediate run, I must have followed some signs of a trail that split off (all above tree line) and boom, I had to do that hopping until it opened up again and got easier.
Unless you stick close to marked trail, even when skiing off the prepared piste, you can find yourself at the side of a road with no other sign of civilization around. In that case just wait for a bus come by and flag it down.
Skiing with a cell phone when off-piste is a smart thing to do. While in Lech last year there was a helicopter rescue of someone who skied down an untouched powder slope and when he (or they) got to the bottom there was nothing but mountains several thousand feet high all around. He called for help on his cell phone. Luckily the cell towers are on top of the mountains.
The melt off of that couldron goes via an underground river, there is no way out for a skier. In the US this would be marked off limits, but they don't rope off a three mile stretch from which that valley can be entered.
If you don't see houses at the bottom, it means that the area is not accesible, so don't ski down there
Sorry this turned into such a long post...