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Need help with moguls

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I also posted this on mogulskiing.net


Let me start by giving you some backround. (If you are bored with this sort of thing, just skip to the questions).

I started skiing in the 70's when I was a teen. We all learned to ski using the same techniques used in the Mogul Logic video (although none of us had any idea about that technique) mostly to ski with a very tight parallel style. I could ski almost anything at that point of my life (I was young!). I never took any lessons.

Then I stopped skiing for about 25 years picking it back up 2 years ago. Last year I decided that skiing moguls was the ultimate challenge for me so I hired an instructor for about 7 days over the past two years at Vail. It was the same guy. Since I knew nothing about what techniques were being used, I trusted everything he told me. Now that I have been hanging around here, I realize that what he was teaching me was GS style skiing with a wide stance and alot of upper body movement. I became very good at GS though, but was very frustrated with moguls.

Now enter Mogul Logic. I watched the video endlessly. I have it memorized. I visualized myself doing the same technique as Chuck Martin. It seemed very easy! I was so wrong!!! The first mogul run I attempted was a complete disaster!! By the third day, I could get down the mogul field but not with the technique that ML teaches. I just couldn't get the rhythm or balance thing down. Here are some concerns I have, and I'm hoping you can help me fix this.

1. A&E is so hard to focus on. I can do it for one or maybe two bumps but I always lose my line and then my balance. I'm sure I get pushed into the back seat going up the bump. Is the any exercise to help me stay forward? I tried just skiing staight across the fall line only concentrating on A&E and then I was fine but as soon as I tried to incorporate turning, I lost any balance I had.

2. In the video, Chuck seems to ski right over the tops of the mogul but I find it easier to ski off the sides, is this wrong?

3. The mogul field where I was practicing is on an intermediate slope and so alot of "learners" are there which made the moguls look more like very elongated diamonds with a sharp crest running down the fall line. Could this be the reason I had so much trouble?

4. I'll be in Vail next month. Does anyone know of an intermediate mogul run where I can learn without the fear of getting hurt?

5. Any last words of wisdom???

Thanks for reading and having such an awesome site. There was only one guy last weekend skiing the mogul field using the ML technique and he looked awesome. It looked so easy and flowing, almost like ballet. That's what I want.
post #2 of 8

The Mogul Logic video is OK, but lacks enough content to really get you going in the right direction (it assumes a much higher level of previous knowledge about mogul skiing).


I recommend that you buy Dan DiPiro's mogul skiing book.  I've found his explanations to be very good and very easy to visualize.  Take Dan's book with Chuck's video and you have a more complete package.


Another option is to try the Sun Valley Mogul Method (SVMM) which purports to be a less stressful, but just as smoothly flowing method to ski moguls.  Personally I haven't tried it yet, but it looks interesting.


Lastly, it is definitely easier to learn moguls in good mogul field with well shaped and well positioned moguls with good snow.  Of course Mary Jane is the place to go if you want to find the best mogul fields in Colorado.

post #3 of 8

Whistle Pig at Mid Vail. It merges into the bottom of Zot's but you don't have as steep as an upper section as Zot. Nice fairly long bump run that has a nice pitch but is not over whelming. A little more mellow is Power Line Glade ( I don't have the map in front of me) Its right off the first cut off on the left on the way to Whistle Pig. To the skiers right of Look Ma are less steep bumps. Showboat in Game Creek has many different difficulty sections of bumps.


Roger's Run off Lift 10 is usually easier than High Line and not as long. Lots of good bump runs at Vail that are great for practicing. And when you master your technique plenty of runs to step up to.

post #4 of 8

The best bump instruction I know of is over at Steamboat. Nelson carmichael runs it still, I think. The best thing you can do for yourself at any camp or lesson is to tell them right awaay what you hope to achive instead of struggling through lessons that aren't going to accomplish what you want. That's a big waste of time and money.


You can also hang out on the bump runs and ski with some guys with good technique. Bumpers are always eager to share some good tips.


Highline is my favorite bump run at Vail. I think it has the most consistant lines and drop of all the bump runs at Vail.


Mary Jane also has some good bumps, probably some good instruction too.

post #5 of 8

1) A&E is a tough skill to master! IMHO it's the last thing that good bump skiers grasp.

2) Nope absolutely nothing wrong, go where it puts a smile on your face, there isnt "one line" in bumps

3) sharks teeth will get you!

4) sorry I don't

5) get balanced then.........slip, slide, and skid  

post #6 of 8

A relatively simple way to get into A&E is starting on a flat slope.....


1. Exhale every time you start a turn, inhale every time you finish a turn. once the timing is down try. ..


2. (the hard part) Every time you exhale let your ankles, knees, hips, etc. relax. When you inhale straighten back up. With some practice you'll start to make a down unweighted turn-- if you don't make yourself crazy first. 


3. Go to a mogul field, whether you want to start with traverses or jump right into turns, every time your skis hit a mogul exhale, every time you feel your skis start to tip down the backside of the mogul after going over the top inhale. Most people find it easier to absorb if they let everything relax, including their diaphragm, and extending while inhaling is just as natural.


 As an added bonus you may notice that you can go a lot farther before your legs burst into flames. Too many people hold their breath while skiing. This way not only do you exhale on effort, you give yourself a chance to grab more of the sparse oxygen they put in the air up there.


A few other comments. To ski bumps in one sentence: When in doubt, turn.


If you look you'll frequently see a "saddle " connecting each mogul to its neighbors. You can start to use that to not go into the bottom of the trough or the top of the mogul, which makes A&E a lot easier.


I'm always looking for the diamond shapes. Hard as they can be to make flow it's fairly easy to throw in a speed control side slip on their flanks, and if I've gotten too far behind my feet I'll steer straight into the ridge. That slows/stops my feet momentarily making it easier for me to get back in front.


I've never been a big believer in "Line". In a mogul field I'm looking 5-7 moguls down, I'm planning 3 turns down, and every time I turn I'm revising my plan. I'm generally not at the speed or angle I thought I was going to be, or I now see something good to include, or bad to avoid, that I couldn't see earlier. Flexablity is key in bumps, both in brain and body.     

post #7 of 8

A couple of things kill a mogul skier, so don't do these:

1)  Weight back on your heels.  Keep balanced over the center of your feet and as you ski over the crest of a bump, strongly pull both feet back to pull your ski tips down to the snow.

2)  Rotation.  Never twist your upper body toward the hill.  Face downhill with your inside pole/hand/arm/shoulder high and forward.  Keep your outside pole/hand/arm/shoulder way, way downhill and back even with your feet.  Have the pole ready to plant so you can immediately turn before your skis reach the fall line in case you spot a good place to turn.

3)  Wide stance, especially with your weight on the inside (uphill) foot.  A narrow-ish stance with your weight balanced over the outside foot is needed.


Look about two bumps ahead, not at the one you're on right now, 'cuz the next one will be a surprise.  I'm not a "line" skier; I ski where ever it looks good.

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the great replies!! I will definately try them out!


One time on the lift last weekend, a very young boy was next to me (about 6-7 y/o) and asked, "are those mogul skis you have?" and I said yes but that I am struggling alot in the bumps. To that he replied, "Just remember, keep your hands out in front and your head up."  Two great tips from such a young boy!!!

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