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Break Traversing Habbit in Crud

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

When I am skiing chopped up snow or heavily skier tracked powder I find myself traversing across the hill more than I would like. This makes me more static and slower to initiate turns.  

 

What is a good way to get over this hurdle?

 

Thanks.

post #2 of 14

You might find this thread useful, though it wanders WAY off topic in spots:

 

www.epicski.com/forum/thread/69772/skiing-chopped-up-powder

 

Many of the suggestions are very helpful, including the memorable line - "Don't look down!"

 

 

In the end, for me, the key to busting crud was to acquire a crud-busting ski. 

post #3 of 14

dmourati,

 

Skis that are tracking straight through chop really get bounced around.  The key is to have the skis on edge and turning as much as possible.  Then they slice through the chop and smooth out the ride.  Speed is also your friend as you cut through it.  Tighter abs, obliques,, gluts and quads also stabilize the body as the skis slice through mounds and piles.

 

RW

post #4 of 14
Quote:

The key is to have the skis on edge and turning as much as possible.  Then they slice through the chop and smooth out the ride.

YES!

 

You must be balanced over the outside ski and centered on your outside foot.  If you're back on your heels or heavy on the inside (usually uphill) ski, you won't get far.  Inclination doesn't work well...learn angulation.  Here's PSIA's less than succinct description of the balance and the angulation, "The inside leg shortens and the outside leg lengthens, setting up alignment and balance with weight on the outside ski.  The upper body remains more vertical than the lower body throughout the shaping and finishing phases of the turn*, creating body angles which align balance over the outside ski."

 

*Middle and bottom thirds of the turn.

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys.  I think my equipment is good for crud, Volkl Mantras 184 with 96 underfoot.  I do great in even snow, even the Sierra Cement last weekend.  Somehow, though, looking at a chopped up field, I imagine my skis will misbehave.  Maybe the thing is to just ski it normally and engage the core more as Ron said.  I'm a big guy, 6'1", 250 pounds, so I'm not too worried about getting thrown around. 

 

I'm sure to encounter more snow of this type in the coming days and I'll make an effort to put your suggestions into practice. 

post #6 of 14

Try more counter in your skiing.  That is to say keep your upper body facing down the fall line as much as possible.  If your chest is following the skis direction it makes it harder to turn back the other way which leads to traversing.  It is easier to turn your just your legs than turn your entire body. 

post #7 of 14

dm-

 

TBac has a point.  Counter - or more correctly an "anticipated" position - may be of help, as the windup spring tension at the end of a turn that is created by the anticipated position can help steer the skis into the new turn direction when that tension is released at the start of the new turn. 

 

Typically a lot of counter - a strongly anticipated position - is only beneficial in short radius turns.  We don't want, and in fact it would be quite hard, to have a lot of counter in a medium or large radius turn. 

 

Generally, two factors that help in crud are tipping the skis early in the turn, and keeping the turns round and smooth. Tipping the skis on edge early allows them to compress a bank of snow underneath on which they can ride - think of an indy car going around a banked turn.  Keeping the turns round -- no sudden rotary twist with the resultant z-shaped turn -- allows the skis to ride that bank smoothly.  The inside ski should have some weight on it so that it can track along with the outside ski, otherwise it can get bounced around by the crud texture. A medium sized turn with a bit more speed is easier in crud that short radius turns - need to give the skis some time to turn rather than forcing them.  As RW mentions, tightening muscles can also help.

 

But direct to your issue of traversing between turns, it is kind of hard to say without seeing a few turns.  Could you be banking into the hill on a steep pitch, or over rotating at the end of the turn?  Either would make transition to the next turn more difficult.  Or is your weight getting back at the end of a turn?  This often leads to a traverse to allow time to get re-centered, it is hard to link turns if we get behind the skis.

 

 

 


Edited by zkurtb - 3/15/2009 at 11:46 pm


Edited by zkurtb - 3/16/2009 at 12:19 am
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TBac View Post

 

Try more counter in your skiing.  That is to say keep your upper body facing down the fall line as much as possible.  If your chest is following the skis direction it makes it harder to turn back the other way which leads to traversing.  It is easier to turn your just your legs than turn your entire body. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zkurtb View Post

 

dm-

 

TBac has a point.  Counter - or more correctly an "anticipated" position - may be of help, as the windup spring tension at the end of a turn that is created by the anticipated position can help steer the skis into the new turn direction when that tension is released at the start of the new turn. 

 

Good stuff guys. 

 

I had a lesson once at Squaw with one of their head instructors.  He took me to the cruddiest, choppiest, part of the mountain and did a drill which you have just reminded me of. 

 

He had me "wind up" my body, skis pointed to the side, chest pointing and downhill pole reaching down the mountain.  He then said to dorsiflex and release the edge.  Miracle of miracles, the skis whipped around and busted right through the crud!

 

We kept doing that over and over and I was successfully able to negotiate some pretty bad chop. 

 

It's amazing how easily we forget these lessons.  Thanks for the reminder.

post #9 of 14



Quote:

It's amazing how easily we forget these lessons.  Thanks for the reminder.

Good thing!  That keeps us in business.

 

RW

post #10 of 14

Count 1... 2 - rhythm.  Don't finish your turn.

 

Also try dropping down at the end ot the turn.

post #11 of 14

"Shopping" for turns is a sign that you aren't moving your CM down the hill. That means you aren't releasing your edges at the bottom of the turn.  You may even be leaning into the hill.

 

How do your turns look on groomers?  Do you release your edges and float through the transition on a flat ski, or do you cheat by hopping, stemming or stepping onto a ski?  If you are able to correctly release on hard snow, does your move change when you are on soft snow?

 

If you are just hesitant to release your turn because you are uncomfortable in the conditions, you've received some good advice on how to ski chopped up powder.  However, if your problem is that you are simply hanging up because you are unable to release your turn altogether, then that is a completely different problem.

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by geoffda View Post

 

How do your turns look on groomers?  Do you release your edges and float through the transition on a flat ski, or do you cheat by hopping, stemming or stepping onto a ski?  If you are able to correctly release on hard snow, does your move change when you are on soft snow?

 

On groomers, my turns look smooth.  I release my edges and float.  I can do fine on almost all conditions and all pitches.  I'm good in the powder, but my turns are much longer radius there.  My only two trouble spots are the chop, as we discuss here, and the moguls.  I tend to lose confidence there and "shop for turns" as you put it.

 

 

post #13 of 14

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acrophobia View Post

 

You might find this thread useful, though it wanders WAY off topic in spots:

 

www.epicski.com/forum/thread/69772/skiing-chopped-up-powder

 

Or this,

http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/82106/pilled-up-slush-on-steep-what-to-do/30#post_1080041

post #14 of 14


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmourati View Post

 

Somehow, though, looking at a chopped up field, I imagine my skis will misbehave.   

This is a big deal. Psychological state can make you tentative, which, as others have suggested, doesn't work well in chop.

 

Quote:
 


Maybe the thing is to just ski it normally and engage the core more as Ron said.
 

Yes. It does take some power, but the fundamentals stay the same.

 

Quote:
 

Originally Posted by Ron White View Post

 

dmourati,

 

Skis that are tracking straight through chop really get bounced around.  The key is to have the skis on edge and turning as much as possible.  Then they slice through the chop and smooth out the ride.  Speed is also your friend as you cut through it.  Tighter abs, obliques,, gluts and quads also stabilize the body as the skis slice through mounds and piles.

 

RW

 

Also, your Mantras handle crud well (at 165 lb, I ski a 177cm Mantra), but I find that for some kinds of snow, slice 'n' dice through the chunks with the skis on edge is actually easier on a narrower pair of skis. But maybe that's just me.

 

Try deliberately aiming at a mound with the intent of blasting it apart, just for fun.


Where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket??
 

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