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Former Tail Pusher or Thanks BB, JD, Si, Wigs

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Bob, you asked me to report how things went so here is a midweek report.

I got out Monday as soon as I could and tried to work on things that had been suggested. I also went ahead and signed up for a lesson that day. It started at 10:00. Not alot you can accomplish in 1.5 hours by yourself but I tried to at least work on not being so defensive and on letting the skis do their job rather than pushing them around. I did make some progress in that time. I kept trying to keep these things in mind as I took the lesson. Let's skip ahead and just say that it really helped. There is still some skip to my turns much of the time but I am doing so much better. After the lesson I spent the rest of the day working on things some more and really feeling good, even on the steeper blues that used to send me into defensive mode.

So today I wake to at least 6" new here at Steamboat. A bit on the heavy side. First few runs were terribly difficult for me. Plus everything got chopped very quickly. But after about an hour I figured out how to ski in these conditions. It came from finding some easy blues I was really comfortable with and just doing it. I got a good rhythm going. Suddenly the skis were arcing, my shoulders were staying square to the fall line and my poles started doing this plant at the start of each turn. I found exactly what I was looking for. The conditions were changing from moment to moment as I went down the hill but it didn't matter. Hit a scraped down icy section, stay stable and carve right through it. Hit a big pile of snow, the skis just blasted straight on through. And so on. Finally got to doing that on the steeper sections also. Alas it kept snowing and by the end of the day a combination had me reverting some. Lack of vision was killing me. I finally lost the goggles fogging battle which combined with some very flat light from the snow, clouds and fog meant I was having great dificulty seeing the terrain, even right in front of me. The snow was getting deeper than I could handle. Bumps were building which I couldn't see and did not know how to ski well even if I could have seen them. Plus I was getting tired. I quit for the day after I missed a turn and found myself faced with the choice between two black bump runs. With traversing and a little side slipping I made it out safely but it exhausted me. I went in before I got hurt.

Anyhow, I would like to say thanks to those that offered advice. I think I put all of it to use. My instructor, Bill, deserves his share also. He also benefitted from some things I learned here. Tipping had never crossed my mind until I started lurking here.
post #2 of 4
Sounds like a very successful day, Brandon--thanks for the report! It also sounds like you experienced some real changes--a lot of them for one day. Congratulations!

What is Bill's last name? We need to send him our bill....

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
As for the rest of the week.

Wednesday found another foot of fresh and the troubles from Tuesday afternoon continued. Sometimes I would do well and sometimes not so well. I had a lot of trouble in any untracked snow and big trouble in any kind of bumps. When I left the mountain Wednesday my honest hope was that it would quit snowing and let me have a day to work on things in some nice soft packed powder. I did take the last couple of hours of the day to get back to the lower half of the mountain and worked on technique.

I got up Thursday, looked out the window, saw about 1-2 inches of new and felt very relieved. Then I saw the snow report which said 16" mid and 26" up top. I got really discourged. A fellow Bear, stmbtres, had agreed to meet me to show me around the mountain. After a few warmup runs off to the top we went. Suddenly something else clicked. (The encouragement from stmbtres helped! Great guy. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] ) The rest of the day was great. Most of the day was spent in snow from mid calf to upper thigh. He talked me into venturing into some open trees. I started enjoying the bumpy runs. (Also after some encouragement and a few tips.) It was a fantastic day. Of course after a thigh deep powder day I don't know if I can ever go back to corduroy! On my last run up top before the lifts started closing I was still finding untouched powder right out on the popular runs. As I came down the mountain I was actually seeking out bigger and steeper bumps than I really felt comfortable with and enjoying it. Finished the day with some nice arcs on some packed runs somewhat faster than I would have gone a few days earlier and much more in control.
post #4 of 4
I really enjoyed skiing with Brandon. Quick thoughts about his skiing, from a relatively untrained eye. I've almost never seen anyone adapt so quickly to deep powder. He started off a bit tentative, leaning back a bit, but quickly adjusted to a much more centered stance. He immediately learned to not force turns in powder, and had a nice turn shape. Because of all the new snow, literally nothing was even close to groomed that day we skied together. Still, we started by skiing previously groomed runs where they'd let the sides bump up. Initially, I was skiing the sides and he was skiing the middles. Pretty quickly, Brandon started following me on the sides. Then we could start skiing powder bumps (my favorite, as Brandon now knows) and untracked, almost exclusively. Brandon had a habit of lifting his inside leg to help him come around each bump, but he was quite successful in changing that to keeping both skis on the snow. If I could only have learned to use his camera as successfully as he learned to ski powder, we might have some record of his stance at various points in his turns!


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