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Thread Starter 
Hey folks, 

A lot of us really want to improve, and we often find we've hit a plateau. I thought I'd share from my easterner perspective one thing that helped me break through a plateau: western bumps! 

Out east we're used to icy moguls. It can be a real pain to get better on them - lots of slipping and skittering, and we can find our skiing easily turns into a series of linked recoveries. For a long time I couldn't tell whether my problem was in balance, edging, timing, or turning from the lower body. So I just trudged through the motions, hoping to make a few good turns and locking in the sensation. it never really happened though... then I went to BC for an instructor training course. 

One of the course requirements was being able to ski and teach an intermediate blue bump lesson. Unfortunately there were no blue bumps, so we did the black bumps instead. On the first run down, my precariously cobbled together skills unraveled! The biggest sensation I felt was that my pole plant would sink into the moguls about half the time, throwing my balance the wrong way into the mogul. With our rock hard eastern moguls, it's easy for us to fall into doing a hard pole plant and even balancing over that pole to initiate the turn. The soft moguls forced me to get off that pole and get centered.

The second drill used to fix my balance issues was hop turns down the moguls. I love this drill on flats as you can only hop if you're centered. The downside of this drill, particularly in moguls, is the high effort requirements--my muscles get fatigued within half a run, and are exhausted by the second or third run. So... we'll see if the drill helps with endurance too.

Fast forward to this week. I was back in Ontario and returned to our icy moguls. While skiing them wasn't a piece of cake, I found myself much better balanced and able to maintain a good rhythm. In short, skiing western moguls brought out a different set of flaws that just weren't so apparent on the eastern hills! This little adventure was another shining example of how skiing different terrain and conditions really does help you to become a better skier.