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long term intermediate

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
In the elephant topic milesb says
"Of course, one lesson is not really going to help a long term intermediate very much...."
Why not? Have any of the instructors out there had intermediate students make that big break
through? Any intermediates have that moment when you finally get "it"? Is it possible or is milesb right? How did it happen?

[ April 20, 2002, 04:37 PM: Message edited by: BillA ]
post #2 of 53
In many cases Miles is right. But sometimes, if an instructor picks up on ONE essential thing that no one else has picked up on, they can make an incredible difference, even if you only have one class with them.
post #3 of 53
Kind of a good one - tho' I doubt possible personally that anyone who's an intermediate suddenly finds themselves able to ski like an expert ALL the time.

Hence all those advanced-intermediate, can-ski-single-but-not-double-black-diamond types.

Bet almost every instructor has 'cured' a terminal intermediate by showing them how to ski down at least one black diamond though.
post #4 of 53
I doubt that one goes from intermediate to advanced from one lesson, no matter how good it is, but you can be set on the right path!
post #5 of 53
I did ski for a day with a fellow Bear who is an instructor. In response to my questions, he questioned me back. Then he provided some visualization. He did more for me in one day than I have achieved in the previous ten years. Did I instantly move from intermediate to expert? Shit, NO! BUT: I now have some anchors to which I can return, time after time. And now I believe that I CAN be a TOP LEVEL intermediate - which is the step just before expert. So there.
post #6 of 53
I remember my breakthrough. It did not take one day, but it didn't take an entire year either. Neither did I take a lesson to make my breakthrough, I was a poor teenager afterall. I just started to ski with the local racers. I watched and emulated and by the end of the year I could ski anywhere. No, not with style and grace but with good form and confidence. It took a few year more to cement the whole package.

I don't beleive it is possible to train the brian in a very short period of time, although I have known a few people that learn psycomotor skills very quickly, it still takes time.
post #7 of 53
Oboe brings up a good point when he mentioned skiing with a fellow bear. It can be a one time experience, but keep in mind, you've been reading their posts for awhile, then afterwards, things they say can reinforce what you learn.
post #8 of 53
Sure it can happen in one lesson! No, one cannot go from intermediate to expert in a day, but one can most definitely leap out of the "intermediate rut" in one lesson. I see it happen all the time!

The "intermediate rut" is almost always a sign that someone has simply practiced the wrong stuff for a long time. It is the unfortunate condition of having become very good at bad skiing!

The way out of the intermediate rut is simply to identify the problem, and to begin practicing the tactics and movements of experts. It involves, to use the hackneyed expression, a true "paradigm shift." Start thinking like an expert (few skiers do), and the "intermediate rut" vanishes instantly! It does NOT involve a mere incremental improvement in, or "tweaking" of, current technique. And it will not come just from "skiing a lot." Keep practicing the wrong stuff, and you will get even better--at the wrong stuff!

These are vague and general statements, I realize. More often than not, the specific root of the "intermediate rut" is the thought that "turns control speed," that the primary function of the skis is to brake. We have discussed this idea many times in the past here at EpicSki, but it may be time to bring it up again. Turns control DIRECTION! At least, they do in everything else we do, don't they?

We turn a car to "go where we want to GO"--not to control speed, or to slow down. Experts turn on skis for the same reason. Expert turns are offensive "go thoughts." "Intermediate Rut" turns are used to slow down--they are brakes misnamed! Experts turn to control their line, and ski a LINE that controls their speed. Or, better said, they turn (control their line) so that they don't NEED to control speed. Expert skiing--at ANY level of skill--centers on "skiing a slow enough line as fast as you can" (when you can)--and braking only when needed.

Making this breakthrough from the defensive skiing movements and tactics of 99% of skiers to the offensive, gliding, soaring movements of experts, is almost always the key to escaping the "intermediate rut."

Turn to control DIRECTION. Use DIRECTION to control speed (braking only when necessary). DO NOT USE TURNS TO CONTROL SPEED! If this sounds like mere semantics, you have not yet made the breakthrough. Turn to "go that way"--not just to "stop going this way"! GO!--uphill to slow down, downhill to speed up. Use turns as necessary to control which direction you GO.

Those who think this way think like experts. If they are not yet true experts, they ARE on the direct road to expertise. There are no ruts on this road, no deadends (although there will be a few moguls, and the occasional pothole!). Practice the offensive movements that these thoughts produce, and improvement will be continuous. Progress may not be CONSTANT--it may still come in leaps and jumps, with the occasional frustrating "flat" period--but it will be nonstop.

So the skills of expert skiing take forever to develop--more than a lifetime--no one has ever "perfected" it in just one lifetime. But adopting the expert's way of thinking, and steering yourself along the endless road to expertise, can happen immediately, at any level of skill. Think like an expert, while adopting the Zen-master's "beginner's mind," and no rut will ever stop you!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes

[ April 20, 2002, 08:57 PM: Message edited by: Bob Barnes/Colorado ]
post #9 of 53
People stuck in the intermediate rut are my FAVORITE!

There are always a few simple things to focus on to create that breakthrough; one I have found very helpful has to do with carving. Most intermediates do not understand why their skis are built the way they are, and how to utilize the shape. I find in, literally, a half day, I can recreate someone's skiing by acquainting them with their edges and then "turning it up a notch". Control at a high speed is easily attainable, and gives the intermediate skier a true breakthrough into advance territory.

With newly acquired confidence and a new skill, it's amazing what you can do!
post #10 of 53
Bob Barnes-

thank you thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!

You are speaking to me and I Hear You! It is amazing that what you just wrote gave me the most crystal clear vision of my biggest problem. Well, one of them.

I have old skis, and have yet to try the new skis. I hear old skis are hard to turn, but I am stubborn and want to learn to carve on these so that I actually know HOW to carve, and not just let the skis do their thing.

I think I have that down, but when I go onto a steeper terrain, I automatically start that braking turn thing to keep from going out of control. It never occurred to me to use more of the run to "go uphill" till today. I guess I felt that if my line were straight down the fall line, I was leaving room for all the faster skiers to shoot by me without having to guess when I would choose to change direction.

I think it is possible to have a breakthrough with just one lesson. I'll let you know when I get back from Mt. Bachelor next month.

Thanks ALSO for speaking in basic terms. A lot of us here are trying to reach a level that allows more freedom to ski different terrain, and we get "lost" in the more technical descriptions. Show me a picture and I will learn. Show me a manual, and I will read it, try to decipher it, get frustrated at the details, and maybe learn a little, but not as much. Your pictures are Awesome!!

Can't wait to ski again
post #11 of 53
Bob, you may be contradicting yourself here. In the past you have said (paraphrased) that the proper movements of skiing are not natural, it often takes a trained eye to tell the difference between offensive and defensive skiing, and that we often THINK and FEEL like we are doing the right movements, but are not. All of these statements seem to be correct, and I agree with them.
Now you say that a skier who has practiced inefficient skiing for many years can make a LASTING change in one lesson. I say that without regular follow up, that skier is going to go back to their old ways. Am I correct in assuming that you would work with such a skier on easy terrain?
Are you telling me that that skier is going to stay on terrain like that until he OWNS the new movements?
Also, I say that only one thing can really be learned well in each lesson. Isn't a long term intermediate likely to have more than one thing that needs to be corrected? Changing the intent, I won't argue that it isn't a "miracle cure", but a skier needs more tools than just "left foot left, right foot right" to deal with anything more than a wide groomed green trail. And that skier probably ALREADY has plenty of tools to deal with more difficult situations.
They are the "wrong" tools, unfortunately...

[ April 21, 2002, 08:02 AM: Message edited by: milesb ]
post #12 of 53
Miles--I'll tell you a story. Earlier this season I was leading a clinic at Telluride for Full-Certified instructors training for "Trainer Accreditation," our "level 4" in the Rocky Mountains. We were standing on a blue run, watching skiers and throwing ideas around about their skiing and about what they might "need."

One of the skiers we watched was a woman showing all the moves of classic "pre-sidecut" skiing, at a high level of skill. Down--UP--and around, with a blocking pole plant, pushing off the platform of a strongly-set edge into each turn, throwing the tails out into a skid, sometimes both at once, sometimes one-at-a-time, well-balanced, but "back" because of the braking action of her skis. Her speed control came entirely from the braking/skidding effect of her edges scraping away speed, refusing to glide. The instructors were throwing out ideas of how her movements would need to change to make "better," more contemporary turns.

"She'll need to adjust her stance more forward." "Stop making that blocking pole plant and replace it with a smooth swing into the turn." "RELEASE her edges and guide her tips downhill into the turn, rather than pushing her tails out." "Stop rotating her upper body and become more active with her feet." "Move her center-of-mass into the turn, rather than pushing it uphill." "Balance over her skis, rather than bracing against them." And so on.... All these observations were correct.

"But it will be VERY hard to get her to make any of these changes," one of them said. "She's obviously been skiing like this for a long time, and her habits are deeply ingrained."

I told them that I could get her to make ALL the changes they recommended, instantly, with only two words.

We were standing at the end of a flatter section, above a slightly steeper roll, so I knew she would stop where we were. I told her that we were all instructors, and asked her if she would mind participating in a little experiement with us. She looked a little quizzical, but she agreed.

I was standing just below her on the hill, and I simply said, "come here," and waved her down the hill with me as I moved away quickly. What do you suppose she did, in response to my two words?

She moved her whole body down the hill toward me--"forward" over her feet. She stepped her skis, downhill ski first, down the hill toward me, which of course required her to release its edge ("left tip left to go left"). Her arms and poles swung smoothly toward me too, naturally, helping with the flow of motion in the direction she was trying to GO.

No blocking pole plant. No edgeset. No pushoff. No upper body rotation. Active feet and legs steering both skis into the new direction. Every movement she made moved in the direction she was going--toward me. No pushing of the tails. All the changes we thought she should make, she made.

And I had said absolutely NOTHING about technique--not a single word about HOW to do it. All I did was create a situation that put her in the offensive state of mind where she wanted to GO THAT WAY, rather than her usual intent to STOP GOING THIS WAY. Her movements followed suit.

Obviously, I had not created any new skills whatsoever in this woman. Developing skills, or improving skills, takes time and practice. But I DID create an immediate, fundamental, qualitative change in her movements, simply by changing her intent. A very small amount of explanation to her about what had happened was all it took to make lightbulbs flash! That is the breakthrough that can happen in a lesson.

Very little actual motor-learning takes place in a 2-hour lesson--that comes from continued hours of practicing the "right stuff." But enormous breakthroughs can, indeed, occur in an instant!

Conversely, trying to make all--or ANY--of those technical changes without first changing her defensive intent, would be another lesson in frustration for both of us! Try to get someone who wants to slow down (which, remember, is why most people turn) to release his edges and point his skis straight down the hill. Just try! It is a complete conflict between offensive movements and defensive intent. It doesn't work! Change the intent, and the movements take care of themselves, to whatever level of skill the skier has. Help him understand the difference, and the breakthrough has been accomplished!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #13 of 53
One more point. You are right Miles--I have often stated that good skiing is anything but intuitive, which may appear to contradict the incident I just described.

What really is not intuitive about skiing is the offensive intent that produces the very natural movements I've described. If we can create this intent, this understanding that turns are to control DIRECTION, not speed, then the movements are, indeed, very natural! But the survival instinct, combined with the unfamiliar environment of long, slippery feet, makes it very unlikely that new skiers adopt an offensive intent without help.

Most people, especially adults, get on skis the first time and feel immediately "out of control." Their feet no longer stick to the planet. In any other circumstance, almost any other sport, when this happens, we go out and buy better shoes! Especially if they start on tilted terrain, feeling of "out of control" can overwhelm. Then they learn to make a "braking wedge" or perhaps they twist their skis into a "hockey stop." They hear the sound of scraping edges and feel the tension in their thighs.

But they also feel, for the first time on skis, CONTROL! Once again they can grip the planet. "Scraping equals control," a little voice chirps in their brains. They are happy! And off they go, directly toward the intermediate rut!

Soon it occurs that "more scraping equals MORE control!" They learn to brake "parallel"--making hockey-stop-type "turns" (I use the word loosely). They twist and skid, and get better and better at twisting and skidding. They--especially men--discover that the simplest, most effective, "most natural" way to get the skis skidding is to twist them with their upper bodies. And they get "better" at what they practice. Soon they can brake down steeper and steeper runs--green, blue, black.... And they are getting deeper and deeper in the rut of terminal mediocrity!

The mistake, of course, happened the moment they thought that "scraping equals control." It DOES, actually. It controls speed! But scraping and skidding SACRIFICES control of DIRECTION. When a car goes into a skid, we don't say "I made a skidded turn." We say, while sitting in the ditch, "I MISSED the turn"!

For whatever reason, by tradition, we call EVERYTHING we can do on skis "turning." Braking, skidding, pivot-slipping, hockey-stopping, wedge christies and stem christies (OPPOSITE movement patterns, opposite intents), as well as carving--they're all different kinds of "turns." Straight-down-the-fall line competitive mogul skiing even has a "turn judge"! It takes a bit of twisted logic to recognize "going straight" while "turning" at the same time!

Before anyone jumps down my throat now, this post is NOT evidence that the WEDGE leads to a dead end! It is not the fault of the wedge at all, nor does avoiding the wedge eliminate the problem. It is the fault of the instructor getting people too quickly into the braking mode, before they have learned to enjoy the delicious sensation of gliding. We can brake or glide in either a wedge or a parallel stance. We can make both defensive and offensive movements in either stance. True, braking is perhaps more immediately accessible from a wedge, and we must be careful not to get people "riding the brake" and unwilling to let go.

So the INTENT that marks the expert skier is anything but "natural" or "intuitive." And intent governs movements. But change that intent, think like an expert, and the movements and techniques of expert skiing are, indeed, quite natural!

And I have, in fact, said this all along!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #14 of 53
I love it best sessions have always been about shifting perspective, intent and "letting go of what we know"!
I have searched the web for a while looking for more info on what my wife first related to me, open and closed loops of learning...more how-do-we-learn or unlearn stuff...hopefully not practicing to become experts at bad stuff!
"Open loops of learning" as I understand it do not allow for revisiting or redefining movements to increase accuracy or proficiency, whereas "closed loops" do.
Where open loops allow us to "move on" processing new info, leaving old patterns to become ingrained and habituated.
I am really struggling with this explantation as you can see. If a dart player learns a movement sufficient to hit with regularity the "inside ring" and grooves that pattern of relative success does the learning stop. If he continues to redefine stance, grip, arm movement, release etc. he would continue to weighted darts, a change in the environment etc. could be accomodated.
I really believe an "epiphany-like" experience is required to break the grooving cycle chronic intermediate skiers suffer. They challenge new terrain, conditions, equipment with movements they have grooved because they have not kept the intial learning behavior closed...always recirculating information with in that loop of learning.
I would really appreciate others insights or info about open and closed loops if there is someone out there who has some background in this theory or anyone who thinks they can make sense of the gooblygook ramblings of above.
post #15 of 53
Miles, the comments I would get most from students after a breakthrough is: "Why couldn't I do this long ago, it's so easy".

post #16 of 53
One final (maybe) thought, Miles. (Your post is definitely thought-provoking!)

You said:
Now you say that a skier who has practiced inefficient skiing for many years can make a LASTING change in one lesson. I say that without regular follow up, that skier is going to go back to their old ways. Am I correct in assuming that you would work with such a skier on easy terrain?
Are you telling me that that skier is going to stay on terrain like that until he OWNS the new movements?
Also, I say that only one thing can really be learned well in each lesson. Isn't a long term intermediate likely to have more than one thing that needs to be corrected?
Yes, this new realization that "control" can mean more than just "control of speed," and in fact that controlling speed (braking) and control of direction involve opposite, incompatible movements, is a profound and LASTING change that can occur in one lesson. The paradigm shift is forever! You are right that the movements of offensive skiing, relatively unpracticed until this realization occurs, will require practice--also forever! There is no end, no plateau, no "rut" on this route!

The skier, no matter the skill level, already DOES own the movements! They're in there, perhaps rudimentary, perhaps highly developed. All that's needed to bring them out is the intent! They will get better with practice, again regardless of the current level. But they ARE already there!

No, you are not correct that I would necessarily have to take someone to easier terrain to work on these new ideas. Clearly, going uphill will slow you down even more quickly on steeper terrain! Naturally, it is very difficult to work on ANYTHING on terrain or conditions that are out of our comfort zone. But if the student is comfortable braking on given terrain, he/she can quickly become even more comfortable TURNING on it!

How? What would I do to help create the changes?

Well...some things ARE going to cost you! (Or at least, they'll have to wait until I have more time.)


Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #17 of 53
Bob, maybe you don't realize it, but your story illustrated my point. I'm willing to accept that one lesson with YOU would completely change a longtime intermediate's skiing. But you indicated that even those FULLY CERTIFIED instructor's approach
would have taken quite some time to show the same results. So where does that leave the majority of such skiers who get a group lesson with a level 2 or lower instructor?
post #18 of 53
Yes, Miles. Unfortunately, you are correct. Once again, I bring this back to the consumer. If you want a good lesson, you're going to have to do some research, and you're going to have to demand it! The ski industry still seems to believe that "anyone" can teach skiing effectively, as long as they dress them in a ski school uniform, and that the less they have to pay them, the more profit there is in it. So, while I maintain that a good lesson is a bargain, and can lead to breakthroughs in your performance and enjoyment of the sport, I do NOT suggest that "any" lesson will do it!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #19 of 53
Thread Starter 
In "Skiing Right" there is a chapter on humanistic and behaviorist learning that sounds like what you're looking for. It is out of print but available at Amazon if you don't mind buying it used. Short version is people learn faster and retain more if they are guided toward self-discovery rather than technical descriptions.
I had my own "epiphany" (sort of) this season. It occurred at the end of an all day lesson at Jackson Hole. We had skied powder, bumps,steeps, trees and by the end of the day I was beat. My skiing had completely blown up, I felt like a beginner again. I skied up to the instructor at the bottom of a groomed run and he asked me which direction my turns were better. (Right Turn) Than he asked where the pain was. (Right thigh) Where's your left hand? (Behind me someplace) That's when the light went on. I was becoming aware of what my body was doing. I don't know if this awareness will make me a better skier yet; guess I'll have to wait till next year to find out.
post #20 of 53
I'm going to agree with both Bob and Miles. I believe the determining factors, as to whether any change will stick, are 1) meaningfulness ( if a student does not understand WHY it's better, there will be minimal retention) 2) understanding of the movements themselves andd the ability to recognize them.

I know that I have really reached a student when during the course of a lesson, they accurately identify either the correct or incorrect movement in others. Many times while riding chairlifts, they will watch other skiers and comment that they are skidding, pushing tails, turning with the upper body, etc.

At that point, I'm reasonably certain that the concept is in place, and the student will continue to pursue it. Granted, follow-up feedback is always going to be helpful.

post #21 of 53
Bob, your words reflect a person with extraordinary perception and once again prove that a true professional is one who is able to make a complex job look easy.

Snowpro, I may have misunderstood what you were saying, but from what I understand don’t believe it is necessary for a person to have a full understanding of why they are doing something in a certain way in order for it to “stick”. The requirement for a full technical explanation may be something that varies from person to person, though will add that in my case I feel I do prefer to know. Take children for example (as far away as possible, please! Only joking), do you feel it is necessary to explain the technicalities of moves in order to teach them? And yet children often learn at a much faster rate than adults, despite often having less developed motor skills. Most of the basic skills we learn in life are not associated with technical explanations, but from mimicking others. As adults I feel that we are conditioned to believe we need to know why we are doing something, rather than simply accepting that if we do something it will work. Whether we are able to simply accept things is another matter entirely, perhaps we aren’t.

I have noticed that there seems to be quite some politics in this forum (and I assume in schools over there also) regarding the PMTS versus more traditional teaching methods, and I do not wish to become involved in a political situation that I know little about. To be quite honest the “packaging” of PMTS isn’t exactly “my cup of tea” as we’d say, but having virtually stumbled across HH’s books I would have to say I am increasingly impressed with the contents, so impressed in fact that I have bought everything except the instructor manual (and will order that when I get a chance). I understand you are associated with this camp Bob, so correct me if I have misunderstood, as my perception of the message is from the receiver’s end. Much of what is behind the “phantom move” is NOT explained, it is simply presented as is, yet (and trust me on this one) it does work.

Perhaps a jigsaw analogy is accurate. Until now the different skills and techniques have been broken down into very small pieces, easy enough to teach, and able to be fully explained. The problem is, until all the pieces are fully in place you do not have a picture, you may be able to tell what the picture will be, but what you see is still an incomplete jigsaw. The message I receive from PMTS is that the jigsaw comprises much bigger pieces, maybe too big too fully explain precisely why it is done in a certain way. However the pieces fit together to form a complete picture at a much faster rate. Either way, once you have a complete picture you can then concentrate on making the picture sharper; pulling it into focus. The difficulty with the first (traditional) method is that unless the person is skiing often, due to a slight regression each time, they may never progress past the “incomplete jigsaw” stage, irrespective of how much knowledge they have of the technicalities of why they are doing something.

I’m interested in thought on this matter.
post #22 of 53
I contend that a break through can occur to anyone at any time. With or without a "coach: to provide guidance. The transition requires one "to feel it". That is, to really feel the desired sensation, and hopefully have some awareness of the events leading up to it so it may be reproduced.

Bob's words to turn for direction control have been a great boost to my skiing this season. Strong skiing is largely an attitude.

Bob, were you able to reveal your motives and results to the gal in your story? She could have missed all the benefits of your collective instruction if she were not prepared mentaly.

" We were all trying to aid your skiing with our comments and critiques, but you just performed all the "correct" moves without hearing our words. How did it feel? What did you do"

"I don't know, I just skied to you.

Did she leave as an expert skier?

Sometimes we do the action, but our "feelings" aren't engaged.

A real transformation came to me the first time I felt the pull of gravity and my own momentum carry me over my skis down the fall line and into the new turn. The sensation was compleated when the skis I had "left up the hill" came around to catch me in the new turn. That sensation still captivates me and is the ski experience I crave.

post #23 of 53
BillA, actually I have a couple of copys of Horst's book in the library, thanks. I have been reading a lot about "associative and non-associative learning, Fitt's theory, Adam's closed loop theories, Schmidts Schema theory etc.
Closed loop learning relies on feedback, both intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic feedback can be proprioceptive or kinesthetic, responsed-produced and/or visual/auditory. Extrinsic feedback refers to the knowledge of results or the knowledge of peformance.
Essentially, when do we "turn off" the feedback requirement to revist task or skill learning/acquisition? Does keeping the loop closed require challenge, unbalance or a change in the environment? And if we are not continually refining those skills do we carry the level of accomplishment into other environments?
Why does an intermediate skier, after "overcoming fear or just getting down the hill, say through breaking, negative movements" stop blending, monitoring and adjusting the mix of their prinicple skills to adapt? When does behavior become "rote" (sp?)....I really think there is a way to avoid habituated, engrained and grooved movements if we keep especially the balancing skill closed to re-evaluation.
Ok now I am confusing my self...
post #24 of 53
What Bob says.

Race coaches have always talked about tactics and technique. I believe that Bob's discussion balances the two, and shows his awareness that, if tactical clarity, or purpose, is achieved, then skiing (technique) appears quickly and easily.

I believe that many, many breakthroughs are less the result of a new move, but rather a new tactical understanding (which can certainly show up from a new move). I have "broken through" (I don't like the term very much) with many intermediates--exclusively from a reworking of their understanding of WHAT they are trying to get their skis to do. If they're clear about that, good technique shows up.

It is a form/function argument.

I tend to look at the two (technique and tactics) as power and purpose.

[ April 22, 2002, 09:36 AM: Message edited by: weems ]
post #25 of 53
I give up. You guys can stop rolling your eyes now..
post #26 of 53
I believe that many, many breakthroughs are less the result of a new move, but rather a new tactical understanding (which can certainly show up from a new move).
YES!!! YES!!!!!
post #27 of 53
I have benefitted tremendously from Bob Barnes' previous posts along these lines. Especially the idea that you let the line control speed, and turns to dictate line.

On fairly gentle terrain (green, easy blue), I can tip and turn and leave a clean thin track in the snow all the way around, a nice carve, and I can feel that great smooth travel that makes the strain and bump of skidding just a bad memory. I can link these, and control my speed just fine by the line I ski.

BUT, in my real world of skiing, two things get in the way:

1. As the terrain gets steeper, there is no way around the fact that, although I can slow down by turning further in a big arc, I will still accelerate in the fall line to a speed at which I feel uncomfortable. No choice of line can reduce this basic maximum speed, because all turns still have to come through the fall line. That's where the skidding and braking come back, because as far as I can see, that's the only way to control speed into my comfort zone. It seems to be a necessary process as you slowly increase the speed that you are comfortable with.

2. Traffic. You just can't use long, wide, arcing turns (the slow line) to control speed when there are other skiers around, or when the trail is at all narrow, or has a double fall line. You need to make quick changes of direction, quick changes of speed, and so you've got to skid and brake to stay in control in the safety sense.

For example, two weeks ago at Crystal, I was skiing the really beautiful green run called "Queens" (Some of my gay friends love that name, by the way), practicing nice carving, when from behind I hear a scream: "I can't stop, I can't turn". A woman comes flying past me, toward my 8 year old daughter in front of me, flailing wildly at high speed, trying to (I kid you not) stop by planting both poles right in front of her ski tips. She coasted to a stop fortunately, without either losing her head to her poles, and withoug wiping out my kid, but with a hill full of those, I'm reduced to totally defensive skiing, learning nothing.

So, for #1, what's the best approach? You can very gradually increase the steepness of the terrain you ski, but then you miss alot of fun runs. If you skid the steeper stuff, you ingrain bad habits. Ditto for traffic: you spend alot of time practicing "bad" habits because traffic dictates it.

Anyway, that's how my real world, at least, compromises Bob's excellent advice, and I'll bet there are alot of intermediates like me.


[ April 22, 2002, 11:37 AM: Message edited by: Scientist Bill ]
post #28 of 53
The solution is SHORT carved turns.
post #29 of 53
Scientist Bill

Tthe tactic of "ShortRadius Turns" will fullfill all you requirements.

They are no different from the longer turns you have described, there are just more of them in any given run.

These should be practiced and developed on comfortable terrain.
Practice them every time you go out. You will like them, and they will help you tame the mountain.

They even work in the bumps!

Theycan get you a bit tired earlier.

post #30 of 53
Originally posted by Lisamarie:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />
I believe that many, many breakthroughs are less the result of a new move, but rather a new tactical understanding (which can certainly show up from a new move).
YES!!! YES!!!!!</font>[/quote]I love the way you say yesyes.
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