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Cant ski crud for crap.

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I hiked my local hill today in the late afternoon to get some turns in. We had about five inches of fresh wet heavy spring snow last night so i figured it would be a good day to take out my 193 rossi bandit xxx's. The top of the snow had about an inch of crust over the top. When i started skiing down i discovered that i could not turn my skis, tried using tips to turn but they would catch dig in and i would bite it. Tried tipping the skis to turn but they would continue in a straight line, and i would bite it. Tried weighting one ski or the other, bit it some more. So now i have a face thats been thouroghly scowered by snow, its got to be as good as chemical peels but i digress. I just couldnt get anything to work for me, i did not get any good powder days in this year (6 inches max) so maybe my powder technique needs serious work? Any advice would be great.
post #2 of 16
I can't either.

We also had about six inches of heavy, wet spring snow . . . but I couldn't get to it until about 48 hours after it had fallen. It's only my fifth time skiing, but I also found it incredibly difficult to turn--I mean, it just took a lot of effort. The snow went from high-friction to low-friction every few feet, and it seemed that all of my energy was consumed with just maintaining my fore-and-aft balance from the rapidly changing inertia. I just got worn out after a while. Our last trip up was pretty icy (actually, all of our previous trips were icy). It was a little dicey, but I was much more in control and could turn with far less effort. I'll take consistent ice over that mix-and-match snow any day.

Oh, not to hi-jack the thread, but, my 170cm 110/69/96 16R, mid-flex Rossignols were wandering all over the place in this corduroyed, wet snow-ice mixture as well (and I totally wasn't backseat driving, honest!). Do I need mid-fats, or do I just need skis with higher tips for this kind of snow?
Edited by studio460 - 4/24/10 at 9:24pm
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
no prob your not hijacking anything. Anyway this snow was very very consistent since the area is shut down and no one is there to tear it up. Im an advanced intermediate but cant ski this crap. The layer of crust over the top is whats giving me trouble because i have no problem skiing in slush or powder usually, even though these skis are pretty tricky in powder i can handle them. Anyway your rossis sound exactly like my other pair of skis, are they the red and black roc's? To be honest i ski mine a bit in the back and it keeps the tips from grabbing and wandering, i know i know bad technique but it works alright.
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowyphil65 View Post

no prob your not hijacking anything. Anyway this snow was very very consistent since the area is shut down and no one is there to tear it up. Im an advanced intermediate but cant ski this crap. Anyway your rossis sound exactly like my other pair of skis, are they the red and black roc's?
 

Oh, good! Well thanks, but your snow conditions sound very different, so I'll let the members respond to your post here and create an different thread in the beginners' section about mine. NO WAY! You have the exact same skis as me??? Yes, they're all-black with red graphics that say "ROC" on the tails and "pure mountain" toward the front. How would you characterize the flex on these things? I put these on two tables and put a weight in the center, then compared them with some short (156cm) Rossi Axium STX skis I got on super-sale. According to my crude test, the flex seemed about twice as stiff on the ROCs. I just assumed the ROCs were a soft- to mid-flex, beginners' ski (I'm a beginner) since I bought them at a big-box store (Sports Authority). I believe they are 2007 models, although I just bought them, new, two months ago.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
i bought mine last year as a cheap pair of groomer skis, only place you can get them is sports authority. They are a mid flex ski, my bandits flex is at least twice as stiff, but these have turned out to be great skis for bumps as you can imagine a 193 doesnt do great in bumps. I will say i will never buy anything from sports authority again. Anyway back to the original problem
post #6 of 16
Your primary method of turning may be turn by pivoting your ski to a steering angle.  In which case the conditions could be grabbing onto your tip and tail and resisting the applied rotational torque.  Fighting that battle will only wear out your knees.

You have to use a tipped ski to turn, but that didn't work for you either.  I'm not surprised, even if your primary method is tip to turn on hard pack or ice.   For the tipped ski to turn you, it has to be decambered (bent into a curve in the direction you want to go).  Typically, pressing the ski into a hard surface so that all the edge touches the surface as it is bent puts a decambered shape into the ski due to its side-cut.  As you described it, all that happened is that the tip and tail just broke through the crust, while the middle stayed above the crust resulting in no curved shape.

In conditions like that you have to get old-school.  Put a little curve into the front of your ski before you tip it.  (various descriptions abound - weight the tips, foot pull-back, etc., but the best description of what to do imo is above).

Breakable crust is one of the hardest conditions to ski, (breakable crust over deep is even harder).  You have to be judicious in how much bend is needed to get things started so you can get the ski bent without sinking it.  You can easily over weight the tips and submarine.   A little more speed helps too, but it also ups the risk if you don't do it right.  It's all about those tips, and yes more curve in the tips, like old-school skis as opposed to modern low profile speed skis will help, a bit.

If all else fails, you can use hop turns.

Porpoising turns would work too in some conditions, but I'll let someone else who has experience using them describe them as I've only done them now and again on a lark, and they are likely a little too advanced for you at the moment.
post #7 of 16

I think there are two options for skiing the type of snow described by the OP, well three if you count "gorilla" jump turns.  You can either go with a super wide rockered ski, or use a coventential ski and carve turns from slightly in the back seat.  You need to keep your tips up.  The key is to do the turn as if you are making a perfect carve.  Your momentum has to exactly follow the tips of your skis through the entire turn.  Any deviation will trip you up.  You have to break the crust as smoothly as possible, and the flex of your ski will determine how far back you shift your weight.

If you are skiing breakable crust you either have to keep your tips under it, and rip it with your ankles (only works with very light crust), or keep your tips up and follow them as your skis break the crust farther back.  This should not be confused with steering (ruddering) completely with your tails.  The only way I can describe it is carving with your tips from the back seat, because your focus has to be on following your tips.  Any sideways movement will trip you, as will diving your tips.

Sking breakable crust is incredibley difficult, and you will undoubtedly crash a lot, but it can actually improve your overall skiing because it forces you to focus 100% on the feel of the snow and what your skis are doing.

Fate has had me skiing many days on very crappy snow during my long life.  Much of it patrolling in Montana on 210 GS skis in the distant past.  When the snow got really ugly, as it often did, the protocal was for one of us to affect a bad French accent and declare, "It eez no problem, because I can ski anything," and then charge down the hill and usually crash, but the attitude was essential.  If you work at it hard and long enough you can figure out how to ski just about any kind of snow condition, but the first step is to believe you can do it. 

 P.S. This is essentially another way of describing what Ghost is talking about. 

post #8 of 16
 to the 2 first posters.

Skiing is never all about the equipment....but the right equipement helps a bunch in difficult conditions. 

To the first poster on the Rossi XXX. Could you ski that run on those skis? sure! would it be easy no. there are newer skis that are REALLY good at making bad conditions good. Rockered skis slice though crud and mank like its a groomed slope. Breakable crust has actually become fun on my Rockered skis. The skis never get stuck on a edge and i can just power though whatever come in there way. 

To the second poster on the beginner skis. Beginner skis suck and quite often keep people from progressing. skinny waist, tight turn radius and short. I would have trouble skiing anywhere on them let alone crud. Once you get better get rid of them ASAP. Heck maybe get rid of them ASAP right now.

Technique tips

If you have followed the above advice and bought the "right" skis. Its really isnt to much different from other types of skiing. keeping a strong a core and functional tension thoughout your legs and body will make you less likely to get thrown around. Strong hands help alot as well as does strong pole touches down the hill. remember hands in front is a foward movement and not a pose. Making sure everything move as once as well. IE making sure both skis edge and turn at the same time. Pressure can be alot more 2 footed. Imagine skiing with both of your feet on a exercise ball, which is actually great training for skiing crud.

Mental issues.

sure it hard, sure it might 'suck" but you cant think that at all. If you do what you suppose to do everything will be fine. Whether you think you can or think you cant ski crud guess what? Your right? a positive aggressive trian of thought goes a long way to any difficult conditions. thinking you can is step one.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Let me clarify that i do not have the funds or access to rockered skis or else i would be skiing them. As a student my amount of money availible for skiing and new gear is minimal so im keeping it simple. People have learned to ski this on 210 straights so i figure i can ski them on my bandits. I am working on designing a reverse sidecut rockered ski much like armadas (cant remember the model) but they have a regular camber and sidecut to roughly three inches beyond the binding then the sidecut reverses. A senior in my department (mechanical engineering) has a ski press that i plan to use to create these boards for roughly 100 bucks. Anyway i think i may have been weighting the tips a bit too much. They would dive and trip me, the crust broke just riding over it but it was not thin enough to ski below it. The other concern i have is that these are a very stiff ski, Will i need a softer ski to ski this crud? Anyway im heading back up tomorrow to give your advice a shot, thanks for the posts and more are definantly welcome.
post #10 of 16
 Slice and dice.......just rip and keep those skis on edge it will feel like butta'....keep them flat and you will feel like you are on a bucking bronco.
post #11 of 16
spring skiing is great, but not the day after a storm when there has been a few inches of fresh and the temps just just soared to the 50's.  There is no easy way to deal with those conditions other than perhaps fatter and rockered skiis.  Best to wait a day or two until its both packed down a bit from skiers and gone through a couple nites of thaw/freeze.   
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

To the second poster on the beginner skis. Beginner skis suck and quite often keep people from progressing. skinny waist, tight turn radius and short. I would have trouble skiing anywhere on them let alone crud. Once you get better get rid of them ASAP. Heck maybe get rid of them ASAP right now.
 

BushwakerinPA:

Ah ha! I just KNEW it was all the equipment's fault! Thanks for the tips! Yeah, waist too skinny. Looking for some rocker skis on sale, now (now that I know what they are, and what they're for) . . . thanks again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by borntoski683 View Post

spring skiing is great, but not the day after a storm when there has been a few inches of fresh and the temps just just soared to the 50's.  There is no easy way to deal with those conditions other than perhaps fatter and rockered skiis.  Best to wait a day or two until its both packed down a bit from skiers and gone through a couple nites of thaw/freeze.    
 

 

borntoski683:

Holy crap! That stuff is awful! Yup . . . they got 7 inches of snow about a day and a half before I got there. Then, sunny-ass, 60-degree weather on the day (darned sunny-ass Southern California weather). Yeah, it sucked. It was just soooo inconsistent. Guess I have to wait for the packed-thaw-freeze cycle next time around. Thanks for the head's up on that.

To all:

Thanks, guys! This has been perhaps the most content-rich thread I've read here yet! Even though I wasn't the OP, I learned a LOT from just the few posts here in this thread!
Edited by studio460 - 4/26/10 at 1:12am
post #13 of 16
snowphil65 - IMO those snow conditions are among the worst there are. Im also not surpriced you could not turn with the techniques you listed. The problem with the new generation that grew up with carving skis is that they only tip to turn (carving). Or pressure the tips to turn (skidding). Non of this works when the snow conditions get toucher. You need to brake the crust. You need to be stronger. Your tools will be your weight and your speed and your momentum. The initiation is the most difficult. My advice is to jump up in the air and as you land you force yourself through the crust and its easier to contiue turning. The better you are at this technique the less you have to point your skis in the fall line when in the air and the less you have to jump as well. The true expert never leave the snow. They ski like on rails. The term Ki from martial arts is what its all about. Same with skiing in crudd. Also quite difficlut but a little air helps. Its basicly very old school up-unweighting. But you need to work hard with your legs.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
to studio460, glad they could help, this is definantly one helpful thread, ill be working on all these techniques, didnt get the chance to hit the mountain today but maybe tomorrow. Tdk6, i learned to ski the old school way from my parents who worked at breck in the 80's for 8 years. Some of my skiing is pretty old school, are you trying to tell me to use a "gorilla" hop turn to break under the crust then turn? My leg strenght is not an issue here and my weight 205lbs definantly helps me break the crust. Ill try all of your techniques as soon as possible since we have been getting snow showers every afternoon down in the basin and a constant cloud has sat over the mountains for the last couple days.
post #15 of 16
I dont know what a gorill hop turn is but I suspect it refers also to stance width. In such conditions you should be skiing with a very narrow stance. You need to brake the crust in one spot only. A wider stance will give you a better BoS but a narrow stance will improve your crust braking. The problem is that if your left ski sinks through the crust and your right ski doesent then you will be thrown off balance in the forth aft plane and cause your body to rotate. 

Skis with too much shape will be bad in crust because the tip of the ski will not be able to sink through the curst as easily as the rest of the ski. Taking in consideration that also your weight is on the most narrow part of the ski. I usually ski everything with SL skis but crust for example is close to impossible to ski with such short shaped skis. Difficlut anyway. You should be ok with the Bandits.

Try what I told you and tell us how it whent.
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
A gorilla hop turn is just a massively powerfull hop. And the bandits barely have any shape so they should be fine.
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