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Thoughts on the Cat Track

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
What kind of technical points do you think about while skiing down a cat track ( on a ski out? ).

Since this is in the 'skiing technique and instruction' topics it is not the girls ass in front of you! But rather do you;

practice edging?
play with your body position, balance?
practice skiing on one ski?
ski backwards?
visualize your next run?

I try to practice edging. I try to move my legs back and forth from my hips while keeping my upper body still.

What do you do?
post #2 of 26
I try not to hit anybody in front of me and not to be knocked over by anybody behind me... Actually, I try my best to stay away from cat tracks.
post #3 of 26
I never waste a flat by ozoning along and passing up an opportunity to fine tuen something. Being accurate and precise there is the first step to having it avaliable everywhere.

I use runouts to practice being more aware or precise with a variety of different things; balance, foot movements, edging etc.
Skiing railroad tracks or playing with fore/aft balance and it's effect on how the skis I'm on react. ski on eone foot and when you think you are pretty good at it start doing one foot railroad tracks. Grab the opportunity to improve something.

[img]smile.gif[/img]

[ December 12, 2003, 08:57 PM: Message edited by: Arcmeister ]
post #4 of 26
I generally spend ALL of my mental and physical energy trying to figure out how to safely pass that boarder who's riding blindside along the track and banking up and down off the high-side wall.

Bob
post #5 of 26
If traffic on it is light, I just GO.

If traffic is heavy, one of my favorite pastimes on cat tracks is to decide on some angle of attack (angle between the direction the ski is pointed and the direction your CM is moving), and then attempt to hold that angle for as long as possible while not moving side-to-side out of a narrow corridor. Occasionally, I'll switch which way I'm pointing, but keep the number of degrees and corridor exactly the same. Having your tips pointed at the dropoff side of the cat track adds a bit of thrill to the exercise.

IMHO, a 2 mile long sideslip / pivot slip / hockey slip exercise beats a 2 mile snowplow for really heavy traffic conditions. At minimum, people take note and give you plenty of room . I don't usually go so far as doing on-snow 360's or skiing switch because that would probably really freak out most people and tend to obstruct traffic.

Tom / PM

[ December 12, 2003, 10:10 PM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #6 of 26
I'm with Arc - I've been taught to use cattracks as edgeroll centrals... really dial in the edging skills(no turning if possible think ahead) .... Also now they are easier to play with my feet a bit....
post #7 of 26
I agree- never waste a flat. There is so much you can learn by working in a non-threatening enviroment. My coaches get on my case constantly- never stop skiing until you're sitting on the lift or finished for the day.
post #8 of 26
I play the saem game as PhysicsMan. I also ride switch although I'm not too good at it yet.
post #9 of 26
I play the saem game as PhysicsMan. I also ride switch although I'm not too good at it yet.
post #10 of 26
I'm the skier that passes you while
banking up and down off the high-side wall.

[ December 14, 2003, 10:19 PM: Message edited by: Roto ]
post #11 of 26
There is a tendency to "take a nap" on a gentle traverse or a run out. Your guard is down and you engage the "cruise control".

That's exactly when the snow snakes will lash out and bite.

Keep skiing and don't snooze, many of our "dumbest falls" happen on "flat" terrain. :

The game I play is to ride a truly flat ski, a flat ski is a fast ski and it will feel a bit squirrely under you but it will help to get over those slight rises in terrain where others have to pole and shuffle.

[ December 15, 2003, 07:18 AM: Message edited by: yuki ]
post #12 of 26
On cat tracks, I tend to switch to singing Eagles songs. They seem to fit in well with it. Once I've got the song going, then I get the turns in, and avoid people. Also like to switch between holding a slow speed tuck until my legs scream and then doing long, lazy carving turns.
Oh, and trying to take the "racing line" as much as possible, so start out and move to the outside for a corner, then cut in as tight as I can to the edge, and continue straight out. I'm such a bad skier, it's only on cat tracks that I can do that!
post #13 of 26
Me too, railroad tracks.

Also, one footed skiing.

Another thing I like to do is what I call "daffy skiing" - Skiing short radius turns on the outside edge of the inside ski while wildly lifting and twisting the outside ski in the air. (You know, I just realized, that's a great exercise for strong inside half).
post #14 of 26
OK! I confess. When there is light traffic ... I love to sit back on the tails and steer by dragging my poles and leaning like a luge. [img]redface.gif[/img]
post #15 of 26
Thread Starter 
Good Stuff.

Couple questions,

Are Railroad tracks what GS skiers do with the skis really wide apart?

PM -do you mean turning your skis so they are more perpendicular to the slope while your upper body is still pointing down the slope? I did this on a steeper groomed section to check my speed.

As for snowboarders, I usually pass them when they first start their turn AWAY from the side I am on. For more fun buzz them...

Last weekend we had so much damn powder at Whistler that I needed the ski out to rest! Ugh, my legs!
post #16 of 26
I do one of two things. I work on drills such as balance, stance, and body positioning. Usually you will see me doing this with some carefully executed box turns. If im not doing that, im probably the guy that you get mad at because im "going too fast..." I like to put my slalom skis on and see how tight of carves i can make between people. I'm always in control when doing this, but i often cut fairly close to people in order to get enough room to execute the next turn... and i always try to make sure they are linked. This seems to help give me quick feet in the course actually, and it gets me more comfortable with my skis in very tight places. I never however brush anyone, or even come close. I have never hit anyone when i have been skiing, and i hope to never hit anyone ever... but ive been hit plenty of times... mostly snowboarders - only two skiers... Turning tight turns at fairly slow speeds w/o skidding at all can be work... give it a try in a tight place sometime and you will see what i mean... just dont hit anyone or anything.
Later
GREG
post #17 of 26
Oh yeah - the cat track thing with the quick turns... i usually hold my poles by the middle in one hand. so i ont rely on them at all - purely a balance and quickness excercize.
Later
GREG

[ December 16, 2003, 11:07 PM: Message edited by: HeluvaSkier ]
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by Sharon:
...PM - do you mean turning your skis so they are more perpendicular to the slope while your upper body is still pointing down the slope?...
Not quite. I think you are thinking of a position / skiing technique called "anticipation" or "counter rotation".

What I suggested is quite different. Version #1 of mine is to make your ski tips point towards the uphill side of the cat track (ie, uphill), while your body is going in exactly in the same direction as the cat track (ie, in a traverse nearly perpendicular to the fall line). As you get better, you should carefully hold your side-to-side position on the cat-track or road and accurately maintain the angle between the direction your skis are pointed and the direction you are going. Like all sideslip exercises, doing this one requires good edge control, but this particular exercise also requires decent fore-aft pressure control as well as rotary skills.

The more thrilling / risky version of it is to do the exact same thing as described above, except with your tips pointed to the downhill side of the cat-track. Mess up on this, and you will likely go over the edge.

Tom / PM
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by Sharon:

Are Railroad tracks what GS skiers do with the skis really wide apart?

!
Ummm - dunno it is a USA term I think as I have never had it used here & I have had lessons from Austrians, UK guys, Canadians, &ozzies..

We do edge-rolls - which are a starting exercise to the long turns the GS guys do with feet really wide apart.... We do them with feet a little wider than hip width - but not WIDE like the long turns...

I was taught on a green run - simply point the tips down hill & across slope at about a 45% angle between straight down & straight across.... then once you are moving - TIP feet to uphill.... you should turn back up the hill - but DO NOT TURN LEGS & FEET.... if you have done it 'right' there will be 2 very thin lines as wide as the metal edges on your ski roughly....

THEN you point more down hill....

Then you join up a RIGHT & LEFT hand one....
Then you keep joining... edge-rolls....

Now you START to learn LONG TURNS.... [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]
post #20 of 26
Oh - my Canadian instructor says that canadians call edge-rolls "Roller-blade turns"

I think that is a misnomer - because really inline skaers rotate upper body quite a bit... (I'm told I skate like a skier - because I don't rotate my body enough in short turns)
post #21 of 26
It all depends on the condition of the track and what kind of bowl it is traversing. At Snowbird the track out to Mineral basin was super narrow. I tried to keep my speed down which was a good thing as I hit 3 large moguls in the middle of it. Flying through the air was fun but a bit unnerving. At Jackson Hole the track out to the Cirque just ended. It pretty much scared the crap out of me as it was a lot steeper than I though. I alway worry about getting slammed from behind as my wife did by a boarder. I try to time it so I don't have to deal with any traffic.
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by yuki:
There is a tendency to "take a nap" on a gentle traverse or a run out. Your guard is down and you engage the "cruise control".

That's exactly when the snow snakes will lash out and bite.

Keep skiing and don't snooze, many of our "dumbest falls" happen on "flat" terrain. :

The game I play is to ride a truly flat ski, a flat ski is a fast ski and it will feel a bit squirrely under you but it will help to get over those slight rises in terrain where others have to pole and shuffle.
Hey! Glad I am not alone on this! Unfortunately, I am one of those who lets her guard down and takes a snooze. I've had plenty of "dumb" falls on the flats.
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by Sharon:
What kind of technical points do you think about while skiing down a cat track ( on a ski out? ).

Since this is in the 'skiing technique and instruction' topics it is not the girls ass in front of you! But rather do you;

practice edging?
play with your body position, balance?
practice skiing on one ski?
ski backwards?
visualize your next run?

I try to practice edging. I try to move my legs back and forth from my hips while keeping my upper body still.

What do you do?
It depends on what I happen to be working on at that point in the day, but I always use it. Railroad track turns, wedge turns, wedge christies, and now I think I'll try the drills Tom/PM mentioned. Basically, I work on my skiing skills within an environment that allows me to focus on my skiing mechanics and less on my line.
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by ssh:
Basically, I work on my skiing skills within an environment that allows me to focus on my skiing mechanics and less on my line.
: You obviously do not have the crowds on your cat-tracks that we do.... LINE is IMPORTANT.... you have to pick the line between the moving slalom poles.... sometimes the poles go the opposite way to what you think they will & you have to revise the line FAST.... I have ended up learning to ski up a bank from one of these fatal errors of judgement.... also to jump a windlip I didn't want to .... I just had too much speed for a simple "rollover" & I had lost all line choice bar the windlip.... the only other choice was a very quick uphill turn on quite a steep slope & I was not convinced I was up to pulling that off either.... I know the windlip well at least....
post #25 of 26
1.Keep eye out for sheriff
2.Keep eye out for Ski Patrol
3.Keep eye out for SS nark
4.Keep eye out for kids lessons
5.Keep eye out for girlfriends\wifes who have been told “you can ski to the bottom it is easy”
6.Keep eye out for senior SS members with almost dead but very rich clients
7.Keep eye out for new groomer driver practise areas
8.Keep eye out for Snowboarders with attitude an little skill
9.Keep eye out for retired CEO types who are now volunteer mountain guides
10.Assume tuck position
11.Assume optimal glide stance
12.Hug the drop off side
13.Squint and morph items 1 to 9 into swaying bamboo
14.Zone in and slow the world down
15.Negotiate swaying bamboo
16.Stay tight on the rolls and transitions as you reenter the main runs and practise smooth prejumps and early engagement extension.
17.Change hat at the bottom and straight into locker room.

P.S. Carving should be practised on a pitch, not on flatish groomed traffic areas. I mean, like, what are you practising carving for any way … to ski cat tracks ? [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #26 of 26
I don't practice "carving" I practice edge-rolls.... didn't ya read it...

I need all the help I can get at the pronation/supination bit... [img]tongue.gif[/img]
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