Rollo, I really like the QCT's you are working on and where they are taking you (where you want to go) and where they can take you. It appears to me that your desire to pass a Level 3 exam is motivating you to put the required effort into perfecting/optimizing the repeated execution of what I consider very advanced QCT's which IMO are "the most versatile" turn a skier can master that can be executed in any terrain, down virtually any line.
For your info, I'm not a ski instructor and the only certification I hold is that I'm a very opinionated skier.
I can see where reaching Level 3 status is a rewarding accomplishment for any instructor and a valid goal. I certainly hope another goal of yours is to ski at the highest level you conditioning and technique will allow. Those turns that you are making, what I call QCT's, are the advanced tool needed to efficiently and smoothly ski natural expert terrain (bumps/steeps) with total confidence down lines that most don't even imagine skiable. Those turns are the "key" to leveling up to advanced technique in natural terrrain, keep practicing them. They can never be to smooth or effortless, yet alone to quick. In steeper natural terrain, it is possible to link them so quickly and smoothly that the unweighting/downweighting sensation can dissolve into what I describe as a gyroscopic sensation or "light tips".
At this point I believe your turns are very advanced and only repetition and subtle experimentation will fine tune and further advance your technique, this is a good thing.
I agree with the a couple of posters above. You'll have good feedback working on refining your pole "flick"/plant slightly further towards your tips with a crisp execution, I've always thought of the pole touch as the moment the turn finishes and the next turn is initiated, it marks transition.
Now to continue the thread drift which I find a very important aspect of your thread, ankle open/knee flex at the initiation of the new turn.
I agree most with TheRusty, when making QCT's, at the finish of the turn the knees are extending/driving the skiers energy through the finish of the turn, while the ankles are "closing"/flexing" transferring energy aft through the tail creating the "pop"/rebound or what I believe people are describing as the Virtual Bump. In the case of executing QCT's, the VB is more similar to a angular mogul as opposed to a longer/more subtle bump when executing longer radius turns. Since the energy released at the turn finish can be relatively explosive as the skis cross, what feels almost laterally under the skiers body, the skier must react instantly in order to keep the tips in contact with the snow or regain tip/edge contact as the skis must be rolled on edge to start the new arc.
So what happens at the immediately after the pole touches? The skier has extended slightly through the turn finish and is now "floating", the knees are imediately flexing to pull the feet back under the body (retraction) while simultaneously the ankle is not only opened/extended in order to maintain/regain ski shovel/snow contact, but is also "rolled"over (lifting the little toe of the new downhill ski) which gets the ski on angle and edges hooked up very early in the new turn. That's how the mechanics work when I make my QCT's, powerful turn finish that can subtly brush/dump speed in natural terrain (moguls/steeps) coupled with instant and continuous/dynamic energy/motion into the new turn initiation. Works for me everywhere and in most snow conditions.
It is not my intention to jack the thread with this video of what I think are some of the cleanest/quickest QCT's I've ever seen. These turns are not an example of Level 3 qualifying turns, but I believe they would work, that you asked for Rollo, but I think you can learn something from them. Notice the crip pole flick/touch which Trevor uses so well to concentrate the turns energy into the center of his chest, this is the most versatile and powerful COM location. Everything happens centered and focused on this point, the center of the gyroscope.
Hmmm... can't get the video to embed, here's the link.
Thanks for the help Rusty!
Edited by Nailbender - 9/30/10 at 4:40pm