Turn in steeps

Discussion in 'Ski School' started by paulski, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. James

    James Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    Nice vid of La Grave. Gorgeous area. Only seen it from the bottom in summer. You can ski over from Les Deux Alpes with a guide. Or not if you know what your doing.

    A "bit of rotary"? Lol.
    That's really steep terrain. The goal there is essentially finishing the turn with very little energy. No shooting off to the side, being forced to start a turn off balance,or picking up too much speed = a likely fall = a likely big problem.

    The guide we skied with in Chamonix in the one steep couloir wanted us actually not to link turns. Less chance of something happening. The important thing was to finish the turn with as little movement as possible.And as little energy as possible-eg not some high energy hockey stop, just a gentle as possible coming to a stop. Not that easy if you have to put a bunch of energy into making the turn.
     
  2. LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Out on the slopes Instructor

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    The reason I love those turns is the "foot squirt" incorporated into each turn.
    By that I mean she sends her feet waaay out and brings them back up under her body on every turn.
    Sending them out is called, in some circles, "foot squirt," a colorful term that describes the move with flair.
    I remember that Bob Barnes never liked the term, but I did.
    That out-and-back foot trajectory assures the skier that the turn will be completed with a slow-down to a crawl,
    without any hockey-stop type braking.
    I suspect that such braking might be prone to failure in this steep terrain, but I'm not sure as I've never skied anything close to this.
    Comments from those who have?
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
  3. James

    James Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    Maybe you can frame by frame the footsquirt. I see her pulling the feet back under before starting the new turn. I look at foot squirt as more for continuos flowing turns where the body is moving into the new turn. These are close to pausing. If the snow was firmer likely they'd be more paused.
    Weighting the skis when pointed even slightly downhill while aft would not be good.
     
  4. Rod9301

    Rod9301 Getting off the lift Skier

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    Yeah, there's no foot squirt. She's trying to keep her feet back at all times.

    And in steep terrain, you need to soft finisha turn by skidding down a bit to dissipate energy and to compose yourself for the next turn.
     
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  5. KingGrump

    KingGrump Most Interesting Man In The World Team Gathermeister

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    OK, I'll give it a shot. Just remember this is from a short fat old dude that likes to ski low impact.

    Start of turn #1 -
    you are in good balance.
    Then the nerves took over.
    Many skiers want to "attack". A aggressive pole plant "ahead". (Pic #2). That is is where things went south.
    The pole plant is "ahead" next to the tip of the right ski.
    The location of the pole plant blocks the turn. You have to get your boots pass the pole plant location to continue the turn.
    So the skis continues to accelerate down the fall line.
    A quick push of the tail brings the skis around. Into a skid and body leaning into the hill (pic 5).
    Pic 6 - more skid & leaning into the hill to control the undesired acceleration.
    Pic 7 - things more or less under control.
    Pic 8 - With the excitement from the first turn and adrenaline pumping - a quick stem to start turn #2. At this point, I would have continued with the shaping the first turn to speed control and line development. in a way try to slow things down.

    Turn #2 & #3 are basically recoveries from turn #1. Part of the recovery process is mental. Still running on adrenaline. No point picking those apart.

    By turn #4 (pic 13) things are starting to settle down. The blocking pole plant is spot on with a open hand around the binding area. That blocking pole plant stabilized the upper body and allows for a pause in the action.
    The heart is still pumping a bit fast at this point. a premature start of the turn is initiated prior to cresting the bump. (pic 14). This ended up with a quick pivot which landed you in the trough with a bit of time in the air.
    Pic 17 - Heart rate back to normal. You are looking good from there on down.

    Your skiing is really nice without the nerves. pic 17 and forward. All the scramble of this start of the run can be eliminated with the calmer approach to the start and a pole plant in the different location. Ease into the run.
    Standing across the fall line at the start of the steep run, we are taught at Taos to plant our poles with an open hand directly down the fall line around our rear binding. This rotates the body around to face the fall line and also brings the body across the skis. It also allows the skis to turn NOW. Commitment to the down hill. Keep the ski on the snow.

    This is screen shot of the skier at 1:03 from the video posted by @LiquidFeet above. It shows the pole plant location I am talking about.

    Screenshot (133).png


    Sorry if I am a bit blunt.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
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  6. Josh Matta

    Josh Matta Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    @tball do you use pole straps?
     
  7. James

    James Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    This for the liquidfeet vid.

    In terms of whether they're "hop turns" or not- well I guess they're close to it. At that pitch it doesn't take tons of work to get away from the surface. I think people underestimate themselves. If put in that situation likely you'll be able to get the skis around. The big question is keeping one's nerve, overcoming the tendency to lean into the hill, and finishing gently without some extraneous movement at odds with the goal.

    The pschological component is big. Things one ignores normally can become an impediment to simple movements. My foot hurts, the boot is too tight, too loose, there's a scratch on my goggle lens right in front of my eye, will the slope slide even if I make the turn?, this is crazy -I can see the town down below like we're in an airplane! What if I fall?? And on and on.

    I'm not comfortable on such pitches. The only thing I really think about is committing down hill to start the turn. I know if I don't do that it will not go well. Not going well plus fear can lead to bad things. Once committed down I rely on muscle memory and feedback from the skis to complete the turn to a stop.

    It's a bit like sliding a box sideways.(Not that i'm good at it) The natural tendency is to lean away - uphill. This just causes the skis to slip out. So you have to consciously lean downhill, though actually it's not that far it feels it.

    I wonder if on steeps someone has committed with urgency/force so far downhill that they end up head first sliding down or face planted. I could see the skis getting stuck, but an over committing I would think is extremely rare.

    In terms of regular skiing/reg steep skiing, there's a similarity. People will do something- almost anything, to make a turn, but they won't release the skis and commit the body downhill to make a turn. People will go togreat lengths to avoid release and avoid committing downhill. So you can end up with some funky stuff, especially with young kids.

    IMG_5724.jpg
    That's good- It opens the path to going down and gives space for the legs and skis to come around. One less thing to worry about. The open hand and body says "I'm coming down",hopefully the mind will follow.
     
  8. tball

    tball Zipped up Skier

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    I try not to hop turn unless absolutely necessary and don't think I am too much on that line. I'm instead trying to link turns and keep my edges engaged whenever possible. There's no speed control in the air!

    Where to turn is cueing me more than anything. There were not many tactical choices on that line, at least for me, so I really needed to turn where I could with the tools in my toolbag. I think I'm falling back on bump technique to a large degree, as I was bump fed in my formative years. Hands out front, good pole plants, shoulders square with the hill, skis on the snow, and keep turning are top of mind, as always.

    For hop turn contrast, here's a POV video where I needed to hop turn at the top of a narrow steep chute. Note I'm pretty much stopping between each turn and bringing my skis all the way around every time. A better skier would link turns through here, remain in more fluid motion, and be hauling ass with their skis pointed much more downhill:

     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
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  9. tball

    tball Zipped up Skier

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    Thanks so much for putting your time into the analysis!

    The only thing I'll differ with is the cause of that tragic first turn. I think it was more overconfidence and a bad tactical choice than nerves. Or maybe overconfidence due to nerves?

    I believe my first pole plant down the hill was intentional in that I thought I was going to ski a much more direct line.

    Then my edges hit the snow and it wasn't what I expected. I should have know better seeing the other mortal skiers in our group struggle and hearing everyone's loud edging. The snow looked much better than it was and I was fooled and surprised by that first turn. That was one hard bumpy narrow chute up top. I should have been more observant and humble.

    I love your suggestion to "Ease into the run." That would have solved most of my problems. I could have turned up the aggressiveness after a turn or two (but wouldn't have after I felt the snow). Yep, it's much more difficult to dial it down and get back on your game after a bad start.

    Your screen grab of pic 8 where I'm forcing my hands forward makes me smile. At some point long ago somebody taught me to force my hands forward when I'm in the back seat and in a mess. Thank you whoever it was, it continues to serve me well!

    Plant with an open hand directly down the fall line near the rear binding. I'm going to remember that, thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
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  10. tball

    tball Zipped up Skier

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    Yes, almost all the time, so I should be in that video. I usually take them off in the trees, but not steeps.

    Any thoughts to share about straps or otherwise?
     
  11. LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Out on the slopes Instructor

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  12. Erik Timmerman

    Erik Timmerman Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    I love what you do Liquidfeet, can’t wait to seeing that on my computer and not a phone! I’ll bet it’s good but I can’t tell!
     
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  13. Josh Matta

    Josh Matta Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    there is a chance that even the small amount of time not using them in the trees leads to a "death" grip on the poles, which then leads to pole touch that brings that upper body out of wack......if you dont notice the change in your skiing when your not using them, my guess is you do not take advantage of the benefit of having a lighter grip and more range of motion with your pole touch, that doesnt interfere with your upper body position of placement.

    Here is again the steepest skiable line off a lift in stowe.



    at @:32 I am in yellow first shot is is 40 degree, second shot @:38 second is above 45 degree, last shot is between 30-35 degree.

    open pole plant down the hill, softening the new inside ski despite them being hop turns and trying to manage the pressure build up at the end of the turn by getting shorter.

    not to mention the other PSIA 5 fundementals....
     
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  14. Rod9301

    Rod9301 Getting off the lift Skier

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    Nice turns, Josh.

    Looking at the first sentence of yellow jacket, i feel, i think, what the skier felt, and to me, it looks like the turns were a little rushed, ie, not enough stabilization at the end of the turn. Or maybe i should say not enough of a stable platform at the end of the turn.
    I do this when i start with a bit too much speed.
    In the other hand, maybe the snow was forgiving enough that he didn't feel like the turns were rushed.

    Btw, this comment was not meant as a MA, it any kind of criticism, just what i felt that the skier was feeling.
     
  15. Josh Matta

    Josh Matta Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    its a pretty scary pitch when the snow slides off of it, even in soft packed snow its quite challenging to get anything going there.......many people wreck out in the first couple turns including my self. You usually ski this pitch as slowly as possible and its never enough. @KevinF @epic @Mike Thomas @freeski919 can all vouch for how steep the pitch truly is.

    getting this pitch untracked in good snow, its literally an experience of a lifetime. I typically get it 4-6 times year in really good snow. Usually due to its nature as people ski it, the gully fills back in with snow. Sometime you gt unlucky and its slides leaving the old harder(to icey) snow underneath. I actually used the first video because its a rare instance of not being powder but still being skiable, and the only time I ever videoed hop turns on that pitch.


    this is the same pitch in really good snow on entirely different skis.



    the people who followed this run, would have had a bad run.



    I also dont see this spot getting blown up anytime soon, its basically impossible to find, even if I told you were to look.
     
  16. James

    James Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    IMG_5727.PNG
    The third image down I'm not seeing feet way beyond the body in either the plane along the skis, sagittal, or across them, frontal. The last image is either start position of a new turn or ending "safety" position of the last turn. The bent legs absorb the energy of the previous turn, the angulation and hand position assures one doesn't lean up the hill, which would cause the downhill ski to slip.

    I agree with Josh about the pole straps. But, what is one supposed to do with pole straps in avalanche terrain, isn't removing them still suggested?
     
  17. Josh Matta

    Josh Matta Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    use releasable pole straps...you dont even need the Leki System anymore.
     
  18. LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Out on the slopes Instructor

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    Really? In the third image down you think the feet are under the CoM, not out to the side of the CoM?
    Or you mean that you do see them out to the side, just not WAY out to the side?
    Those skis are still pointed more across the fall line than down it.
     
  19. James

    James Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    The downhill foot is out to the side but the pelvis is rotated too and the pack is out there. It's unclear from the angle, but part of the pack may be over the foot (dropping a plumb line). So yes, feet not way out.
     
  20. LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Out on the slopes Instructor

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    @James, your definition of feet way out and mine are different I guess. I see the CoM somewhere between the top of the pack and the very bottom of it where the strap is. Both feet are out from the pack, especially the outside foot. I think of that as way out. By "way" I don't mean "unusually," just more than "a little" out there. By the fourth image both feet are even more out there.

    The pulling of the feet back up under the body is dramatic in the video, signalling that the feet are not under the body but "out there."

    In any event, the displacement of the feet relative to the CoM is skier-created, and it's more than a hop turn pedal turn or pivot slip or stem step or a "brushed carve" would produce. I'm not comparing these turns to GS turns at the gate, but to those other options. We would not be able to see so clearly this out and back of the feet which the skier makes happen in so short a distance had a drone above not been taking the video. I assume it's a drone.

    These turns called attention to themselves when I first saw this video and I saved the video reference for that reason.
     

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