White pass (Norwegian) turn vs. Ligety race turn

HardDaysNight

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People who delay their COM from moving across their BOS will find this drill impossible, which is exactly the type of person who should be doing it.
This! And the idea that this fault afflicts only intermediate skiers is incorrect. It’s actually one of the most pervasive issues holding back skiers at high to expert levels and can be very subtle to detect.
 

Josh Matta

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I guess I should admend those who move their COM over their BOS too quickly can benefit as well.

This along with up and over can dial in how to move into a new turn.
 

geepers

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What type of skier are you talking about? Someone with little weight on the outside ski? Like lower intermediate?

I'm guessing those who have lots of trouble- tail pushers.
This is not a drill I'd suggest for low intermediates. I don't think it would be setting those types of students up for success.

This is an excellent drill for skiers who have good outside ski skills and already carve but:
1. Tend to move inside too soon, before any centripetal force is there to support them. So they have to stop that movement to avoid toppling far too much onto the inside ski and end up park n ride. The drill forces them to be patient with inclination moving inside only enough to balance centripetal forces (otherwise crash n burn) and then, with good engagement of the outside ski when it returns to the snow they can now balance on it and continue to move inside. Until it's time for the next turn.
2. Tend to allow the inside foot to get too far ahead (or the outside foot too far back however you wish to look at it) or overly separated. I've yet to see anyone put their outside ski back on the snow way behind them or way outside the line of the inside ski. However I have seen the same skiers do exactly that by the fall line with their 'normal' skiing. The drill shows them what correct inside foot placement feels like.
3. Tend to be too far forward, probably attempting to pressure the tips - they typically lose grip on the tails below the fall line. Again, the drill forces better fore/aft balance entering the turn.


@Josh Matta - keeping the tip in the snow, even gently, provides an additional balance point which negates some of the advantages of the drill. Also I'm not entirely sure it would be a good idea from a safety point of view to leave the tip in the snow as the pitch steepens and the pace picks up. You have strong skills and would most likely ski through a bit of snow grab but some-one learning it for the first time may not - there's a good reason we normally direct pressure to the outside ski.

If you get a chance to shoot some more vid can you try it on a blue run and do it with more pace and performance carving.
 
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4ster

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Here are mine from five or six years ago. If I were to video again as a demo I would try to have a little less shoulder tipping at initiation as well as having the ski tip a little higher.


@Steve, my description of a tracer turn goes like this. Pick one ski, right or left. Ski with 99.99% of your weight and balance on that ski with the other just barely touching or tracing the snow. Make a series of turns like this then switch to the other foot/leg and repeat.
 
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Smear

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Hi, geepers. Agree that the whitepass is an excellent drill for skiers who:

2. Tend to allow the inside foot to get too far ahead (or the outside foot too far back however you wish to look at it) or overly separated. I've yet to see anyone put their outside ski back on the snow way behind them or way outside the line of the inside ski. However I have seen the same skiers do exactly that by the fall line with their 'normal' skiing. The drill shows them what correct inside foot placement feels like.
3. Tend to be too far forward, probably attempting to pressure the tips - they typically lose grip on the tails below the fall line. Again, the drill forces better fore/aft balance entering the turn.
I'm a prime suspect here :)

But not so sure I understand your first point.
1. Tend to move inside too soon, before any centripetal force is there to support them. So they have to stop that movement to avoid toppling far too much onto the inside ski and end up park n ride. The drill forces them to be patient with inclination moving inside only enough to balance centripetal forces (otherwise crash n burn) and then, with good engagement of the outside ski when it returns to the snow they can now balance on it and continue to move inside. Until it's time for the next turn.
In a whitepass drill one is quite far inside on the top of the turn. I guess since one is balancing on one ski it's sort self limiting on TOO FAR inside but one can be QUITE FAR inside. I would think the other drill, "up-and-over", discussed in this thread would be better for developing patience in moving inside the new turn and doing it "in balance". That drill is often prescribed with gliding on the little toe edge for a good stretch before moving into the new turn. But I sort of feel that to be able to "glide on the little toe edge for a good stretch before moving into the new turn" one has to loose angulation and separation in the last part of the turn where as on the white pass one is forced to keep angulation and separation going through the very end of the turn. But I like "up-and-over"-drill and early transfer skiing (doesn't have to be up) for the patience at the top of the turn feeling. Neither is a way to ski and I guess one drill can't do it all...

The ski lifting in the whitepass drill has lots of strange side effects. More the higher and further out the ski is lifted. I'm sort of thinking that most of the benefits of the whitepass drill can be had with just focusing on ending the turn by untipping and flexing the outside ski and focusing on not doing a early weight transfer.
 

geepers

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I guess since one is balancing on one ski it's sort self limiting on TOO FAR inside
Yep - moving too far inside generally leads to short period resting on the snow. I also think it is a reason the WP is about more than just the transition - having to hold it beyond transition and into the fall line sets up the rest of the turn.

Of course there are other drills to develop patience. Although my observation with one ski drills on the outside is that it's all too easy for the skier to be toppling to the inside when they put the inside ski down and therefore out of balance.

The ski lifting in the whitepass drill has lots of strange side effects. More the higher and further out the ski is lifted. I'm sort of thinking that most of the benefits of the whitepass drill can be had with just focusing on ending the turn by untipping and flexing the outside ski and focusing on not doing a early weight transfer.
Yes. I think MS's commentary in the Burke Academy demo is spot on. Limit the lifting and try not to use the outside ski as a wide side-rigger. May have to have to get into the drill in the 1st place.

Again, I like WP for what it does for my own skiing and because it can address multiple skier issues at once. Currently working to pass CSIA L3 teach where it is necessary to run a mock lesson with 3 or 4 other L3 candidates. They will usually be proficient enough skiers with good outside ski skills and each skier must be given an individual ski improvement focus even though it's highly likely each will have different strengths/weaknesses. There's only enough time for a single drill plus maybe a variation or two. So drills that can handle multiple issues are good to have.
 

HardDaysNight

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Hi, geepers. Agree that the whitepass is an excellent drill for skiers who:



I'm a prime suspect here :)

But not so sure I understand your first point.


In a whitepass drill one is quite far inside on the top of the turn. I guess since one is balancing on one ski it's sort self limiting on TOO FAR inside but one can be QUITE FAR inside. I would think the other drill, "up-and-over", discussed in this thread would be better for developing patience in moving inside the new turn and doing it "in balance". That drill is often prescribed with gliding on the little toe edge for a good stretch before moving into the new turn. But I sort of feel that to be able to "glide on the little toe edge for a good stretch before moving into the new turn" one has to loose angulation and separation in the last part of the turn where as on the white pass one is forced to keep angulation and separation going through the very end of the turn. But I like "up-and-over"-drill and early transfer skiing (doesn't have to be up) for the patience at the top of the turn feeling. Neither is a way to ski and I guess one drill can't do it all...

The ski lifting in the whitepass drill has lots of strange side effects. More the higher and further out the ski is lifted. I'm sort of thinking that most of the benefits of the whitepass drill can be had with just focusing on ending the turn by untipping and flexing the outside ski and focusing on not doing a early weight transfer.
This is a very good post. The idea of most people fretting about moving too far inside at the top of the turn is laughable. The very large majority of skiers have piddling edge angles-how far inside one can move is driven by that unless one falls over! Similarly it’s baffling to hear instructors concerned about being too far forward when the majority of them could cut off the tips of their skis and not notice.
 

Smear

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The idea of most people fretting about moving too far inside at the top of the turn is laughable.
Hmmm.... I think I move inside too quickly. Especially when attempting to do late transfer (ala WP) on long radius skis (proper GS) after skiing long on short radius skis. Feel like late transfer move the body quickly into the turn (regulated by the DIRT of the release) and I need better and earlier tipping and counterbalancing to be able to pull that off without loosing balance to the inside. If able to pull off moving inside quickly then I agree it's a good thing.

I'll try to explain my thinking about these drills in a more understandable way.

Take a look at Guy Herrington in the poster still of this video. He is balancing on the outside edge of his inside ski. His hips and shoulders are not level and he is not tipping his inside foot. He has a small amount of reverse knee angulation going on, not tipping into the turn. Imagine that we change this by leveling his hips and shoulders, add a hint of counter and tip his inside foot the right direction, but he is still on the outside edge of the inside ski. Then:

* He would not be in balance. He would not have enough inclination to balance against the turning forces and would fall towards the outside of the turn.
* He would have massive amount of platform angle due to being on the outside edge of the inside ski and in addition having a "proper skiing position". Too much platform angle is unstable. I think it would chatter wildly like someone skiing normally on a setup canted WAY too strong.

So the position he is in is for good reason, because he is attempting to stay in balance for a while on the outside edge of the inside ski. My thinking is that staying in balance on the little toe edge is a stupid human trick that doesn't help anyone's skiing in itself. Both the white pass drill (late transfer) and the up-and-over drill (early transfer with gliding little toe edge traverse) has a phase where we do this. But this is not the good part of the drills. It's necessary evil to connect the drill together with the good parts. To me the good part of the up-and-over drill (early transfer with gliding little toe edge traverse) is the top of the turn after the traverse. Starting the turn with tipping in a patient and balanced way. Slowing things down. Getting as much edge angle as possible, but in a gradual balanced way. The end of the turn with the little-to-edge traverse, loosing angulation and counter early is not the good part of that drill.

Similarly the reverse angulated position at the top of a white pass drill turn is not the good part of that drill. The good part is ending the turn balanced on the outside ski, having counter and angulation through very end of the turn. Getting quickly into the next turn by moving over the ski. That's a good thing if the counterbalancing and tipping movement (and grip, sidecut and speed) are there to support it when getting to the other side. But one doesn't train that by being in a reverse angulated position at the top of the turn.

Racers that does a white pass turn or an early transfer turn during a race does not stay in balance on the little toe edge like we do in the drills. In early transfer, the transfer of weight to the old inside disturb balance and cause COM to move into the next turn, they stay angulated at the weight transfer to enhance the unbalanced effect. In a white pass turn during a race they quickly get onto the outside ski before forces build up.

Hmm... This was too much talking. Hope to be able to post videos of my own attempts at WP, early transfer and late transfer soon.
 
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geepers

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This is a very good post. The idea of most people fretting about moving too far inside at the top of the turn is laughable. The very large majority of skiers have piddling edge angles-how far inside one can move is driven by that unless one falls over! Similarly it’s baffling to hear instructors concerned about being too far forward when the majority of them could cut off the tips of their skis and not notice.
I'm delighted to hear that you do not have this problem of moving inside too soon. Personally I've struggled with it ever since I learnt it was a "thing". Always be moving in or moving out they said. Which is pretty much necessary if the BoS is going to be taking the outside lane, compared to the CoM. My demon, one which I've seen in many other reasonably ok skiers, is that moving inside too soon causes us to have a little too much weight on the inside ski leading to a pause in the movement inside. Next thing the turn is over, it's time to be moving out for the next turn. And our skiing was another fine example of indifferent performance.
Like this - skiing ok, has a tendency use up limited lateral movement very early in the turn and then hold that position.


Now doubtless there's a range of drills that may be useful - I feel the WP turn, as demo-ed by Guy Hetherington, would be one of them. Note how he continues to shorten the inside leg and increase ski performance through the turn.


And note Hetherington's comments at 1:42 "This is one of the most effective drills for high speed carving because it forces you to be patient as your body is moved across the skis in the direction of the new turn. It also allows the skis to establish clean grip which sets you up well to increase edge angle through the end."


I'm all ears and eyes for other drill suggestions.

Just a side note re the use of tips... here's some typical average instructors ( ;) ) doing a few long turns. Which ones do you think would not notice if we cut off the tips of their skis?

 
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markojp

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Josh, thanks for taking the time and effort to post, however I'm not sure what this is but it's not White Pass as I've been taught.

How about lifting the entire ski in the air and keeping it there until the fall line. Then building outside ski performance through the later part of the turn.

BTW I agree that once a skier has the hang of them, WP turns are not especially difficult to perform and don't take any big toll on body/strength. Not that difficult to ski many of them in a row - as long as not too many obstacles! (Unlike, say, speiss which I find exhausting.)

Personally, as a general comment on where the thread has gone, I don't think White Pass turns are primarily about transition. Note in Guy Hetherington's vid he states it is an advanced drill and skiers should be able to do his other one ski drill - which already requires the skier to get their CoM over the ski - before attempting. For me where it relates to transition is in the exact opposite - it forces patience on skiers who tend to be too quick to get their CoM well over the BoS and too far inside.

The focus on transition also underplays the drill's use in developing additional ski performance as a result of having to be correctly balanced (fore/aft and laterally) into the fall line.
Speaking only for my own first post in this thread, I think I mentioned most of what you have. The focus of almost any drill can be changed according to 'need'. Are pivot slips about separation? Rotary? Edging? Transition? Uphill foot? Downhill foot? Fore aft? Honestly, they can be coached with any of the focuses mentioned with nuanced differences of sensations that can all lead to valid performance outcomes. It becomes clear that for many, one drill has one focus, and one outcome. Again, speaking only for myself, I respectfully disagree.

Back to the WP turn, I might do many as a holistic diagnostic check; can I draw out and slow down tipping my outside foot? Maybe focusing on leveling my pelvis to drop the new outside ski.... or play with sensations of inclination through the whole arc, or inclination into angulation, etc.... I agree with Josh that they aren't difficult, but I do think by and large that they are coached/used with very binary ideas about what they're for and those being coached have a commensurately difficult time executing them successfully. The great thing about threads like this is the light shed on the incredible possibilities most drills have outside of the boxes we package them in.
 
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AmyPJ

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Here are mine from five or six years ago. If I were to video again as a demo I would try to have a little less shoulder tipping at initiation as well as having the ski tip a little higher.


@Steve, my description of a tracer turn goes like this. Pick one ski, right or left. Ski with 99.99% of your weight and balance on that ski with the other just barely touching or tracing the snow. Make a series of turns like this then switch to the other foot/leg and repeat.
I think you were skiing with @utskier that day? He told me he does this drill quite well. Maybe I can get some fresh video of the two of you doing this and other drills sometime soon. ogsmile
 

James

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I'm delighted to hear that you do not have this problem of moving inside too soon. Personally I've struggled with it ever since I learnt it was a "thing". Always be moving in or moving out they said. Which is pretty much necessary if the BoS is going to be taking the outside lane, compared to the CoM. My demon, one which I've seen in many other reasonably ok skiers, is that moving inside too soon causes us to have a little too much weight on the inside ski leading to a pause in the movement inside. Next thing the turn is over, it's time to be moving out for the next turn. And our skiing was another fine example of indifferent performance.
Like this - skiing ok, has a tendency use up limited lateral movement very early in the turn and then hold that position.


Now doubtless there's a range of drills that may be useful - I feel the WP turn, as demo-ed by Guy Hetherington, would be one of them. Note how he continues to shorten the inside leg and increase ski performance through the turn.


And note Hetherington's comments at 1:42 "This is one of the most effective drills for high speed carving because it forces you to be patient as your body is moved across the skis in the direction of the new turn. It also allows the skis to establish clean grip which sets you up well to increase edge angle through the end."


I'm all ears and eyes for other drill suggestions.
I don’t really see your gif man as moving inside too quickly. Could just be the angle we’re seeing. Look at the Hetherington wp vid. Looks like he moves further in and directly - quicker at transition. It’s also a continuous movement. I’d say Hetherington moves in quicker than the gifster.

Problem is gif man is pretty good but seems he’s in love with how he feels in that posed countered position mid turn. Statuesque. There’d have to be lots of motivation to change.

He goes up first. Part of that is he gets to transition and then needs to make an abrupt move to start the new turn. There’s not a com flow into the new turn that starts earlier and carries him through transition. WPass could help because you have to move over that downhill ski into the new turn. A sudden move or up move doesn’t work.
 

geepers

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I don’t really see your gif man as moving inside too quickly. Could just be the angle we’re seeing. Look at the Hetherington wp vid. Looks like he moves further in and directly - quicker at transition. It’s also a continuous movement. I’d say Hetherington moves in quicker than the gifster.

Problem is gif man is pretty good but seems he’s in love with how he feels in that posed countered position mid turn. Statuesque. There’d have to be lots of motivation to change.

He goes up first. Part of that is he gets to transition and then needs to make an abrupt move to start the new turn. There’s not a com flow into the new turn that starts earlier and carries him through transition. WPass could help because you have to move over that downhill ski into the new turn. A sudden move or up move doesn’t work.
I don’t really see your gif man as moving inside too quickly. Could just be the angle we’re seeing. Look at the Hetherington wp vid. Looks like he moves further in and directly - quicker at transition. It’s also a continuous movement. I’d say Hetherington moves in quicker than the gifster.

Problem is gif man is pretty good but seems he’s in love with how he feels in that posed countered position mid turn. Statuesque. There’d have to be lots of motivation to change.

He goes up first. Part of that is he gets to transition and then needs to make an abrupt move to start the new turn. There’s not a com flow into the new turn that starts earlier and carries him through transition. WPass could help because you have to move over that downhill ski into the new turn. A sudden move or up move doesn’t work.
I've always thought gifster was a lady however makes no difference to the assessment - statuesque is a good word for it.
 

LiquidFeet

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But you know, those Reuel Christies are not orthodox White Pass turns, and they certainly do involve tilting the hip and counter-weighting (is that the right term?) the body with that foot and those arms waaaay out there in the air.
 

4ster

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Playing around today with white pass turns and some other stupid ski instructor tricks (ogsmile) reminded me of these. I always referred to them as ”moon walks“ but I have heard them called ”hanger turns“ Or even confused with a converging step turn. In some respects they are similar and contain elements of the white pass turn.
FF888D85-761F-4F8F-9FAD-596B5506B1CD.gif
FA52223A-7EFD-4613-B846-9A0F4D687F19.gif


& back to ski turns
529B5B8A-DF7D-4072-B6AF-E131C4FE007D.gif

Whatever a drill is called it doesn’t really make much difference, it is how they are implemented to enhance someone’s skills or improve on weaknesses. I am with Marko, most drills can be anything you want them to be.
 
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