Now that we have some solid snow coverage, it’s now time to delve into the steeps and the trees. When you add some wind to these solid mid season snow levels we will begin to see some very interesting consistencies. Simply marvelous! If steady winds move some fresh snow around, you may have a light cream on top and a firm layer underneath. On the flipside, you can have the opposite. This will have more of a Crème Brulee desert layer kind of situation. A crispy firm layer right on top and when you break through it, you will have that light creamy gold underneath. These kinds of snow variations are forever interesting and challenging. The only way to tackle these conditions is to have a balanced position on your skis. With some confidence these skiing these conditions can be very rewarding. Knowing that everyday is totally one-of-a-kind is one of best things about this sport. The only way to make lemonade out of the lemons that Mother Nature throws at you is all about sound fundamentals that allow the skis to do all the work.
The fundamentals that link together and make all the magic happen are edge control, foot rotation and being able to separate the lower and upper body. These items are firmly in that order as well. If you are not applying sound edge control, you can’t rotate your feet. If you cant rotate your feet timely and effortlessly you will be thrown into the back seat and then unable to separate the lower from the upper body.
Lets get into the edge control component first. You can sharpen this skill and awareness by trying a simple drill. On a groomed or smooth run begin to slide down the hill with your skis perpendicular to the fall line (perform both directions). Gradually roll your skis on edge to slow down and then roll your skis flat to speed up. What you will notice is that it is much easier to roll your skis on edge than it is to roll them flat. This tender sensation that allows you to slide with less edge angle is what you want to hold onto. Look down at your skis so you can create a mental image.
Only with this feel and position are you able to gently rotate your feet so you can switch the direct of your skis. If your skis are sharply angled so that your edges are the only part of the skis in the snow it is outrageously difficult to butter your skis from one turn to the next. Your balance and control will drastically improve if you remember to first release the edges and then rotate your feet to the next turn. When you are skiing wind-affected snow where the top layer is firm and punchy, the transition of the turn will need that tender flat skis. Without it the edges will catch and you will have very herky-jerky ride.
Now that you have dialed in the tender edge control sensations you can now focus on the foot rotation. I have another drill that is fabulous to highlight the timing speed control possibilities. While making shorter turns on groomed run, you can over exaggerate a slide at the end of the turn. This slide is produced with the release of the edges and then a dramatic rotation of the feet. As you are sliding and rolling off the edge, you will notice that a quick direction change is effortless. You will begin to identify with the timing. While you are majorly sliding the skis and spraying a bunch of snow, have fun with it and notice how easy it is to switch directions. The final level of this drill is to focus on keeping the upper body facing down the hill. With the skis switching directions dramatically the upper and lower body are very separate in their movements. Upper body is rigidly facing down the fall line and the lower body and freely rotating.
When you blend all these elements together you will discover that you can effortless control your speed and easily control how deep the skis go in the snow. Many of the snow conditions that you have been worried about skiing will soon become a fun challenge. Feeling the snow layers and then making these tiny edge control and rotation adjustments will be like solving a riddle. Keep up the snow dancing, its working! Ski hard! email@example.com