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Tips for skiing in a blizzard?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I've been skiing at Les Menuire today in fairly challenging conditions. It's been snowing all day so pistes are soft but very uneven, wind is so strong I've had to pole downhill and visibility has been down to a few metres at times. Being a Scottish hill walker I don't mind being out in these conditions but I'm getting frustrated at how poor my skiing becomes. Basically I'm constantly in the back seat and I'm really struggling to get my weight forward. I've got serious thigh burn after only a few hours of skiing and it's not something I normally get at all. Any tips or ideas for drills to help me keep my weight centred in these conditions?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Valkyrie,

It is difficult. Most people hate it.

My approach is to maximise the information I can get by FEEL. I find that I get more feedback (about slope angle, snow conditions) when I am turning so I turn a lot - try to keep facing the fall line and ski short swings controlling speed. As you switch from one side of the fall line to the other you can triangulate on it to keep aligned. I also try hard to keep soft knee flex and stay centred. Soft knees allow you to absorb bumps and ruts without either needing to sit back or risk going over your tips. Move up and down not forward and back. As you know, sitting back just makes everything harder work than it needs to be.

Last time I had these conditions I actually rather enjoyed the challenge of it in a perverse, masochistic way. As a Scottish hill walker that will be right up your alley
Toofy Grin
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Quote:

It is difficult. Most people hate it.


1. This.

Quote:

My approach is to maximise the information I can get by FEEL. I find that I get more feedback (about slope angle, snow conditions) when I am turning so I turn a lot - try to keep facing the fall line and ski short swings controlling speed. As you switch from one side of the fall line to the other you can triangulate on it to keep aligned. I also try hard to keep soft knee flex and stay centred. Soft knees allow you to absorb bumps and ruts without either needing to sit back or risk going over your tips. Move up and down not forward and back. As you know, sitting back just makes everything harder work than it needs to be.


2. This as well Happy

Also, a slightly wider stance may help. And being a little more "attacky" might help.

I don't know the area but skiing in trees in those conditions is significantly more fun.

Best solution comes in a mug or a glass...
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Take the safest and most direct route to the pub. Confused
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
First step is accepting it will be more difficult, and your skiing will suffer.

Second is take it slowly and really focus on your technique, don't get frustrated, take short breaks often if you are getting tired.
Like others have said, keep your knees soft/bent so you can absorb bumps and changes in terrain that you might not expect
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@Valkyrie, Think of the poor folk who are not Scottish and haven't grown up having to ski regularly in these conditions. Try reminding yourself often to relax and get forward on to the middle of your skies.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Take some spare goggles and buff.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
What @jedster says ... I board and I make a concerted effort to flex my knees as much as I can. It will feel as if you're floating over bumps and any terrain anomalies beneath the fresh snow layer. Stop as soon as the legs feel tired.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
I spent the day reading, for the first time in half a century, Nancy Mitford's "Love in a cold climate". wink
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Extended lunch, normally starting about 1030.

I hate those conditions. The poor visibility, flat snow and bumps are my worst nightmare.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
go to the pub
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Enjoy it. You'll have the slope to yourself so no worries about some out-of-control idiot skiing into you. Seriously, I prefer it to smooth pistes and good vis where everyone and their dog thinks they are Hermann Maier.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I'm crap at it, but general principles to help are:

Try and ski below the tree line, vis is better and there's more shelter. 3V isn't best for that, but try to get over to Meribel if you can.
Don't expect to get the same amount of skiing, there's no point racking up miserable mileage when you can have a couple more breaks for coffee etc.
Slow down and try to relax, as others said being tense means that you aren't prepared for bumps, which makes it all worse. This is my biggest issue, I clench my feet in bad conditions which results in pain.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Everyone should have at one blizzard day a year.

That feeling of being our there, despite the weather, with only the other brave/stupid/gnarly punters as company on the hill is priceless.

Plus next day, when it's sunny, you will feel like a God. Like climbing in the rain, skiing in the snow is good for the technique as you've got to trust your feet
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Quote:


Enjoy it.

but only if you aren't following MrBoDangles.

I get completely disorientated when I can't see where I'm going. If someone is (for example) wearing a bright red hat and skiing just in front of me, then fine, I can detect up and down. However, once they then get too far in front and forget to stop, I could be anywhere, as I can no longer see them.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Valkyrie wrote:
... to help me keep my weight centred in these conditions?


Find a bar stool, sit on it. Move backwards and forwards until you get comfortable.....keep your favoured hand in your field of vision, attached firmly to your pint glass.... probably need to re-adjust after 8 hours depending on conditions and craic. Very Happy
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Hells Bells wrote:
but only if you aren't following MrBoDangles


Lesson learnt there - and it wasn't even a blizzard! Laughing
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
What @red 27, said snowHead
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Had a quick skim above but not sure anyone mentioned the piste markers, different markings tell you which side you are on. Next time you ski check the piste markers on both sides of the piste, you'll notice one orange tip is bigger! Where we are its the pole on the Right, therefore if you keep that pole on the right of you, you won't fall of the edge of the piste! Using this allows you to focus more on your skiing and less on navigation, should help you keep the level of performance up.
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