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How have you improved this season?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
With the season over for most people I was thinking about what I'd done here

https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=4565043#4565043

and that got me thinking to how I'd improved or not. I've largely xc and alpine skied with some off piste and a bit of ski touring mixed in.

I improved a lot on xc technique, especially climbing doing the local 300 meter climb in 32 minutes skating. To put that into perspective good club skiers in my age group would do around that so it is pretty much average. On classic I got to 36 minutes on the same climb, which I was very pleased with. Neither were all out death or glory efforts in the best snow. I wanted to get down to 30 minutes by having a crack in good snow conditions but the season was cut short.

Alpine, I dunno, probably continuing to ski faster and stronger as I chase junior around the slopes. Took the Strava kom on the 1000 meter descent of the Vallons du Pra[1] but we never got to have a crack at the kom on la Sarenne which was perhaps within our grasp with better snow conditions. Can't say that has pushed technique on for me, I'd probably have trouble passing a BASI level 1 Happy, although junior is skiing much much better off piste this season (largely avalanche controlled resort stuff).

Ski touring, just ticking over really. I don't feel my off piste skiing is particularly lacking but neither have i pushed my limits or have felt inclined to do so. Ski tourers around here are pretty poor skiers to be honest, the standard goes down every year! So there is not much to emulate and the amount of alpine I've done has certainly improved my all round skiing.

The only way I'd improve now is with lessons for alpine and with limited time that's probably not going to happen as I'm focussed on the xc stuff for the next year or so.

[1] there is a Derby which was cancelled this year, needless to say I would not have been anywhere near the front in a real race which was won in 4m17s compared to my 7 minute something descent. That puts those KOMs into perspective.

http://youtube.com/v/kPlBLOM2wzU
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I'll play. Although I'm 61 I feel my technique is still improving, largely because I didn't start skiing until I was 44. This was my 5th full season in a row following doing 10 weeks in each of the previous 2. Thank the lord for early retirement wink Just 53 days this year against my average of 70 to 80. Mostly piste skiing this year. I know what I should be doing and have plenty of time to try to ski properly concentrating on my technique. I can when I want ski fast enough and skiing top to bottom here, 3600m to 1300m, 15km or so, without stopping, doesn't cause me a problem. A good day on piste is perhaps 60km and 10000m in 5 to 6 hours, so not hanging about.

In the past I've done more off piste, La Grave, Vallons du Sel, etc but haven't done much at all this year. I've tended to do more gentle, lift served stuff here. Places which I know are safe and am happy to do alone. I think I'm happy with that now and am unlikely to improve much, I started too late. My touring skis haven't seen the light of day this year again Crying or Very sad
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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?
The Fat Lady has not sung quite yet Laughing
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Yes, just hope it translates when I get to ski again.

This is my 7th season skiing and trips 17 & 18. Over the last few years I've been trying to ramp up my off piste (all lift served, no interest in walking), always with the goal of a Japan or BC trip (both places I've wanted to travel to even before I started skiing). Last year was actually pretty decent with conditions and decided that I just about had the ability to make Japan work.

Then it got to December and I started having second thoughts about whether I was really good enough to start my season in Japan having not skied since April. So booked a trip to Ski Amade over Christmas, just intending to pootle around on piste with Dad. Was glad that I did, it gave me a good chance to remember how to ski and then we had some fresh snow which was a help in getting a bit more confident off piste and felt much happier flying to Japan....where it was completely dry for the first few days Laughing

Thankfully we did eventually get some new snow and ended up in the trees at Kiroro, where I felt totally out of my depth due to how tight it all was. In retrospect this was a huge positive for my skiing. It took a while but I gradually started to feel more confident and less panicky, so relaxed and let the turns come to me. I'd say at best my skiing was mediocre, but it was a step forward and when we had a dump of snow at Rusutsu for the last day I felt much, much happier in the more open trees. Skiing was much smoother, I was dealing with narrow stuff better and most importantly of all, I had an absolute blast.

My skiing still isn't particularly good but definite improvements made in skiing soft snow and in particular in tight spaces.
Still no interest in skiing stuff which is bumpy or particularly steep, this is probably an area I should push myself into so I can improve for those times when I have no choice, but I'd rather be cruising and messing around on blue runs so it's never a priority for me.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Will end up having gone backwards having missed out on circa 16 days from mid March onwards. I had a generally poor season last year but basically got back to to reasonable form over Xmas/NY. Conditions then made for poor Euro skiing and then was amping it up in a 2 week trip in late Feb and looking forward to some long spring days. Then nada. I'm lucky that I was skiing to almost the end of the truncated season and still got a decent number of days in but I'm still 1/3 down on target days and would probably have milked some of the days longer had I known it was my last skiing. Last day I skied conditions and crowds were particularly crap so I barely did a dozen laps total.
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Other than the obvious, it's been a bit of a funny old season.

I acquired touring kit, which was excellent. On the +ve I managed to get my max "up" to about 3hours, nothing too technical. On the -ve, I proved that all those years of avoiding crap snow were not helpful to being able to ski crap snow. Guess next year's particular objective?

On the Alpine, getting acclimatised to said touring boots in alpine mode took a lot longer than anticipated. Not entirely sure why - got them more or less dialled in by February. Needs more work though.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Weathercam wrote:
The Fat Lady has not sung quite yet Laughing


she hasn't but with the French lockdown looking to go into May she's going to be pretty slim by the time she does.
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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!
@davidof, yes I think for a change I'm being "Glass Half Full" Laughing

Like you this season I worked on my XC Skating technique even shelling out for some time with an instructor and there were some positives from that, and again like you I find myself in the top 40-50% on some segments, but I am using more strength still than technique.

My up-speed and technique when ski touring when I decide to put the hammer down is still pretty good for a dude of my vintage, and on the down, I'm still charging at speeds on and over terrain where maybe I should be a little more careful, probably the reason I did my knee rolling eyes

Every season I say I should get some carving skis for when I ski piste and the only positive in that is that I try to carve on my fat touring skis when I hit the piste as if I'm on carvers.

Think I've also been getting better at skiing shite snow, even breakable crust, as one thing we often commented on this season was how at times the skiing was technical over a varied snow-pack.

And this has been the first time since 97 that I have not skied La Grave, and even here have not skied anything at all remotely steep/gnarly Crying or Very sad
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
I'll get a bit technical with mine.

Had a private lesson one morning whilst GF was in ski school. I'd picked up a bit of a habit of initiating the turn by pushing the inside ski forward, and then there was too much weight on the uphill ski, and the tails would then, unknowingly to me, knock. As seen below:



So we worked on more weight on the downhill ski, and driving the downhill ski round to start the turn, not initiate with the uphill. As below:



It was particularly highlighted on my turns to the left.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Sadly I am trying hard to resist the decline rather than get better.

In the only measurable sense, my seed points for racing, I have got poorer. I'm slower than ever. This is almost certainly due to not training hard or often enougth. Mind you for some of the races it would be an understatement to say I was under prepared. Arriving back off 2 weeks snow skiing then having one run down the dry slope to familarlise myself with both the dendix and the short, very sharp slalom skis before going straight into the starting gate and through the gates is not what many skiers would do. I actually enjoyed it.

Anyway my skiing over Christmas/New Year was terrible. I could barely ski. Oestoarthritis had made it so painful I could only do one or two turns before stopping in agony. I was starting to hate skiing. Only the scenery, my wife and son kept me going.

Then I bought a Skimojo.

It was a transformation. I was back to doing runs from top to bottom non stop - at speed, enjoying long sweeping turns and bumps. I could even look at washboards without terror. All I did was squat down (or so it felt) and let the springs take the load. I felt reborn

This weeks trip has sadly been cancelled - I was really looking forward to skiing again.

Once the dryslopes open again I'll be back. I just have to work out how to recover my mojo from Les Arcs
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
A fair bit. On-piste massive improving overall but mainly on carving and turn transition and off-piste from nervous beginner to confident intermediate.

I have no proof of that though! Smile

After 3 months in the Alps purely enjoying myself, 2 weeks after return to the UK and back to normal 9-5 life, I have started to miss the skiing endorphins already!
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