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Is 'ice' a four-letter word?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Well, no, it's a three-letter word.
There's no reason for ice not to be your friend, according to this interesting article from New England where frozen lakes offer all sorts of fun opportunities: x-country skiing, kite skiing, fishing "where we want to without a boat", fish observation through transparent ice, skating (obviously!), a bonfire (not so obviously!), and...
Quote:
Ice is also right for experimentation. This season, if we get ideal conditions -- I'm thinking an inch or two of heavy snow sticking to the top of safe ice -- I definitely intend to try riding my mountain bike around a local pond.

Lots more fascinating stuff about ice, ice safety...and rescue if you go through it...in Tim Jones' article for MetroWestDailyNews, Boston.

Sadly, here in London, the Thames never freezes any more - the 'Frost Fairs' are lost in history - but I did once ski across a frozen Whitestone Pond, which is strangely situated at the highest point in the city (Hampstead). A policeman yelled at me, warning me that I might drown. I had to explain to him that the water is no more than 60cm deep, but that's OK - you can't expect that sort of fact to be part of police training.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
should i be able to ski over ice? when i went skiing, when i turned over ice, i went down, without fail, every time.

is that just me or can everyone else cope with ice fine?
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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?
fezza, try skiing with your feet at least twice as wide apart as usual. Make parallel turns in the usual way, but it'll have two effects: lowering your centre of gravity (which makes you less top-heavy and likely to fall) and turning your skis into stabilisers.

Try making a few linked parallel turns on ice with your skis way apart like this - more like outriggers - and you should find you almost can't fall.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
David Goldsmith, what you say is true, but it has the undesirable side effect of making it difficult for many people to achieve adequate edge angles and to get most of their weight on the downhill/outside ski (still useful on ice). So, while the skier doesn't fall, they lose significant control.

I taught at least several days last season when the mountain was a complete sheet of smooth, rock hard ice. One class was a bunch of lowly Level 2's and 3's (American system nomenclature) . I had them doing proper (ie, as in Epic-ski, Bob Barnes, current PSIA ) modest angle gliding wedge turns, and they were fantastic. We had folks gingerly picking their way over to us asking if they could join my class, why weren't we falling and slipping all over the place, etc. My students were glowing with pride at their accomplishment because they were seeing the mayham taking place around them.

The secret is that this small angle wedge turn emphasizes being on corresponding edges (ie, two left edges or two right edges) instead of being on your inner edges as in older style braking wedge turns. In this turn, the student's skis may only be 9" to 12" apart (edge-to-edge) at the boots, with the skis converging at a very small angle - just enough to give them the needed stability and confidence that you mentioned. From here, its an easy step to get them to parallel on corresponding edges with decent edge angles. The next trick is to get those folks that are on deeply sidecut skis to remove excess rotary steering inputs and just let the ski do the work of carving out its own path on ice.

Tom / PM

PS - Sharp edges help.


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Thu 9-12-04 17:49; edited 1 time in total
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
David Goldsmith, my stance is naturally quite wide which I think makes me pretty confident on ice but the opposite on moguls. As for icy moguls... Shock
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Interesting, Tom - I'll give that a go next time I'm on the boilerplate!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
David, by the way, I'm certainly not suggesting that an advanced skier such as yourself go all the way back to a wedge turn for your normal skiing on ice, but since you mentioned giving this learning technique a try, and since there is a lot of subtlety to skiing on such a surface, many times, its quite beneficial to occasionally take someone (even racers) all the way back to very easy turns on very easy terrain so that they can devote their full resources to isolating movements of different parts of the body, learning new movements, learning subtlety, minimizing unintended rotary inputs, etc.

Just a thought.

Tom / PM
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