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Tips for fridge skiing

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
So last night I decided to give myself a warm up before I head to the alps on Saturday, so I headed over to Landgraaf, one of the larger indoor skidomes. It was the first time I've had skis on since MYASHbash, and I hadn't been to Landgraaf since my plough-parallel course there several years ago.

My first two runs were an absolute nightmare. I went straight up the chairlift and headed to the steeper, rather than the narrower side (at the moment they have all sorts of bits roped off with jumps and moguls and other things for the more adventurous). After 2-3 turns I fell, and almost lost my boot again, but thankfully I'd done it up tight enough to keep it on. After a bit of a faff, I got myself back up and made it down the rest of the slope intact. Then I took myself over to the tiny nursery slope, but managed to drop a pole half way up the travelator, and since the poles don't have wrist loops, I had quite a job to pick it up again!

The biggest problem I found was that the snow was completely different from Livigno in January. At the time the slopes were quiet, and had a few cms of powder/sand-like stuff at the top, which was pretty tracked, but not too mogulled.

After a few runs I did seem to get the hang of it somewhat and even had a few moments where my usual tight S turns mutated into something closer to a short turn, even getting up a little bit of speed(!) and almost getting some rhythm.

So any tips for coping with fridge snow? What should I be watching out for? Next week, the weather forecast predicts some light snowfall where we're headed so are these conditions more similar to a few cms of fresh snow on the piste, or is that completely different again? (I don't think I've skied in falling snow for 5 years, back when I was even worse than I am now!).
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

After 2-3 turns I fell, and almost lost my boot again, but thankfully I'd done it up tight enough to keep it on


How loose are your ski boots??
In my experience fridge snow is a lot more glue-y than real snow, but technique is pretty much the same. How much experience do you have?
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IME fridge snow feels similar to spring snow. Maybe movement needs to be slightly more positive than on a perfect piste but not very different. Not that I am any kind of expert.
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Yes, Ouster, i did wonder about that too. My boots - and i think most people's boots - take a real effort to get off. They would never even threaten to come off in a simple fall.

Rcav, from what you write, i just think you need some professional tuition. I've been skiing for 30+ years, but still have a lesson or two most years.
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Ouster wrote:
Quote:

After 2-3 turns I fell, and almost lost my boot again, but thankfully I'd done it up tight enough to keep it on


How loose are your ski boots??


I thought my ski boots were tight (it's my first season with my own boots), it's definitely a struggle to pull them off at the end of the day. But on the MYASHbash I fell at slow speed and the ski somehow levered my foot clean out the boot. Since then I've been being careful to make sure they're done up tighter - the only problem being that if I do them up too tight I get cramp in the front of my calves which doesn't go away for hours after taking the boots off.

Quote:
In my experience fridge snow is a lot more glue-y than real snow, but technique is pretty much the same. How much experience do you have?


I've done almost 8 weeks on snow and one four evening course in the fridge. However, I'm a really slow learner with skiing and I'd rank myself as about equivalent to a mediocre 2-3 weeker.
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Jonpim wrote:


Rcav, from what you write, i just think you need some professional tuition. I've been skiing for 30+ years, but still have a lesson or two most years.


Yes, I had group lessons on MYASHbash and will have a private lesson or two next week. I keep trying to get more lessons in Landgraaf, but they've changed their policy and now only run the courses if 4 people sign up, and given they offer so many different time slots, the chances of getting 4 people at your level who just happen to want to start the same month long course at the same time/day slot is miniscule. I've tried signing up a couple of times, but the course has always been pulled due to the lack of people. That was the one big difference from when I used to go over there in the evenings for lessons a few years ago, was the lack of instructors with small groups 1-3 people out on the slope.
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Indoor snow can be very different to real snow, often much more slow and grippy but then sometimes with ice patches scraped off (if it's a bad or busy day). Also generally indoor slopes get very 'chopped up' with bumpy bits and lumps of spring-like crystalline 'snow' through use. Sometimes they can run very fast, sometimes very slow.
But in many ways it just helps you to find where your technique is lacking, so use it as such. The actual ski technique is the same, and it's up to you to decide what you want to practice.

Unless I'm missing something, I can't understand how your boot should fall off... Puzzled Bindings or skis maybe; ski boots of any kind need to be pretty well fitted and tight. Most people complain of pain and numbness, not them falling off! Get your boot fit checked. If they're not a good fit then your skiing will suffer more than from any other cause.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
If my foot was threatening to leave the boot I'd have zero confidence down a slope! How well is your heel held down in the boots? I'd start with making sure they are fitted properly, and then have a private lesson to get your technique up when you're out on the mountain.
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I've never heard of a ski boot coming off before!
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My leg would come off before my boot!
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Ouster wrote:
If my foot was threatening to leave the boot I'd have zero confidence down a slope! How well is your heel held down in the boots? I'd start with making sure they are fitted properly, and then have a private lesson to get your technique up when you're out on the mountain.


To be honest when it happened it was so quick that I had no idea how it had occurred. It was like magic, one second my foot was securely in the boot with it fully done up, and the next second it had magically slipped out.

It's only since when I've had similar falls that have noticed I feel the ski acting as a lever to pull my heel out of place - it's actually after the fall I tend to notice it, when I'm stopped, but with skis/legs/body at strange angles to each other! I have wide calves and short wide feet, somehow these seem to have combined to enable the miracle!

I did see a recommended boot fitter in Livigno after the incident and I noticed that sometimes when I do the boots up a couple of bits of plastic round the tongue get into the wrong order and then stop the boot from being done up as tightly as it might, but I guess there's probably more adjustment to be done
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Whitty, I've had it once with an adult pupil. She fell on a blue run and her ski came off and went shooting down the slope complete with boot (she had been skiing for 6 years before I taught her and she had her own boots). My immediate thought was s**t her foot has come off!
It turned out that when she bought her boots in the UK they had provided her with boots that were 2 sizes too big to accommodate her large lower legs. She had been telling me previously how she had to find a big strong man to help her get her boots fastened in the morning. The foot part of the boot would physically not close on to her foot and was tightening against itself not her foot.
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Rcav wrote:
Ouster wrote:
If my foot was threatening to leave the boot I'd have zero confidence down a slope! How well is your heel held down in the boots? I'd start with making sure they are fitted properly, and then have a private lesson to get your technique up when you're out on the mountain.


To be honest when it happened it was so quick that I had no idea how it had occurred. It was like magic, one second my foot was securely in the boot with it fully done up, and the next second it had magically slipped out.

It's only since when I've had similar falls that have noticed I feel the ski acting as a lever to pull my heel out of place - it's actually after the fall I tend to notice it, when I'm stopped, but with skis/legs/body at strange angles to each other! I have wide calves and short wide feet, somehow these seem to have combined to enable the miracle!

I did see a recommended boot fitter in Livigno after the incident and I noticed that sometimes when I do the boots up a couple of bits of plastic round the tongue get into the wrong order and then stop the boot from being done up as tightly as it might, but I guess there's probably more adjustment to be done

Dalbello boots by any chance? One particular model is the bane of my life when supplied to beginners by one of the local hire shops. Every Sunday class starts with boot inspection and despite warnings I can guarantee that at some point during the week someone will turn up struggling to turn and will have one of the boots incorrectly fastened.
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Chris_n wrote:

Dalbello boots by any chance?


Saloman. I can't remember the exact model off hand, but it's a 3 clip design.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Get your boots checked by a competent boot fitter - ideally, before you ski again, IMV.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Rcav wrote:
Next week, the weather forecast predicts some light snowfall where we're headed so are these conditions more similar to a few cms of fresh snow on the piste, or is that completely different again? (I don't think I've skied in falling snow for 5 years, back when I was even worse than I am now!).


Light snowfall probably won't differ too much from what we skied at Livigno. The difference will be in what it falls on, which should be softer than in Livigno. It may be sugary at lower levels, depending on where you're going but I suspect will actually be in better condition and easier to ski that what you describe from Langraaf.

You need to get those boots looked at again though, if the boot doesn't fit well then it's difficult to transfer the control to the ski. If you haven't got the time or ability to get to a boot fitter before your trip then at the very least you need to do something to stop your boot coming off again, it could cause some serious injury to someone if it escapes with a boot in it.
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Old Fartbag wrote:
My leg would come off before my boot!


This... Don't see how you could ski with boots loose enough to come off, otherwise the mantra of 'lean forward, Bend ze knees!' would have beginners popping out of their boots all over the mountain.
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Old Fartbag wrote:
My leg would come off before my boot!

+1
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@Rcav, my only experience in a fridge, which was also the first time I'd skied in rental boots in about 25 years shocked me by how poor the boots were. I had to go down 2 full UK sizes from normal (admittedly a snug, race boot, well fitted) before I got a snug enough fit.

Never again.

I don't understand how anyone would be able to learn anything in those.

The idea of my foot being tugged out the boot, even unbuckled? Shocked nah, no chance.
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And super soft plastic as well. So unbuckled or a size too big, yeah, they'd probably be off like a pair of over sized wellies, and about as good to ski in...
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under a new name wrote:

The idea of my foot being tugged out the boot, even unbuckled? Shocked nah, no chance.


How do you get your boots off then? Puzzled

Anyway, I'm being an optimist after this incident, in that, even when falling in such a way to create a significant lever force on my foot to come out the boot I still only got a minimal amount of heel lift, and nowhere near enough to make the boot come off. This clearly isn't ideal, but indicates that being more careful with the tight fastening of my boots is working and will keep my boot on, making it much less likely that the magical boot trick of Livigno gets repeated.
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Due to heel lift I tried many different boots when buying. The amount of movement made them feel like welly boots even though they were sized correctly (shell check)

I tried some Rossignols which didn't have that problem so that's what I bought.
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@Rcav, it requires a bit of foot wiggling, opening the shell and pulling the tongue. A modest tugging wouldn't be enough.
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under a new name wrote:
@Rcav, it requires a bit of foot wiggling, opening the shell and pulling the tongue. A modest tugging wouldn't be enough.


Exactly how mine are, and they're too big! I can ski in the them with no buckles done up, I still can't imagine how a boot can come off that's fastened.
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endoman wrote:
Exactly how mine are, and they're too big! I can ski in the them with no buckles done up, I still can't imagine how a boot can come off that's fastened.


Yep, it's quite an effort to actually get my boots off at the end of the day and needs the tongue to be properly pressed down. I haven't skied with them undone, but I can't imagine them coming off even if I had quite a fall.
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Seem to recall i had a boot come off once long ago but that was a quite speedy crash where my ski went under a tree branch beneath the snow i think (and i used to have my bindings cranked way up). Something had to give, lucky it wasn't my lower leg.
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@Old Fartbag, is that your prosthetic leg Laughing Laughing
@Rcav, seriously though, your heel should not be able to lift at all inside your boot, you are likely to cause yourself an injury! Get your boots checked out by a good boot fitter. Your heel should be firmly held in the back of the boot, the top two buckles pretty tight plus the power strap, but the bottom two buckles should be as loose as possible, otherwise your gonna lose your feeling in your toes.
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gazzaredcruiser wrote:
@Old Fartbag, is that your prosthetic leg Laughing Laughing
@Rcav, seriously though, your heel should not be able to lift at all inside your boot, you are likely to cause yourself an injury! Get your boots checked out by a good boot fitter. Your heel should be firmly held in the back of the boot, the top two buckles pretty tight plus the power strap, but the bottom two buckles should be as loose as possible, otherwise your gonna lose your feeling in your toes.

Yup. Had it replaced when my boot didn't come off.

If the other one comes off, I won't have a leg to stand on.
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@Old Fartbag, hop it!
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@Old Fartbag, boooooooooo.
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Chris_n wrote:
My immediate thought was s**t her foot has come off!

😂
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@Rcav, got to agree with the others, you really need to get your boots checked. Even if you can tighten them more so that they cant come off, I find it very hard to believe that they are anything like a good fit if just having them a little loose is enough to allow them to come off!
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