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Plateau . . .

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Where do you go from here? This winter I discovered that I have a mental block . . . that I'm still in the process of understanding its trigger.

It's not speed per se, nor steep as I'm quite content (and quite enthralled) at 70 mph to fly over a crest for 20 meters or so and land with edges engaged . . . BUT! I've come to understand that this pleasure is entirely dependent on the consistency of the conditions. A groomed piste is just that. A surface that requires a quite a narrow range of technique . . . those that I'm quite happy to demonstrate to any snowhead on either ski or board. Won't guarantee that I won't ballsitup, but I'll still be happy even on morning's ice.

It's when I'm on lumpy re-frozen crud that it all goes sideways. It doesn't matter if it's shallow or steep; Knees and ankles lock out and I become immobile. I can do this on a board; 'nosebutter' slash turns, back foot surfing, but with two independent feet I JUST FREEZE!!!! complete head block, I've lost all idea of what will work and the muscle control of how to do it . . . even though I damn well know WHAT to do.

Anyone else in this situation or past it?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Masque, from what I read and hear, it's a pretty common situation. Lessons and practice only solution.
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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?
Not sure I really understand this - AIUI you do most of your skiing apparently in Utah which IME has better marketing than it does actual snow quality a lot of the time. Are you not skiing everywhere available to you there or are you sticking to the groomers? Or are you blessed only with perfect powder with a perfect foundation when you venture off groomer?

My main advice would be to dial everything back to a slow speed - find a good instructor you can work with on a regular basis and work til you can reproduce quality slow speed skiing regardless of the snow conditions underfoot on a similar slope. Then amp up the slope angle and start seeking out the weird funky snow conditions.

Don't forget crusty mank is crusty mank for a reason - if it takes one ACL preserving stem turn in it to confirm your suspicions then GTFO then there is no shame (well not enough that avoiding a trip to ER doesn't compensate for).
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Masque wrote:
It's when I'm on lumpy re-frozen crud that it all goes sideways.

Is this on the piste, or off it?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Make a point of skiing lumpy re-frozen crud as often as you can.
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@Dave of the Marmottes, in powder (6"+) I'm fine, absorption, retraction, response . . . Absolutely love it . . . I can surf clean powder on both ski and board and can easily find the congruencies(sp?) tween skis and board in those conditions. It's when I'm off piste in the lumpy stuff and even more to the point 'WHEN I DON'T HAVE AN ESCAPE ROUTE' is when I 'freeze up'. It can be in the most innocuous, almost flat conditions rolling eyes

I'm begining to think that it may be that I'm allowing my forebrain to assess the situation rather than allowing my inner child to say "go fer it ya pussy!"

Not happy Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Masque, We all have a threshold beyond which our technique and tactics let us down. To advance make sure your core technique is up to scratch, and ski plenty of the terrain / snow that you don't like (perhaps with skiers that you trust well enough to follow the line and pace they set for you).
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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!
@rob@rar, I think you may be on to the real issue. My skiing, for the last three seasons, has been predominantly solo in conditions that have flattered my ego. Those that I've been comfortable with pushing boundaries up to 90 mph but yet other conditions I can barely stay upright at walking pace. I need to ski recreationally with peers.
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And, @Masque, if you were being serious about the speed number:

Without trying too hard, I routinely cruise with peaks around 90 kph on well groomed and empty pistes (e.g. down Bettaforca into Frachey for anyone familiar) (according to my (Polar) running watch GPS, somewhat verified with my Bro's (Garmin) running watch GPS) ... A chum who was an Olympic Downhiller (albeit in the 1980s) maxed out at 79mph (on a downhill course, during a WC race).

IMHO, if you haven't got the skills to deal with anything a little noodlier than a piste or smooth powder, you absolutely don't have the skills to ski at 90 mph ...

(I am somewhat dubious as to where you're hitting that anyway - straight-lining "High Rustler"? Twisted Evil )
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Masque wrote:
It's when I'm on lumpy re-frozen crud that it all goes sideways. ... I've lost all idea of what will work and the muscle control of how to do it . .


Do come to Scotland, dear heart...
Sounds just like me at Glencoe a month or so back. Still, the near-nil visibility nearly stopped one being able to see the piles of exposed rock which one was about to slam into (or over and off).
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@under a new name, it is weird, I'm not sure if it's a legacy of racing a TZ350 or that I spend a lot of my working life above 60 mph but genuinely I am quite comfortable at high speeds in the 60-80 mph range on skis. Though I must be clear that is on groomed runs I know. I'm not stupid enough to fly on a strange piste. I'm trying to refine down to where and how I can overcome a very strong and quite specific mental block on off piste situations. It's not fear of speed or steep in that condition, it's fear of loss of control and how to get past that.

Addendum: high speeds are a factor of comfort rather than bravado. If you can relax and allow your wheels/skis to absorb the surface they're rolling/sliding over it is incredibly relaxing and far easier than just saying I'm faster than you are. It's not that it's just a function of just how relaxed you are, and that relates to your suspension. . . My personal problem is that I can't get past having two independent feet Sad
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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.
@under a new name, oh, dead serious, and quite happy to throw in a 180 with that. It's not speed, it's loss or potential lack of control that is really boogering my head up.
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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
deleted as distracting from point of thread wink
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@under a new name, NO. It's an entirely different situation. In controled conditions on piste I'm happy to fly as fast as gravity will throw me as for some reason my mind says I can control my skis
(and even easier my board). It'seems in cruddy,half frozen lump I lose the plot completely. Look, I'm not a speed freak, I've just used that as a reference that I've still got some cojones left and I want any, if any insight anyone has to get past the brainfart I'm currently locked into.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
People who ski at 90mph: Beat Feuz, Kjetil Jansrud, Dominik Paris.

People who don't ski at 90mph: Me, Theresa May, Masque.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Masque, ah, good, now I get it, I really didn’t think You were doing the GPS bragging thing snowHead snowHead
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Masque, you would do a 180 at 90 mph????
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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?
Masque wrote:
It's when I'm off piste in the lumpy stuff and even more to the point 'WHEN I DON'T HAVE AN ESCAPE ROUTE' is when I 'freeze up'. It can be in the most innocuous, almost flat conditions rolling eyes

I'm begining to think that it may be that I'm allowing my forebrain to assess the situation rather than allowing my inner child to say "go fer it ya pussy!"

Certainly seems to be a lack of aggression, dynamism and confidence.
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HoneyBunny wrote:
@Masque, you would do a 180 at 90 mph????
no but 30s a lot of fun, can link about 4 carved turns before chickening out and smearing back to face down the hill. Next winter it's 'switch bumps wink yeah, right). I do spend quite a bit of time skiing switch as I'm trying to learn to telemark switch . . . Not successfully yet Embarassed
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
You've answered your own question haven't you? Landing on your edges...carved turns... too much edge = too much speed & pressure when when you don't want it.
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@Masque, to use your motorcycle analogy, the TZ and it's environment is relatively smooth predetermined by track and ultimately won't surprise you with terrain changes, knowing what's coming etc (nice bikes by the way, I grew up watching them race) but have you ridden moto-x by way of comparison?

I think it adds a huge dimension to tarmac focused riding. Although looking at first not related, far more radically dynamic in course plotting on the fly, virtually never the same prescribed route from lap to lap, forces adaption and makes you load and unload the bike and you from one end to the other constantly.

Has the bonus of huge leg fitness as a consequence, I feel considerably above general ski fitness. Reaction wise it forces you to make experience driven snap decisions with what's coming in front of you. Also crucially when to temper or really open out the pace.
Psychologically, it very often gives you the experience of staying calm and sucking it up when you overstep a boundary to get the next element in place on track to keep it going.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Masque,
Quote:

It's when I'm on lumpy re-frozen crud that it all goes sideways


Tele or Alpine ?
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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!
It's not a condition that I spend much time skiing, so don't have particular tips.....but I think it's a snow condition that tightening up, makes particularly difficult.

I'm sure that, as said above, a good instructor will be able to give tips on how to adapt technique to make life easier. This will bring the confidence needed to produce the softening of the legs, that will be needed.

I also suspect, that alignment will be crucial, allowing the carving of both skis (at the same time and by the same amount).

Apologies if this is telling you the blindingly obvious.
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Masque wrote:
HoneyBunny wrote:
@Masque, you would do a 180 at 90 mph????
no but 30s a lot of fun, can link about 4 carved turns before chickening out and smearing back to face down the hill. Next winter it's 'switch bumps wink yeah, right). I do spend quite a bit of time skiing switch as I'm trying to learn to telemark switch . . . Not successfully yet Embarassed


Just coming back to this - what if you take all the time you spent on this old pony and spend it just trying to ski the crappiest snow you can find on the mountain? You get better and overcome mental hurdles by being confident enough that the tollbox works no matter what is in front of you. Kinda like seasonnaire syndrome - those who only go out on the perfect bluebird days don't get substantially better, those that view skiing as their main job and are out all day in the shittiest conditions do. NB skiing with peers doesn't necessarily do it for you - who wants to go ski crappy snow when there is better to be had?
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Bad snow always exposes bad technique.

Get more lessons.
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Late to the party, but since no one has mentioned it...

Whitegold wrote:
Bad snow always exposes bad technique.

Get more lessons.

Good point!

Or, inappropriate equipment. Are your skis piste-oriented stiff carving boards? It takes a lot more technique to ski those off-piste.

Good technique can always fix that. But so can getting a pair of wide, soft flexing half-snowboards! Toofy Grin

"Control" in off-piste is a misnomer. You don't have control. You work with the terrain and do what the condition allows you to do. Adaptation is key. Sounds to me you've got the wrong mental picture too. Fix your head first. Hire a more appropriate board. If those still doesn't get you out of your bind, take some lessons.
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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.
Quote:

"Control" in off-piste is a misnomer. You don't have control. You work with the terrain and do what the condition allows you to do.

you what?

Of course you can have control off piste. You HAVE TO in certain situations.
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