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Skiing the heavy stuff

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Having just returned from 8 days in the PDS. The conditions were generally heavy going to slush although the first hour or so after 9.00am was not too bad. I found that as the condition deteriorated so did my skiing! as a mainly on piste skier I found that I had to adapt my skiing to ski with my legs closer together, unweighting skis to initiated turn and having my weight more evenly balanced on both skis. I did become a little frustrated with my ability to better master these conditions considering the amount of practice I had. I would appreciate any other advise with regards to the best way to handle these conditions although I hopefully will have to wait sometime before I get the chance to practice again. I also noticed that quite a lot of people had Rossi. B2 hire skis are these an advantage when skiing these conditions Puzzled
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Sounds like you were doing the right thing. In those conditions I would adapt my technique to how I would ski crud off-piste - weight pretty even but quite aggressive - try and carve through it with both skis.
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kevinrhead, Having been in the same are based in Les Gets for the previous 10 days to you, I can only symapathise as the last 5 days of hot temperatures meant every afternoon was slushy ... almost anywhere you went.

I am no expert nor teacher but instructors told me that these conditions if used well should improve your general technique.

The tips I was given ..

1) Head for shadier areas !
2) Keep your feet much closer together thereby reducing the opportunity to have different 'pulls' on the skis.
3) Relax and 'feel' the conditions
4) Stay off the edges as much as possible and imagine yourself 'floating' on top of the snow/slush
5) Do everything more slowly and try not to turn agressively but seriously 'unweight' the skis'

These tips helped me ... but I seriously preferred the early morning hardpack or whatever it is called after a good night's freeze !

I have no idea about B2s ... it got so hot/slushy some afternoons , it might have been better to strap a snowboard to each foot....
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kevinrhead,
What skis were you on?
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I tried both pairs of skis I own Fischer RC4 SC's 165cm and Volki 724 AX2 177cm.
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kevinrhead wrote:
I tried both pairs of skis I own Fischer RC4 SC's 165cm and Volki 724 AX2 177cm.


I'm guessing the AX2's were easier for you in this type of snow (because of their wider waist, increased surface area and more forgiving flex). The B2's may of been even easier but I doubt it would be a night and day difference.
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http://www.offpistemag.com/themag/backcountry/vol3/crud.html
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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!
I agree with beanie1. Carving through the stuff is so much less tiring than sitting in the back seat attempting to steer the skis through cloying wet snow. Psychologically though, I find it quite hard to do - and I guess you need to be more accurate than on an ego piste.
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kevinrhead yeah, just spent a weekend skiing slush myself. I was wearing Salomon Streetracers (hired Cool ). But I've skiied exactly the same kind of slush this season with Rossi carvers (also hired, can't remember what), and the noticable difference was nil.

Don't worry, no-one else particularly "likes" slush, it's just something you learn to cope with if you want to keep skiing in spring. Your ideas about technique are spot on, although I would add that slush likes to continually chuck you around and chivvie you into the backseat (which is the worst position for dealing with slush) so you need to be continually concious about keeping your weight thru your ball/arch - much like for powder, only probably with a bit more weight distributed forward.

The rest is all in the mind: As you've learned, the more you try to fight your way through it the more difficult it gets.
Best option is to accept that you're gonna be skiing slower and to just relax into it - enjoy the nice big slow sweeping turns on the flatter bits, and wait until the the choppy moguls on the steeper bits to have softened enough that it's like skiing through sugar. snowHead
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Manda wrote:

Don't worry, no-one else particularly "likes" slush


Ahem. Not _quite_ true. snowHead

I read this thread and I get the impression of short radius defensive turns, perhaps to avoid 'catching an edge' at speed.

I suggest a poll: what is the longest-radius turn you make on slush?
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You don't want to be fighting or forcing the turn. If the terrain allows it then a good wide turn with good central weight should cut right through. Any ski should make a good fist of this although some might be a bit better than others, ie, a heavier fatter ski over a piste blaster, but it should not be THE difference, more likely technique.
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Speed speed speed - go for it, after all all that's gonna happen is you get wet if you fall over snowHead I luv slush me Toofy Grin
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A few things to try that may help .....

Pull your toes back pressing them up towards the shins - this tends to prevent your skis getting pushed around so much.

Maintain a slight pressure on the tonges of your boots with your shins at all times. This helps prevent you getting in the back seat.

Blasting through with speed is fun. As with powder, too little speed or weight on one foot and you sink. Build up a bit of speed by dropping down the fall line before the first turn.

Concentrate on keeping your edge angles the same. A small mistake on the piste results in a bit of a skid, a small mistake in the heavy powder/crud can have you over.

As in powder keep turning but with slower larger turns, short turns have a habit of tripping people up in the heavy slush. Traversing makes it difficult to get into the next turn, so link them turns.

If it's really bad like treacle/glue try unweighting and springing your skis out of the snow then turning them in mid air. Land with your skis facing down the fall line not across it.

You can't beat experience - Don't wait until you have no option but to ski this stuff. Even when the pistes are good find some porridge by the side of the pistes and put a couple of runs in. When you return to the piste it will be so much easier.

When you can ski heavy slush & crud you can always get away from the crowds. snowHead
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 You know it makes sense.
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I adore slush and would much rather ski say 6" deep slush than artificial snow boilerplate or Easter morning frozen ruts. Slush provides guaranteed edge grip which is one of the the Holy Grails of skiing! If you can carve turns on piste then slush should be easy - just keep edge angles and weights fairly equal and don't try to rush your skis around.
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When it's slushy, go fat.
A good pair of powder skis, and ski them like in pow - narrower stance, close to equal weighting, with no quick changes of direction and it can be a lot of fun. (Particularly if you have twin tips, and you go through a crowded area - you shower everyone you pass with slush Twisted Evil )
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
In slush I do as few turns as possible. The resistance will help slow you down, a bit like in powder.
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beanie1, Good advice. kevinrhead, I have Fischer RC4 World Cup SCs (a bit stiffer than yours) and they're fine in heavy slush. But speed and patience in the turn are essential. I like slush too BTW - but then 7 seasons working in Aviemore will do that to a person!! Very Happy Very Happy
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I like slush as well, I tried both my Zags and Stöcklis Lasers over the weekend in pretty much the same slush. There's not a lot in it in terms of ease, the Zags have some advantages but so do the Stöcklis. You need to keep the Zags much more onto the edges, the large surface area can drag at times.
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Is it worth getting a spray on wax to keep your skis slipperyness (sic) topped up each day? Puzzled
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Scarpa, I think these are optimal conditions for the stuff.
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comprex
Quote:
I suggest a poll: what is the longest-radius turn you make on slush?
- Answer: how wide is a piste? Laughing
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Quote:

Particularly if you have twin tips


Maybe not on same topic but I have never really looked at buying skis so never looked into technical stuff (I just ski on what I am given!!)... What are twin tips?
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Twintips = tail is also rounded
http://www.getboards.com/snow/twintips/
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First of all, I love the slush, once you get the hang of it, it's great to ski. The solution is simple, carve your turns without skidding and it's no problem at all. I don't alter my stance, and I don't ski with my feet closer together, I just do large radius carved turns down the hill, almost no effort at all. It's really good conditions to see whether you can do a 360 degree carved turn, and a lot of fun.
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Kramer,
Cool Cool Cool
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The reason that you saw lots of B2s out and about kevinrhead is because they are a very popular ski with the hire shops, but having said that they are pretty good in the slush, as they are in most conditions. The only conditions that I've not managed to try them in yet are deep light powder, but I'm hoping that they will be pretty good there as well.

easiski, do you know the secret to get all the way around? I always seem to run out of steam just before I get to the top of the circle. My friends tell me that I manage to carve around until I'm facing back up the hill, and then wash out into a skid.
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comprex wrote:
what is the longest-radius turn you make on slush?

Straight line?
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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
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Kramer,

I think the trick is to try and get the speed / slope gradient combination right. I normally run out of speed and stop about 11pm!!
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beanie1, Shocked at least keep going untill lunch
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beanie1, that's about where I stop as well. Perhaps what is needed is a steep slope leading onto a flat plain? Something to aim for next season?
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 Poster: A snowHead
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i said 11pm, not am!
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Embarassed
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beanie1, when you try to do 360 degree carving turns do you do them to the right or the left? I do mine to my left, and so I run out of steam at about 1am.
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Kramer, better still, one of those spiral exits from a multi-storey car park!
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Kramer,

normally to the right, it's my stronger turn
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beanie1, with increased edge angle as you speed diminishes, and thereby stronger angulation?
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comprex, therein lies the problem with the 360 degree carved turn. As you try and increase your edge angle as you slow down, you fall over because there isn't enough centripetal force to keep you upright.
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Kramer, perhaps more angulation (at the hips) not banking? (I think there might be an advantageous retraction, mogul-style but edged, involved here as well).

My real question wasn't about posture however, rather visualisation of the desired result: As the V of V^2/R diminishes shouldn't we consciously attempt to diminish the "natural" R? Notice that in attempting to do so through increased angulation, one is compensating for less flex of the ski at a lower speed?
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Kramer, I take it you're talking about the 360 deg turn? In that case - speed and continued driving of the ski forward along it's edge - quite difficult to achieve though! I wouldn't think it possible in heavy slush - or am I getting confused here????
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comprex, you've lost me there I'm afraid.

easiski, you're correct, heavy slush not the best conditions to do a successful 360 degree "loop" on the piste, but good fun trying. The problem is that I can't do it in more advantageous conditions either.
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