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-   -   Speed control needed on slippery snow 12/26/16 (http://www.adkforum.com/showthread.php?t=23944)

Bob K 12-26-2016 05:35 PM

Speed control needed on slippery snow 12/26/16
 
I skied the northern section of the headwaters of the East Sacandaga Creek today Monday 12/26/16. Snow cover was thin and all snow transformed (no longer powder), but no crust or ice in the woods.

With both slick snow and thin cover, numerous speed control techniques were helpful to avoid problems. Fortunately, skiing off the side of the trail into unbroken snow was reasonably effective where the trail was wide enough. Other methods used today included the pole drag, bush grab, accidental tree hug, step turn, rapid fire multi-step step turn, and the “oh $#!^, one legged, too late” step turn. Controlled falls also employed. Oh yea, and one stretch walking down (I am a senior skier & unashamed).

It was great to get out and saw no one once in the woods. My daughters did skate skiing at the Garnet Hill XC center and reported well groomed, though quick trails. A few trails were track set (more in the works I was told) but surely not good for classical and undoubtedly tough waxing (they saw some frustrated folks). Some expected new snow will help that. Ten degrees when I started at 9:30, and never shed a layer. Happy to have used toe & hand warmers.

The Siamese Ponds wilderness section from Garnet Hill (1950 ft elevation) up to Wm Blake pond, and then for .5 miles east of the pond had frequent obstacles (rocks & roots, and only a few bare spots). Pond skiing perfect. Once near the height of land, better snow cover (10”) and a nice ski to the Vly. Trail to Botheration pond broken out to the south.

Reportedly, the entire Botheration loop is skiable – though with numerous thin spots. A sign once in the wilderness indicates that 2 bridges are out, one over the E Br, about 1 mile SE of Old Farm Clearing, and another over the 13th Lake inlet stream (trail to Hour & Puffer W of main line & S of lake). The former reportedly has a useable ice bridge crossing a bit downstream. I recall from the past, that the latter crossing isn’t wide or problematic unless recent rain.

With the conditions, I would only recommend the steeper sections for committed skiers with experience. I had waxless touring 3-pin but wish I had taken my rock skis (also waxless). Metal edge touring would be perfect.

Looking forward to hearing from others!

aft paddle 12-26-2016 11:44 PM

I involuntarily curl my toes very tightly...does absolutely nothing to control speed but acts as an early warning that I had better try something very soon.

yardsale 12-27-2016 08:56 AM

Turns = control of both direction and speed. Having skis with a minimum of 20mm sidecut, boots with laterally and tortionally stiff soles, and some variation of cable binding to transmit power to the skis is the first step. Becoming skilled in at least a tele turn and preferebly a parallell turn (in the back country, not just on piste) is the second. Beware the rationale that suggests learning to turn on straight, skinny skis, then getting a more turney set up. This is almost an impossible task.

Survival techniques if you don't have the above.

1. If you have skins, put them on when you head downhill to slow yourself down. You will need to to step turns for direction change.

2. Take 3' of para chord or similar line, starting at the bindings criss cross the line under the ski then over such that you have a diamond pattern of line on the bottom surface. Tie the lines off behind the binding heel plate. Turns your skis into snowshoes.

3. Take em off and walk down.

4. Apply too warm a wax or klister and tromp around in powder to build up snow on ski bottoms. Again turns skis into (heavy) snowshoes.

5 If below freezing, dump skis in water. Results = #4 above.

6. All these techniques enhanced with the aft paddle strategy :)

Schultzz 12-27-2016 09:42 AM

You didn't apply your ski brakes. I have Telemark skis with fish scales and steel edges on each side of the bindings with three pin shoes too. Believe me I know the feeling of being "out of control" and wondering where you are going to land. Still lots of fun though.

Zach 12-27-2016 10:50 AM

I have done the spontaneous tree grab a few times when skiing off trail in the woods here, as well as something I call the downhill traverse fall, when I am skiing diagonally across a grade that is too steep to go straight down, and then do a panic fall in the downhill direction. This results in a situation where my head is pointing downhill and my skis are above me, which is a very secure position in which to remain stopped but hard to get out of if I want to get going again. I have not yet tried the 'wait for the snow to melt' approach to leaving this predicament, but it seemed like it would have been a good idea on some occasions.
Zach

yardsale 12-27-2016 11:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zach (Post 254695)
I have done the spontaneous tree grab a few times when skiing off trail in the woods here, as well as something I call the downhill traverse fall, when I am skiing diagonally across a grade that is too steep to go straight down, and then do a panic fall in the downhill direction. This results in a situation where my head is pointing downhill and my skis are above me, which is a very secure position in which to remain stopped but hard to get out of if I want to get going again. I have not yet tried the 'wait for the snow to melt' approach to leaving this predicament, but it seemed like it would have been a good idea on some occasions.
Zach

These are all great ideas. (Good for business) Yardsale, OTR/L

Hard Scrabble 12-27-2016 04:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Schultzz (Post 254693)
You didn't apply your ski brakes. I have Telemark skis with fish scales and steel edges on each side of the bindings with three pin shoes too. Believe me I know the feeling of being "out of control" and wondering where you are going to land. Still lots of fun though.

"Fish Scales" give control when going uphill, not down.
The old "Sitz Mark" is a last resort.
;)

Zach 12-27-2016 05:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by yardsale (Post 254696)
These are all great ideas. (Good for business) Yardsale, OTR/L

My skiing is unencumbered by the thought process, so it tends to proceed in irrational directions. I can ski much faster than I can think.
Zach

yardsale 12-27-2016 06:13 PM

In all seriousness and at the risk of thread drift, I find trudging uphill in a skin track to be a wonderful meditative (thought free) experience.

Justin 12-27-2016 06:15 PM

I usually employ this technique to control my speed... :D

http://womenrocktheinternet.com/wp-c...all-skiing.png

Nehasane 12-27-2016 06:25 PM

a sitzmark is always a better option than the faceplant

Justin 12-27-2016 06:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nehasane (Post 254719)
a sitzmark is always a better option than the faceplant

Yes...that too! ;)

http://retro-skiing.com/wp-content/u...k1-300x199.jpg

Schultzz 12-28-2016 12:32 AM

"Fish Scales" give control when going uphill, not down.
The old "Sitz Mark" is a last resort.

Gee, Jim you are so knowledgeable. I would not have figured that out unless you told me.
I have stayed at that resort before. Tell you what. You get your downhill skiis and I'll bring my Telemark and we'll see who gets to the bottom of the hill first. Of course the moguls are a must. Let's see how much you really know.

stripperguy 12-28-2016 11:27 AM

Bob,
Your equipment makes a world of difference...
On my AT gear, I can ski any terrain, any condition (yes, even everyone's favorite, breakable crust)
On my XC stuff, I'm pretty cautious, just don't have the same control.
Lack of edges and lack of boot/ski stifffness is the biggest thing. I usually resort to a wide traverse, even if it means threading between the trees, better than being trapped in a packed gully with little room for speed control.
yardsales suggestion of paracord X's under foot can save the day, I've even used my goggle pouch in desperate situations!

And for entertainment's sake, here is a screen grab of my amazing technique. This was an Sheep Hill in MA, a broad open slope that had a little over 3 feet of almost fresh. Almost fresh, I say, because halfway down was some windpacked stuff, that I failed to adjust for, not once, but twice!!

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/H4...=w1222-h944-no

yardsale 12-28-2016 12:30 PM

Great photo SG. You know the saying" you only need to look good for 100th of a second. Guess yours was 100th second earlier!!

stripperguy 12-28-2016 01:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by yardsale (Post 254742)
Great photo SG. You know the saying" you only need to look good for 100th of a second. Guess yours was 100th second earlier!!

Everything was cool, until I hit that windpacked...couldn't see any difference, only noticed when it was far too late. Did a really nice front layout. Second lap, don't you know I did it again, only this time my buddy had his video rolling to immortalize me!!

montcalm 12-28-2016 02:41 PM

A strong telemark technique with soft boots is crucial for advanced XC. The best (and simplest) technique you can learn is the straight run and turn-out. Good technique for deep snow. If you faceplant while telemarking, then you are doing it wrong. More rear weight needed. If you sitzmark, you are in the back seat and not centered. High fore-aft stability with low lateral stability means you fall to your side when done properly (if there is proper falling). Turning in a tele is controlled sideways falling much like riding a bike.

A strong stem can get you out of a jam too, but more likely to put you on your face. Again, stem to hockey stop can save you. Good technique for icier or harder snows. Low fore-aft stability with soft boots and free heels means proper technique is catchy and likely to put you in the backseat or faceplant you. High lateral stability means you are more likely to fall forward or back as well. If you faceplant or sitzmark, then you need to visit the freeheel technique above.

If it's really bad, sideslip and sidestep down. Or walk. Learn kick turns, for up AND down.

Step turns are panic maneuvers in the BC. Very unstable; save as a last ditch effort. Use just before falling, and sparingly ;)

Hard Scrabble 12-28-2016 05:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Schultzz (Post 254730)
"Fish Scales" give control when going uphill, not down.
The old "Sitz Mark" is a last resort.

Gee, Jim you are so knowledgeable. I would not have figured that out unless you told me.
I have stayed at that resort before. Tell you what. You get your downhill skiis and I'll bring my Telemark and we'll see who gets to the bottom of the hill first. Of course the moguls are a must. Let's see how much you really know.

I have never cross country skied at a resort.
I prefer remote trails.
I have skied Whiteface back when the lift ticket cost six dollars.
Why are you so arguementive???
Jim

yardsale 12-28-2016 05:46 PM

Come on fellas, we're heading into a powder day here.

montcalm 12-28-2016 11:25 PM

Perfect timing for a ski-off! :evil:

I'd always put my money on smooth bases vs scales on the way down all else being equal.


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