Thursday, February 17, 2011

Victor Day 4

Day Four

Bumps Special

Timothy & Liliana
The sum total of snowfall over the past two days (and for the whole of February so far) is now 1cm and the sun has returned. Tim didn't let this discourage him from skiing off-piste...

We started off today at the very top of the Télécabine du Saulire  on a steep red piste with a little work on pivoting prior to visiting some bumps. I explained to Liliana that pivoting was to be used for "fall-line" skiing, that the body travels straight down the hill and there is no movement of it across the hill. It is literally "pivoting" around a point that travels straight downhill. Travelling across the hill happens when the skis edges lock on and the skier accelerates. You don't want this to happen in a steep narrow couloir, in bumps on on a steep narrow path or anywhere steep that is dangerous and where you can pick up unwanted speed too rapidly to control. Liliana still has a stem and a twist of the foot from about the middle of the turn. It looks like she is getting the first part of the turn correct but then loses it when the ski accelerates downhill even for a fraction of a second. This is probably caused by tension. Normally it's the first part that most people don't get. 

Tim desperately wanted to ski on a black run but I refused for safety reasons and headed over to an interesting bumps run instead. Half way down the bumps I realised that the piste beside it was a black one. The actual piste had good grippy snow on it and was empty of people so it was in fact much safer than any red or blue overcrowded and icy piste in this place.

Tim was quite comfortable in the black bumps even though they were much bigger than him - and he was at ease on the black slope too. Later on though I took him onto a much steeper off-piste section though not too high and with a smooth run out at the bottom and he blew it! His refusal to listen to explanations of ski technique meant that he stemmed and placed his uphill ski on its inside edge and then stepped on it like an accelerator. On black slopes that aren't too icy you can get away with that but on 50° + slopes you can't because you build up a lot of speed - yes, even little boys do when they go into "free fall" and that's hard to get back under control. I was below Tim and he stopped before reaching me so it wasn't a really big fall, but hopefully it will get him thinking about technique.

Rodian wanted to go straight to the black bumps - so we did. Unfortunately Rodian has it in his head that only speed counts and at the moment that means sitting back and surviving...

It wasnt until I studied the video in the evening that I realised that he had completely stopped using his poles in the bumps despite our lesson on pole use the previous day. You can see in the photos that the poles are simply trailing behind. The poor boy in blue also has his poles trailing behind but he is not skiing quite as dynamically as Rodian. If you look at how poor the stance of the boy in blue is then what Rodian has to realise is that his "sitting back" is the bump skier's equivalent of the boy in blue. 

Elsewhere Rodian is still skiing "lazily" by bracing against a stiff outside leg. He can get away with this because he is still small and very light - but he won't get away with it forever. We skied on a lot of steep ski pisted off-piste today and I didn't want to keep on telling Rodian the same technical things because he only has a few days to ski - so skiing is the main priority - not exercises. Having seen the complete absence of poles in the bumps though - something will have to be done about that tomorrow.

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