Saturday, February 19, 2011

Victor Day 6

Day Six

Rodion and I were the first skiers up on the Saulire Télécabine and I think we were hit by sun flare that was reported in the news this week.

Technique or not Technique?
What do you do when it's your final morning of skiing for the year - work on technical exercises or go for a blast? Well, surprisingly Rodion wanted to work on technique. So I compromised and we did that for the first five minutes.

Arm Carriage
I made Rodion hold his poles across in front of him as if he was carrying a tray with his hands face down. He didn't know how to carry his arms so this was quite useful as an exercise. The hands should always be just visible in the peripheral vision and held at about the same height as a goalkeeper would hold them when waiting ready to stop a shot at goal. The main thing was to get his elbows away from his sides and to make a forward arm carriage his "normal" option instead of something he did only reflexively when he felt it to be necessary. Changes like this take time though.

I asked Rodian what he was doing with his feet inside his ski boots and he responded that he had no idea. Now I did explain this to you before Rodian! OK, so you were only about 4 years old at the time. Perhaps you need a refresher on that subject! The problem today was that this sort of thing has to be taught indoors and there was no way were were going to stop skiing until lunchtime. This lesson will have to wait until next year.

Speed Control
It's very clear that Rodion has never cartwheeled down a couloir in his life, because if he had he would definitely choose to listen to me and slow down a bit on the steeps. When you are on rental skis and rental bindings set at 4.5 you do not go at Mach 2 down a couloir unless you want to put your medical insurance to good use. Racing bindings have a different release algorithm from lower level bindings and freeride skis are wider under the foot than Rodion"s Rossi slalom skis - all helping to keep them on your feet and to keep you alive and in one fully functioning piece.

Rodion Freerider

Rodion insisted that there were no foxes in the mountains because there was no food - so I pointed out to him the tracks of mountain hares at about 2500m altitude off-piste. Where there are hares there are usually foxes.

Liliana was on a bad day with the steep ice and crowds on her way down into the Courchevel valley, so when we started skiing in the afternoon it was decided to stay on easy runs to get her confidence back. Timothy was deeply upset though at not being able to ski with his friend George and the only thing that would console him was to ski a black run - so our plans went straight out of the window and we all skied down a black bumps run. The bumps run was at least free from ice and when Liliana was engrossed in doing her exercises on the bumps - side-slipping then pivoting and then side-slipping down the side of the next bump - she was able to control her anxiety and enjoy skiing.

Timothy the Pro

Timothy Angulating
Timothy was full of self justification for not listening, doing the exercises or following me correctly. He did respond differently however when I said that he would never ski as well as Rodion if he didn't listen and copy me exactly. He understood "angulation" when I showed Liliana how to point her bottom uphill to hold onto an edge when crossing the ice. The photo below taken from the above video clip, shows Timothy angulating at the hips much more strongly than before.

Victor skied one long off-piste run with me while the others were still having lunch - but unfortunately I didn't get around to filming or photography as our time was short.

The Grande Casse 
View seen from the top of  the Saulire above Courchevel with Tignes hidden over to the left. This unusual view shows the glacier on the Western side. Apparently it's about a 4 to 5 hour climb to the top and a great ski back down. 

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