This morning was an off-piste blast that was needed by both Haluk and myself – not a technical session. The possibilities didn’t look too promising as it was heavily overcast and still snowing but with not a great depth of fresh snow at 2000m. The clouds were denser at lower altitude so the best option seemed to be to take our chances and go up to the top of the glacier at 3500m. Lack of wind meant there might just be some real snow up there and it might all be above the dense clouds and so have good visibility. That turned out to be correct and earned us a whole morning of skiing fresh tracks in 20cm of powder with very few people around to beat us to it.
Haluk uses the “Chi Skiing” technique and so was able to protect an injured back from earlier on in the week. Not only was the back protected but it felt better after a few hours off piste in some challenging snow – with breakable layers below the fresh snow. The chi-hips movement is literally therapeutic for the lower back and practically everything else. Posture is activated correctly and the working load is shared across a full range of muscles up to the core so that the legs don’t get significantly tired.
Haluk still needs to swap (reduce) some ankle flexion for some hip flexion. Bending more at the hip by changing this geometry around would make the skiing lighter, more nimble and responsive – and also protect much better against unforeseen obstacles.
Derin’s brain must have processed yesterday’s data during the night and worked out how to move on to the next level. Straight away Derin was comfortable skiing entirely on her own and even completing the steep and intimidating busy end section of the piste entirely on her own. Her speed increased naturally and this removed most of the wedge that is in her case only a consequence of very slow speed. (Without ski poles at those very low speeds a wedge will be necessary even for a pro so Derin has nothing to worry about there.)
The video here is on the blue run beneath the Bollin chairlift. Later on when she became a bit tired the wedge started to return more strongly so I didn’t insist that she carried on too late.
Derin in her racing stance (With hip angulation that Haluk would die for)…