Saturday, January 28, 2017

Derin 6

Another cold day at altitude – hopefully the last for a while. Children don’t tend to complain too much about the cold – but when they are frequently needing the toilet then it’s a sure sign that they are cold. For this reason we spent an unusual amount of time just working on technique on the well sheltered Bollin run out of the wind. We did our first run on the Lanches and then went up Tishot (to Derin’s favourite climbing playground!) and from there up the “chair to nowhere” (Col Des Ves) – where Derin encountered her first ungroomed black run. Derin was very unimpressed with the old rickety chair which I explained was 200 years old – almost the same age as me! This chair of course goes on forever – out into space and towards the stars – with no people there and going nowhere. She was relieved to see the end coming up! We made a deal that she wouldn’t have to go back up there again if she agreed to a hot chocolate stop (to try to keep her warm) – which she did – but then after skiing down she managed to wriggle out of her deal because the café was closed early – but we then had to descend all the way down anyway to find a toliet. At almost 4:30 at another toliet stop she did ask for a chocolate cake – which although not hot (to heat her up) it was good to see her eating something.


  • Scene 1 : Pivoting on one ski – getting there…
  • Scene 2 : Skiing parallel chosing her own line (easier than in slalom!)
  • Scene 3 : Supergirl exercise – getting on the fronts of the skis – she did very well with this and showed that she really can get off the backs of her boots.



In addition to the Supergirl exercises – leaning out over the fronts of the skis with the boots almost pulling out of the bindings – we worked on skating exercises. Both are excellent for helping people to get off the backs of the boots. The stance is refined later through working with dynamics but at this stage direct exercises are needed to prevent the skier being defensively locked into the backs of the boots.



Over the past few days I’ve been encouraging Derin to skate and to understand what it means. Today I asked her to skate around her turns with the skis diverging with a count of three skates – always starting by lifting and diverging the ski on the side of the direction that you want to go in. Three was gradually reduced to two then to one. When asked to skate directly downhill then when there was a little speed, the idea was to fall inwards between the skis with the body during each stride – she was not quite ready for this. It’s in this way that skating converts to skiing – just by adding the “Magic Wall” through dynamics. We will work on this more now because it cultivates the accurate down/up timing that is a fundamental aspect of skiing. Derin can skate of course because it’s how she learned on her very first days on skis going back four years ago – though she will not remember a lot about this. Now that she is becoming confident as a parallel skier she can return to skating for more advanced aspects. She already had the right basic timing naturally from simply using dynamics – falling (down) into each turn and then coming back up to finish. When the use of the legs (skating) is added to enhance this then real control is developed. Ski schools are trained to teach the opposite timing but that is a mistake that has been identified since the 1960s but never rectified by the educational system.


Derin being allowed to climb and enjoy the snow for a while…



The weather…



Paintings (in the Taverne café) of the original Tignes – now beneath the Lac de Chevril – the dam between Val d’Isère and Tignes…




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