The best week so far…

It was a week of snow and lots of it. Culminating on Friday with no wind and perfect sun and temps in the 30s. Ideal.


The snow fell all week long. The market came off hard and broke support levels, then bounce back. I skied for a bit on both of my days off. And had a few fantastic lessons so far this week.
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Tuesday has some type of Radio $10 lift ticket promotion and the parking lots and bottom lifts on Peak 8 were packed. The wind was up on Tuesday, and the upper mountains did not open until 1pm. It provided a good time on Wednesday. I managed to get up from 10-12:30 and enjoy Peak 8 and the opening of Peak 7.
The ski area also lowered Private lesson prices from $640 to $495 to spur demand. This is only $80 more than the highly demanded 3 hr lesson. If you are coming to a ski area and hiring a private lesson, request an instructor rather than just taking what the ski school gives you. It is better for you and the instructor.

I have been using a few different cameras to shoot with this year. HP R725, Canon SD750, M547, Nikon L18, and a new Nikon S550.
My beloved HP R725 bit the dust earlier this year. It was slim, although not very sleek. Relatively poor (6mp) resolution with a small screen, Lots of noise when zooming on video. But it handled cold weather great. It was quick to shoot, zoom, took very good photos. And it could be fully operated with one hand. The OfficeMax warranty came in handy. True to their word I received a gift card, so I am finding the perfect all mountain camera.
Here is a Quick review of what I have found:
Canon SD750 – perhaps the WORST cold weather camera made. It works well in warm temps. I really liked the large clear 3″ LCD screen. But nearly EVERY picture or movie becomes blurry when the temp is below freezing, which is all the time in Breck. The focusing sensors don’t work when it gets cold.
HP M547 – This was a free camera which came with a computer bundle. Uses 2 AA batteries. A little bulky, takes very good pictures in cold weather. The movie mode doesn’t offer a zoom feature, and that is the deal breaker for my purposes. The pictures on this post have been shot with this camera.
Nikon L18 – Very good camera. $99. Big bright display. A little bulky. Uses 2 AA. I liked it, but it there was a bit of delay between taking photos. I am looking for something else which fires off pictures in sports mode.
Last night I received my new Nikon S550. I love the form factor, and it seems to be quick to the shot. We will see how it looks. Tip $$ at work.
Catherine… her identity protected by Ripperro.
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OK, so enough with the camera review. Here was the skiing.
Thursday was busy in lesson land, but Level 6 managed to have only 4 students. That worked well for our purposes. I became friends with Ruby, Sam, Carolyn, and Catherine. We started with basics: “Ladies and Gentleman, this is a turn”. We had some “Ahh-ha Moments”. We built the turn from the bottom up.
1) Skis interacting on the snow. Controlling our speed and line from the beginning of the turn.
2) Skidding is Cool.
3) Moving across the triangle and shin contact.
4) Big Toe up and Across
5) Long Leg Short/Leg vs the Pogo-stick method
6) Turning the Legs, rather than the entire body.
I was impressed with the improvements made within the group. Sam and Catherine blew me away with the changes made.
On Friday, Babes Day 2, we were greeted with a most fantastic day. Although there was no new snow, the morning was without a breath of wind and not a cloud to be seen. Temps were in the 20’s and rose into the 30’s by mid-day. A fantastic environment to ski and learn.
Photos from Day 2

Babes Day 2

Last week, we were in the moguls working on Pressure Control as a skill focus. Today, we dove right into the lesson.
We wanted to add the element of a flat ski and skidding for speed control, and Leg Rotation to control our line in the bumps.
We started with a sideslip, then went into Pivot Slips. During this time we were able to address “turning forces”. Upper body, hip, leg, and total body rotation. We attempted to identify, and create a method for change of our rotary forces. Leg rotation is desired. Specifically creating rotation of the femur within the hip socket. Next week we will have a few other exercises to isolate these rotary moves. Some of the common mistakes in the group, and among the general population of skiers, was total body rotation (rotating then entire body across the hill), hip rotation (twisting the hip/butt) to generate the twisting of the ski, and lifting the inside ski off the snow (lacking the touch of edge release).
We also concentrated on LINE, and using leg rotation to ski the desired line. But before we ski the line, we must become aware of the line we are skiing. Seeing ski lines is simply a matter of adjusting how the brain sees, processes, and moves to the upcoming mogul patterns. Most people can see the “rut line”, which is the “fast line” for most people.
Identifying different lines quickly uses a similar process as being able to identify the Young “aloof” Lady in this picture, and the old lady in this photo. YoungOld.gif
Although one of the best illusions with description is the Spinning Silhouette
To slow down the movements and take away the anxiety of sliding down the mountain, we took off our skis and “walked the bumps”. With the given objective of skiing from the soft front of the bump, “the face”, to the face of the next bump. How it was accomplished, was up to the 9 skiers. Of the paths, there were 5 different lines walked. None of which were necessarily wrong or right. 4 of the lines simply required a different blend of skills to accomplish them.
We focused on a more skidded (friction) and rounder line that banked off the “shoulder” bumps (outside of the rut-line), which brought us back to the soft FACE of the next bump.
I look forward to a very busy ski school 3-day weekend.
Jon

2 thoughts on “The best week so far…”

  1. Dave,
    I am happy to hear that these posts and lesson reviews are giving you ideas on how to improve your skiing.
    Have fun working with them on the hill. Feel free to post a comment if you need clarification.
    all the best,
    Jon

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