Bugra Family Day 4

Kutay seemed to have digested yesterday’s dose of skiing and came out stronger today. He was able to descend from the top of the beginner’s chair with holding my pole instead of being held securely in front of me. He accepted being guided into sideslipping and pivoted turns with me manipulating his body. Later he managed several solo descents of the small pitch near the magic carpet and eventually terminated by being able to climb up – sidestepping to the carpet and then get on a off by himself – and slide back down to the bottom.

His own words were “I’m good!”

Hulya, who yesterday looked like she was going nowhere fast, made the biggest improvement of all. She had gained reasonable control from skating turns so I decided to show her the other option – pivoting – initiating the turn from the outside edge instead of the inside edge of the ski. After supporting Hulya though several turns so she could feel it properly I left her to work on her own for a while. I explained that the feeling of pulling the ski across into the turn was like spreading butter with a knife – not a twisting action. Also – this process does not step from one foot to the other as in skating – the weight normally needs to remain on the outside foot from start to end of the turn. Hulya’s progress was impressive and despite her discomfort with acceleration she was correctly pivoting with her skis parallel by the end of the morning – and skiing in control.

Today, with the improved weather and visibility, everybody benefited from a mountain top lunch at the summit of the Toviere. The mountain in the background of the family photo is Mont Pourri 3779m (only 231m lower than Mont Blanc – the highest mountain in Europe.

Ilay was still skiing confidently but sometimes she was letting the skis run away with her. We did some exercises while going towards La Daille, starting out with using the bumps for pivoting – tips and tails off the ground. I then added some more “magic wall” dynamics and then pushing forward of the outside foot – demonstrated with skis off. I emphasized that on the steep you have to move the body across quickly into the new turn and push the outside foot ahead quickly. We then went down a black run – successfully – though I didn’t tell her it was black until afterwards. Eli’s attitude was great – dealing very well with natural apprehension. She was trying hard to stay in my tracks – which is difficult to do – most people end up much lower on the mountain than me on each turn because they cannot complete the turns well enough. She did seem to get a bit tired towards the end of the day – but that’s not surprising.

Bugra started to get some attention at the very end of the day. His main issue is that he still tends to push the leg out and get on the outside edge of the foot – stiffening instead of relaxing the leg during the turn. He is also too much in the vertical – not adapting to remain perpendicular with the mountain during accelerations downhill. (commonly incorrectly referred to as “leaning back”) We worked on all of the appropriate opposite actions.

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