Taha Day 9

Very cold – but clear weather and little wind. Apparently Moscow hit -50°C with a cold blast from the North but here it’s not so bad – yet. 

Descent into Val – small excursion off-piste served as a warm up. I explained that semi-seated position used for skiing without any skis (two days ago) is the ideal stance to adopt for pivoting in deep snow. This keeps the skis below you on the mountain and keeps the centre of mass behind the feet without leaning back against the ski boots. We then took advantage of slalom being empty and in good condition.

Everyone improved – 34,35 and 36 seconds for Mete, Taha and Cagatay respectively. Cagatay made the biggest improvement but Mete is now the new leader in terms of speed. Mete needs to anticipate his turns earlier – to move his centre of mass earlier into the new turn. He is waiting too long and becoming late and wide at the gate as a result. Taha looks much more comfortable but still needs to loosen up and bend more. Cagatay has lost his defensiveness and is on the attack now and getting faster rapidly. He was off the back of his ski boots at last but now needs to bend at the knees and not at the waist.

Returning to Tignes we skied much faster than usual with Gulsum behind me – she kept up well.

In the afternoon we worked on proper racing skating – that is – facing downhill and skating downhill even though the skis are taking you across the hill. Taha wasn’t there but everyone got the idea and was able to copy me. This combines all the skills we have worked on – upper/lower body separation, skating, control of rotation, timing. This was the first time I’ve seen Gulsum ski without rotation! Gulsum skied strongly down Les Lanches – red run. We then went for another excursion off piste and Gulsum coped very well. This time the boys reacted completely differently and skied strongly – this morning they were like fish out of water in comparison. Gulsum then skied down the steep section back to Val Claret that she had baulked at the previous time.

The boys then came with me for a final blast from the top of the Toviere and we went straight over the edge onto the black un-pisted bumps run – then cut off high up off piste through windpack and skied steep windpack all the way to the bottom. Mete managed one face plant and Catagay was down once but both skied really well and have moved up another level.

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