Victor-Timothy 2

Despite the enormous snowfall there was no powder snow to ski. Either the snow was packed densely by the wind or it was heavy with moisture – probably because it came from the South.   Avalanche risk was still at 4 (out of 5) and the reality is that nobody knows how the snowpack will behave. We could only safely ski on off-piste slopes that were directly above pistes so that they were properly dynamited and controlled – or where the gradient was relatively moderate.Timothy skied very well on his short slalom skis. It appears that they simply don’t make off-piste skis for adolescents. The reality was however that with his light body weight he practically remained on the surface of the dense snow even on relatively narrow skis. Timothy never quite managed to get off the backs of his ski boots and skis but he did manage a great job of “pulling inwards” with the ski fronts instead of pushing the tails out. He already had good dynamics (as he has always been taught this) but now he has overcome the emotional impulse to push the skis outwards. I know the technical work we have done – even just a few days from year to year –  is allowing him to ski at a far more advanced level than most people ever manage – so I hope he takes more of an interest in skiing in future because he really seems to enjoy it and he is very capable.

Victor was working steadily on the technical issues from a few days previously – but commented early on that his leg muscles (quadriceps) were burning. This indicates that he was getting back in the ski boots. In Victor’s case the thing that would permit him to stay more on the fronts of the skis would be improved hip angulation – sinking deeper into the turn with it – and consequently reducing upper body rotation. This would also have to be combined with coming cleanly over the front of the lower ski to exit the turn – then immediately standing on the upper ski to create pressure – but not by trying to edge it (doing so is more appropriate for racing). We are largely exploiting the pivot actions of the skis even with significant dynamics – not a carving action that leads to “freeride” off-piste. The “pulling in” of the fronts feels remarkably like the conventional “steering” that people are taught to do by twisting the skis into the turn – but it is absolutely NOT steering or applying a torque to the skis. You are creating a sideways “pull” or a degree of sideslip into the turn and this is set up during the exit of one turn in anticipation of the next turn. Victor got it working on the last run of the day on which we found some demanding off-piste conditions – confirming that this did not tire his quadriceps.

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