Derin 7

Today we started off by skiing Les Lanches from top to bottom, short turns, without stopping. Derin didn’t even realise that she was supposed to be tired from that – but at least it warmed her up.


Derin was keen to have a run in slalom (her idea not mine!) to compare against her time last year – which she told me had been 49 seconds (Stade de Bonnevie). Off we went to the slalom course and we had one warm up run through the poles and then Derin was filmed racing – though was told to ski safely and wide of the poles – not to try to go too fast or directly at the poles… Her time was 38.27 seconds – a big improvement on last year with no practice at all in the gates. With Derin very happy I suggested we just left it there on a high note.  Derin’s improvement in her stance – being significantly less on the backs of the ski boots  – provides her with much greater control.


After the slalom we went over to the Grand Pré where it is very flat to do some work on carving. Derin clearly remembered some of this from before and was quite good at carving turns at low speed. The importance here is to let the ski “rail” along its edges and completely remove all pivoting. This is the key to going very fast in racing. Like most skills it’s best built up progressively and accurately.


When we came across any steep slopes we worked on side slipping – with pressure on the fronts of the skis and boots. When bumps were present Derin was encouraged to pivot and actively swing the fronts of both skis downhill into the turn from suspending the ski tips in mid air over the bump before the start of the turn. Pivoting and carving are opposite extremes and most skiing is a blend of the two – but pure pivoting and carving provide the framework and context for all of it. With pure carving the ski has no sideways motion and in pure pivoting the ski has no forward motion across the slope.

Carved tracks

Bird’s head spotted by Derin.

Lenticular wave cloud over Mont Blanc – sign of bad weather arriving!

Much improved stance – good dynamics – skis diverging – all good.

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