Connie, Eve – Off Piste

Wind, driving snow and poor visibility didn’t stop the intrepid sisters from testing out their hard earned skills off-piste – and finding out that “yes” – they could really ski! Today the fresh snow gave an opportunity to put into action all the technique that they had been working at. We managed to find sheltered, moderate, smooth and relatively un-skied slopes, including forest zones where there would be no great surprises despite the very limited visibility. This allowed the girls to play with rhythm and feel the resonance or bounce of the skis and to experiment with dynamics. Both managed this quite naturally as a consequence of all the work they have done during the previous few days (and last year). Bear in mind that Connie has only skied two weeks previously and Eve five. They already have a good understanding of the real mechanics of skiing – so they can already self correct and work things out intelligently. It was a cold and humid wind – displaying minus 14°C at the mid station on the Grande Motte. All this meant that it was not a day for discussing technique – just a day to ski with it instead.     The girls were corrected from time to time, with Connie learning to avoid stiffening up the outside leg when tense or intimidated. Eve skied well, working her skis with a skating action and her stance over the skis looked consistently natural and secure. Her pivoting in the soft snow came naturally, with no twisting of the hips as previously and on the second filmed run she was controlling her excessive arm movements much better. Connie consistently showed good coordination, dynamics, control of rotation and a much improved range of movement. Connie found a lot of security from working the “foot forwards” action and making the turns more active as a result. The only technical instruction I gave specifically for the deep snow was to adopt a lower stance with the knees and feet ahead of the body. This permits the knees to absorb any surprise bumps and to stop the feet being dragged beneath the body by deeper drifts of snow. I also pointed out that the only sensory feedback when skiing in poor visibility comes from the feet. Pressure on the feet activates many reflexes, including posture – so when visibility is poor it’s best to re-focus specifically on the feet. In fact it’s best to deliberately avoid staring ahead into the white and trying to see because that leads to “paralysis” and confusion. You need to see with the feet – like a blind person might perceive the world through touch and sound.       Eve managed to ski across my normally impregnable K2 Kung Fujas – leaving her signature forever! (Cosmetic damage only)

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