Thursday, January 14, 2010

Off-Piste Skiing Course

On January 2nd and 3rd I had a small group of participants for a ski technique course to improve and develop the ability to ski off-piste.

video

Parallel carving is a skiing skill that is essential to master on a prepared slope before getting in the back country. Why? because twisting your skis doesn't work in powder, crud, and other types of variable snow.

The ability to balance over the downhill edge and maintain a centered, balanced, stance can only be learned on the piste.

We did a number of exercises on slope in order to improve balance, footwork, steering, edging, etc. The group then tried to transfer the movements to off-piste terrain. The pistes in Schladming were very well prepared with a lot of artificial snow. Hard, icy, slopes expose all imperfections in balance and edging.

Everyday the group also was able to skin into some off-piste, un-tracked terrain to ski powder. The highlight of the short course was the descent pictured below.

We climbed the ridge with skins and then were able to ski down the face on the left (in shadow) for a wonderful steep powder descent. It was a nice end to the the weekend in which all the participants made clear and noticeable improvement in their skiing ability.

4 comments:

Adventure Woman said...

Some participants also left face prints in the snow, but I guess that's part of learning!

Joe Fratianni said...

face plants are all part of the adventure

Anonymous said...

Es war ein super Kurs - abwechslungsreich, lustig und sehr lehrrreich!
Danke auch fuer den Filmtipp Mount St. Elias - wir haben ihn kurz nach dem Schikurs voller Spannung angesehen!
LG,
Astrid

Joe Fratianni said...

Hi Astrid! Ich glaube du und Christian haben entlich jetzt die Möglichkeiten mehr ins Gelände zum fahrenweil kriegen wir langsam mehr Schnee. Sonst, der Eis Verhälnisse ist auch sehr gut. Vielen Dank fürs Komplement! Lg, Joe