Pics from June 04 Mt Hood Race Camp

PMTS Forum

Postby *SCSA » Sun Jul 11, 2004 8:40 am

This is good stuff!

Guest says it good. I mean, for years now, people have been saying "PMTS doesn't work...", or "It's nothing new...", or the boot locked stuff. I can tell you for sure, it's all, misinformation.

The facts are, that PMTS is new. Maybe the movements aren't, but the teaching system is. I started skiing in 1999. I searched everywhere, for technique I could learn -- a system if you will. Coming from a training background (triathlons), I knew the importance of proper technique. I wanted something I could study from, that I could watch over and over again, where I could call back and ask questions. I'm an old hippie and an ex-stoner (proud of it, too) -- my short term memory went years ago. :wink: Paying for walk up ski lessons wasn't going to do it for me, because there was no video or study guide to take home. PMTS was the only system I could find, that fit the bill. Far as I know, it still is.

I ski at Vail/BC, now about 100 days a year. I see all the skiing elite; examiners, demo team members, instructors, you name it. I've yet to see one of them, that I felt like could challenge me all mountain there. Some of them I've seen, it wouldn't even be close. Diana has become a great racer; her turns are heavenly. When Diana first came to HH, she was average. Ask her, she'll tell you. She was a Canadian ski instructor. The reason why she came to HH is that she was frustrated, not getting any better. Now look at her. She rules. Kicks arse wherever she goes. Harald is 53, but skis like he's 30. My pal Hobbit makes nice turns, he/she/it is doing great. John Mason just started. He's not great yet, but he will be. He knows what to do -- he just has to practice more.

My point here is that PMTS does work and that it works really well. Not just for those that are naturals, like HH. But for the rest of us -- us mortals.

I've watched and skied with other skiers (~100) who follow traditional ski instruction. Some of them, have invested a lot of money in ski lessons. I can think...between 0 and 5...that demonstrate any kind of balance, all mountain skills, edge control, or understanding of the primary movements of skiing. I talk to skiers on the lift who've just paid for ski lessons. I've yet to talk to one, that could explain to me in plain English, what it is they learned from that morning or the previous day.

What's my point here? That what I know is what I know, what I see, and what I hear. I keep reading about how great ski instruction is. But all I see is something that's way outdated. I see skiers being taught skills that are suited for long turns, not short ones. When short turns are what a skier needs most. I see skiers not being taught balance skills, when balance is #1. I see skiers being taught the wedge. I see examiners teaching the wedge. Ask any insider in ski instruction that's been around for years. They'll tell you the wedge was taught, not because it lead to great skiing, but because they needed to get skiers on the hill as quickly as possible, to make money. As a business he/she/it, I agree with that strategy. Skiing was brand new and the goal was to get people on the hill, with as little effort and expense as possible. Also, given the state of equipment back then, it made perfect sense. So, let's not crucify the ancien regime for doing what was right at that time.

But to hold onto the wedge now, or any version thereof, shame-shame on them. Equipment has changed. Grooming has advanced, there's the magic carpet. There's lift service to the bunny hill now. There is not one reason to teach the wedge. To teach the wedge now is akin to taking skiers back to leather boots and wooden skis. I can't even put it into words, how bad it is. You all can go and on about the wedge, or any version thereof needs to be. Whooey. There's a group of us now that never learned it. We're doing quite well, thank you.

In everything else in life, we change. We don't drive the same car from 40 years ago, we don't use a typewriter anymore, we don't wear the same clothes from 10 years ago. I could go on and on, you get my point. But in ski instruction, what was taught in 1950 is still taught today.

I'm not here to bring more skiers to the hill. Matter of fact, I'd like to see less of them. But what I would, is to feel safe on blue runs -- to not have to worry about what's behind me. The reason why skiers get run into is because most skiers lack fundamental understanding of their equipment and their technique. You tell me whose to blame.

Postby *SCSA » Sun Jul 11, 2004 9:03 am

One more note, then I gotta go run -- the mountains are calling.

Some will chime in and say, "SCSA you been smoking again. Ski instruction has changed, we teach carving now..."

9 times out of 10, a never ever is taught the wedge. They may then be shown some carving movements later on down the line, but they still start with the wedge. The wedge is what a never ever feels first and what their muscles remember. Moreover, intermediate skiers with aspirations of carving are taught the breaking wedge, because it purportedly leads to carving.

There's a quote from a video put out by a famous gang member, to teach skiers carving. The emphasis is on the breaking wedge. One of the instructors in the video says something like, "And with miles and miles of practicing the breaking wedge, you'll learn to carve great."

I think the only thing a skier will learn with "...miles and miles of the breaking wedge..." is how to do wedge turns better.

WC Turns

Postby Eddy » Sun Jul 11, 2004 10:28 am

Lurker, the reason I say that most instructors and skiers can not grasp or relate to the WC level unless they have skied there is because I have learned that I didn?t have a clue until I spent time with a number of WC racers and their coaches. I sent a summer in New Zealand training with many of the international Teams. I was shocked to find how far off my understanding was. I knew I couldn?t ski to that level, but I thought what they were doing wasn?t that much different from what I did.

Was I wrong! I only became aware at that time, (and still do not totally understand) even though I skied at a national FIS level fifteen years ago. I didn?t realize how much violent force and energy there was in a high powered WC race turn. The WC skier as I learned by watching and interviewing both the coaches and racers is a world apart. When they release a turn their movements, because of the forces generated don?t relate to anything instructors can do or even talk about. After those experiences, I became skeptical of the teachers and authors who write about WC turns. I read Harald?s work because he has developed WC racers as a coach and skied on the WC. He brings the merits of efficient movement to the fore front. From what I can judge, he relates to the forces of the mountain, everything he teaches demonstrates how to work with the mountain. Some might call him dogmatic, but its good dogmatic, that works. I can?t say that about ski instruction in general.

Postby Ott Gangl » Sun Jul 11, 2004 2:26 pm

SCSA, I shot this guy learning to ski by the book about 40 years ago, no wedge there, he is totally parallel :lol: .

Ott Gangl
Posts: 451
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 3:16 pm
Location: Ohio, USA via Bavaria

photo insert

Postby Eddy » Sun Jul 11, 2004 2:45 pm


I am new here, how did you insert the photo. I called Peter, administrator of the web site and he wasn't sure it could be done. You obviously did it. Nice job!

Postby Ott Gangl » Sun Jul 11, 2004 4:16 pm

Eddy, it depends where the picture is stored. Mine are on my web site, so I put the URL to it here.

As you post a reply, in the boxes, the second from the right says "Img" , just click on it and the put your link to the image in, it will look something like this:

[img][/img ]


This is a fictional URL but just put yours in and make sure the path is correct nd it will display. If the path is incorrect or the picture isn't at the address you will see a rectangle with a red X in it.

If you want to post a link to an image instead,something you should/must do if you do not own the copyright to the image, in other words if the image does not belong to you then post a link and give credit to the creator/photographer.

Bob Barnes of Copper shot the following of me a couple of years ago to show that a 70-year-old can still schmeer it. :)
Ott Gangl
Posts: 451
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 3:16 pm
Location: Ohio, USA via Bavaria

Postby Eddy » Sun Jul 11, 2004 5:06 pm

Thanks Otto, you are on top of it!!

Postby piggyslayer » Sun Jul 11, 2004 7:20 pm

Lurker, here are my 3 cents (I am adding one extra for luck):

I strongly believe that PMTS view of parallel shins is much more relaxed compared to epic view. Even in 15mpg easy turns PMTS LTE tipping is an action of free foot and the stance foot is passive, this approach typically generates a gap between knees known by some as piggy. The gap is bigger than the distance between ski boots so the shins are not parallel.

Parallel shins imply the same edge angles and thus imply the parallel ski acts. A clear implication of completely parallel shins is wide stance approach (advocated on epic).
It is argued that, to achieve big angles you need wide separation between skis, if you insist on parallel shins the separation stays constant and you end up with wide stance during transition.

Harald has always advocated relatively narrow stance as more functional. So how come he can carve and get deep angles? Is he defying physics or something?
I believe the trick is in relaxing the parallel shins restriction. In the upper C part of the turn aggressive free foot tipping will increase the gap between skis (inside ski will follow a shorter radius arc) and thus allowing impressive angles, however before transition into next turn skis have to come together again, so a little A frame is unavoidable.

It is soft of like a conservation of law, if you see very aggressive piggy in one part of the turn, you need to see a bit of A-frame in the other otherwise you end up with wider and wider stance at the beginning of each next turn.

In a nutshell, I do not think what you see is some bad old habit; rather something that is part of PMTS.

This is my thinking about it. I am simply a recreational skier and do not have the experience you have or other folks in this thread, but yah I really know what Conservation Law is!
I would love PMTS experts to comment on my post.

Bodie, is this really you!! :D :shock: :D Welcome to the forum.
Piggy Slayer
let the piggy breathe
Posts: 320
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 9:27 pm
Location: New Jersey

Postby *SCSA » Mon Jul 12, 2004 7:19 am

Good morning!

Way to go Ott!

I'm not familiar with the high C part of the turn. That's new lingo and since I didn't train with HH and company last year, I'm not quite sure what it means.

Talking about parallel shins, maybe what I'm thinking about more is equal edge angles? I dunno, they sound like they're the same concept. Personally, a big break through last year was focusing on progressively tipping the inside foot/pulling it under my hips as I moved through the turn.

I think I wrote about this before, I was stalling at times in my turns. I'd start the turn by tipping, but then at times, I'd stall -- quit tipping. When that happened, my turns were lousy. When I focused on progressively tipping the inside foot/pulling it under my hips as I moved through the turn, my turns were moocho better. Also, this was a big key to my bump skiing. I found that I was able to actually carve in the bumps and control my speed. In fact, the narlier the bump run, the more I was able to control my speed, because I was tipping my inside foot over so much that it actually "dug into" the side of the hill.

Same thing with my carving. This year I was able to lay down some nice tracks while in my narrow stance. How I was able to do so, was by progressively tipping the inside foot/pulling it under my hips as I moved through the turn. Later in the year, my turns had a pop to them, which made me really happy. :) I can't wait to get back on the snow and continue on with my break through. It's actually not a break through though, HH has been talking about this for eons. I just finally was able to get there, this past year.

Anyway, good to be typing about this stuff -- November will be here before we know it! Everybody getting in shape? I hope so! :)

Be cool,

Postby *SCSA » Mon Jul 12, 2004 7:23 am

part 2,

I remember now how I was able to fix my stalling.

Somewhere I read HH talking about, "...if you keep tipping the inside foot, the outside foot can't get in the way. Tip a little to start the turn, more as you go through the belly of turn, then really crank it over, to finish the turn."

When I thought about it, the light came on. :idea:

Then I remember HH telling me to, "...think about driving the inside foot into the side of the hill".

It worked. My turns got way better, when I employed this PMTS tactic.


Postby piggyslayer » Mon Jul 12, 2004 7:56 am

Just to clarify my post:
My post on A-frame pertains to extreme carving angles only.
There will be no need for it in normal skiing/carving.
I believe a slight A-frame is a natural consequence of big vertical separation of the feet occurring with extreme-angle-carving.
It allows the feet to ?merge? back to narrower ?horizontal? stance.

Thanks, I would love someone to comment if I am right or wrong.
Piggy Slayer
let the piggy breathe
Posts: 320
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 9:27 pm
Location: New Jersey

Postby Ott Gangl » Mon Jul 12, 2004 8:34 am

....>>>Otto, the last post was me responding to your comments. Sorry forgot to enter my name.<<<<.......

Eddy, since we are talking about names, my given name is Ottmar but I'm known by the shorter version of Ott, the name I used for 35 years as a photojournalist.

Which brings up a curious thing about Miller's first name. I did a google search under BODE Miller and a got lots of hits, magazine articles, race results, pictures, etc. all naming him as BODE.

Then I searched under BODIE Miller and got an equal amount of hits from reputable news sorces, magazines, race results, etc. all naming him as BODIE.

Just what is the guy's first name?

Ott Gangl
Posts: 451
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 3:16 pm
Location: Ohio, USA via Bavaria

Postby lurker » Mon Jul 12, 2004 9:29 am


Could you be a little more specific about just how what the WC level skiers are doing differs from what most of the recreational ski world and recreational racing world is doing. I'm fully aware that the forces WC skiers generate and have to deal with are something that recreational skiers/racers have no conception of but yours is really the first time that someone has said that their movement patterns are different rather than similar to what all good skiers are doing just performed on another level of accuracy and extremity. If that is really true than it brings into doubt the way much of ski instruction the world over is developed which is to take what the WC skiers are doing and make those movement patterns accesable to regular mortals on a level they can perform at.

As I said before, I get to ski with a number of ex-WC skiers and aspirents at my ski school and have tried to duplicate what they are doing. I can come close to them in some ways but; 1. I can only make a few turns before my body gives out, 2. its scarey to deal with that level of forces and have that level of confidence in your equipment, 3. I can do it on an open slope with a comfortable snow surface, I can't imagine doing that kind of skiing having to make set turns on the ice rink surface of a WC course.

Difference between WC and us humans

Postby Eddy » Mon Jul 12, 2004 5:13 pm

First, I am no expert in describing what the WC skiers are doing beyond that they are generating huge energy and using this energy to do things that no regular even good skier/racer/instructor can do. I do agree with you about the so-called experts. I have tried to read LaMaster and Ollie and these people are making it up or copying it from others, as they don?t make sense to me and their descriptions are mixed with inaccuracies. I am not sure if PSIA or other systems are basing their instruction on WC skiers, but if they say that there systems are based on the WC, they are incorrect. The movements they teach don?t match up with the movements the WC racers use.

I would leave the details of explaining the WC turn to Harald or Fritz Vallant (ex-Austrian Team men?s technical coach). I know that Harald, Fritz and Herman Gollner worked together for years and I know they are still in touch. Fritz was head coach during the most successful years of the Austrian Team. I also know that Hans Pom (former Head coach Austrian Ski Team, presently Program Director) at one time tried to hire Harald to coach the Austrian National Team. Harald speaks perfect Austrian. I believe that if the Austrians try to hire a coach they must think highly of his ability.

I am surprised Harald has not posted, I think he is at Mt Hood with a camp. I would appeal to him for some incite on this topic as he was the first to show me the difference between WC turns, WC skiing and regular turns. He might totally disagree, but having had Harald as a coach and having skied with him in many different situations, I believe he could clear up this question, quickly.

Bode is spelled Bode.

Postby *SCSA » Mon Jul 12, 2004 8:19 pm

Now let me get this straight.
Harald worked/works with the Austrian coaches.
The Austrians win all the races.

I think I'm following the right stuff! :D


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