Learning PMTS

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Re: Learning PMTS

Postby BigE » Mon Apr 20, 2015 11:02 am

On our last day, visibility was great, the sun was out and the snow was the sort of mush that wants to pull your skis off.

Those that twist their feet were doing very very poorly, some managing but a single fearful run. I was fine even on my 165 cm SL skis. But truth be told, it was not very enjoyable. I swear if it was not for PMTS, I may easily have been injured.
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Re: Learning PMTS

Postby DougD » Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:31 pm

That's another real challenge, BigE. You must not twist your skis in that kind of snow... it's dangerous to your knees and it doesn't work.

I've skied sping mush on all sorts of boards. Some work better than others of course, but the key is always to ski the arc IT wants to make. Adjust the arc by tipping, not rotating.

It also helps to ski at what Max has called "terminal velocity", meaning the speed that makes the skis you're on perform their best in the snow conditions you're facing. Fear or lack of skills can make you tentative and have you skiing too slowly. That doesn't help in powder and certainly not in slush.
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Re: Learning PMTS

Postby BigE » Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:42 pm

For sure, it's crude to say it, but "speed is your friend" in those conditions. Not drag racing/figure 11 style skiing with your hair on fire speed, but enough to get some performance from the skis so that going through transition is not a chore.

Is is just me or does slush make for bigger radius turns?
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Re: Learning PMTS

Postby blackthorn » Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:53 pm

In my PMTS journey I am finding my skiing in most conditions is improving considerably from my perspective. Recently I had to ski in low light foggy conditions, on piste, but ungroomed therefore some bumps. My skiing fell apart. It is a lot more difficult to pick up contrast with advancing age - more than we might realise. BUT I reverted to pushing out my downhill ski - the old technique - feeling the slope - but I could not even do that very well ie I was getting down worse than I ever have!
I think this is an "in between issue". PMTS - I need to practise more.
All this of course is alluded to in earlier posts on this forum.
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Re: Learning PMTS

Postby BigE » Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:17 am

Yes, it is an in between issue. Can you comfortably make turns with the free foot lifted throughout the turn?
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Re: Learning PMTS

Postby DougD » Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:56 am

BigE wrote:Is is just me or does slush make for bigger radius turns?

True for me also. Heavy snow stops even the tiniest amount of ski rotation or brushing. Only pure carving skills work (unless you enjoy leap-and-land), which is why most TTS skiers can't handle it.

You know the solution... More tipping! More CA!! More CB!!! Exaggerate the h*ll out of everything but don't rush anything... let the skis do their work.

blackthorn wrote:Recently I had to ski in low light foggy conditions, on piste, but ungroomed therefore some bumps. My skiing fell apart.

You know the drill... drills, drills and more drills. :lol:

Back in the 90s I was skiing in a clinic with John or Dan Egan. The weather was just like yours, fog down to the ground and terrible visibility. Of course they had us doing a bump run. Somebody whined, "I caaaan't seee!". Big mistake. Egan reversed his helmet so he was completely blind, then ripped off 20 perfect fall line turns down through the bumps. Then he made each of us do it. :shock:

I've laughed at low visibility conditions ever since (as long as I'm on a slope where I know there's nothing to run into). Compared to being blindfolded, anything else is good visibility!
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Re: Learning PMTS

Postby Max_501 » Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:07 am

BigE wrote:Is is just me or does slush make for bigger radius turns?


Same radius turns when brushing should be possible. If going for edge locked carving the strength of the snow base under the ski may limit angles so in that case the radius may not be as tight, but in general I don't feel like I'm making larger radius turns.

DougD wrote:Heavy snow stops even the tiniest amount of ski rotation or brushing


I use brushing all the time in heavy snow.

This old thread should help with spring conditions - Off piste - technique and tactics
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Re: Learning PMTS

Postby DougD » Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:47 am

Thanks, Max. Correction regarding brushing noted. I've brushed short turns in bumps and trees to control radius or speed, but have yet to try it in deep/heavy snow. Something new to experience!

In heavy/deep snow, Lito recommended an outward/downward push to build a platform from which the skis could rebound. Not really brushing and opposite to what PMTS teaches, since it's an extension movement. I presume you wouldn't recommend as a general technique?

Thanks also for the link to that great Off Piste thread. I especially liked your, "...keep on tipping, manage the free foot, hammer CA, and drive the inside arm forward!" Sorta like my, "More tipping! More CA!! More CB!!! Exaggerate the h*ll out of everything..."?
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Re: Learning PMTS

Postby Max_501 » Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:37 pm

DougD wrote:In heavy/deep snow, Lito recommended an outward/downward push to build a platform from which the skis could rebound. Not really brushing and opposite to what PMTS teaches, since it's an extension movement. I presume you wouldn't recommend as a general technique?


You are correct - NOT a PMTS technique!
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Re: Learning PMTS

Postby blackthorn » Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:03 pm

The problem for me on the low light foggy day - see earlier post - was that I was skiing with others. A few days later on my own in similar conditions I practised one, then two, then three turns at a time. On an easier slope I tried to turn slowly, from any part of the slope/bump, varying the releases. I think it helped. But the lesson for me is that until my skills improve, when skiing with others, I need to avoid situations in which I revert to old habits in more difficult conditions. The internal cues for me are - am I pushing off, am I trying to rotate my skis to complete a turn, am I becoming unbalanced?
Big E asks if I can complete a turn on one ski. The answer is yes, very easily if it is the outside ski, with more difficulty if it is the inside ski.
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Re: Learning PMTS

Postby DougD » Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:22 pm

blackthorn wrote:But the lesson for me is that until my skills improve, when skiing with others, I need to avoid situations in which I revert to old habits in more difficult conditions.

A good lesson for all of us, whether skiing with others or solo.

Some of us (guilty here!) take joy at diving into terrain/conditions that may exceed our current skill level. I always have. Fun, perhaps, but if it causes a reversion to bad habits it's not a good idea. I'm getting better at being aware of this when I choose a trail or line. I'm more willing to skip it, or at least choose one with an "exit" if the trail or line proves too difficult.
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Re: Learning PMTS

Postby BigE » Wed May 06, 2015 6:42 am

People I know LOVE to ski VERY fast. I prefer making lots of turns. Maybe next season, will try the GS skis.
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Re: Learning PMTS

Postby Max_501 » Wed May 06, 2015 7:25 am

BigE wrote:Maybe next season, will try the GS skis.


GS skies are best left alone until you've mastered the Essentials.
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Re: Learning PMTS

Postby jbotti » Wed May 06, 2015 5:12 pm

I think we can also say that GS skis are questionable even for those that have who have strong essentials (and of course I am talking non racers). GS skis take some pretty serious speed and pitch to bend them but on pitch and at speed they bend nicely and to be honest they are somewhat addicting because you feel so secure at pitch and the arcs get tighter and tighter the faster you go (if your PMTS essentials are strong enough otherwise the arcs will get wider and wider and you will be going mach schnell in 3 arcs). And therein lies the problem. Is it a good idea to be on skis that only perform at 40+mph speeds? Maybe if you are still racing and in your 20s or early 30s, but the average age on this forum is easily 40+. Accidents at those speeds aren't pretty and can cause some serious injuries. The older I get the more I appreciate just having the ability to ski as much as I want/can make time for each season. A bad injury can take you out for a full season or more. So much fun stuff to ski at speeds that don't have nearly that level of risk.
Balance: Essential in skiing and in life!
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Re: Learning PMTS

Postby DougD » Thu May 07, 2015 7:30 am

+1 to Max and Jbotti's comments

I spent several years in the late 90s/early 00s free-skiing on traditional GS skis (205cm Volkls... truly unbendable 2x4s). They were eerily stable and held an unflinching edge on New England ice. They had no speed limit that I could possibly reach, even skiing MUCH faster than was safe (always on empty slopes), but in 4-5 years I never once bent them into an arc and carved a good turn.

Those big boy skis did save my neck once. It was a VT boilerplate day and a skidding-out-of-control skier barrelled into me from the right rear. He appeared in my periphery vision at the last second, so I had no time to do anything but brace for the inevitable collision. Fortunately, I was at the apex of a L turn, so my R ski was fully engaged. I edged that Volkl HARD and countered my upper body to face him across the stance ski (just like PMTS teaches CA!). I also spread my arms wide to catch him, pole tips pointing low and away (I believe I invented the No STAB Pole Plant). The guy was much larger (~220lb vs my 130lb) and moving fast, yet when his skis slammed into my edgelocked Volkl he literally bounced off it. My ski barely moved, I doubt it shifted even an inch off line, yet he cartwheeled away, gear flying everywhere. Of course I stopped and helped him up (he was unhurt, though quite shaken up and embarassed). As I helped him retrieve his gear I suggested that he learn how to ski before he hurt somebody. What if he'd run into a small child instead of me? :cry:

So, those big GS skis were quite literally bombproof, HOWEVER, my inability to bend and carve them impaired and delayed development of real skiing skills - as Max said.
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