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tele techniques for dense and dry snow?

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  • tele techniques for dense and dry snow?

    This last weekend brought the gift of quite a bit of snow to Southern VT, an absolutely wonderful thing. The flakes were unbelievably small, the snow dry, and it felt unbelievably dense and slow to the point where, even with my ntn freedoms set low, tele turns were incredibly difficult. Balance was hard (partially because it wasn't possible to get enough speed on much of what I was required to ski) and keep my tips above the snow even harder. Basically had to sit in the back seat to keep my tips up while pturning. Skis are 90 underfoot with some slight rocker at the tip.

    Any advice? Definitely is frustrating when you know that you'd be having an epic day with the fixed heel, but are struggling when the snow is interesting like this.

  • #2
    Welcome to telemarking! Fatter skis would help...
    Yay!...(Drool)


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    • #3
      ^^^

      Come to Loveland if you want more practice in wind effected, dense dry snow. I really have no idea what your snow was like but stiffer skis with more rocker can sometimes help So does speed but then you just raised the risk factor when you fall. At some point the snow is just to challenging to enjoy. Last week there were 3 telemarkers in our group in some really horrid crust. The only one of us who did not flail and I mean really flail was the guy who checked his ego and just made alpine turns.

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      • #4
        Bummer, I've always hoped there was a silver bullet there. Would love to get over to loveland and try your crud :P.

        Trying to make the switch to patrolling on teles and generally it's great, but on a day with heavy snow I just can't get the amount of control I want without some falls. Then you throw in binding activity into the mix when you're switching between scraped off groomers and untracked crust pow... it's enough to give you a rough day at work.

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        • #5
          It's early in the season, give it a few more weeks and report back...

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          • #6
            Don't sit back, use lots of up-and-down motion to initiate turns, get lots of angulation to put the skis on "edge" (pinch a pencil between ribs and hip), and be patient to let the skis come around on their own. And as James pointed out, speed if your friend - point 'em down. Good wax will help with the speed, too.
            It's turns! Of course it's worth the hike!

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            • #7
              The operative word is cold. When the snow is very cold it is also slow and grabby. A hard blue wax helps, but it's just the nature of cold snow.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by cesare View Post
                The operative word is cold. When the snow is very cold it is also slow and grabby. A hard blue wax helps, but it's just the nature of cold snow.
                This and remember, you don't have to tele on freeheel gear.

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                • #9
                  Lots of weight on the uphill ski, down hill ski will be like a big steering pontoon.
                  I tend to sit on my uphill heel in the fresh.
                  Keep your stance tight to maintain better balance.
                  BIG ups and downs out and into the tele squats and throw your arms (in a controlled manner) up and down.
                  Watch some you tube vids of pow skiers to see what I mean about the arm movements.
                  And as said before: speed

                  And don't worry, we don't get too many powder days here.
                  Training for Vermont

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                  • #10
                    Like some others said, exaggerate the up and down, almost to where it seems like you're bouncing, and bordering on hop turns.

                    Also don't try and turn so much, just glide back and forth with your lead changes. you said you were on some low angles, so it's not like your using your turn to check your speed at all, so just go for it.

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                    • #11
                      Appreciate the thoughts. Definitely neglect to wax as much as I should, esp being on the skis 5-6 days a week. Waxing tends to take a back seat and would definitely help.

                      About P-turns, I've found that a tele turn is way more predictable and useful in challenging snow than a flimsy p-turn. Since I tend to swap between alpine and tele, the absolute balance required by the telemark p-turn is just too difficult to rely on w/ the NTN freedoms. Feels like I'm constantly in the back seat and letting the skis drive me with a p-turn. Even so, I still don't feel as in control in challenging conditions as I do in alpine gear. It's a tough choice when you want to tele for work, but feel obligated to alpine.

                      I've got a solid day off tomorrow, so I'll get out and try to incorporate some of the suggestions here. Thanks everyone.

                      Hopefully we get more powder days than usual in southern VT, I have a faith!

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                      • #12
                        I am going to add to the exaggerate the up and down comment. Don't jump up and down with your upper body or your arms. If you want to get your skis up and out of the snow then flex or retract your legs and then extend them back out at the end of the turn to flex and load up the ski. Think of an expert bump skier. He moves his legs up and down a lot to get up and over the bumps but his head and upper body stay quiet.

                        This video gives a general overview of what I mean. It talks more about the load and launch part but less about the retraction you do after the launch.

                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yLN-miMWB8
                        Last edited by James; 17 December 2013, 07:28 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Point it and throw in some mono marks.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Valdez Telehead View Post
                            Point it and throw in some mono marks.
                            Yes.^^ Get some really fat skis, speed helps too. I was on my BD Amperage 185 cm, 142-115-124, in probably the same dry snow, and I didn't mind making P-turns, a lot. I find that with my heels held down, same Freedoms you have, I can make great P-turns. It's almost too easy.
                            Click image for larger version

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                            Incidentally, skiing that same storm, on Sunday I had my first release with the Freedoms. I did a slow fall into some deep powder, didn't feel a tweak in my knee or leg, but suddenly one ski was off.. Have never had a pre release with the Freedoms either, skiing fast, so it's all good.
                            Last edited by chamonix; 17 December 2013, 08:31 PM.

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                            • #15
                              The OP is not talking about deep powder. Its cold snow. All this up and down and throwing your arms around is just suckage. It's impatient skiing that fails to recognize that in order to overcome the friction, you need more speed. Wax is part of the equation, but it's also staying in the fall line and being patient and not trying to turn when you are going too slow. If you want to throw your arms in the air and assume the saguaro cactus position, by all means knock yourselves out.

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