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1/9 Wachusett 1/11/2006 00:15
Thought it would be raining mid this week, I decided to go night skiing at Wachusett Monday although it was kind of warm and I was worried about the snow condition. When I got to the base, some snow melted. I thought the snow would not be good.

Totally out of expection, the snow was even better than last time (the night after 6'' snow). The reason may be because the temperature was kind of high which made the snow soft, but cold enough not make snow melt. There was no ice at all all night. My skis were so easy to hold on the snow. And there were fewer people. It was just a pleasant ski experience happy . I hope the mountain were bigger, though.

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first time snow shoe "hiking" and crossing country 1/08/2006 00:48
Although I didn't expect too much since I'm not a fan of snow hiking and I was not fun walking with downhill skis, I still decided to go to this event at Weston. Thinking it would be a good experience for me since I've never done these before:

This is actually a golf course. In winter, it becomes a place for crossing country skiing and snowshoeing. Today is a demo day. A few bands demoed their snowshoes. However, since there were a lot people, I have to wait for a while to try snowshoes. I walked around for about 45 min. At first beginning, I was cautious. Then I found out they're very good on snows, even ice. Finally I found something that makes me feel good on ice. Snowshoes make it so easy to walk on shows, whether it's uphill or downhill.

My lesson for cross country ski started at 1pm. This is my first time trying cross country ski. Surprisingly, the skis are much lighter than downhill skis. I was given the skis called touring skis. The instruction taught basic things like how to put them on. Then he brought us to the tracks and taught how to glide on these tracks. It was not hard to do, but it needs a lot of practice to be able to glide farther with less effort. Then we tried walk uphill and go downhill. The basic idea is same as I do for uphill using downhill skis, however, when it comes to downhill, it wasn't that pretty. My parallel ski skill is useless. But wedge worked, although it's hard to control since it's hard to use edges with touring skis. I didn't have any problem to go downhill since the slope is very modest.

After class, I skied a few places across the road. It was good workout. Then I thought I'd like to ski like skate since a lot of people there were doing that and it seems quite easy for them. But the trails are icy, so I wasn't able to skate at all since it was slipery. I finally ask someone why I can't push my skies like others. He told me I was using touring skis, while I should use skate skis. So I switched to skate skis. I definitely felt better when I used these skate skis. I think if you're good skater, you'll probably do good on skate skis.

I have to say it was a good experience for cross country ski. However, I don't think it can replace the downhill ski for me.

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1/4 night skiing - Wachusett 1/08/2006 00:10
The day after a snow storm which bring Wachusett 6'' snow, I went there for night skiing -- The first time of the season at Wachusett. Finally got bored by Wachusett, I decided not to buy season pass this year. But it's good to go for a night skiing, esp. after 6'' snow. The snow was not as thick as I expected, but good enough. way better than Killington last weekend. At least no ice. Most of time I got down without stop, but my legs were a bit sore near the bottom. Smith walton became somewhat scratchy later, so I stay at 10th mountain and conifer. Conifer turned out to have better snow. Although the trail is milder, it had a few up and down like riding a horse. Also, I can keep a good rythem. So not a bad night skiing -- good exercise.

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New Year -- Killington 1/03/2006 13:27
Never been to Killington. So I decided to go skiing at this most famous mountain in New Year. Ski market bus started at 6:15am, so I had to get up early in the morning. It was more than 3 inches snow on the car. It was snowing on New Year Eve!

It seems it would be good for skiing. However, when the bus approached Killington, it had a little flurries, but no snow on the tree.

Killington looks big, but it isn't as big as I expected. Surprisingly, the trails are so scrathy. Again I went to the wrong direction: there were quite a bit of snow in MA and NH, but no snow in VT. frustrated Quite disappointing. The trails were quite icy. It's about 2 inches snow on most of the trails. Don't know how this base 20-30 inches came up with. I guess it measured these bumps.

Got a couple of really hard falls today. The first one was on top of a trail. I just started to ski a downhill with rising speed. The slope suddenly goes up. I thought it was just a hill. But when I just passed the top, I was in the air, which was a really big jump. I've never had such a big jump before (probably 10 yards?). Unfortunately, I landed on the back of my skis, which made me basically sit on my skis. I tried to stand up, but failed, instead, it was gaining speed. So I decided to fall on one side, but suddenly, I just felt hit something and started to roll. I felt my stomach and ribs were hit by something. Finally I was stopped and I saw myself on a closed trail like more than 50 yards from when I fell. I was so scared and worried if I was still in one piece and had broken ribs. The patrol came and told me if I had broken rids, it would be substantially painful. Finally realized that I didn't feel that painful. I got up. I was really frustrated since there was no warning sign on this slope and there wasn't much snow which could not stop me. And even more, I was told I directly hit the post. frustrated There was a big post (fortunately with plastic protection) and I didn't even see it when I hit it. If I didn't hit it, I don't know where I'll be ending up with. The closed the trail I stopped was a double black dimand. Can't believe I hit the post without even seeing it. I guess I was pretty fast. Sad

The second fall was last run of the day. I skied quite fast that time, but I didn't feel anything wrong. Apparently, my ski hit something which made me lost control. I just wasn't lucky at Killington. frustrated It didn't give me any good impression. It was foggy, scratchy, icy and full of people. The only trail that had some snow was the mougle trails (still icy between mougles), but you could see people fell here and there. Worse than any mountains I skiied so far this year. Totally different from what it's said on the website. And the organizer of the bus said it was 40 times better than the average Surprised

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Christmas weekend -- cannon mountain 12/27/2005 16:31
The ski tickets were so pricy once it entered Christmas week. So it became obligated for me to use my $25 coupons at Cannon before it expired at Christmas. Early Friday morning at 6:30am, I headed to Cannon again.

There were 4 lifts open on Friday, including the learning area lift. Only about half of trails opened. The snow was quite good in the morning. Also the zoomer lift opened which lead to several other trails open: zoomer, rocket, gary's and a morgule trail-lakeview glade. These trails are shorter compared using the main lift start from lodge area, but it turned out to be my favorite ones. In the afternoon, the trails became icy and my legs were quite tired probably due to not fully recovered from my cold, so I stayed on some easy trails like middle cannon.

All lifts were opened on Sat including the tram. I got to the top thru E lift, but it was so foggy at the top of the mountain that I couldn't see clearly 2 yards from me. Only a couple of blue trails opened at the top of mountain. I ski through vista way, then back to middle cannon, then took zoomer and tram cutback to take tram. The tram cutback was quite flat, so I basically "walked" to the tram. I doubt I will like cross country ski. Finnally got to the tram, but I had to wait. This was the second time that I got to the top of the mountain. I decided just stay at the zoomer's lift the rest of day.

I tried lakeview glade a few times. I was glad that I was making improvement on mogules. Although not pretty and had to stop a few times, I was able to ski down without having to stop one by one. The good thing about these mougles is it wasn't icy and the bumps were not really big, although big enough to be called mogules. I didn't have to turn at each mougle. There were also some natually formed mougles at the side of rocket and zoomer trails. These were a little bit easier.

Time flies. Thinking about 2 years ago, I was struggling at the blue trails there. I have to admit it was icy then. But what's the big difference! Hopefully, two years later, I won't be struggling on mougles. It's so fun skiing. I enjoy the connection with the nature. I enjoy the accomplishment. I enjoy the moment of the speed and strength. It turns the boring winter into a fun season.

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third ski of the season -- Attitash and Cannon 12/13/2005 23:19
Don't have too much time to write in detail. Just want to record this ski trip: I went to Attitash on Sat and Cannon on Sun after Friday's big snow storm. Thought NH had more snow, but it turned out there were only 4-5'' snow at Attitash and Cannon. Although trails were not fully opened, both waterville valley and Loon charged full season price. Attitash had food drive event which you can donate food while get $20 lift ticket Sat. So I went there Sat. I chose Cannon simply because I got a coupon for $25 lift ticket. The snow was nice in the morning, but got scratchy in the afternoon. Same thing happened at Cannon. Attitash has a few trails open, probably 5-7 trails. I basically covered all. There was a so called double diamand "tighthole" trail, but it was actually similar to blue trail, even easier than some other trails for me since it had more snow. Cannon only had one lift open besides beginner's, which only had three trails, makes me think that I skied at Wachusett, but they're longer than Wachusett's trails. I got another pair of used boots at Roger's skishop since it fits my feet better, but it seems they didn't make my skill better. Still had problem skiing on scratchy surface. So I ended up skied near the edge which had a little bumps. I Feel better skiing on bumps than scratchy surface. Can't see myself make any improvement so far: still afraid on ice and scratchy surface; still bend my waist too much; still not in rhythm... but I did have fun.

Too much time and money spent on skis although the season just began. I should take a break...

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second ski of the season-- Sunday River 12/05/2005 22:44
My leg felt better, so I couldn't help taking another ski trip. Seems everybody has something to do but skiing. I happened to find there was a party in a ski club house which they offered free lodging during the weekend. The house is close to Attitash, 1 hour from Sunday River. I was curious to see what American skiers do and at the last minute, I decided to go there.

Not much story on the way, but when I was about 20 miles to North Coway, the snow was so big that I couldn't see anything. Thought it could be a good thing for skiing, I finally got to the house.

It was quite a big house, which has big living room and dinning area. On second and third floors, there are 10+ rooms contained bunks. So I have to bring my own sleep bag. It's like dorm style and male and female have separate rooms. My original plan was to go to Attatish which is only a few miles from the house, but since it was said only one trail open and everyone else wanted to go to Sunday River, I decided to ride with some Americans to Sunday River.

It was quite cold in the morning. The big guns were making snow. I got up lift with a group of people from the house and followed them to ski down. The trail is moderate, not sure if it's green or blue. The strong snow making made me uncomfortable and could not see anything. The snow was not as good as Bretton Woods a week ago. But the trail is not steep so I got down quite easily.

On the next run the group separated: some people stayed the same trail and the rest went to another one. I chose the latter since I didn't like the snow making. I don't remember which trail, but trying to follow people from the house. It seems every trail I tried was icy. I remember one time, when I just skied down in a quite steep slope, I encountered ice. So I had to pass without push on ice. But then I couldn't locate snow and had to pass another part of ice. Then ice again and again and my speed was faster and faster. I remember I "deperately" yelled "Oh, my god", and finally I found snow and slowed myself!

Another impression was there are so many people skied well. Although some left for moderate slope, I was following the group of people of 15, or so. Sometime, it devided to smaller group of 4 or 5. I have to admit my skill falls into the worst of 5 if not the worst. I was amazed to see most of them didn't really changed their postures even on ice. On the other hand, I was totally lost and couldn't maintain the posture I was trying to maintain. I got scared whenever encounting ice. Fortunately, I didn't fall on ice. I did fall twice. Once I got up right away, but just a few steps, I fell again since the snow making made me not seeing anything. I felt the pressure on the same position of my knee which I twisted last weekend and my ski was still attached to my boot. I could not turn. I tried to manually push the ski out of my boot, but my knee hurt. I didn't want to hurt my knee further. So finally I had to lay my back on snow and lift my skis and then turn them to one side. Finally I got up. Fortunately, it didn't hurt like last week. I continued to ski.

I have to say the people from the club house were very nice to me. They were waiting for me. So I didn't ski alone once and therefore, I don't remember which trail I skiied. I was told that I did ski a couple of black trails. The white heat was not open. If it were and icy like that, I wouldn't dare to ski there.

Sat night party was great! I got to talk to some people and got familiar with some people. One guy told a joke that made everyone laugh. It was quite a good experience.

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first ski of the season--Bretton Woods 11/29/2005 12:31
Bretton Woods is so called largest ski resort in NH. I've never been there before this winter. When I got up Thanksgiving morning, it was white world in front of me. I couldn't resist to go skiing. I found Bretton Woods had a foot of snow in So I decided to go there on Sat. Luckily for me, I found coupons ($15 off at some ski journals) for Bretton Woods the night before I left for skiing.

Got up at 6am is a pain for me, but skiing is so attractive to me that I would sacrifice my morning sleep. When we exit 93 to RT3, I was amazed by the scene. "Yu(4) Shu(4) Qiong(2) Zhi(1)" is what I can think of at that time. When we got to the Bretten Woods, I was so excited to see snow was gorgerous. Bretton Woods is famous for its family trails, which means most are green and blue trails, esp. for this early season, only 2 black trail opened, but I wasn't able to get up to them Sat afternoon since the lift to them stoped running early afternoon. But it was good for me-- first ski of the season, I'd like to try more moderate ones. The trails were pretty wide. The main trail under the lift was a little bit icy in the afternoon since most people skied there. I didn't ski quite smoothly the first time. Did I forget how to ski? After a few runs, I felt better. I tried the trail on the left side, which is more hilly, but I liked it since I like the feeling that my body was able to move with terrain. The trail on the right side was even more hilly, and it was not gloomed. The feeling that I ran all way down to the bottom with some speed was undescribable.

We got on the slope early Sunday morning. The snow condition is even better. I tried two pairs of demo ski today. One is Volkl all mountain (AC2?), the other is Salomon all mountain skis. They are both quite heavy to me, but are more stable on icy surface. I finally got chance to try the black trails. Not many people there, so the snow was quite thick there. One is more steeper, but less snow. I can see some grass roots outstood the snow, but it didn't cause any trouble to me. I felt much better ski there than on ice. The trouble finally came to me, I was on the last run and found one trail which has quite deep snow. I wanted to practice there although I felt a little tired then. The problem with these demo skis is they were too heavy to me. After made so many runs and leaps, my muscles were sore. So finally it came to a point that I wasn't able to leap high enough that my right ski hit into a pile of snow that stuck me, but my body was still moving forward. Unfortunately, the binding was setting too tight that my boot was unable to come out of my ski. My knee was twisted cry . I could heard some noice come from my knee. Both of my skis was inside the snow pile that it took me a while to pull them out. I couldn't stand up. I had to manually take both of my boots out of my skis in order to get up. I haven't been that fall for a while, at least I couldn't remember. I was able to ski down to the bottom, but felt my knee was hurting. That's a hard lesson I learned from this demo skis. They're heavy, but I'm not powerful enough, and the binding was set too high for me.

Despite my knee injury I had good experience at Bretton Woods. The snow is better that the middle season in Wachusett. My knee feels better today. Hopefully I'll get full recovery and be able to ski again soon.

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skiing season is coming! 10/28/2005 23:48
Just found out sugarloaf had almost 4 feet snow this week and killington is open this Sat. Can't wait to go skiing soon...

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Rocking climbing 10/02/2005 23:56
Since I tried rock climbing last weekend, it seems rock climbing comes to my life. I went to Purgatory chasm which I heard from a friend, but never been there even it's not far. The special feature there is rocks. Got no plan this Sat, so I decided to go to chasm by myself. It's a good practice for me since I seldom go hiking by myself. Thinking it's only a couple of miles hiking, I won't be lost. oops

It is definitely a fine place for a family to bring their kids and have fun there. Surprisingly, I saw people rock climbing there.
I met an old guy who said he's 53 years old and started to rock climb 13 years ago. And he's doing solo climbing. I asked him why he tried rock climbing and he said he had high anxiety. That's just amazing. Instead of avoid this, he took it as a challenge. It made me so eager to try it again. I tried to climb some rocks without support. Of course not dare to try dangerous ones. It was so great to see people doing ourdoor rock climbing. The weather is just so good for doing it now.

I searched internet for rock climbing after getting home, and surprisingly, found one place near my place. So I decided to see what it's like today. I finally found this place which has small parking lot (no sign at all!) and hiding behind a woods trail. Even more amazing, I saw at least 5 sets of ropes there and some guys was climbing. I so wanted to try and asked them if I could try it oops They're very nice and luckily, one guy has an extra harness and a small pairs of shoes (for kids, but still a little big for me oops ). I soon got trouble and worn out. Compared with the one I tried last weekend, which I thought was hard, it's just much harder. It's 90 degree wall all the time, so I got no chance to relax. And my fingers just hurt. I didn't even remember my fingers experienced any pain at all last weekend. But this time, oh, my gosh, it was just hurting me. I had to ask my belay to hold on me so that I can relax my arms and hands. The problem with my fingers is I don't have strong fingers at all. And I don't know how to use my legs effectively. After cheating N times (basically asked my belay to hold on me and I held the rope to climb up to find better places to hold oops ), I finally got to the top happy oops The rating was only 5.7. Well, I said, I have to start from 5.0. The guy comforted me and said the other guy who couldn't make it 2 months ago could do it easily now. He said half is the strength, half is the techniques. So I need to learn techniques.
See how the others did. .

Basically, this guy was under the rock and was able to pull himself up. Amazing! 牛 I was told the rating is about 5.11 on that one. I can't imagine what 5.15 is like.

I got so wore out today. Sour all over. Seems not that easy to take a challenge. But I'm going to try it, just not sure how far I can go Surprised

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4/02/2005 22:12
滑雪季节过去了,便觉得无聊起来。 冬天每周滑1-2次雪,游2次泳,时而打打乒乓。再加几次较远的ski trips, 好像还很充实。现在滑不成雪了,打网球还是冷了点儿,便觉得空虚起来。想想我这样沉迷于运动,是不是跟某些人嗜酒一样,不能自拔。因从不主动饮酒,也从未醉过,即使在不痛快的时候,也不曾试图以酒精麻醉。总觉得太消极。现在想来我是以运动麻醉自己,以逃避孤独和空虚。我也是不能自拔于运动啊。不过为什么要拔出来呢? 毕竟运动带来的好处很多。刚做完体检,医生说“You have best stomach muscle I've ever seen". 当时还是很得意的 oops (虽知她有些夸张)。胆固醇被医生comment为"great"。 我想运动和酒精的区别在于运动给人以积极的态度对待人生。运动给我勇气和力量去面对困难与挑战,也给我自信和激情。想想滑雪吧。当我从绿道到蓝道再到黑道,再gain速度,那种风驰电掣的感觉,是从未有过的快乐与成就感。每一次进步,都是对自己能力的肯定。所以让我继续陶醉于运动吧!生命在于运动。天气快些暖和起来吧!我就可以打网球了,可以去滑帆船了。还有帆板。总是幻想着自由自在地迎风在水中前进,可惜去年没有对我合适的帆板,每次都是费好大力气摇摇晃晃把帆拉起,被强风一刮,又旋即落入水中。弄得腰酸背痛。 不过终于有一次驾帆行了一程,不过还没来得及练转弯,就已经到桥下了。不得已只好扔帆。希望今年有所提高。想到这些,心情好了许多。天快晴吧,so will 我的心情。还是去积极地面对生活的挑战吧。虽然有痛苦,有失意,有孤独,有迷茫,希望总有云开雾散之时,总有比翼齐飞之际.....

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zz: 怎样练习高山滑雪 3/28/2005 12:02

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ski tonight at Wachusett 3/27/2005 01:47
滑了那么多次雪, 尤其是在Wachusett, 也没想起写日记总结。 不知怎的, 突然心血来潮, 也敢回时髦。 Maybe because the skiing season is almost over. frustrated

The snow is better than I expected. I was preparing to ski on ice. Surprisingly, it still has enough snow. When I just got there about 5pm, I felt like I ski on the sands. A little different than before. But just after one run at Conifer, the smith walton has been groomed. It looked so nice. And I was following the crowd racing down. I felt so good. I like skiing right after grooming. I feel so freely downhill without worrying about ice or bumps. But this time was a little different. When I ran close the the bottom, I felt the snow was so rough that I felt my skis had strong friction with the snow, just like my car run onto the outside of the highway and hit the protection area. But it didn't really slow me down. My legs got tired easily in that case. When ten smith has been gloomed, I felt the snow better. When finally Conifer has been gloomed, the snow was just like the middle of the season, I felt so comfortable that I ran down to the bottom like a racer although it's a family trail oops I even jumped just because of the 地势. That was a blast. I met an old man (not sure how old he is, but he said he started skiing at 10 years old and he has skiied for 50-60 years) on the lift. Surprising, he caught up with me well, I ran down quite fast and he was not far behind. I hope I could still ski that way when I am in his age. He recommends me a series of books called "inner skiing" and "inner tennis", which talked about how brain controls mind and how to use this on skiing or tennis. I'll search for these books sometime. He suggested me to think about a song when skiied down. But it almost made me fall oops

The moguls are back. They were disappeared 2 days ago. So these are new moguls. I tried the lower part about 1/3 of the whole and felt quite good. I was able to jump and turn early enough to make it through. Obviously the lower part is much easier than the upper part. At least I don't have the fear jumping to make the turns. Also, they have enough space between one another and the bottom is not deep like a big hole in between. But when I tried upper part, it was totally different story. My fear's back. I just can't go through 2 moguls smoothly. I saw one guy did extremely well. And I noticed that his skis were parallel and together. I wish I could do like that some day. But back to reality, I was keeping practicing only the bottom part. Then I got some inspiration. I tried to ski from the top, but 在moguls 的最外一排。 So I could make a turn outside the mogul, but enter the mogul right after my turn without skipping any outmost mogul. I was happy I made it. But when I tried to ski inside, I got trouble. I just couldn't make the turn like at 最外一排. Well, long way to go. But I was happy that at least I made progress. I wasn't able to do that before. The very first time. Hope this is not the last skiing this winter. I still have chance to practice.

I'm so tired now, but excited. Every time I make progress and I just feel so good -- the feeling of being able to overcome fear and beat the challenge-- the sense of accomplishment happy

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info: how to ski 2/27/2005 00:06

Ski articles:

For intermidiate skiers:,12795,1023322,00.html

CHALLENGE: Leaning back

A modern ski's sweet spot, like the optimal hitting point on a tennis racquet or golf club, is large compared to older models. The sweet spot is under your binding, between your arch and heel, where the ski is most narrow. If you move your weight outside that area, your ski starts to act up: Lean too far forward and it wants to overturn; lean too far back and it wants to run straight. Undisciplined movements also interfere with good balance.

CHALLENGE: Weight too far inside

For newcomers, skiing can seem counterintuitive. If you want to turn left, it might seem natural to lean to your left. This works at first-until you lose your edge and tip over to the inside. Worse, it leads to the hard-to-break habit of standing on your inside ski. To turn left properly, you need to apply pressure to the inside edge of your outside ski, which is about to become your new downhill ski.

SOLUTION: Transfer weight with more authority: Instead of leaning, spread your skis to about hip-width and step your weight from one ski to the other as if you're walking. Try to keep your shoulders level and quiet. As soon as you put weight on the inside edge of your outside ski, it will start to turn. Resist the urge to tip your shoulders to the inside, as you might on a bike. Hold them level. This will create an angle between your legs, which are tipped, and your torso, which is more upright. Hold this angulation. It assists your feet, knees and thighs as they control the turn shape. It also ensures your weight will stay over your edged outside ski. At the bottom of the turn, you should feel the most pressure on the sole of your outside foot-where steering forces and gravity exert the most power. Keep turning until you slow down, then continue with a slow-motion walk by stepping weight to the other ski and pressuring that edge to begin a new turn.


Inability to shape turns for speed control

The fundamental rule of skiing is this: Curve uphill to slow down and curve downhill to speed up. A common problem that plagues intermediate skiers is the inability to control speed by varying turn shape. Even though you feel as if you're making full turns, you may be giving up on your turns too soon after passing through the fall line. You may feel comfortable making those abbreviated turns on easy terrain, but as the slope gets steeper, your speed will build-unless you change your tactics. Moreover, if you ski into flat terrain with the same turn shape you used in the steeps, you'll get passed on the run-out.


Lengthen-and finish-your turns

Look ahead, gauge the slope's pitch by reading the terrain change and decide where you're going to finish your next turn. Remember that a completed turn has an extra uphill "hook" on the end of it.
Keep your eyes fixed on the "hooking" point-the place where you'll cross the fall line to control your speed.
Don't quit too soon, even though you feel pressure building under your skis. Keep turning.
Stay with the turn until you feel yourself decelerate. In flat terrain, do the opposite. Finish your turns earlier, just after the fall line, so you carry more speed directly downhill.

CHALLENGE: Using body mass to change direction

Many intermediates try to change direction by turning their entire body. First they lean into the turn. Then, their uphill hand drops behind them, out of their field of vision. Steering with your shoulders, torso and hips creates a delayed reaction: Your upper body twists harder and faster than your skis actually turn. This is ineffective; by the end of each turn, your shoulders will be facing away from your direction of travel.


Steer with your legs and feet

A Face where you're going and keep both hands where you can see them. If you lose sight of your inside hand, you've rotated into the turn. If you lose sight of your outside hand, you've counterrotated away from the turn. Both are problematic.
B Turn from the bottom up: Feel your skis roll onto their edges first.
C Guide both skis with your feet and tilt your lower legs.
D As you steer past the fall line with your thighs, feel your knees driving into the turn.
E Complete the turn with your legs. If you're looking where you're going and both hands are in view (think elbows in front of ribs), then you haven't rotated and you're correctly facing the direction of travel.

for Advanced skiers:,12795,1023323,00.html

CHALLENGE: Can't stay balanced on your skis

Many factors make your skis slow down or speed up unexpectedly: a change in slope pitch, the texture of the snow, the reaction of the skis coming out of a turn, counterproductive body movements. Keeping your eyes (and mind) out in front of your skis to anticipate what's ahead may not be enough. Missing a turn entry can cause you to fall behind your skis. So can a sudden, late edge engagement, which can cause your skis to jet ahead.

SOLUTION: Move away from the hill to start your turns

Train your feet to tell you whether or not you're riding your ski's sweet spot: Body movements are either symptoms or causes of what happens along the soles of your feet. What you do with the rest of your body should enhance or correct the subtle balancing that happens closest to the snow. Get out in front of your skis as they enter the fall line (where you know they're going to speed up). An upward motion is not the answer. Extend your hips but make sure the extension is out and away from the hill. To create an edge change, let your feet move from under you and off to the side. Or think the opposite: You move out from over them. If your turn is round, your skis will flow smoothly out of the fall line. Give the arc a deep belly to slow your speed. A completed turn on a high edge should eliminate any need to suddenly jam your edges. As pressure along the soles of your feet builds up even more, you should feel healthy tension in your thighs. This is reassurance that you are balancing well.

CHALLENGE: Too little pressure on the outside ski

Your skis were just sharpened, you're edging, but your outside ski keeps skidding and drifting away from you. Frustrating. Truth is, sharp skis, a high edge angle and even a well-positioned torso don't guarantee grip. It's a combination of edge and pressure. Speed can help you here by throwing more pressure against the edge. Be stronger with your outside leg.

SOLUTION: Move inside and stand against your outside ski.

Understand that centrifugal force wants to heave you to the outside of the turn. The faster you go, the greater the centrifugal force. You can resist centrifugal force to great advantage. Move your hips toward the inside of the turn (without leaning inside or weighting the inside ski) and focus pressure toward the outer ski through your leg. You'll feel the sensation of having your feet positioned out from under you. The farther your feet get out there, the higher your skis are tipped on edge. Keep your outside leg long and strong, so it functions like a spoke on a wheel. Let pressure build along that edge-enough so the outside ski begins to bend. It might take a few turns to get balanced and have all the pressures aligned, but the idea of standing against the ski-as opposed to on it-is key to making advanced, carved turns. Instead of standing on your outside ski as you try to edge, think about bracing against your arcing (bending) outside ski. Regulate pressure with your outside leg. To add pressure to the edge and tighten your arc, lengthen the leg. To soften pressure, flex your knee a little bit to release the edge slightly and lengthen your turn.


Skidding your turns

Many advanced skiers can make effortless carved arcs on green and blue runs, but once they encounter more challenging terrain, they lapse into drifty, skidded turns, which waste energy and kill speed. Shaped skis are designed to skid as well as carve. If you're only going to skid, why spend all that money? Drifters think they need to actively turn the ski to change direction, but they haven't discovered that it's possible to let the ski turn them.


Get your feet out from under you
Non-carvers believe they must redirect or pivot the ski toward the fall line to start every turn. Not so. In a carved turn, the first move is to begin edging without trying to steer too much.
The second key is to let your feet move out from under you and to the side. The farther out they go, the more you'll be on edge. Be patient.
Shaped skis will turn on their own if you allow their sidecut to work for you. Don't flatten your skis and rush through the fall line. Instead, imagine showing your ski bases to an audience beside the run. Do this and you'll be carving on a high edge.
Keep arcing to come across the hill and slow down. The more pressure that builds against the ski, the more the ski bends and the tighter your turn becomes. Resist the urge to release the edge and skid at the end of the turn. Instead aim to leave narrow trenches in the snow.


Turning through the fall line too abruptly
Skiing is a matter of holding back, then letting go. Many advanced skiers have the holding-back part down, but suffer from fall line phobia: the fear of letting go when gravity causes their skis to accelerate and pull them downhill. When you turn too abruptly down the fall line, you make sudden turns that leave square-cornered Zs in the snow. It would be far better to leave round, S-shaped tracks behind you.


Be patient: let the skis turn you

A Face the fall line with a calm upper body, and accept the idea that you're going to linger there a split second longer than you may be used to.

B Change edges as you normally would, but do it softly. Use your feet and thighs to guide your skis toward the fall line.

C Let your feet drift out from under you so your skis tip up onto a higher edge. Then be patient. Instead of rushing to turn your skis, give the skis a chance to turn for you.

D As your skis swoop back out of the fall line, you can tighten your arc to control your speed (hold back). Let more pressure build up along the edge of the outside ski, and start to steer the skis (with your legs)- across the hill.

E As you slow down, prepare to let go again as you re-enter the fall line. Once you trust your skis, you'll feel like you're in controlled flight. Letting go is the part of skiing that's most fun.

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