December 05, 2006

Ski Club Rep's Course: Day 3

Today we had our last morning "performance clinic" and skied with Phil Smith. The initial plan was to do some racing and some video analysis at some point but the lifts were late opening due to the weather and since we hadn't had much skiing for over the last couple of days Phil decided to ditch the timing gear at the bottom and we took the chair up to the middle station (the Vanoise chair wasn't yet running) and then skied down to the base again without stopping...

We did that again and by that time the train was open and we went up to the top. We skied down in the off-piste to skier's left of Leisse and worked on turning using pressure control. The snow was pretty heavy and the first run deposited many people in heaps of snow as they got used to the conditions. I was on my slalom skis again and they're not ideal for off-piste deep and heavy but I did OK; you just have to work a bit to stop them sinking and be aware that if you really pile on the pressure then they will still whip around pretty fast (sometimes too fast!). The idea behind me taking the slalom skis was that I wanted to get a feel for how they performed as an all mountain ski (the answer being pretty damn good as long as you're a little careful).

After the initial series of falls, Phil had us all discus the width under foot of our skis to see who had appropriate skis for the conditions; ideally we'd be looking for 70-80mm+ for either an all mountain or off piste specific ski. Sarah, Fi and I were all on piste skis but were all doing reasonably OK. Phil didn't believe me when I said I had a 64mm factory slalom ski and he insisted on coming over and scraping the snow off of the top of my ski to check it... Once he realised that I wasn't pulling his leg he commented that he'd never seen someone on the reps course on a factory slalom ski (which means most people are more sensible than me!). After the next ski down (which came together nicely for me) Phil nodded at me and said "respect" and then pointed out that he was on factory GS skis and that they too were a bit of a handful in the deep stuff... I guess I can't be doing too bad... ;)

We did another run or two down the off-piste and then it was lunch time. We skied down, grabbed a bite at the kiosk and then met with Patrick for the first of our "leading" sessions. We skied around all afternoon working on the important points of leading groups. Each person took it in turn to lead for a section and we had a debrief after where we discussed their performance.

The slalom ski as all mountain ski experiment was a success; however skiing them down at the end of the day on the rocks was not a good thing. The bases and edges now need a lot of work. I'll think I'll take the B2s tomorrow a) to make it easier for myself and b) to protect my new skis from the rocks.

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Posted by Len at December 5, 2006 06:47 PM | Categories: Season 2 - Ski Days , Ski Club of GB Rep
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