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Frozen crud

lehrski

Diva in Training
We had very warm conditions yesterday resulting in piles of crud and this morning it was frozen solid. I tried to go down a steep bowl before I realized what the conditions were and there was no exit. It was dreadful. I should have realized why there was no one one in the bowl. So how do you ski it? Very deep ruts a single ski width wide, knee high frozen piles. When I worked really hard at a strong stance, I could survive making a single turn then edging until I stopped moving. I kept falling when I tried to link turns with one ski going one direction and the other ski going another. Do you pressure hard through the turn? Hop? There must be some way to ski it. I run into this problem every spring.
 

Pequenita

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
You survive it. I don't think there's really any great way to ski it, other than to keep the knees soft and maybe the feet closer together so that they are going over similar features and don't stray. For the next runs, follow the sun around the mountain, skiing the stuff that's been softened up, or if you're not sure whether something has softened up, ski a similar aspect that you can bail out of onto a groomer to get a sense of what the snow is like.
 

SkiBam

Angel Diva
Wait til it warms up! I can (if I absolutely have to) ski this stuff but I sure wouldn't do it intentionally. No fun at all for me. As you said, there was no one in the bowl so that for sure can be a sign it's not nice. But if I'm stuck there and have to get down, I would treat it more like ice. Go slow, keep legs soft, keep balanced over your feet – and try to get to the bottom in one piece!
 

snoWYmonkey

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I sometimes think more two footed skiing with flatter skis to distribute the funk across as much area as possible. Remaining soft and not braced helps with all the nasty uneven, balance compromising, frozen ridges and troths. Looking ahead and remembering to exhale. Acceptance...
 

Christy

Angel Diva
I run into this problem every spring.

I would try to be methodical about figuring out the temps and conditions under which you'll head up the mountain so you don't end up trying to ski that. What I mean is, if you know it got above freezing yesterday but it got cold overnight, and the forecast says it will be X temperature at 9 am and Y temp at noon, start paying attention to what conditions are like corresponding to that. Try talking to other regulars and maybe ski patrol. I started paying attention to time and temps--mostly for spring--after talking to a guy on a lift who said, if it gets below 26 at night I don't show up until 10 am, and if nighttime temps stay above 26 I make sure to come at opening because that's when it will be best.

It doesn't have to be that complicated of course but in general just paying attention to when things soften up will be key.

Ice has always seemed the scariest thing to me because we don't get it much. I went to Bachelor last year and encountered the worst ice I've skied and 2 people died in separate incidents that week after losing control on groomed blue runs on the ice and hitting objects.
 

scandium

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
No tips, just commiserations!! Describes exactly what I did one afternoon heading down a back bowl as I didn't realise it had already refrozen. It was survival skiing only, no doubt about it. I think you have to be very reactive to the terrain (in my mind, competitive mogul skiier reaction times!) and I was just not quick enough on that degree of pitch to do anything but survive.
 

snoWYmonkey

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Another helpful approach to refrozen ungroomed is to move very very smoothly. As in no rushing from turn to turn, but especially from edges to edges. I had to teach mogul skiing for my level 3 ski assessment on refrozen spring bumps at an unfamiliar hill and slowing everything down and resisting the urge to throw the edges up high and fast really helped that day. Not my fondest memory.
 

lehrski

Diva in Training
Thanks all for your suggestions. I definitely need to pay more attention to the weather/location. I only get to ski for a month at Christmas and another week or two at spring break so I tend to ski every second I have free. I need to pay more attention to the conditions and where I'm skiing on the mountain. It is probably worthwhile taking a morning or even a day off when the conditions are terrible.
 

Pequenita

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Thanks all for your suggestions. I definitely need to pay more attention to the weather/location. I only get to ski for a month at Christmas and another week or two at spring break so I tend to ski every second I have free. I need to pay more attention to the conditions and where I'm skiing on the mountain. It is probably worthwhile taking a morning or even a day off when the conditions are terrible.
For vacation skiers, it’s really tempting to ski something you skied the last time you were someplace because you had a great time in that zone, but it’s important to keep in mind what time of year, time of day, and even whether this season has been warmer than the last time you were there because all that matters. I don’t think you need to necessarily take a day off, but you might want to stay in a particular part of a resort, or stay on groomers, or stay in the trees, or stay low or high, etc. depending on what the daily conditions are.
 

snoWYmonkey

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
@Pequenita So true! Watched an out of town instructor excitedly lead his guests to a deserted tram line at 9 am on a refrozen spring day. I so wanted to steer him away but was so afraid of making him look clueless in front of his guests that I let them all walk on. He came from the resort an hour away and probably had great memories of skiing tram laps. Still haunts me.
 

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