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How do I ski on scraped ice?

Iwannaski

Angel Diva
I love Deb Armstrong’s videos, but I saw her demonstrating “skiing on ice” on what looks like phenomenal snow for Midwest skiing and I laughed my butt off. I do agree that the ice is a good teacher, because when I’m tentative or back, the ice and I have good fights. OTOH, I’ve gone over ice and been ok if I was focused. That being said, I just don’t want to fall on a slab of ice. That hurts.

I wrote that in the past tense… I’m still laughing though.
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Does anyone reading here know how to do a stem step?

If you do, that's a way to get a grip on sheer ice, sheet ice, ice that you can't leave tracks on, noisy ice, slippery ice.

Pick up the new outside ski, position it in the air with its tail out and its tip in, set it gently down on the ice on its BTE, then lighten the other ski. This last transfers your weight to the now outside ski. It will take you around, with grip. No slip. Repeat and link.

The advantage of a stem step is that it gets your new outside ski gripping above the fall line. In December at a PSIA event my group did this over and over. Our week of lessons was on real ice, steep ice, day after day. It hadn't snowed at all, every bit of white stuff had come from a gun, and had warmed up and then frozen multiple times. We were skiing on the base. Stem steps were the best bet to get control back during a run when you lost it.
 

MissySki

Angel Diva
Does anyone reading here know how to do a stem step?

If you do, that's a way to get a grip on sheer ice, sheet ice, ice that you can't leave tracks on, noisy ice, slippery ice.

Pick up the new outside ski, position it in the air with its tail out and its tip in, set it gently down on the ice on its BTE, then lighten the other ski. This last transfers your weight to the now outside ski. It will take you around, with grip. No slip. Repeat and link.

The advantage of a stem step is that it gets your new outside ski gripping above the fall line. In December at a PSIA event my group did this over and over. Our week of lessons was on real ice, steep ice, day after day. It hadn't snowed at all, every bit of white stuff had come from a gun, and had warmed up and then frozen multiple times. We were skiing on the base. Stem steps were the best bet to get control back during a run when you lost it.
We actually worked on this last weekend too! :smile:
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
The other alternative we were working on that week in December was finding our happy place with slippage. We worked on pivot slips with speed control. Our pivot slips were to be straight down the hill, no left-right travel. Speed control, from snail-slow to medium to fast and back to snail-slow was our goal. Once we could do that, we sneaked in a bit of left-right travel, keeping in mind that they slippy turns were to be round not Z shaped. I preferred the stem steps, but it was drilled into us that versatility was the name of the game. Being able to head downhill, at a comfy speed, staying within the narrowest of corridors, needed to be in our bag of tricks.

It was an enlightening week.
 

Lmk92

Angel Diva
I love Deb Armstrong’s videos, but I saw her demonstrating “skiing on ice” on what looks like phenomenal snow for Midwest skiing and I laughed my butt off. I do agree that the ice is a good teacher, because when I’m tentative or back, the ice and I have good fights. OTOH, I’ve gone over ice and been ok if I was focused. That being said, I just don’t want to fall on a slab of ice. That hurts.

I wrote that in the past tense… I’m still laughing though.
I just watched an episode of SnowMotion and couldn't believe my eyes when she said she was going to show us how to ski icy conditions, and there wasn't a bit of ice in sight! I also laughed my butt off on what they were calling "icy". I am one who did fall on a slab of ice and slid the entire trail. Thankfully, it was only Jack Frost, but it still left a mark (on my psyche!).
 

Tennessee

Angel Diva
Think 'quiet" and light edging, Like Jilly said ski across the icy patch- let your skis go flat-
LOOK for the pile of snow, it's usually pushed next to the icy spot, Look for snow so you can Turn in the snow. if it's a horrible sheet of ice make big traverses and let your skis slip (falling leaf) to get off the hill safely and head to the brown chair (at the pub)
Yes “quiet” — ski very softly on hard snow
 

NWSkiGirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
The better skiers always told me to "dig in," which never worked. It now does, so I think it's just time on the ice. But you can also just skate all over, balancing enough to stay up even though you aren't digging in.
 

NWSkiGirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
The better skiers always told me to "dig in," which never worked. It now does, so I think it's just time on the ice. But you can also just skate all over, balancing enough to stay up even though you aren't digging in.
I'm talking early morning ice while spring skiing in Whistler, so it may be different back east!
 

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
Does anyone reading here know how to do a stem step?

If you do, that's a way to get a grip on sheer ice, sheet ice, ice that you can't leave tracks on, noisy ice, slippery ice.

Pick up the new outside ski, position it in the air with its tail out and its tip in, set it gently down on the ice on its BTE, then lighten the other ski. This last transfers your weight to the now outside ski. It will take you around, with grip. No slip. Repeat and link.

The advantage of a stem step is that it gets your new outside ski gripping above the fall line. In December at a PSIA event my group did this over and over. Our week of lessons was on real ice, steep ice, day after day. It hadn't snowed at all, every bit of white stuff had come from a gun, and had warmed up and then frozen multiple times. We were skiing on the base. Stem steps were the best bet to get control back during a run when you lost it.

Now I have to try this! Reminds me a lot of the old stem christie. Remember that?
 

scandium

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Does anyone reading here know how to do a stem step?

If you do, that's a way to get a grip on sheer ice, sheet ice, ice that you can't leave tracks on, noisy ice, slippery ice.

Pick up the new outside ski, position it in the air with its tail out and its tip in, set it gently down on the ice on its BTE, then lighten the other ski. This last transfers your weight to the now outside ski. It will take you around, with grip. No slip. Repeat and link.

The advantage of a stem step is that it gets your new outside ski gripping above the fall line. In December at a PSIA event my group did this over and over. Our week of lessons was on real ice, steep ice, day after day. It hadn't snowed at all, every bit of white stuff had come from a gun, and had warmed up and then frozen multiple times. We were skiing on the base. Stem steps were the best bet to get control back during a run when you lost it.
I thiiiink I saw this being taught to some kids in a group lesson a few years ago as a way to navigate down harder terrain/an area they were less confident in.
 

WhyKnot

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
All you can do is steer your skis. You can't edge, any sideways sliding will create friction and help with speed. Steer in round turns and ski loose.
Someone on this site perhaps I think used the word "drifting" which spoke to me in terms of how it feels to be sliding over these icier or even slippery (or "slick" as I have seen it described) patches to me. Never thought of the "steering" part per-se as I am more focused on staying balanced on my skis as I glide/slide/drift over these areas but perhaps there is steering going on and I can pay attention more to tha (thanks!).
 

WhyKnot

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I’ve seen many of these how to ski ice videos and their conditions always look pretty nice to me! Debs words are encouraging though!
About her words---the other day I was on an ice-ish patch and I had seen that video before and heard Deb say -- or maybe I said it to myself to keep me focused-- to "finish the turn" like she said in video.
 

SkiBam

Angel Diva
I was walking from my car to my house today on my quite icy driveway. I thought about how I was doing this and realized I was moving very gently, not trying to get a "grip" with my boots, sort of doing a shuffle. And I realized that's what I tend to do when encountering ice (NOT the "ice" Deb was demo-ing on - sorry, that was not ice!) To me, "gentle" seems to be the operative word for handling ice. Of course my preferred approach is to avoid it altogether - ha ha!
 

Iwannaski

Angel Diva
^ that also tracks with her “don’t do big upper body movements”… that shuffle (with which I am VERY familiar) is small, controlled movements while maintaining a narrow mass column. Right?
 

jmfd84

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
We had many opportunities to practice skiing on hardpack and sometimes real ice this season during my women's clinic. The name of the game was to be gentle on ice - glide across it until you find something edgeable that you can make a turn on. My instinct on skis is to try to dig into the ice but I learned that that's a fast way for your downhill ski to slip away.
 

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