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Mogul skiing

Am716

Certified Ski Diva
#1
I know there are a couple posts about this already and I read through some of them but still looking for a couple more tips and tricks.

I should start with I am a skier from Michigan so our moguls are less than stellar. Especially at my main resort where I patrol. I have NEVER skied moguls or bumps until yesterday at Snowbird. My friends took me down Gadzooks as my second run and STH as my third run. While I made it down in one piece it definitely wasn’t pretty. I was in the backseat 95% of the day yesterday and just felt out of control. I tried skiing the troughs, I tried skiing the face and pivoting at the top of the bump but I just could not get it. By the end of the day I could do smaller moguls but the large ones that seem to make up 75% of the runs we did I struggled with.

Part of me thinks if I commit to the fall line and a little speed maybe I would be better. But then the other part of me says “heck no, you are going to kill yourself or hit someone else”.

Basically how can I commit more and get forward? And not be thrown around so much? How can I feel more in control and not let fear set in? Super broad questions I know, I just hate feeling like I can’t ski and am holding up the group. I DO plan on taking a lesson, maybe this afternoon or Thursday at the Bird (unless someone would recommend Altas school instead). Just looking for a couple tips that might get me through until then!!
 
#2
Focusing on my pole planting and keeping my shoulders facing down the fall line helps me the most for staying out of the back seat in bumps. If you let your hands drop so too will your butt most likely, just like on the groomers. If you let your shoulders rotate with your turns, also more difficult to get that next turn started, just like on groomers. Also, you want to be looking ahead to the next few turns so you have a plan, makes it easier to adjust yourself accordingly.

I personally wouldn’t try and pick up more speed if you are not in control though, that’s something to more work up to when you are feeling more confident in how you are skiing the bumps in general. If you have truly never skied bumps, this might take some time and practice. Work on being able to control slow turns in smaller less steep bumps before doing so in steep and larger bumps, speed will come. You should be able to ski them as slowly as you want to, and work up to speed when you feel more comfortable and in control.

Don’t be afraid to traverse if you need to, or stop after each turn or few turns to reset/plan your next move. The most important thing is keeping yourself and others around you safe on any given run. A lesson certainly can only help!!
 
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Am716

Certified Ski Diva
#3
@MissySki Getting my shoulders down the fall line is the hard part. Which drives me a little nuts because I don’t have that problem at all when skiing groomers! But moguls once I lose some control I tend to freak out and just traverse back and forth. Which maybe isn’t a bad thing because I read on another forum a drill to do when traversing in moguls.

Do you recommend skiing the troughs or faces? I find the troughs I pick up way more speed. But the faces (in anything other than smaller moguls) just throws me around because I don’t pivot quicker enough or pick my line quick enough, or who knows why. I am sure it’s probably an experience thing and after 1 day I can’t exoect to be good, but I do want to take advantage of being out here and making the most of my runs!
 
#4
Traversing drills are extremely likely to be some you’ll see in a lesson once in the bumps, many start with drills on groomers as well with a focus on getting off of your edges. Traversing is a good way of getting the sensation of your legs going in and out like a piston as you absorb the bumps. Plus, even when you are skiing bumps more regularly, sometimes you are going to traverse to find a better line if you don’t like what’s right in front of you, perhaps there’s an ice slab or rock or just not a place you feel comfortable turning etc. A lesson will also give great pointers on body position, for example when you want to be short versus tall on the bump, which is really helpful in finding your balance and getting out of the back seat as well.

As for troughs or faces? There is no real wrong answer according to many instructors I’ve had, it really depends on conditions and the specific bumps you are skiing. Since I mostly ski in New England for example, our troughs tend to get really icy, so I’m more likely to want to stay on top or turning up on the side of the bumps somewhere, rather than getting sucked into the trough. When I need a reset I also like to come up to the top of a bump, stop, and assess what’s ahead, it’s the easiest spot on the bump usually to then go in any direction you need or want to as you can swivel easily and your tips and tails are free. If you get sucked into troughs a lot and are trying to reassess, you are potentially going to have a harder time depending which way you want to go from there since the trough is already set and you’re in it, you are more likely to go along for the ride there. Sometimes this is fine if the skiers who made the bumps originally created a good flow for your ability/style/etc., but when you find yourself say in troughs made by snowboarders, probably not going to flow in the way you want to at all on skis. I’ve had fun in troughs in smaller bumps, in widely spaced spring bumps, and in soft bumps in the west, there is no wrong answer if it feels good to you. That’s all part of learning different tactics for different situations and bump types, lessons help and of course mileage in the terrain.

Be patient with yourself, and definitely take advantage of having what I assume are beautiful soft bumps to play in where you are right now! No better place than that to get a lesson so you can have little tidbits specific to you to work on. Some of the things I’ve mentioned are tips that sound obvious and maybe only applied to my bad habits, but made a big difference to me when I was first in bumps with an instructor and they had drills to demostrate. Many aha! moments that were small things, and I didn’t necessarily pick up right away. Eventually though the lightbulb went on! Lol I still pay a LOT of attention to my pole planting and shoulder position from turn to turn in large steep bumps, it’s just easy to revert and for some reason reminding myself of this (sometimes aloud) works well to make myself do it. I’m much more confident in small to medium bumps, and reassess a lot more in bigger steeper bump runs still. It’s a fun work in progress, and I’ve been seeking more bump specific lessons as well.
 
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liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#5
Here's what has worked with me. It's long. Sorry!

If you can do some version of Pivot Slips and Falling Leaf, this progression will work with you. If you don't know what those are, you can search them on youTube. There are other bump progressions that don't involve Pivot Slips and Falling Leaf that are easier. But I just wrote this up for someone else, so am copying it here in case it can be useful for anyone.

1. Pivot-Slip-Stops
--Work on these on a groomer.
--With each Pivot-Slip, come to a full stop.
--Plant your pole immediately as you stop, just downhill of your downhill foot's heel.
--Work on this on groomers until it's easy, and until you're able to go fairly reliably straight down the fall line without any left-right travel.
--These Pivot-Slip-Stops will take you downhill slowly. That's important.
--Keep jacket zipper facing downhill. This will give you a bit of uphill tip lead.
--You'll use these Pivot-Slip-Stops in the bumps.

2. Narrow Stance
--With your Pivot-Slip-Stops, try to get your skis close enough together, side-by-side, that they almost touch.
--Jacket zipper faces downhill, e.g. hips and shoulders face downhill.
--This jacket zipper thing will give you a little uphill tip lead.
--You'll use this narrow stance in the bumps.

3. Falling Leaf
--Side-Slip down a groomer,
--Keep jacket zipper facing downhill, and hips and shoulders facing downhill
--This will give you a little uphill tip lead
--Slide feet fore-aft beneath your hips as you Side-Slip.
--Do this slowly and see what happens. Feet-forward should make your skis travel backwards as they slip downhill. Get used to it!
--Feet-aft should make you skis travel forwards.
--Then open both ankles at the same time, then close both ankles, to move your whole body fore-aft over the skis as you side-slip.
--Do this slowly and see what happens. Body aft should make your skis travel backwards as they slip. Get used to it!
--Body forward should make your skis travel forwards as they slip.
--You'll use these two Falling Leaf movements in the bumps.

================================================
Now take those above three things into the bumps. Do this:

1. Do Side-Slip-Stops straight down a bunch of bumps
--Start with a side-slip down one bump and onto the top of the next bump.
--Use a Narrow Stance, feet and skis close together as before. A wide stance messes up one's balance in bumps.
--Keep jacket zipper/hips/shoulders facing downhill.
--This will give you a little bit of uphill tip lead.
--Use both Falling Leaf movements, whichever works (sliding feet fore-aft or open-closing the ankles) to target your stop on the top of the next bump.
--Plant pole immediately as you stop beside your downhill foot's heel.
--Repeat. Your goal is to side-slip down the hill one bump at a time, coming to a complete stop on each next-bump's top.
--Plant pole every time you stop, immediately.
--No turning!
--This is an isolation exercise to help you come to a complete stop on every target. If you can't do that, you can't ski bumps because your skis will carry you away wherever they want. Runaway pony!
--This is also an exercise to help you control your speed in the bumps. Go slowly enough to not out-run the next targeted bump top. If you can't do that, you can't ski bumps because you'll keep gaining unwanted speed. Runaway pony!

2. Pivot-Slip-Stops straight down a bunch of bumps
--After each side-slip-stop, turn skis to point in the other direction to make it a pivot-slip.
--Use the Narrow Stance.
--Keep jacket zipper, etc, facing downhill; you'll have a bit of tip lead.
--If your skis travel left-right out of control, use Falling Leaf actions to stop on your targeted bump.
--Your travel should be slow, straight down the hill (well, close to that), and with a full stop on each bump top, followed by a decisive pole plant.
--The slower you go, the better your control. Speed is easy; gravity makes it happen.
--Slow targeted downhill movement, stopping on each targeted bump, is difficult. you make it happen. If you can go slow on command, and stop on the bump of your choice, you can speed up and stay in control. No runaway pony!


3. Snail-Slow Slippy Turns straight down a bunch of bumps
--Delete the stops. Slow down to a crawl instead.
--Keep the pole plants.
--Keep the Narrow Stance.
--Keep your line straight down the hill, targeting the top of each new bump in front of you.
--Work on maintaining a very slow travel speed.
--Use the Falling Leaf movements to slow down on your targeted bumps.
--Pay attention to how well you are hitting your targets.
--Being able to hit each target and maintain a snail-slow speed is the key to bump skiing in control.
--It's easy to lose control of speed and targeting.
--When you can hold onto both, you can work on speeding up without losing either one.

4. Attempting to ski straight down the fall line eliminates the issue of choosing your line. Granted, bumps are irregular and literally going "straight down the fall line" is not going to happen. Use this concept to choose which bump directly below you will be your next target.
 
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Fluffy Kitty

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#6
I suspect you are more advanced than I am, so you may know all of these, but I also suspect you are talking about no ordinary moguls. Here is a thread with a lot of helpful tips for tackling mogul fields; some are technical, some are line choices, and some are psychological.

https://www.theskidiva.com/forums/i...t-high-moguls-exaggerating.20217/#post-307770

Definitely helped me a lot.

This is a good demonstration of a variety of approaches to mogul-skiing; i.e., no right answers. Most of the situations involve what I consider to be "moderate" moguls, but there are some hairy ones in there, too. If you know how to do short-radius slide-slip turns, you can skip to the fun second half (15:20).


This one is more about bump-to-bump tactics:


And this is a video for when you are starting to feel comfortable zipper-lining down the field.


This video is about side-slip turns that @liquidfeet discusses, which is also in the Moguls video.


And a different approach to mogul skiing: absorbing it by popping up a little.

 
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LKillick

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#7
My response is simplistic compared with the wonderful responses you've received, but I can tell you what helped me a lot in working with a level 3 instructor over a couple of weekends:

1. I personally have an easier time with making upper body adjustment than lower body adjustments, ensuring my hands stayed in front of me and my uphill/downhill hand appropriately reflected the pitch helped me keep my core and hips pointed downhill even when intimidated by moguls.

2. Practiced different styles of mogul skiing -- I do much better turning on the mogul and skiing down the backside, where some of the other women were very skilled at the zipper line.

3. I really line my hips and upper body up dramatically at the top of the bumps before even starting. This looks silly but I think its part of getting myself in the mindset and I just work to maintain the angle I started at. :smile:

4. I find keeping my weight forward in the bumps intimidating. I have to get into a bit of what I was calling my "6-year-old mindset" of WHEEE and just committing. That helped me keep my weight forward and tips pressed down. I bit it some too, but overall I ended a lot better than I started. :tongue:
 
#8
I know there are a couple posts about this already and I read through some of them but still looking for a couple more tips and tricks.

I should start with I am a skier from Michigan so our moguls are less than stellar. Especially at my main resort where I patrol. I have NEVER skied moguls or bumps until yesterday at Snowbird. My friends took me down Gadzooks as my second run and STH as my third run. While I made it down in one piece it definitely wasn’t pretty. I was in the backseat 95% of the day yesterday and just felt out of control. I tried skiing the troughs, I tried skiing the face and pivoting at the top of the bump but I just could not get it. By the end of the day I could do smaller moguls but the large ones that seem to make up 75% of the runs we did I struggled with.

Part of me thinks if I commit to the fall line and a little speed maybe I would be better. But then the other part of me says “heck no, you are going to kill yourself or hit someone else”.

Basically how can I commit more and get forward? And not be thrown around so much? How can I feel more in control and not let fear set in? Super broad questions I know, I just hate feeling like I can’t ski and am holding up the group. I DO plan on taking a lesson, maybe this afternoon or Thursday at the Bird (unless someone would recommend Altas school instead). Just looking for a couple tips that might get me through until then!!

First of all, Gadzooks is not the place to learn to ski bumps IMHO! So go easy on yourself. Sounds like you did really well to get down and improve as the day went on. Questions like - how can you get more forward and commit more and not get thrown around? Start in easier terrain! :smile:

That said - I really love all the advice you’ve gotten. The ideas of committing forward and facing down the hill are two of the essentials. And I love @liquidfeet ‘s practice suggestions because they get at the 3rd of what I believe are the three essentials for skiing bumps.

Those pivot slips and falling leafs and slippy turns all get at the same idea. I just wanted to name it. You have to learn how to get off your edges and use a flatter ski. Some of what you describe - feeling out of control and not being able to pivot quickly enough - are symptoms of being too much on edge (which is also related to being too far back, as you self diagnosed).

Do the necessary practice (preferably on groomers to start) to get comfortable with manipulating a flat ski. And the bumps will suddenly feel SO much easier. You can always add back more edge and speed as you get more comfortable.
 

Am716

Certified Ski Diva
#9
I would respond to everyone individually if I had the time. But after a full day of skiing terrain that I am 75% sure is above my skill level I am so tired. It’s usually, eat dinner, hit the hot tub, lounge and fall asleep. Ha!

But thank you. I read all the advice and am going to watch the videos once the rest of my crew gets up.

@liquidfeet I am thankfully proficient in pivot slips, side slips and falling leaves thanks to my patrol training this year and working with a couple level 3s (they drilled those drills into me like no other!). And honestly it’s how I have been getting through a lot of the terrain here. Especially moguls although a lot of times I throw traverses in to get to what I perceive an easier fall line. I usually am wrong and it’s all the same haha! But yesterday I finally got to a point where I can pole plant on the top of the mogul, pivot, and side slip down the back and link several of those turns until I realize I am focusing too hard, not breathing and have to stop to breathe. Apparently moguls take a lot out of me and I can’t multi task ;) but definitely going to try the drills you mentioned to maybe help with control. Because I make some turns and fall out of control, get tossed around a bit and fall into the back seat. It’s SO hard for me to stay forward in the bumps!

@Fluffy Kitty you are way overestimating my ability! I doubt I would have ever tried these sorts of runs if it wasn’t for the crew I am with out here. But it’s good because it’s pushing me outside my comfort zone.

I know my biggest issues in the bumps are getting out of the back seat, and keeping my shoulders and hips down the fall line but it seems those go out the window sometimes and it turns into survival mode. I also tend to keep my uphill hand/arm way behind me which doesn’t help my stance but it turns again into a survival thing and it’s used to keep me from falling. But I guess knowing and realizing your weakness is the first step to correcting it, right?!

I am with some advance skiers and borders who are out here to have the most fun and do some gnarly terrain so I haven’t had the chance to start slow and work my way up. Gadzooks was not used to learn how to ski bumps but how to ski trees. And honestly it’s probably my favorite run. I get through it VERY slowly but I enjoy it. STH is where I have been practicing bumps. Probably not the best choice, but I already feel like I am holding the guys back SO much. STH has become fun for me not that I don’t fall 3x going down it. Not sure what run sort of goes off STH (the run to the R of the cat walk that takes you back to GAD2) but it has some HUGE moguls, so every time I feel pretty confident down STH then hit the huge moguls and my confidence in bumps goes out the window!

I didn’t get the chance to take a lesson yesterday like I planned, so I am hoping to do it Thursday or Friday and then maybe spend the day by myself so I can work on easier terrain and really work on skills and not keep everyone else from hitting the runs they want to!

Thanks again for all the help. Heading out to Alta today after 2 days at the Bird!
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#10
I am thankfully proficient in pivot slips, side slips and falling leaves
a lot of times I throw traverses in to get to what I perceive an easier fall line.
I can pole plant on the top of the mogul, pivot, and side slip down the back
and link several of those turns
until I realize I am focusing too hard, not breathing and have to stop to breathe.
I know my biggest issues in the bumps are getting out of the back seat, and keeping my shoulders and hips down the fall line
I also tend to keep my uphill hand/arm way behind me

I am with some advance skiers and borders
I haven’t had the chance to start slow and work my way up.
I already feel like I am holding the guys back SO much.
@Am716, it sounds like you know what you need to do. Two things for you to think about, already said but maybe worth repeating:

1. If you ski bumps alone, and stop on top of each bump instead of trying to link turns, you can beat the bad habits that you are trying to replace. Stopping on every bump allows you to push the reset button and correct things before the next turn.

If you've allowed your inside/uphill hand to drop back, you can bring it forward.
If you've stopped breathing, you can catch your breath and calm down.
If you've rotated and leaned in, you can straighten up and turn to face downhill.
If you missed your targeted bump, you can blame getting aft and start again determined to stop on that next target no matter what.

So stopping on each bump top does more than slowing your speed. It gives you that chance to correct yourself before you get going too fast and on a line not chosen by you. It keeps you from repeating bad habits and driving them deeper into muscle memory.

2. Skiing bumps socially with fast moving advanced skiers and boarders, where you sense that you are holding them back if you take it slowly, is just going to make more permanent the bad habits you are seeking to replace. Practice makes permanent. Can you find a solution to this issue?
 
#11
So stopping on each bump top does more than slowing your speed. It gives you that chance to correct yourself before you get going too fast and on a line not chosen by you. It keeps you from repeating bad habits and driving them deeper into muscle memory.
1. If you ski bumps alone, and stop on top of each bump instead of trying to link turns, you can beat the bad habits that you are trying to replace. Stopping on every bump allows you to push the reset button and correct things before the next turn.
2. Skiing bumps socially with fast moving advanced skiers and boarders, where you sense that you are holding them back if you take it slowly, is just going to make more permanent the bad habits you are seeking to replace. Practice makes permanent.
I agree with everything you said above. My ski instructor from Taos emphasized it also: "never start another turn until you are on top of a mogul and your ski can swivel......, if you are not on top of one, find it, get to the top and then turn."

So I have been doing that, I always stop / pause when I am skiing moguls.

But when I was in my adult dev lessons at a local hill in PA, my instructor told me not to stop, I need to keep going to keep the momentum up.......

Now I am confused.... which one is correct?

I have to admit, when it comes to ski moguls, I am still at an infancy. Just like I first learned how to turn on groomed runs, I can only do one turn at a time ("J" turn). I usually pause before starting the next turn. For skiing moguls, I use the same approach. Is it wrong?
 
#12
I agree with everything you said above. My ski instructor from Taos emphasized it also: "never start another turn until you are on top of a mogul and your ski can swivel......, if you are not on top of one, find it, get to the top and then turn."

So I have been doing that, I always stop / pause when I am skiing moguls.

But when I was in my adult dev lessons at a local hill in PA, my instructor told me not to stop, I need to keep going to keep the momentum up.......

Now I am confused.... which one is correct?
I don't think your Taos instructor meant to get the top of a mogul and STOP before continuing. The goal is to be able to keep moving while looking down the slope and dynamically planning your next turn, while also knowing that you can change the plan. That's based on what I heard from my Taos instructors (two different weeks) this season.

What my instructor in Jan said was that I should work on skiing relatively easy (blues at Taos) bumps more aggressively. Meaning faster and more in the fall line. I was one of the best skiers in that particular group. We didn't do a black bump run until the end of the week.
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#13
No right or wrong. Stopping, or slowing to a crawl, or keeping the pace up, all is good.
Which of these can you do while hitting each mogul that you choose, not missing or overshooting any? If you always hit your target, it's time to slow to a crawl. If then you always hit your target, it's time to up the game and keep the pace more consistent.

Does that make sense?

There are different lines one can ski in bumps. The one I described above, bump top to bump top, close-to-straight down the fall line, is one line. Another line you can learn is to head across the bump field, make one turn, go across the bump field in the other direction, make another turn, repeat, repeat, repeat, is another. If you take this approach, you will want to eventually shorten the line you take before turning.

Add to that what marzNC just said. Skiing bumps is a creative enterprise once you can take a number of lines down the run. Learning to ski bumps needs to be progressive, though, slow first, moderate speed, next, aggro last. IMO.
 

LKillick

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#14
But when I was in my adult dev lessons at a local hill in PA, my instructor told me not to stop, I need to keep going to keep the momentum up.......
I know I personally stop if I'm struggling with really committing and feeling overwhelmed. If I am stopping a bunch on a bump run, I'm not forward enough -- which may or may not be true for you! I think Evie was trying to encourage you to "go get em" and really commit :smile:
 

volklgirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#15
One thing I discovered by following a friend is that instead of planting my pole on top of the mogul, I've started planting on the downhill side of the mogul below me....it brings the poles and hands forward, and gives you space on top of the mogul to slide and pivot.
 
#16
One thing I discovered by following a friend is that instead of planting my pole on top of the mogul, I've started planting on the downhill side of the mogul below me....it brings the poles and hands forward, and gives you space on top of the mogul to slide and pivot.
I was told that is a more efficient way to ski bumps when skiing with a local from Heavenly in big bumps. It really works but the only downside is I might be bending at the waist......with my short poles (could be poles are too short)...
 
#17
I'll add think of 'keeping' your skis flat and think of them as a platform and not 2 skis. no edging needed, coming from the east I think we ski more 2 footed and edge all the time vs making a platform and schmearing the turns in the bumps. Skiing slowly is the best way to learn bumps. Learning to pick a line, change a line, speed control all take time to master. More bumps!
 

liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#20
It's sticky, meaning the snow grabs at the skis - intermittently and without warning. Feels like riding a bucking bronco, with skis acting irrational. Some people call sticky snow grabby, or gluey goo.

I don't need that on groomers, and especially not in the bumps. Corn would not grab. Nor slush. Nor simply soft snow. Nor mashed potatoes. Gluey goo is a thing all its own.

That sticky snow tends to be warm snow, on a warm day, that did not freeze the night before ... at least in my experience.
 

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