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Self Arrest Techniques?

kiki

Angel Diva
I started on to a very scraped over icy blue run today. As I side slipped down the first bit and my heart pounding, the video of falling crossed my mind. I can’t imagine that any self arrest would have allowed me to dig in to that ice. Made it down ok, just a few more grey hairs and possibly strain on my cardiovascular system lol! But curious, what if you are on a really icy hard packed scraped out area, how can you stop on that??
 

TNtoTaos

Angel Diva
@marzNC Slim Slidell crossed my mind immediately but I remember thinking “but he is facing the mountain!”
It’s been a few weeks since I last saw Slim...
Slim got new clothes this year, I noticed! First time I can remember...
 

Peppermint

Angel Diva
I have been skiing over 25 years and have never seen any information on self arrest until reading this thread. Wow I feel so un-educated. So with no education about this, I actually had to help my 19 year old daughter who fell at Attitash and was sliding head first on her belly with skis on last week (she dropped her poles). She fell at a steep pitch on a blue but once the pitch leveled out, I was sure she would stop. Nope. She kept going and was heading towards the edge of the trail. My friend and I were yelling at her to get her feet below her but she looked panicked and wasn't doing anything to help herself. By this time, her slide was slowing down but still too close to the edge so I took a calculated risk to get next to her, and tried to slide down at her speed and I came from the side of the trail she was heading to to push/slow her more into the middle of the trail. It worked, we came to a stop and she was OK but holy mother of DOG, that was scary. DD said she thought her face would smash into my boots, which in hindsight, was very possible. We were both fine and miraculously I didn't fall either. I'm not sure what the correct way to handle this would be other than to get next to her and offer my pole for her to grab onto?
 

newboots

Angel Diva
Phew! Heart-stopping! Thank goodness all ended well. I await the response from others who know what they're talking about.
 

bambam

Angel Diva
I have been skiing over 25 years and have never seen any information on self arrest until reading this thread. Wow I feel so un-educated. So with no education about this, I actually had to help my 19 year old daughter who fell at Attitash and was sliding head first on her belly with skis on last week (she dropped her poles). She fell at a steep pitch on a blue but once the pitch leveled out, I was sure she would stop. Nope. She kept going and was heading towards the edge of the trail. My friend and I were yelling at her to get her feet below her but she looked panicked and wasn't doing anything to help herself. By this time, her slide was slowing down but still too close to the edge so I took a calculated risk to get next to her, and tried to slide down at her speed and I came from the side of the trail she was heading to to push/slow her more into the middle of the trail. It worked, we came to a stop and she was OK but holy mother of DOG, that was scary. DD said she thought her face would smash into my boots, which in hindsight, was very possible. We were both fine and miraculously I didn't fall either. I'm not sure what the correct way to handle this would be other than to get next to her and offer my pole for her to grab onto?
I’m curious as to what advise folks with knowledge of self-arresting
I have been skiing over 25 years and have never seen any information on self arrest until reading this thread. Wow I feel so un-educated. So with no education about this, I actually had to help my 19 year old daughter who fell at Attitash and was sliding head first on her belly with skis on last week (she dropped her poles). She fell at a steep pitch on a blue but once the pitch leveled out, I was sure she would stop. Nope. She kept going and was heading towards the edge of the trail. My friend and I were yelling at her to get her feet below her but she looked panicked and wasn't doing anything to help herself. By this time, her slide was slowing down but still too close to the edge so I took a calculated risk to get next to her, and tried to slide down at her speed and I came from the side of the trail she was heading to to push/slow her more into the middle of the trail. It worked, we came to a stop and she was OK but holy mother of DOG, that was scary. DD said she thought her face would smash into my boots, which in hindsight, was very possible. We were both fine and miraculously I didn't fall either. I'm not sure what the correct way to handle this would be other than to get next to her and offer my pole for her to grab onto?
 

bsskier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
My longtime instructor taught me some self arrest drills and I remember thinking I’ll never need this because I’m immune from skiing fast, in chutes, or in really steep (to me) terrain. Not too long after that session I had to self arrest while skiing casually on a steep blue that is often used as a race course. That was enough to make me recognize the importance of knowing how to self arrest, anywhere.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
For those who know Taos, a story . . .

During a January Ski Week when most of my class was from the midwest and hadn't skied Taos before, our instructor made a point of discussing self-arrest early in the week. He clearly had some experience with what was needed. We didn't start skiing black terrain until midweek. On Moe's, one of the older men fell near the top and managed to self-arrest before he slid to the bottom of the steeper section. Moe's gets groomed every now and then after the bumps are too icy. That day the surface wasn't too slick or else our instructor wouldn't have taken the group there.
 

RJ*

Angel Diva
For those who know Taos, a story . . .

During a January Ski Week when most of my class was from the midwest and hadn't skied Taos before, our instructor made a point of discussing self-arrest early in the week. He clearly had some experience with what was needed. We didn't start skiing black terrain until midweek. On Moe's, one of the older men fell near the top and managed to self-arrest before he slid to the bottom of the steeper section. Moe's gets groomed every now and then after the bumps are too icy. That day the surface wasn't too slick or else our instructor wouldn't have taken the group there.
Another Taos story… last year, I was doing Women’s ski week and going up lift 2 before going to the backside, the instructor asked us to review self arrest techniques (prompted by seeing Slim lying there under the lift.) We go to Kachina Peak next, and before you know it, I catch an edge and start sliding down.

The information review definitely worked because I managed to remember his position despite being totally freaked out. I got on my belly and dug my hands in somehow (poles were long gone.) Long story short, I was able to stop the slide before catching too much speed.

I think I was very lucky to be able to find some snow to grab on to in the first place m, but I’ll make sure I always keep this information fresh in my head. The visual also helps!
 

TNtoTaos

Angel Diva
Self arresting is important knowledge to have regardless of where you ski, or your ability level. Thanks Divas for highlighting and sharing!
It's also important to note that it depends where you are...I remember having a yard sale myself when I was skiing at Elk Mtn in PA many yrs ago. I knew how to self-arrest, but the slope was so icy that I had a really hard (pun intended!) time getting a grip on anything! I remember desperately trying to dig into the icy snow with my mittened fingers and boot tips -- Yikes! But luckily I managed to keep my cool and finally stopped. My Instructor and friends were really worried, so I kept saying, "I'm OK, I'm OK", and giving a thumb's up.
 

snoWYmonkey

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
@ski skuhl as you said, and experienced, swlf arresting is best case scenario, a run out is second best, a cliff or tree island not so good and at times unavoidable unless very diligent run selections are made.

I too slid full speed down an icy black at Palisades decades ago. My DH was the one who was able able to help me slow down. My binding had ripped out and off the telemark ski so I was super perplexed as to whtyI was suddenly in a slide for life situation and not able to engage the proper reaction to my predicament.
 

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