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Old 03-24-2014, 10:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default steep chutes and big mountain lines

Me and my buddies rode fernie this weekend. I would consider us all advanced riders. We can ride just about every run we come across pretty confidently, or so we thought. Ski patrol opened up the currie headwall and we decided to hike up to check it out. Anyways long story short, both my buddies chickened out after peering over the edge. I did a couple of very sloppy runs, heel siding a lot and tumbling a few times.

It sure knocked our egos down a few notches watching some really good skiers gapping 30 ft cliffs like it was nothing... these guys were hitting the big gnarly lines, they were going so big it was like pro filming quality.

So how do I step up my riding to this level? When I was riding down I noticed that I couldn't smear like most steep runs. It was way too steep and once I lifted my back foot even a bit, I lost the edge and got a ton of speed. Watching the skiers, none of them smeared at all either. They stopped to scope a line, or traversed, or sidestepped to line themselves up. But once they started going, they straight lined or layed long straight carves. I'm thinking this is the only way to ride stuff this big?



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Old 03-25-2014, 02:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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No big mtn expert myself, but as I feel a bit in the same boat, and to give a little bump, here my thoughts. It needs two things for steep chutes: ability and attitude. Both need/can be exercised to some degree. So two things could cause this blockade; it's either in your head or your level. Did you ride similar steeps in open terrain before? Did that work well?

I still fight with the psychological part. I well dare to ride fast in open steep terrain but still can get chickenshit when confined by rocks/cliffs/whatnot. One thing is to overcome the need for control = urge to stop immediately wherever whenever I want and just ride. Don't get me wrong, you should always be in control of what you do, but if you feel this urge to stop all the time, you end up sidescreaping. Turns are easier if moving, get very hard if you stop.

Your movements should be absolutely automatically. You need your head to read the terrain as things move quickly in steeps. Try to build up confidence in your abilities in open terrain and proceede slowly to more challenging ones. I exercised by choosing a line from above and trying to stay in exactly this line. Succeeding gives confidence to negociate narrow passages if necessary.

Oh, and theres a third thing: know your limits. There are always ppl who do crazy things and it looks so easy when they do it. It's good to challege yourself but also only in a manageble way. Have fun and stay save
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Old 03-25-2014, 02:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
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op those look to be...not really chutes...but big open (assuming lookers right of the knob)...but lookers far left on the wall through the rocks, is another matter. For me its about snow condition and knowing the runout. I.e., if the snow condition is good and I know there is nothing to run into or to huck my self off the planet (assuming the vis is good)...then go. The first few times through an area its good to be cautious.

btw...what is...why?...lifted back foot

"It was way too steep and once I lifted my back foot even a bit, I lost the edge and got a ton of speed."
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Old 03-25-2014, 04:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hardcore riding chutes with one foot strapped in.
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Old 03-25-2014, 06:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It takes practice and multiple times down steep, STEEP runs To be comfortable. You aren't advanced/experts, probably more like.most people that think they are.... You are advanced intermediate riders. I'm like wrath, the conditions are king, on a good soft day that's a 3 sweeping turn run. On a chopped or icey day that is more like good scenery. my 14 year old kid would likely ride it without issue in any conditions, he rides steep stuff 4 days a week now though.
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Old 03-25-2014, 09:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Bad/So-So Conditions:

edging to keep speed under control you want a rocking motion from nose to tail. aggressively pushing the nose down to go into the turn, then thru the turn your weight shifts back some, repeat. board has to have sufficient effective, sharp edge to really do this right. search riding+steeps+snowboard on utube

Good Pow:

i look to the runout zone if there is one, or the gap in the trees of your choosing. it's good to know well the terrain already, 90% mental and visual, you bomb or make the fewest number of turns. i'm usually looking to make a huge heelside turn with weight to the back to dust off some of the speed coming out of the chute. was working this season on toeside dustoffs with a few horrendous, launching heel catches, haah, that was exciting!

practice, mental focus, LOOKING where you want to go, proper equipment...in that order IMLE
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Old 03-25-2014, 10:58 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrathfuldeity View Post
op those look to be...not really chutes...but big open (assuming lookers right of the knob)...but lookers far left on the wall through the rocks, is another matter. For me its about snow condition and knowing the runout. I.e., if the snow condition is good and I know there is nothing to run into or to huck my self off the planet (assuming the vis is good)...then go. The first few times through an area its good to be cautious.

btw...what is...why?...lifted back foot

"It was way too steep and once I lifted my back foot even a bit, I lost the edge and got a ton of speed."
We were riding left of the knob. I think it's a mental thing. I don't ride this way normally but once it gets steep and there are some cliffs I will go into sidestep and smear mode. On a normal run I'm very aware of my edges and always start turns with my front edge, torsioning the board to transfer from nose to tail. My board doesn't turn very quick either when on edge so that is always on the back of my mind.. am I going to overshoot.

The run itself wasn't extremely difficult. I think it was a combination of ski patrol telling us to go back down and scope a line and rethink the run, and my friends backing out that led me to second guess myself. I have ridden stuff this steep on open runs, but they are always short enough to straight line and bleed off speed when it levels out.

here's a video of one of the first runs I did. I was really nervous the whole heelsiding bit is me still running though my line in my head even though I'm already committed. I switched edges to line up and lost my toe, slid way down the run before catching it again.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7m0V...ature=youtu.be

Last edited by twowheeled; 03-25-2014 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 03-25-2014, 11:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Currie headwall is STEEP, it's the far left of that picture. I've posted better pics of it on the forum here before, I can dig one up if you want.

You probably got spooked, but one thing to work on is solid short radius carves coming right across the fall line. Work on them on steep blues (The Bear run at Fernie comes to mind), then work on them on the Knot Chutes, then you'll be ready for the headwall methinks. I have not been on the headwall, but been on similar terrain at other resorts, and you've got to attack it, but you've got to also be ready to attack it!
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Old 03-25-2014, 11:53 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poutanen View Post
Currie headwall is STEEP, it's the far left of that picture. I've posted better pics of it on the forum here before, I can dig one up if you want.

You probably got spooked, but one thing to work on is solid short radius carves coming right across the fall line. Work on them on steep blues (The Bear run at Fernie comes to mind), then work on them on the Knot Chutes, then you'll be ready for the headwall methinks. I have not been on the headwall, but been on similar terrain at other resorts, and you've got to attack it, but you've got to also be ready to attack it!
+++1
looked at some video they had exactly same intructions as poutanen..
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:50 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Watch and study this video. He goes into what CassMT posted. Fore/Aft movements are very important when riding steeps. I watched this video like 50 times to learn the movements correctly and it really helped me with the steeps.

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