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Old 02-21-2011, 10:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Riding on Thin Coatings

Just got back to my dorms after a weekend of riding at Sugarbush and needless to say I banged myself up pretty bad. Since VT is completely schitzo and decided to give us 50 degree days on Thursday and Friday, then 25 degrees with a -3 windchill @ 45 MPH on Saturday there was a lot of ice and thin snow on the mountain that day.... I spent most of the beginning of the day practicing on greens because I just learned how to carve two weeks ago in a lesson but haven't gone since. After a couple hours I decided to push myself more and hit some blues. Went on a couple and all went very well. I was fuckin pumped. Then I went on Sleeper... the only blue on Gatehouse I hadn't gone on. Half way through and all was gon okay until I reached a fork that had a "thin coating" warning in front of the sleeper trail and the other side of the fork was way too advanced for me, so I said fuck it, lets give it a try.... started off with just thin snow... still ridable... Then I hit the ice, grass and hard packed snow..The trail started getting progressively steeper and narrower. I went on my heel to avoid riding into the wooded mini cliff next to me and caught some light snow, ice or grass... Fell harder directly on my face then I ever have... thought i broke my nose, actually but I was fine (thanks to a helmet) and rode away sketchily down the last 30 ft of the trail. Now, having told that story, is it even possible to ride on such thin coatings (there wasn't much grass really, moreso just some in the corners, the rest was just thin snow and ice) or is there a certain technique to it since there is no snow for your edges to catch in...?

Thanks all.
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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side slip or straight line bomb to the next bit of snow to turn
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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First off a variable snowpack means a lot less speed. You need to go slow and scope out the best line with the best coverage. Try to keep edge pressure to a minimum do you dont just dig through the snow and slide out on the ice. Try for longer traverses and less turns. Also look for moss on the rocks. It absorbs water and then freezes so it rides a lot like ice which is still a lot easier to ride than rock.
You learn some strange tricks ridding the glades in April
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