Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Coal creek canyon, Co
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It was kinda funny I read this thread this morning, while waiting for th bus up to A-basin. I got pretty excited that it was snowing this morning. I knew it would be icy in the morning, but damn!! All that nice spring corn I was riding yesterday turned to fucking boilerplate!! It did snow all day up there, but never thawed, you could see spots all over where the cat went over it and just made scratches in the ice. As the fresh snow started to stick, there would be patchs of soft fresh, exposed ice, fresh, ice,..... every where!!
I kept hoping that it would warm up a bit and get softer as the day went on, nope, it got downright nasty. Wind blowing, and just enough snow to hide the hard icy parts. No time to really pick a line, I had to watch what was happening right in front of me. Since I ride a speed bump in Ia. most of the time I'm fairly used to these conditions, last year I learned to pull a rescue sled in this type of crap. Still, big mountain is completly different, there were parts on the steeper blues that I would be sideslipping full on my heels and hardly slowing down at all.
This is where learning to ride efficiently is the key, when I would hit a spot that was soft I would use that to skid my turn to bleed speed, then hold a hard edge on the ice and carve over it. I tend to ride a little more upright, not a lot, still flexed in my knees, but just enough so I have a little more travel in my knees. To me this feels like it takes less effort to un-weight when changing edges, and if I hit a bump or soft spot while changing edges it gives more range to flex rather then bottoming out.
I have to agree with Snowolf, riding in these conditions makes you a much better rider. Yesterday in the slush, I was bombing, with a nice beer buzz, no cares, just letting my muscle memory and instincs take control. Today, I had to focus 110% on what I was doing (no beer buzz at all) I did make it down the front side 11 times today with only 1 wash out on my heelside.