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Old 03-20-2013, 09:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Turns on blue runs

As I've noted previously, I started boarding in early December. I live not far from Whistler, BC and am able to get up to the mountain to ride 2-3 times a week now. While I have progressed - I no longer fall when unloading from the lift chair, am able to link turns down green runs, am improving at straight runs, and have even tried small jumps - I was frustrated to see how much more difficult turning on blue runs is.

I decided to step things up and try a few blue runs, including the Upper Franz run at Whistler. I quickly realized two major problems: 1) the blue runs seemed to be heavily moguled out, making turning really challenging; and 2) the steepness of the runs is both scary and physically hard. I had a couple of bad falls while on toe side that tweaked my ankles. I ended up doing falling leaf down a lot of the Upper Franz run but would rather avoid that since I'm an expert at falling leaf! LOL

My question is should I stick with green runs for the rest of the season and avoid blue runs altogether or should I keep trying the blues? If I should keep trying the blues, do you all have any tips for turning on them, especially dealing with moguls?
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freetheanimals View Post
As I've noted previously, I started boarding in early December. I live not far from Whistler, BC and am able to get up to the mountain to ride 2-3 times a week now. While I have progressed - I no longer fall when unloading from the lift chair, am able to link turns down green runs, am improving at straight runs, and have even tried small jumps - I was frustrated to see how much more difficult turning on blue runs is.

I decided to step things up and try a few blue runs, including the Upper Franz run at Whistler. I quickly realized two major problems: 1) the blue runs seemed to be heavily moguled out, making turning really challenging; and 2) the steepness of the runs is both scary and physically hard. I had a couple of bad falls while on toe side that tweaked my ankles. I ended up doing falling leaf down a lot of the Upper Franz run but would rather avoid that since I'm an expert at falling leaf! LOL

My question is should I stick with green runs for the rest of the season and avoid blue runs altogether or should I keep trying the blues? If I should keep trying the blues, do you all have any tips for turning on them, especially dealing with moguls?
Franz on a mogully day can be a lot of work especially for a beginner. Ideally get the whistler smartphone app and under the conditions tab check the grooming section and seek out runs that were groomed the night before. The website also shows what was groomed. My experience is that the blacks are rarely groomed but mostly they groom the blues within a day or two of new snow, wiping out the moguls.

Also Franz's is one of the steeper blues at whistler, try runs like cruiser, honeycomb on blackcomb, and so on for slightly easier blues. Also the family zone on whislter side, and runs off the jersey cream chair on blackcomb side.

But unless you really find the easier blues too challenging keep working on the groomed blues, you'll get better for doing so and the spring conditions are pretty soft so it's a little less painful if you fall so its a good time to try them.
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freetheanimals View Post
As I've noted previously, I started boarding in early December. I live not far from Whistler, BC and am able to get up to the mountain to ride 2-3 times a week now. While I have progressed - I no longer fall when unloading from the lift chair, am able to link turns down green runs, am improving at straight runs, and have even tried small jumps - I was frustrated to see how much more difficult turning on blue runs is.

I decided to step things up and try a few blue runs, including the Upper Franz run at Whistler. I quickly realized two major problems: 1) the blue runs seemed to be heavily moguled out, making turning really challenging; and 2) the steepness of the runs is both scary and physically hard. I had a couple of bad falls while on toe side that tweaked my ankles. I ended up doing falling leaf down a lot of the Upper Franz run but would rather avoid that since I'm an expert at falling leaf! LOL

My question is should I stick with green runs for the rest of the season and avoid blue runs altogether or should I keep trying the blues? If I should keep trying the blues, do you all have any tips for turning on them, especially dealing with moguls?
I ended up taking a lesson when I got stuck a bit on my progression, what I found was being afraid of the cliff or the tree line on the side of a steeper narrow run result in my leaning back and not being able to turn... Forcing me to skid to a stop or bail. This was especially bad on my heelside to toeside transitions. Throwing my weight forward, lowering my center of gravity, and initiating the turn by torsioning my front foot solved it. But it was mostly just setting that fear aside and getting forward.
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Push the envelope

As long as you stay within reasonable range of your overall skill set, I have definitely found that carefully pushing the envelope ALWAYS improves my skill/comfort level when I go back to the previous terrain after getting my ass kicked on something I'm not comfortable with (currently that would be steeper black mogul runs, park features that I cannot ride onto, and to a certain extent, unbridled speed on icy flat runouts/cat tracks as I have scorpioned a couple of times and it hurts!).

Take the advice for finding the groomed and easier blue runs, but by all means keep trying them. Don't push the envelope at the beginning or the end of the day, or (for me anyway) right after lunch because I feel sorta sluggish that first run while my food settles.

Take precautions, choose your terrain wisely, board under control, wear protective gear if you have vulnerable parts, etc, but you can't go wrong with a little judicious envelope pushing to encourage your progress! Best of luck!
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Make sure on the blues you are not leaning yourself uphill, can make turning frustrating. Keep yourself centered over the board, and make sure you are initiating the turn with your downhill foot first by lifting the toe or heel first then allowing the uphill foot to follow.
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Speaking as a recent green to blue transition-er:

Keep going back and forth between greens and blues. I had a lot of problems with blue at first as well. So I would give blue a try, fail, go back to greens for a few days, repeat.

Try finding an easier blue if you can. It eventually suddenly clicked for me and blues were doable. A lesson helps, too, if you can afford it.
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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go with someone better then you and just follow them down.

That's how I learn.

If I don't keep up then i'm on my own.

I pretty sure that's how we learn.
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Turns on blue runs

Go try the easiest black run. You'll have a hard time no doubt, but once you make it down you'll be amazed how much easier those blue runs seem now. Maybe very different advice than you've been receiving, but what's the point of everyone telling you the same thing.
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:53 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I just started boarding myself recently, so I'm also still on greens and blues

If it was me.... I think I would try something harder like a steeper blue. Or if there was like a blue with a steeper/harder section on it would probably be ideal.
I would try to do single turns (like a C shaped one) first then try to link a few turns and if it's really bad, leaf down (it's like my worst case scenario get off mountain card) but I try not to use it and remind myself I didn't go to the mountain to like do the invisible chair all day

After I made it down my first blue, greens were so easy. I think trying and getting used to a steeper angle takes the edge off the fear so you won't end up leaning on your back foot when turning. like your body kinda goes, pfft this is nothing I've seen worse.

That was the problem I had when trying to turn on to the toe edge. I literally grabbed my knees to stop myself from leaning back. And I started to really bend my knees when it's scary, because there's now less distance to fall to the ground

Also I had some fierce tunes blasting to help me get some courage on my first blue

Last edited by Hayabusa; 03-21-2013 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Go try the easiest black run. You'll have a hard time no doubt, but once you make it down you'll be amazed how much easier those blue runs seem now. Maybe very different advice than you've been receiving, but what's the point of everyone telling you the same thing.
This is in my opinion bad advice for Whistler, where the blues are pretty tough compared to most places to begin with and the guy's not sure if he should retreat to greens. I could see this if he was at some smaller hill where the blacks might not be too hard but in general at Whistler they're pretty tough and he should get the hang of blues first.
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