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hey all, so a little background on myself. i am purely an intermediate, east coast rider. can handle most of what the east coast throws at me - at least on the trail. tight trees can be a different story.

anyhow, last week i took my second ever trip out West. we hit Park City, The Canyons and Brighton on this trip.

on most of the "typical" trails, i handle myself just fine. the nerves really start to kick in when i head to the highest peaks, the wind starts whipping, i can barely see and the catwalks are somewhat tight.

at Park City this was the Jupiter Peak where we crossed over either into the Main Bowl or the Portuguese Gap. there was an OK amount of snow but it was pretty bumped out. i made it down without falling but it was slow going and sketchy. i didn't even attempt Ninety-Nine 90 at The Canyons.

at Brighton i got this feeling when i headed up Milly Express. i took Backbone down while my buddy basically hiked and traversed over to Lone Pine.

i guess the comfort will come with more experience but damn do i feel like a little b*tch. i just can't really fight the knee shaking and sketchy as feeling. it's funny too, i think it's almost 95% mental. i think my skills would easily get me down these trails, i just psych myself out, my form goes to shit and i bail on even trying.

any thoughts or advice?

my initial thoughts are:

1. more practice
2. more trips out West
3. better snow - not sure if this is valid as they did have some recent snow but i can't help but think i'd feel a lot less nervous with some deep, champagne powder on the trails

anyway, here's to always progressing.
 

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1. more practice
2. more trips out West
3. better snow - not sure if this is valid as they did have some recent snow but i can't help but think i'd feel a lot less nervous with some deep, champagne powder on the trails
All of the above. Aside from avy risk, everyone feels less nervous with more powder on the trails :grin: In fresh snow any intermediate should be able to get down every double black I've ridden. It's when it's moguled and choppy and icy that you need the skill to properly navigate the terrain, bleed speed in the right places and not lose your edge above exposure.

For bigger faces/longer runs, try mentally breaking it all down into segments, just focus on what you can see in front of you. You're going to ride from A to B taking this route through here, then B to C through this route that way, then C to D and you're going to avoid that nasty looking spot there, etc etc. Make a plan, follow it as best you can, and then as you become more confident in your riding on that terrain you'll be happier making decisions on the fly.
 

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When you encounter a line or feature that is intimidating but you face up to it and complete it, it’s usually not quite as difficult as you anticipated. Much of this is Fear of the unknown, but it just became a known. Go back and repeat that same line a 2nd, 3rd and even 4th consecutive time. You find the intimidation factor fades significantly each time. You start to relax, even become comfortable on what was giving you anxiety just minutes or hours earlier. It is easy to stay in your comfort zone, but challenging yourself to do things that are difficult and intimidating for you is healthy.
 

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Some very good advice here.

One thing I definitely noticed when I rode in Idaho (Pomerelle and Sun Valley) was that with little time to acclimate to the altitude and effective oxygen levels, my nerves were a bit harder to control. I had to focus on my breathing patterns to keep my heart rate lower and my decision making focused. I was used to riding the "hills" in Michigan, so it was a whole different game.
 

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^this^

Be sure to watch & pay attention to the SA video in the thread neni linked.

https://snowboardaddiction.com/blogs/intermediate-riding/15216169-how-to-ride-bumpy-terrain-and-moguls-on-a-snowboard

Some very good info there. Particularly the section on practicing getting comfortable and confident in making and completing full, tight C turns with good control & technique!!

The video focuses on riding bumpy, moguled terrain, however since most snowboarders seem to find that type of terrain intimidating regardless of the type of hill/mountain it's encountered,...

Mastering the techniques in the video It should help immensely in getting past some of those Big Mountain jitters. :grin:
 

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Maybe you're not too comfortable on the board you have in this terrain either. Could hike the lines you want to ride, if possible, get familiar with the terrain. Doing small technical features will help in eventually linking them together in a full run. Go slow and solve problems one by one. Confidence is experience and muscle memory, so build on that. If it's offpiste, low vision and you don't know the terrain, don't ride stuff you can't see, that's just common sense.
 

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Skied out steeps are as shitty as ice. Sounds like you didn't score like you should have or wanted to at least. Yes, untracked steeps you can get your edge into makes big lines way easier to be confident in. One epic day of riding epic lines in stable pow and you'll feel like the King of the mountain. Next trip come to Oregon.
 

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Out of curiosity, did you experience this mainly above tree line? I also ride mainly in New England but I've been out west a few times. I remember being at Telluride a few years back and feeling a little dizzy and maybe light headed up top. I think it was a combination of the altitude that I wasn't use to and the fact that you can see forever. I found myself sometimes focusing on the view instead of my line. On the same trip we visited a friend of a friend in Aspen and rode Snowmass on a day that was cloudy and snowing a bit. I didn't feel that dizziness at all that day and we with ripping all over that place with a local as our guide. Still one of my favorite days riding ever, good crew and balls to the wall. Not a pow day but just enough snow to keep filling tracks in most of the day.
 

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My first time on a double black I was super nervous and didnt know what I was getting myself into following my friend around the mountain. That day really opened my eyes, so I went back to the drawing board so to speak and mentally prepared myself for tackling bigger lines and steeper terrain.

I watched videos of people boarding steep stuff and imagined myself boarding steep stuff and internalized that idea as much as I could before trying again. Having a strong desire to challenge yourself and push your skills helps.

Honestly if you still perceive the line as steep and intimidating you may not be ready. In my personal experience, steeps line and terrain became less intimidating as I gained confidence in my skill and my perception of them changed. They began to look less steep and the decent lines/possibilities became visible, visualize it. There will always be a small amount of rationale fear to deal with whenever trying something new but it shouldn't be immobilizing
 

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One way to prepare for doing steeper runs and fully committing to turns on steep faces --this part is important because side slipping out of a big trail sucks-- is to have some beer first.
This really isn't a terrible idea. I was gonna suggest... come to CO instead of UT, eat a very light edible (like 5 mg, or maybe even half of that). You don't want to be wasted, more along the lines of having one beer. I'm not a, "I'm better at everything... ON WEED!" kind of guy, but this really helps me loosen up physically and mentally to ride better.

Other than that, it'll come with time. Sometimes on really steep runs with exposure, I'll sit at the top for a while until my mind adjusts and it stops looking so steep, then drop in. (Kind of an ego killer when you're doing this and a group of ski school kids comes charging by while complaining about how they want to do a run that isn't so boring, jump right over the edge, and ski it as casually as if it were a green.)
 

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Skied out steeps are as shitty as ice. Sounds like you didn't score like you should have or wanted to at least. Yes, untracked steeps you can get your edge into makes big lines way easier to be confident in. One epic day of riding epic lines in stable pow and you'll feel like the King of the mountain. Next trip come to Oregon.
Yeah, I am perfectly comfortable going strainght down a 45 degree or more slope with untouched powder. Slap some ice or moguls on it and i pass it up. I guess i dont mind choppy pow if its light snow as long as im on the right board.

BUT one thing i have issues with is staying still on an "exposed" area. I have to be moving with purpose wether its snowboarding, hiking or biking. It doesnt bother me if im doung the activity. If i stop to take pictures of someone dropping a cliff or doing a jump[not park] I get a little jittery for some reason. Over 40 or 45 degree is pretty steep...

Im not sure if thats your issue or not... maybe just experience.

Work up to it, make sure your powering turns on blues before hitting blacks, make sure your powering blacks before going steeper.

When you are hammering laps out on something steep but your comfortable on, go to the steepest you can stand and make one run about 5 runs in. Then go back to whatever steep you're used to, it will feel less steep. Keep doing it until you have yourself comfortable.
 

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Another thing when ur riding big/steep lines...is knowing what to do, if U fuck up. Sometimes there is the potential for big fuck up if you don't know how to handle yourself or what to do...depending on the terrain and/or conditions. For the most part, the best thing to do is to ride with folks who are willing to school you on what to do before you fuck up....because you will fuck up. But at least you will have an idea of how to get your self down the hill without too much damage. >:)
 

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Practice bombing the easier runs first and get used to the speed. Also first time going down steeper runs stay away from the tree lined areas. Then you just have to commit to dropping in and sending it.
 

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This really isn't a terrible idea. I was gonna suggest... come to CO instead of UT, eat a very light edible (like 5 mg, or maybe even half of that). You don't want to be wasted, more along the lines of having one beer. I'm not a, "I'm better at everything... ON WEED!" kind of guy, but this really helps me loosen up physically and mentally to ride better.
Certainly I've never done this, but I can very vividly imagine that a 10mg edible really helps you relax but on the flip side slows your reactions down enough to make you ever-so-slightly paranoid that you're going to forget in mid-air that you're snowboarding and fuck up the landing.

In my imagination when I'm snowboarding all day I get slightly better after the edible effects wear off.

Also, one of the very best times to listen to John Denver is if you're high in the Rockies. I don't consider that an argument for doing this but John Denver fans certainly would.
 

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Don't be high when you ride serious stuff. Know gymnasts who say they do it to calm nerves, but thats more like regular use and not while doing anything risky. Experience calms you down over time, but nerves kick in when you need to take care.
 
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