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Eastern Powder days

kingslug

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Riding the first batch of chairs at Hunter Thursday I knew there would be a whole throng of people that were going to have a very tough day. They come up with their skinny skis hoping for a spectacular day..and why not..its a powder day. Problem is their are not enough of them. I remember skiing real powder for the first time at Alta. 48 inches in 48 hours. I spent the day cartwheeling through it. And spent several season trying to figure it out. But i was able to go out west and practice. You can't do that here. Even had a guy on the lift ask me to help him out for a run. Couldn't figure out how to transition from hardpack to powder skiing. The youger ones have fun because they don't care if they fall..the older crowd..another story. Its a hard thing to learn when you just don't get enough of it..and your doing it on skis meant for ice. But when it falls..everyone is compelled to get out there.
Lets hope we get more days like Thursday...we need it.
 

Edd

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I can remember a single ski day when I had a powder breakthrough. It was roughly 2005 and Sunday River had dumps for like 4 days in a row or something. That day, I figured out how to let go and surf it. A lot has changed since then, mostly with gear, but I’ll never forget that day.
 

Cornhead

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LOL Sounds like Platty storm Riley . People stuck everywhere on the hill ...No lift lines . One of my best powder days ever.
That was the storm where Platty was the only hill in the Cats with power, right? I was there. I was lapping Northface at the end of the day. It was thigh deep. I was wet and cold, literally shivering on the double telling myself just one more run every time up. My skis automatically returned to the base of the double after every run, it was just too good to leave until I had to.
 

kingslug

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The storm of the Century..at Hunter 8 feet in 3 days and I was on stiff 80mm Volkyls...I suffered for 2 days..Then my new 98 mm Rossi S3's came in. Went to JFK Fed Ex and got them then drove right back to hunter for another 2 days. Changed everything. Double rocker, I could bounce all over the place and finally ski it. Watching TGR flics endlessly also helped.
 

tnt1234

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That was the storm where Platty was the only hill in the Cats with power, right? I was there. I was lapping Northface at the end of the day. It was thigh deep. I was wet and cold, literally shivering on the double telling myself just one more run every time up. My skis automatically returned to the base of the double after every run, it was just too good to leave until I had to.
yeah, that was special.

Me and a buddy had a room in the valley, and when we woke up it was raining there.....but as we approached Platty, we knew it was gonna be sick....had been all snow...trees down everywhere.

Funny thin is, we were thinking "Maybe we should go to bell, or hunter....bell because it was closer to home, hunter for the vert. but on the drive up my buddy said "what the fuck are we thinking? Giant storm? Platty is the place to be...." And thankfully we went there because everyone else lost power.

Our hotel for the second night of the trip called to say they had no power, but they put us up in the Roxbury Motel...the Cream Puff room was the last room in the place....two ski buds sharing a giant round bed in a room made to look like a cream puff pie.....hilarious. That place is awesome BTW. Nicest owners in the word and creativity to no end.....

What a day....ski on the lifts in driving snow the whole day. Skied bell to bell, a few beers in teh bar, then dug the car out of probably 48" drifts. Insane.
 

Siliconebobsquarepants

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That was the storm where Platty was the only hill in the Cats with power, right? I was there. I was lapping Northface at the end of the day. It was thigh deep. I was wet and cold, literally shivering on the double telling myself just one more run every time up. My skis automatically returned to the base of the double after every run, it was just too good to leave until I had to.
Yep , I had a funny memory of stopping mid trail and looking to my left as a single ski slowly passing me and as if ridden by a ghost made two turns and promptly buried itself. I looked up hill and about a hundred yards up was a little kid about 10yrs old struggling to stay up she was completely exasperated . She lets out a groan and falls backwards and gets absorbed by the snow . Kinda felt bad for her , I dug her ski out and propped it up , she would have never found it . Not a day for novices
 

BLESS

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I always felt (even on my salomon pro link 208's) that if you sat back, raised your tips up you can ski just fine in the powder.
 

mikec142

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Real powder (the deep stuff) is hard for people who aren't used to it. I'm not used to it and I (happily) struggle. Any tips are appreciated. I ski on J Ski Masterblasters (96mm). Was at Windham today. For a mountain the grooms the shit out of everything, it was amazing how much untouched powder was still there for the taking,
 

NY DirtBag

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Alot of carnage today even at a place like Magic.

Probably alot of 1st days which doesn't help.

People stuck everywhere. Searching for skis, stuck in drifts.

From a riders perspective, I think equipment plays a big role of course. And not everyone has the means to have a quiver I understand but if you're stuck with one board and don't have a powder board then at least move your stance back so its easier to keep the nose floated.


I dont know what you can do if your only skis are 88 underfoot.

But more importantly, you need to haul ass everywhere. I think people turn way too much, or at least too soon. They turn before they get to the speed that allows you to float above the surface.
 
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kingslug

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Plus you really need to be in shape..leg strength is key..this stuff wipes you out fast. Especially after its been hammered for a while..your bouncing down all the way. Using super fat boards that are just stiff enough allows you to flash down it absorbing the bumps. Trying to turn on every bump just kills you.
 

abc

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I've only have a 89mm board. I've never had it on the heavy wet snow (that we typically have) that's really deep (1' or more). But if the snow is as "fluffy & light" as many said, I've skied that kind of snow out west plenty deeper than that. Even somewhat wet dense snow too. I've never had much problem.

It doesn't need big board. It's not even technique. You just need proper tactic.

- No need to go super fast. My skis often sink in the deep snow that's really light. But it finds its way smoothly just fine. It's trying to stop mid-turn that's going to rip your knee ligament out! So don't! That said, obviously the faster you go, the more laps you can do. So there's a different reason to go fast. :)

- You can turn as much as you like. Just don't force it. Tip the ski and wait just a fraction of a second... it'll come around soon enough. Then repeat, as often as you like. Trying to twist your ski like you're on groomer is futile. The ski won't twist and will kept on going. Your body in the mean time are anticipating the skis to come around? It won't, and your body goes somewhere different than the skis equals crash!

- You need to keep the tip up. If you don't know how to do it with your feet ("close the ankle"), sitting back achieve the similar result. But it's going to tire your quad out faster that way. And sitting back makes the turn happen even slower too. So all in all, you don't want to dive forward, but really you shouldn't be "sitting back", just stay a tad more upright will do quite well. There's a reason why the rocker tip on powder boards. You can ski normally and the tip stays up.

Basically, stay balance on your board, "surf" it, or "ride" it, whatever you call it! Fast or slow, turny or straight line, it will be fine.

Too many intermediates turn by twisting their shoulder or throwing their skis sideways, THAT won't work! (so if you have bad technique/habits, you need to "unlearn it" fast!
 

Cornhead

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Yep , I had a funny memory of stopping mid trail and looking to my left as a single ski slowly passing me and as if ridden by a ghost made two turns and promptly buried itself. I looked up hill and about a hundred yards up was a little kid about 10yrs old struggling to stay up she was completely exasperated . She lets out a groan and falls backwards and gets absorbed by the snow . Kinda felt bad for her , I dug her ski out and propped it up , she would have never found it . Not a day for novices
Snow Ridge, 12/13/13 54", ski patrol spent the entire day looking for people's skis, I didn't notice them finding any. I helped several people up after they went down, not easy getting yourself up that day. It was surreal.
 

Cornhead

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Stella was quite the experience too. Binghamton's record snowstorm before Gail, 37". I made it to work that day, me and 9 other people, owner shows up and says we can leave if we want. Ended up at Belleayre, 4hr drive normally 2. When we got there people were digging their cars out with their skis and snowboards. Never saw that before. I had to put my skis on and side step up the hill to the triple.


Luckily we got a place to stay in Grand Gorge, nothing was open. We skied Platty the next day, but I had more fun storm skiing Belle.
IMG_20170314_161635967_HDR.jpg
 

mister moose

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Real powder (the deep stuff) is hard for people who aren't used to it. I'm not used to it and I (happily) struggle. Any tips are appreciated.
Powder skiing is much more about pressure management. Both fore and aft and side to side. It's a fluid environment. Skis will react like a see-saw (fore & aft management) or one side will dive with too much pressure (side to side) so it's more about your platform. On hardpack the hill provides your platform. In powder you create yours. Until you get used to that, and can control it, you flounder.
Sitting back is not the way to ski powder...

Agree. You can do it, and hundreds try every day on any given hill, but there's no need to either see your tips or lean back. It's more about matching the vertical angle of your skis to the desired/needed flotation and keeping the center of pressure underneath your feet. I think the heavier the snow gets the slightly more aft focused this becomes, but make no mistake, this is not the same as riding your tails.

You can ski powder on any width ski, Rocker and wide skis does make it easier, hence the the proliferation of wide rockered skis. The denser and heavier the snow the faster you tire, so wider skis that take less effort are a plus for me then.

Rocker is like a hammock, it keeps you more centered by design. As you gain experience you will need less rocker and less width and will enjoy being in the snow as well as being on top of the snow. Rocker forces you on top of the snow.

You can tip and rip as ABC says, but you can also turn sharper steering with leg rotation. But you do it from a centered driving stance. Tails must follow the tips. And it does take more effort. Sideways dominant motion of the foot, oh so easy on groomed surfaces, will not work for one second in powder.

The biggest problem with learning how to ski powder these days is there is so little time to practice before it is gone.
 
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