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Sierra Cement

Boston Bulldog

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So I'm heading out to Mammoth soon, but I'm worried about the possibility of the fabled Sierra Cement . I've heard its nearly impossible to ski if you don't know how to turn in it correctly.

Anyone been through this?

Tips would be much appreciated.:dunce:
 

drjeff

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So I'm heading out to Mammoth soon, but I'm worried about the possibility of the fabled Sierra Cement . I've heard its nearly impossible to ski if you don't know how to turn in it correctly.

Anyone been through this?

Tips would be much appreciated.:dunce:

It's really not that different than your typical New Enlgand powder (not the super dry stuff that we get every now and then, but the more common "medium density" powder that we often get.) The biggest difference is that you may get a lot more of it out there depth wise!

Best thing to do technique wise is get your self on something atleast 100mm under foot that has full rocker, and you'll take care of most potential issues that way without having to change your technique
 

Cheese

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Depends if it's uncured or cured. If it's cured, just get the hell out and go ski the groomers. Once it's packed into corduroy, it's wonderful snow.

If it's uncured, strap on a pair of rockered powder boards and go have fun. Toss the short turns in the bucket and instead plan and execute larger turns. You want slow and fluid movements and you want to wait for the skis to turn instead of forcing them to do so like you might in dryer powder. Be patient and wait for the turn letting the skis do most of the work. This may require you to choose trails which aren't as steep at first until you get comfortable with the speed increase of larger turning diameters. Weight should be a slightly back but not to the point that your quads start burning. Sierra cement is heavy and you'll be at an altitude above your comfort zone so your biggest challenge could be energy conservation. Bigger diameter turns and letting your skis do most of the work will help you last the full day.

Hopefully Mammoth's elevation will keep the snow dry for you and none of this will apply. Have a great trip!
 

St. Bear

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I've never been, but I'd imagine is similar to skiing in powder after the storm has made the transition to rain. Try heading out to Nashoba or Wachusett on Thurs, and you'll probably get a good idea of what it's like.
 

Puck it

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Depends if it's uncured or cured. If it's cured, just get the hell out and go ski the groomers. Once it's packed into corduroy, it's wonderful snow.

If it's uncured, strap on a pair of rockered powder boards and go have fun. Toss the short turns in the bucket and instead plan and execute larger turns. You want slow and fluid movements and you want to wait for the skis to turn instead of forcing them to do so like you might in dryer powder. Be patient and wait for the turn letting the skis do most of the work. This may require you to choose trails which aren't as steep at first until you get comfortable with the speed increase of larger turning diameters. Weight should be a slightly back but not to the point that your quads start burning. Sierra cement is heavy and you'll be at an altitude above your comfort zone so your biggest challenge could be energy conservation. Bigger diameter turns and letting your skis do most of the work will help you last the full day.

Hopefully Mammoth's elevation will keep the snow dry for you and none of this will apply. Have a great trip!

+1. Skied Tahoe when lived in San Jose. It will tire you though.
 

Boston Bulldog

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So basically its a normal New England powder day.

If that's true, I can handle it. (looking at the forecast, not much in the way of storms)
 

dmc

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So I'm heading out to Mammoth soon, but I'm worried about the possibility of the fabled Sierra Cement . I've heard its nearly impossible to ski if you don't know how to turn in it correctly.

Anyone been through this?

Tips would be much appreciated.:dunce:

If the snow is mucky... Head for the trees where it's colder...
 

ScottySkis

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Depends if it's uncured or cured. If it's cured, just get the hell out and go ski the groomers. Once it's packed into corduroy, it's wonderful snow.

If it's uncured, strap on a pair of rockered powder boards and go have fun. Toss the short turns in the bucket and instead plan and execute larger turns. You want slow and fluid movements and you want to wait for the skis to turn instead of forcing them to do so like you might in dryer powder. Be patient and wait for the turn letting the skis do most of the work. This may require you to choose trails which aren't as steep at first until you get comfortable with the speed increase of larger turning diameters. Weight should be a slightly back but not to the point that your quads start burning. Sierra cement is heavy and you'll be at an altitude above your comfort zone so your biggest challenge could be energy conservation. Bigger diameter turns and letting your skis do most of the work will help you last the full day.

Hopefully Mammoth's elevation will keep the snow dry for you and none of this will apply. Have a great trip!
You should be banned for talking about curing stuff, lol.:thumbup:
 

bobbutts

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If it gets deep and heavy, keep your speed up and don't stop on a flat.. Probably demo some wide skis if you don't have them already too.
 

abc

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So basically its a normal New England powder day.
No, it's not. It's much, much worse!

Picture the heaviest coastal storm that hits Rhode Island (Nemo?) and multiply the water content 5 times! (or think avalanche debris) That's the worst Sierra Cement you "can" get. Though if you're lucky, you might only get the version half as bad...

But you'll be quite unlucky if you get the true Sierra cement in Mammoth. It appears more often in the Tahoe area, which I've encountered on quite many occasions. I haven't heard it mentioned too often at Mammoth, and never encountered personally the few times I ski Mammoth.

I can't offer any technical advice because I didn't do too well on regular boards which sinks IN the heavy wet cement. Moving too slow, you bog down even on steeps. Moving too fast, I feel like a freight train locked on a rail and without brakes! Turning takes centuries, if at all. I've heard of broken legs from others. Fortunately, I survived but can't say I enjoyed it. I believe the trick is to move fast enough to skim the surface and only turn so gradually so your tip doesn't break the surface. Basically, ski the top of those wet cement, no IN it!

That is, on a regular board. Change into a 100mm+ rockered skis, all that 5' worth of heavy cement suddenly turned into nice base with lovely fluff on top! Basically, the big board doesn't sink INTO the snow, it just rise over it. Oh those tip rocker helps big time too! No worry about burrying the tip and double ejection.

So, if you're so very unlucky to encounter true Sierra cement, and you find yourself not able to enjoy it, try some fat rockered skis! You will enjoy it!
 
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