Catch of the Day - Bridger Bowl Extreme
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4 users
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JimK - DCSki Columnist
September 1, 2004
Member since 01/14/2004
2,645 posts
Bridger Bowl, just north of Bozeman, MT, is one of those medium size (by western standards) ski areas with a BIG reputation for extreme skiing. The area offers 2000 vertical feet of lift served terrain, but experts frequently hike another 400-600' to access the renowned extreme terrain of The Ridge. This is an excellent amateur photo of a skier working a very tight line among the beauty and ruggedness of Bridger Bowl.
http://community.webshots.com/photo/96533561/96533779IlTxyZ
JohnL
September 1, 2004
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
OK, let's have some arm-chair quarterbacking critique of this guy's skiing. One of the dangers of posting ski pix on the Net.

Picture linked by Jim K. in first post (Picture 2 of 5):
Like how his upper body is pointing downhill with both hands in front. Overall, nice angulation, but he *might* be leaning into the hill just a *bit* too much with his hips. His upper body is balancing his lower body angulation nicely. Tough to tell exactly where the fall line is in the pix. He definitely is not at a 90 degree angle to the fall line, though he is in an edge set (not sure if that is a current term.) Since his feet are pretty close together, the section of trail he is on is nowhere near as steep as it appears. (Unless he is heading more down the fall line than it appears to me.)

Picture 1 (left arrow from Jim's link):
His form is much worse in this one. Don't like how his upper body is bent over at the waist that much. His right arm is too far behind his body. It's good that he is reaching downhill, but he's not reaching agressively enough. I'd like to see more of a "drink poring bend" to his left wrist with his pole pointing more downhill. Since his left hand is pretty far downhill (maybe a bit behind), I think his downhill edges should have already been flattened and starting the new turn. Or, since his lower body looks in *pretty* good form, maybe he's just bent too far forward at the waist.

Any of ya ski instructors got opinions? Or fellow arm-chair QB's?
Denis - DCSki Supporter
September 1, 2004
Member since 07/12/2004
2,170 posts
This is a bad link. It says "done" at the bottom of the page but I see nothing except a blank white page.
Roy
September 2, 2004
Member since 01/11/2000
609 posts
He appears to be on pretty steep terrain, however not 90 degrees as you stated. I agree with your observations. I would also point out how both hands are not forward enough, especially in pic 1. He is dragging his right hand, definite sign of fatigue. Same in pic 2 except he has twisted his body to make that next pole plant instead of exploding his body to the next point of the pole plant.
JimK - DCSki Columnist
September 2, 2004
Member since 01/14/2004
2,645 posts
Denis, others have had trouble viewing too. Perhaps a firewall issue, they found that the page worked from another computer. It may be more trouble than it's worth, but go to www.webshots.com, find the box for photo search and type: bridger bowl doug
That should kick up the ones referred to in this thread.
Denis - DCSki Supporter
September 2, 2004
Member since 07/12/2004
2,170 posts
Got it. Thanks, Jim. The skier's form does look rough, especially in that 2nd pic passing through the steep throat of the chute. However, as an experienced instructor, I have grown wary of analyzing what is wrong with people's skiing. I'd rather find what it is that makes things work for them. He is leaning seriously away from the hill and if he maintains that position for more than a second or two he is likely to lose his edgegrip and fall on his uphill hip. Assuming he is the kind of skier who belongs there in the first place, it is certain that a second or so after this picture was taken, he squared up to the fall line, planted his left pole and allowed his hips and upper body to move strongly down the hill to make the next turn. (Edited to say that I wrote too soon, he has already started to do these things, which actually helps to make my point below. He has almost completely recovered from being in a defensive backseat position in pic 1.)

There can be big differences between a good technical skier and a good functional skier. Probably the most unpolished skiers I know, as a group, are those who never ride lifts, but do backcountry skiing only. Most have never taken a lesson; they learn from the friends who introduce them to the sport. They don't build mileage very fast because you can't when you climb for every turn. They often get into bad positions, but at the most critical moments, they get into good position, make the crux move, and then are soon in a bad position again. These people deal with snow conditions that would totally destroy the form of many an instructor and "expert" groomed snow skier. Of course, they'd be better skiers if they never got out of position in the first place. Young people, with strength, athleticism, and little money to take lessons, often fall in this same category of unpolished but functional. Fortunate indeed are those who have the time and money to become polished skiers, while they still retain the physical assets needed to ski at a high level. I'm off the soapbox now.
JohnL
September 2, 2004
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
Denis,

I got the identical problem when I try to view the links to that site from work. (My boss thinks that's a feature, not a problem. ) I can only view the site at home, via dial-up.

Edit: Looks like you were able to view the picture while I made this post.
JohnL
September 2, 2004
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
Denis,

Remember this is all in fun, trying to pass some time before ski season. If all posts on the Internet had to be totally serious, then message board traffic would all but vanish.

If one can ski any line they choose without stopping or falling, then one's technique is fine and probably shouldn't be messed with much. It doesn't have to be PSIA-approved to get you where you want to go. Plus, very few skiers will be always in perfect position if they are skiing aggressively enough or a tough enough line. That's part of the fun of tough skiing, getting in the wrong position, but still being able to recover and maintain your line. (I rarely ski groomed runs, especially out West.)

Back to the guy's skiing. In the linked picture, I guess I need a bit more detail of where the fall line is and how steep the slope is to evaluate his upper body position. If his skis are pointing pretty much down the fall line, then is upper body is indeed in a funky direction. Overall, I like the guy's form in that pic a bit better than Denis and Roy do.
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