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Fear while skiing

Seek and dispense advice regarding snowsports technique at The Ski School.

re: Your 2007-08 Ski Day Count

Postby rfarren » Fri Jun 20, 2008 7:47 am

I went down the little chute with admin this winter. It was pretty steep and scary and I wouldn't have wanted to fall there. However, I think when you ski terrain like that it heightens your focus, and gives you a little adrenaline which I think increases your "game." I think it would be more likely for me to get hurt (torn acl, broken leg) skiing on easier terrain when I wasn't paying much attention than on the real steeps like that where everything seems to move slowly. However, if I did fall on the steeps well... :shock: I would want to know how to self arrest.
Rob
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re: Your 2007-08 Ski Day Count

Postby jasoncapecod » Fri Jun 20, 2008 8:05 am

I would want to know how to self arrest


i know I'm taking the threat in a different direction...
I know how to self arrest while climb/hiking with a ice axe. With skis and polls flailing around during a fall. How do you arrest..
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re: Fear, Part Deux

Postby rfarren » Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:25 am

Use your poles... and pray. :wink:
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Re: re: Your 2007-08 Ski Day Count

Postby Marc_C » Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:35 am

jasoncapecod wrote:I know how to self arrest while climb/hiking with a ice axe. With skis and polls flailing around during a fall. How do you arrest..

In a similar fashion. See:
http://www.sarinfo.bc.ca/Polearst.htm

http://www.wildsnow.com/articles/self-arrest/ice_ax_crampons.htm

But just like with an axe, just reading about it and committing it to memory aren't enough. It must be an automatic response, done immediately when necessary, without having to analyze. Practice, and quite a bit of it, is the only method that works.
-marc
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Re: re: Your 2007-08 Ski Day Count

Postby Harvey44 » Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:43 pm

Admin wrote:I have a hard time accepting that injury frequency increases with terrain difficulty. We tend to be more attuned to the risks associated with difficult terrain, and more cavalier and non-chalant when skiing easy terrain. I suspect that this balances out the effect of terrain difficulty on injury frequency.


I don't know if this is true, but my experience backs this up. My only broken bone ever, was a broken thumb, sustained on Quicksilver at Gore, an easy blue. I'm embarrassed to say I just wasn't paying attention (to skiing anyway...something had my attention)! I also think that I've taken much bigger chances on blue trails than on more difficult stuff.
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Re: re: Your 2007-08 Ski Day Count

Postby Admin » Fri Jun 20, 2008 1:05 pm

Harvey44 wrote:I'm embarrassed to say I just wasn't paying attention (to skiing anyway...something had my attention)!


What was she wearing?
Image

Image
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Re: re: Your 2007-08 Ski Day Count

Postby Patrick » Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:37 pm

Admin wrote:
Harvey44 wrote:I'm embarrassed to say I just wasn't paying attention (to skiing anyway...something had my attention)!


What was she wearing?


Image

Okay, I've surf way too much today. I promise I'll do better next week. Image
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Re: re: Your 2007-08 Ski Day Count

Postby jamesdeluxe » Sat Jun 21, 2008 7:13 pm

Admin wrote: Why, therefore, does terrain challenge have anything to do with it? I have a hard time accepting that injury frequency increases with terrain difficulty.


Everyone's got his/her own personal comfort zone. I'm sure if I skied 50+ days a season, mine would get bigger. I can deal with steep, but due to physical equilibrium issues that I've never been able to solve, serious exposure makes me really uncomfortable. On two different occasions where I tried to ignore this fear -- once on the "Portal Trail" mtb ride in Moab and another while traversing on a knife's edge in the Lech sidecountry -- I came within inches of going over cliffs that I wouldn't have survived. Both times, as I was sliding out of control, I thought about that stupid cliche, "at least he died doing something he loved!" At those moments, I wished to hell that I had turned around, as it wasn't worth paying that kind of price.

Reminds me of eight years ago, when I was on a long-term freelance job for Marsh & McLennan in lower Manhattan. At one point, they told us that the entire office was being relocated to the 93rd through 100th floors of the World Trade Center. After going up to see if I could deal with being that high in the air eight or more hours a day, I told them no thanks. Everyone was like "what's the big deal? You'll get used to it!" I wasn't even concerned about terrorists; I just couldn't stand feeling the building sway during strong wind gusts. Thank god I listened to my inner coward, as we all know how that turned out.
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Re: Fear while skiing

Postby aarenlainey » Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:53 pm

I wouldn't get down on yourself. For the most part, unless you started skiing when you were young and fearless, we all started that way, to a degree.

Anxiety over falling and speed is normal when you start out -- even when you advance and move on to more challenging terrain. It would be hard to find a skier who could not find any terrain where they felt fear. You slowly get more comfortable and confident as you get more time on the snow. I would take it slowly and don't feel like you have to advance at any pace. Don't compare yourself to others and don't listen to the yahoos who would tell you that they never felt fear. Take lessons, get yourself a pair of good-fitting boots, and have fun. With time and experience, everything else will take care of itself.
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