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THRILLS & SPILLS OF MOGULS - Kisia Cove, Steamboat, Colorado
Saturday March 3, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

PlanetSKI's Kisia Cove gets some mogul time & then tackles a halfpipe. Do you want to learn to ski the bumps better? Read on...



Moguls, love them or hate them .... well, I hate them.

I've always hated them.

Some years back, I signed up for a set of mogul lessons, and during the initial ski off I must have skied terribly as I was, er, bumped off the course.

My confidence was shaken and I've steered clear of them since.

I never got round to tackling the bumps again, that is, until now.

It's something I've always wanted to do and now in Steamboat, Colroado, I am presented with an opportunity not to be missed.

A private lesson with Jill, a ski instructor at Steamboat Ski School.  She casuallly asked what sort of skiing I would like to do on my first morning at the Colorado ski area.

Seeing the vast mogul fields around, I mumbled it was a shame I couldn't ski them as it was something I'd always craved to do.

That was like a red rag to a bull.

Jill was swiftly on to it and so the lesson began.

"How do you approach a mogul?" I asked.

"So when you approach a mogul you slow down all your actions, ski as slow as a worm," said Jill.

Attempting to ski moguls - as slow as a worm:

Steamboat, ColoradoSteamboat, Colorado - some slow turns














"Consider a 'hockey-stop', said Jill.

"That's like the final stop you make at the end of a run... when you stop your skis are working together to stop, instantly."

"Remember that action and apply it to the end of the turn off a bump, but not as aggressively or as quickly."

"Use the top of the mogul to plant your pole and then slide round the bump keeping both skis together."

We did a couple of bumps and Jill instantly identified the terrible habit I have of lifting a ski in a turn, rather like the old fashioned stem-christie.

So, back to the ski slopes we went to iron out the problem of balance, and being balanced firmly on two skis during a turn.

Then we returned to some small bumps.

Only this time my ski poles were removed and I had to ski, arms stretched in front, palms facing down, looking ahead and not at my skis, and then sliding both skis simultaneously round the moguls.

Steamboat, ColoradoSteamboat, Colorado - my ski poles were about to be removed


















I was heading out of my comfort zone.

Jill said "Go slowly. Do a couple of turns in a row. Just make sure both legs move together, and you don't lift the inside leg."

But, I performed better without my ski poles. 😎

"And posture," I asked.

"Look 2 to 3 bumps ahead, stay upright with arms firmly in front so you don't drag your ski poles, hold your poles loosely, but most importantly... you must relax."

Easier said than done.

I tried not to over think the movements I needed to make, but simply, do them.

I managed to slide round some of the bumps with a little grace, while on other turns I felt my legs were all over the place, and then the inevitable fall!

Steamboat, ColoradoSteamboat, Colorado - down but not beaten!
















Jill raised her arms a few times triumphantly as I managed a few good turns in a row, "Find your line and take ownership of the turn," she encouraged.

She said "You are so close, you just need more practice."

And practice I did, looping round the same moguls from the same chairlift.

Some of the turns were good-ish.

Others not so good.

I was cracking it.

The turns that worked felt wonderful and spurred me on.

Steamboat, ColoradoSteamboat, Colorado















Steamboat, ColoradoSteamboat, Colorado - need to stay more upright!
















A few little exercises, helped me understand balance and weight shifting.

Steamboat, ColoradoSteamboat, Colorado

















"As slow as a worm,"  was Jill's mantra, "take every turn slowly."

Some benign little bumps on the edge of the piste, were a good place to practise some turns before heading for something more challenging.

Steamboat, ColoradoSteamboat, Colorado - some "slow as a worm" turns
















The crest of something a little more challenging.

Steamboat, ColoradoSteamboat, Colorado - more of a challenge















Something a little more challenging:


At lunch Jill ran through the technique of steering round a mogul.

I listened intently, thinking the concept was simple but slightly harder to execute.

Steamboat, ColoradoSteamboat, Colorado - technical brief on moguls 😱
















Ha! Ha!

And to complete the morning we needed a further challenge, as trying to master moguls was obvioulsy not enough of a thrill....

So we headed to the er, HALFPIPE! 

Steamboat, ColoradoSteamboat, Colorado - on the edge of a precipice!
















The halfpipe presented an even bigger adrenalin rush than I anticipated.

As I stood on the lip of the massive tube shaped block of ice, I felt distinctly worried.

I skied it once and returned for a second run, it was amazing. 😎

Having tackled the halfpipe in a very amateur fashion, I have even GREATER RESPECT for all the Olympic skiers and snowboarders who perform such amazing tricks as they leap and spin precariously along its icy walls.

It was a BIG THRILL with a BIG adrenalin rush.

Steamboat, ColoradoSteamboat, Colorado - BIG thrill on the halfpipe
















Jill and Kisia at the end of the halfpipe having a serious post run debrief, on how to improve performance and therefore improve the experience.

Steamboat, ColoradoSteamboat, Colorado  - post halfpipe run debrief
















It was quite a challenge.

Steamboat, ColoradoSteamboat, Colorado - smiling broadly after the halfpipe

















Steamboat, ColoradoSteamboat, Colorado - post ski route analysis














Steamboat, ColoradoSteamboat, Colorado - red ink represented the route of the day













For more information about Steamboat and things to do in the area visit the Steamboat website.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

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