Jul 22 2010

Under Appreciated Moves

As our economy has contracted, I’ve begun to eliminate all the extra stuff that I had unconsciously been holding onto in the delusional belief that more stuff was evidence of prosperity or some other such rot. When I realized I’d spent over eight-thousand dollars to store a bunch of stuff that could’ve been replaced for about $500 it was time to adopt a new paradigm about stuff. You can’t take it with you, and at some point it just gets in the way. Deb says, “do, dump, or delegate,” so I’ve been trying to dump as much as I can ever since that lesson hit home. Light is right applies to more than just mountaineering.

Two months ago three decades of slides became the object of pruning. Been going through the boxes of seconds that I’ve held onto thinking I might use them some day. It’s been an interesting walk down memory lane, and completely underscores the stupidity of lugging around boxes of celluloid that were relegated to the dust bin long ago. If I were ruthlessly efficient I’d just toss the boxes into the trash, but the part of me that believed there was value in that film demanded I give every image a second look before tossing it.

A perfectly executed Should-Roll Turn. Free Heels advised.
click to enlarge

One of the nuggets recovered is to the right. I was reminded of its existence yesterday when someone posted a thread on telemarktips about how hard learning to telemark is. There are lots of good tricks for learning to tele. My two faves are simple exercises to control the natural tendency of your hands to be in the wrong place. Someone once told me “if your hands are in the wrong place, your feet can’t do what they’re trying to do.” On the otherhand, when you’re learning to telemark, heck even after you’ve learned to telemark, falling is a regular experience so my advice to Butch was to recognize that falling is not failing, it’s just part of the telemark deal.

With that in mind, knowing how to do a should-roll turn can be an important safety maneuver. Above is a good example. Notice the excellent positioning of the hands, head and shoulder for sending this under appreciated trick. If you can get your hands and head to anticipate the correct movement, your body will follow.

Related Post
Technique: Headplant Stop
© 2010


  • Mark

    Nice maneuver. Nicer decisive moment on the part of the photographer. By the way, are those Ramer self-arrest grips I spy?

  • http://www.earnyourturns.com Dostie

    re: decisive moment for the photographer.

    That was half luck (timing), half knowing the fall was coming. And yes, Ramer grips were standard equipment for us up until the new millenium.

  • Mark

    Why did you stop using Ramer grips? I’ve got a pair, and they hardly ever see the light of day.

  • http://www.earnyourturns.com Dostie

    Stopped using Ramer grips for two reasons. Mainly, the pole shafts died. Combination of the Claw baskets breaking (10+ years of UV exposure) and the adjustment holes becoming ovalized. That and the introduction of lightweight carbon fiber flick-lock poles made me realize the Ramer’s were too heavy for normal use.

    I might have continued using them IFF I had obtained a pair of the Life-Link version. On my recommendation they added the option to get the Ramer Self-Arrest grip.

    In spite of that I found that over time I was skiing fewer slopes where I felt the SA grip was an important piece of back up. IOW, my goals shifted from skiing steep couloirs to deep powder where SA grips are unneccesary. The last true extreme line I skied I used the Whippet and was damn glad I did. Ramer’s would have worked as well in the same situation, but the bottom line is I don’t feel the need to prove my limits anymore.

  • Mark

    I climbed Taylor Glacier recently, and while not insanely steep, the top is about 60 degrees–steep enough for self-arrest grips. My old Ramer grips I altered so they can be used with most any poles.

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