How to Capture Steepness?

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Tony S

Tony S

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Personally, I think the drop ins where it transitions from flat to steep are the scariest thing.
Yes! Convex pitches where you have to commit before you can see what you're going to have to ski. Far scarier.
 

mdf

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Yes! Convex pitches where you have to commit before you can see what you're going to have to ski. Far scarier.
Yes and yes! I want to ski Possible into the Hanging Valley at Snowmass.
@James and @John Webb have skied it.
possible_from_top.jpg

robertos_and_possible.jpg
 

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dbostedo

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^^^
The Hanging Valley wall is hard to get pics of from easier areas, but here's one from 2016... I think I've labeled it correctly.

Aspen Gathering 020916 160 ACR Conv Labeled.jpg



And a zoomed and fuzzy view of Possible, showing what @mdf 's posted photo is looking down:

Aspen Gathering 020916 160 ACR Conv Possible Zoom.jpg
 

dbostedo

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Here's a kind of interesting example of flattening from Aspen last season. At about 30 degrees or so, it's not super steep, but steep enough to be a black run in the west (since it's ungroomed).

This one is looking down from the top:

Aspen 030621 064 ACR Conv.jpg


And this one is from the lift, looking a little up at it:

Aspen 030621 073 ACR Conv Straight.jpg


I don't have one looking across it unfortunately. But looking down it certainly, IMO, seems to flatten it.
 
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Tony S

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James

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Convex pitches where you have to commit before you can see what you're going to have to ski. Far scarier.
I remember the Gathering at Squaw where the upper lifts were closed till fairly late in the afternoon. Many people had bailed by then. Bazzer and I went up with Jackson Hogan who guided us for two incredible runs, despite my horrendous boot issues.

One of them involved a blind roller in a near whiteout. Everything was unknown to the two of us except Jackson. He let us go first. We looked at a white line with greyish fog above. “You’re sure there’s not a cliff there?”
It was total trust. The pow was incredible, mid thigh deep. It was all a white haze.
An amazing run and he was a fun lift ride.

Yes and yes! I want to ski Possible into the Hanging Valley at Snowmass.
@James and @John Webb have skied it.
View attachment 146950
Yes, Possibly 2-3 times. Can’t remember.
Did we do it in 2016? Definitely did it with Dan Egan at an Epic Ski Academy prob ‘09. Prob also with Shantzy at another ESA a few years before.
I remember the rock being much more prominent in one’s field of view. You are very focused on avoiding the rock. Plus it steepens in the narrow part. It does get wide post funnel. I’d imagine people just straightline it these days.
 

James

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The only way to get more comfortable with steeps is to ski them. There’s just no way around it. I’m not sure I’ve ever gotten comfortable on 40 deg pitches because I don’t see them enough.
You do have to talk yourself into going downhill and committing your body into space. If you cling to the slope, it’ll likely go badly.

Some more steep photos. The Brévent area in Chamonix. This chute was legit steep, but not crazy steep. Seeing the town below does not help calm your mind. We had to rappel to get in, and the wind is blowing and I couldn’t hear the guide. “Did he say over rocks??” Yeah. So much for tuning. Then the 192’s didn’t fit well into the entry. This was ok on rope, but we de-roped way too early. The last thing you want is too much tip up on the side, leading to a tails first self arrest attempt.

5A37B146-4D00-46C6-9DEC-C6E40E45ADB1.jpeg

Guide coming down.
Looking up can work. Maybe it’s the rocks that help with the perception.

62F82074-F264-4CA1-B306-E02C15319A8B.jpeg

Disappearing with a late day shadow.


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The crazy thing is this was her first day on snow of the season, on rental gear. Young German surgeon. Earlier on a break, her friend asks her what to do about his leg cramp. The guide says “how would she know?”.
-“Because she’s a doctor”
To which she indignantly replies, “I’m a surgeon!”
 
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LiquidFeet

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The only way to get more comfortable with steeps is to ski them. There’s just no way around it. I’m not sure I’ve ever gotten comfortable on 40 deg pitches because I don’t see them enough.
You do have to talk yourself into going downhill and committing your body into space. If you cling to the slope, it’ll likely go badly.

Some more steep photos. The Brévent area in Chamonix. This chute was legit steep, but not crazy steep. Seeing the town below does not help calm your mind. We had to rappel to get in, and the wind is blowing and I couldn’t hear the guide. “Did he say over rocks??” Yeah. So much for tuning. Then the 192’s didn’t fit well into the entry. This was ok on rope, but we de-roped way too early. The last thing you want is too much tip up on the side, leading to a tails first self arrest attempt.

View attachment 147160
Guide coming down.
Looking up can work. Maybe it’s the rocks that help with the perception.

View attachment 147161
Disappearing with a late day shadow.


View attachment 147162

View attachment 147163

View attachment 147159
The crazy thing is this was her first day on snow of the season, on rental gear. Young German surgeon. Earlier on a break, her friend asks her what to do about his leg cramp. The guide says “how would she know?”.
-“Because she’s a doctor”
To which she indignantly replies, “I’m a surgeon!”
OK, I'm impressed.
 

PeteW

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Here is my take. Not as steep as some of previous posts but at least it is officially measured :ogcool:

d.jpg


a.jpg


c.jpg
 

James

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OK, I'm impressed.
That day just happened because of windhold, group cancelled, then the three of us hired the guide and we got lucky with wind hold on the tram lifting for a bit.

At the end if the day I went back to the guide office to book and asked for something a little less intense. No crampons, no ropes, no rappelling.
“How about Italy?”
-Yes!
They drove us through the Mt Blanc tunnel to Courmayeur which had had a good 6 inches the previous night. Ah, so nice.

Courmayeur Feb, 2017
DF949BF7-294C-4C7B-851F-75A7B4086877.jpeg

Town below, drop off, and dark to light increase steepness impression. Can’t remember this, but def not as steep as the Chamonix couloir.

599047DF-D0C1-4D05-A517-3970F24549DF.jpeg

Just a nice vista.

74180F68-6819-4C04-8C65-63E654DAEA34.jpeg


7085AA4D-513A-46E0-B70C-276138A10DA9.jpeg

Gorgeous.
If you’re daily vert obsessed, stay in N America. But if you want vistas like this, and then end up at a nice little private restaurant for lunch, go to the Alps.
You don’t even have to be that good to manage this with this soft snow that slows you. I had to stealthily coach someone here. You have to be careful because guides can get touchy about that.

19275FE6-9BDD-4437-85DB-F5D6E7C7CA54.jpeg

Lunch in the valley.
 
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Thread Starter
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Tony S

Tony S

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I had to stealthily coach someone here. You have to be careful because guides can get touchy about that.
This sounds so much like my place of work.
 
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