What Purpose(s) do(es) a White Pass Turn Serve?

Jamt

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He increases his angulation during the last phase of the previous turn to the point that he biases balance to the outside and begins to topple out of the turn.
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This is the part I don't like about how this is executed. He has extended the inside leg quite a lot between these pictures, and since there is quite some snow spray it has been done with significant pressure.
Nothing wrong per se with this, but I think one of the purposes of this drill is to balance on the outside towards the end of the turn.
I think he is cheating a bit to make it look like more performance.
 

geepers

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This is the part I don't like about how this is executed. He has extended the inside leg quite a lot between these pictures, and since there is quite some snow spray it has been done with significant pressure.
Nothing wrong per se with this, but I think one of the purposes of this drill is to balance on the outside towards the end of the turn.
I think he is cheating a bit to make it look like more performance.
I kind of suspect his main aim later in the turn used for the images was not to whack the cameraman. :)


Actually once the basics of these turns have been absorbed it's interesting to do them within constraints. If the pitch is wide open then there's a tendency to take all the available room to get the job done. Skiing in a narrower corridor (but still wide enough for the speed) with trees looming on both sides adds some incentive to get inside the new turn. Developing patience whilst making haste. :crossfingers:
 

Erik Timmerman

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Finally watched the video. Not a fan. Watched Ballou's video too, not loving that either.

NZ guy I don't like that he is picking up the ski with his muscles and placing it back down by chopping it into the snow. It's not at all spontaneous like it appears to in the Hirscher video. I feel like it should be the inclination that lifts the ski off the snow. Legs could be roughly the same length , but inclination of the hips would lift the ski. It would only be as high off the snow as the difference in height between the hip sockets caused by the inclination. I like that he does place the ski down onto the snow more or less at the fall line, but he is chopping it down onto the sidewall. I'd rather see him pressing the base to the snow and starting to pressure the outside ski at the fall line. He could do that if he leveled his hips/body. I'm sure he's a good skier, but I do think he could explore the cuff alignment. I think that his cuff is pushing his leg inward and that is why he has to lean his body farther in than his legs. I'd want to see a straight line up his body like Ballou rather than the banana shape you see. My biggest beef with Ballou's turns is that he holds the ski up all the way to the next turn. It's like he has just interpreted this task as inside ski to inside ski. I don't think that either of them is doing real skiing. It doesn't look like what Hirscher is doing and it should show a path to get there.

Before I went to my first tryout, I asked Terry Barbour who was going to be a selector if I should expect a lot of "stupid human tricks". He said there's no tricks it's just good skiing. If you see a stupid human trick or feel like that is what you are doing, you probably don't understand it or are doing it wrong. It should just feel like good skiing. Those videos both show stupid human tricks, but Ballou less so.
 

whumber

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Yeah mainly Josh, but there's a few shots of Harry Mcfadden in there too (Head skis).

Agree with these guys that white pass turns are great for inclining in a high performance turn. Low speed ones don't really make sense to me.
I like extremely low speed ones on fairly flat terrain as a warm up. It really forces you to be patient and punishes imprecise movements that you can gloss over when doing them at speed.
 

François Pugh

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"What Purpose(s) do(es) a White Pass Turn Serve?"

There will be times when we're thrown out of normal balance. Being able to ski on that inside ski's outside edge may prevent a butt plant.
That saved my adz once; it was a very memorable moment, seared into my memory by mega amounts of adrenaline.

I've been waiting for some racer types to chime in with practical uses in race courses, but I guess everyone wants to keep their secrets as advantage, with the possible exception of the Mahre brothers. ogwink

For me I practice it now and then, just so I'll have it when I need it. I've needed it on occasion, mostly when I needed to adjust my CoM flight path in a way that would normally require the path of my outside foot/ski to go where conditions just didn't allow it to go.
 

slow-line-fast

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Uninterrupted version of the Hirscher freeski video:

He writes: 'Finally back in the white room. I really missed this.', posted 1.Oct.2020.

So to the question,
What Purpose(s) do(es) a White Pass Turn Serve?

Spontaneously expressing your exuberance to be back on snow!
 

precisionchiro

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First off, I have yet to see a racer/demonstrator/coach/instructor perform a WPT as well as they-whom-have-coined-the-term, the Mahre brothers.

For the past several years, I’ve tried to understand the function of a WPT beyond being a versatility drill/exercise. So, I dug out an old VHS tape of a Mahre recreational training camp from the 80’s, where they include WPTs as part of the clinic. From my interpretation, the Mahres view a WPT as the most advanced short radius turn transition from a progression of stepping-to-transfer (weight/pressure) techniques. The WPT has the latest/longest delay of transfer from one ski to the other in transition.

Phil explains as he demonstrates each step of the progression:

“Novice racers use very little stepping from turn to turn, but will realize that a step is very helpful, especially when running gates...

“There are three basic racing steps. 1. Inside to outside. (Inside edge of old outside ski to outside edge of new outside ski) This step helps you maintain your height while traversing the hill...

“The second basic step is inside —> flat. This step enables you to quickly start a new turn...

”The third basic step is inside —> inside, stepping from the inside edge of the turning ski to the inside edge of the new ski, this immediately starts the new turn...

”The WPT is used in a steep course down the fall line. You literally fall into the new turn. In the right situation, this is the fastest way down the course.”

I think the main difference I see between the Mahres performing a WPT compared to most instructors and demonstrators is that the Mahres can time their delayed transfer very effectively so that the engagement of the new outside ski accelerates and shoots them right into the next turn. Most other demos I see have too long of a delay in engagement of the new turning ski, and the engagement does nothing to add to or enhance the turn... it’s nothing more than a balance exercise at that point.

It’s possible that a WPT is only effective as a component of high level skiing at higher speeds and steeper pitches. It’s also possible that a WPT is less necessary or functional on modern shaped skis compared to longer straight skis... as transition body movements became less “vertical” and more “horizontal.”

Von Gruenigen was also a master of this delayed transfer technique in GS.
 

Swede

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It’s always good to be comfortable on any edge. In racing, SL that is, sometimes it can be quicker to turn on your inside ski and sometimes it is the only way to reasonably hold the line (no transition!). Not really a preffered technique, outside is normally the go to edge, but it works. I understand it is reffered to as ”Norwaying” in the Anglo world, no?, , after a drill similar to white pass. The NZ guy in the video do it a bit strange.
 

geepers

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MS narrating for a Norwegian. "...a really good drill to emphasize keeping your hip in line in to the fall line and then coming into a parallel position and bringing your hip into the turn." I'm interpreting that as delaying angulation above the fall line - does anyone have a different take on it?



Yep, note the point about keeping the raised ski closer to the snow to prevent opposite angle where the shoulders dive into the turn. The NZ guys raise that ski much further although I don't see Josh Duncan-Smith (skier with red poles) getting caught with opposite angles. But it is a side effect of a high raised ski to be aware of.

1622585787944.png


Also wondering how much the raised ski is due to instructor over-emphasizing a movement knowing that students are likely to make a far smaller move.

I think the main difference I see between the Mahres performing a WPT compared to most instructors and demonstrators is that the Mahres can time their delayed transfer very effectively so that the engagement of the new outside ski accelerates and shoots them right into the next turn.
Here's the thing. When I do WPs it enhances that feeling of being shot across the hill towards the next turn. Could claim that just shows is my 'normal' turns suck - but isn't the purpose of a drill to enhance our 'normal' skiing? Lose the drill, keep the skill.
 

LiquidFeet

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....“Novice racers use very little stepping from turn to turn, but will realize that a step is very helpful, especially when running gates...

"....the Mahres view a WPT as the most advanced short radius turn transition from a progression of stepping-to-transfer (weight/pressure) techniques. The WPT has the latest/longest delay of transfer from one ski to the other in transition.

“There are three basic racing steps. 1. Inside to outside. (Inside edge of old outside ski to outside edge of new outside ski) This step helps you maintain your height while traversing the hill...

“The second basic step is inside —> flat. This step enables you to quickly start a new turn...

”The third basic step is inside —> inside, stepping from the inside edge of the turning ski to the inside edge of the new ski, this immediately starts the new turn...

”The WPT is used in a steep course down the fall line. You literally fall into the new turn. In the right situation, this is the fastest way down the course.”....
Did the Mahre brothers equate one of those three basic racing steps described above with the White Pass Turn? Did they think of it as a step turn?

Doesn't seem like the WPT matches any of these three stepping turns. Could the WPT be the fourth unit in a progression, coming after the inside-to-inside step?

I've always thought the inside-to-inside step turn naturally morphs into a WPT when done at speed, because the skier falls across the skis before that outside ski has a chance to reach down all the way to the snow.
 
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James

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WP turns can be done slowly. I don’t get this high performance only thing.


So, I dug out an old VHS tape of a Mahre recreational training camp from the 80’s, where they include WPTs as part of the clinic.
Ooh, transfer to youtube?

Hirscher from that clip above. This is why I say not sure about that “patience” outcome of WP turns. How is this patience? I see the opposite.

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0AB8C55D-D800-457A-881C-FC17ED192844.jpeg

A97F82BF-136A-44A5-9277-4B68735DECE6.jpeg
 
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geepers

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WP turns can be done slowly. I don’t get this high performance only thing.
Depends what they are being used for.

If it is to learn to balance against centripetal forces at the top of the turn then we actually need some centripetal force. Otherwise may as well drill on a slack line.

This is why I say not sure about that “patience” outcome of WP turns.
Patience in angulating. Angulating too quickly at the top of the turn restores balance and prevents us toppling further into the new turn.

Re Mikaela commentary in Burke vid.

Hirscher: inclined with only a little angulation at the top of those turns. Angulates plenty later in the turn.

 

4ster

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I think some are reading more into Hirschers video than is there.
My first impression when I saw it a few months ago was “Here’s Marcel out for a run after a long lay off throwing all his pent up skiing power into it. The fresh groom is soft & his stiff skis are over reacting to the snow & his energy input. He is being flung inside which has him landing on his inside ski before he balances out, creates angles & engages the outside ski producing the White Pass effect”.
Any of us mere mortals would’ve probably been rodeoed & slammed on our ass in the first turn on those skis!
As with Steve Mahre when it was first recognized by his coach Schoenhaar I don’t think Hirscher was intentionally doing WP’s, he was just going with the flow.
I think the White Pass turn happens spontaneously in the heat of battle but was morphed into a drill decades ago by the Mahres at their instruction camps & then ski instructors and coaches also bought in.

I really like the posted “Norwegian Drill” as the best example & demonstration of those that l have seen. I am in the camp that thinks the NZ example is somewhat overdone but it IS a drill & all drills have variations & should be adapted to the athlete or students needs.

Here are a couple of examples of a shorter, converging variation sometimes called Hangers...
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4ster

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Did the Mahre brothers equate one of those three basic racing steps described above with the White Pass Turn? Did they think of it as a step turn?
At that time racers (&instructors) did step turns. Stenmark was the master of the “diverging step turn” & the Mahre‘s were master of the “converging step turn”. I think the White Pass turn was a result of converging step turns.
EB17C62B-71F1-455A-A638-0F6FBDFF9880.jpeg


WP turns can be done slowly. I don’t get this high performance only thing.
I agree. Any drill could & should be adapted for the audience to whatever intensity or speed that will produce positive, tangible results.
 
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Mike King

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I agree. Any drill could & should be adapted for the audience to whatever intensity or speed that will produce positive, tangible results.
So what purpose and tangible result would a slow speed WP turn drill serve? What would you observe that would lead you to use it?
 

geepers

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Lotta good sense in your post. Got to agree that Hirscher probably didn't set out to do WP turns - was just having fun with a tonne of rebound.

Here are a couple of examples of a shorter, converging variation sometimes called Hangers...
So what is the skier issue that would lead you to getting them to do that slower speed version? What skill are you intending to develop? What is the desired outcome in normal skiing?

Edit: And I see Mike King has similar question...
 
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