learn improve
enjoy
Ski guiding in Meribel France with British ski instructors
Ski guiding in Meribel France with British ski instructors
Ski guiding in Meribel France with British ski instructors
Ski guiding in Meribel France with British ski instructors

MH2SKI Blog

Subscribe via RSS

Bumps Addicts

Posted on
March 13, 2011

Last week I probably skied the most bumps on black pistes than I have since training for my final Ski Instructor exam several years ago - a shock to the body, but what amazing fun. I taught two sets of people, first of all James; then Gilly with John. James was visiting Méribel on a corporate trip, and often skis in the States, especially Utah where he loves the powder snow. Although he enjoys skiing on-piste, he relishes extra challenges and we soon realised that bumps were his new favourite thing.

We used the black piste, Bartavelle, for training. It's steep but with light fluffy snow it proved to be the ideal training piste. People often ask me how they should ski well in the bumps, and to be honest there is a list of things to think about. But with James we kept it simple and thought about how and when to turn the skis helping the all important speed control, and using our arms to aid balance. He loved it and was always looking for other pistes with bumps to practise his technique.

James and his colleagues were also visiting Méribel to enjoy the best mountain restaurants; they were 'Foodies', and it was an important part of their Corporate get together. So where else to visit, but the sublime La Bouitte in St. Marcel next to St. Martin de Belleville. It can be found in the Michelin guide, with two stars, yes that's right, two stars.

I rarely get to eat in gastronomique restaurants close to this lofty standard, but what an amazing experience. The service was impeccable, the quality of the food was beyond anything I'd eaten before with subtle tastes, and of course the wine was.......... well I'd better stop banging on about it now. Let's just say that we all had a very enjoyable lunch that extended late into the afternoon.

I was introduced to John and Gilly many winters ago at a drinks party held in Méribel by one of my clients, who is also one of their senior colleagues. This recommendation wasn't forgotten, and we finally got to ski together last week.

At the start of our time together I asked them what they wanted to achieve during their lessons together. Gilly replied "I feel as if I've reached the Intermediate Plateau which is frustrating, and I hate feeling like a muppet when it gets difficult". John then replied "I like challenges, and I want a workout at the same time, oh and by the way I have donor tendons when I blew my knee apart playing football, oh and I want to ski the Grand Couloir one day !?!". Whilst John gave me this answer, I saw out of the corner of my eye Gilly shaking her head. Two very different answers required quick thinking on my part to enable me to form a plan and aim for success. No pressure then.

We immediately looked at the basics of ski technique, balance, pressure control and quality of steering. John and Gilly responded brilliantly, so I decided to gradually ease them into trickier terrain, ie off-piste and bumps. Gilly was constantly smiling because she couldn't believe how well she dealt with this previously alien territory. And John was more than happy because he was getting his workout, and throwing himself down things in a blokey, but controlled fashion.

One technical focus we had in the bumps was to always keep our skis in contact with the snow, this ensured continuous friction between the edge of the skis and the snow, hence speed control. We also looked at other 'tools to have in our toolbox', or as Gilly preferred to call it 'Apps on your iPhone', to call upon in sticky situations. For example diagonal side slipping to lose height off-piste. Why? John didn't realise I was scheming, but I was aiming to help him achieve his goal of skiing down the Grand Couloir in Courchevel, especially after conferring with Gilly.The Grand Couloir is no ordinary black, it's very intimidating, and I have to say dangerous if it goes wrong. It has an awe about it, and quite rightly so. However skill levels had been improved, and permission had been given. So off we went. Did John survive? Here he is at the bottom.

Both Gilly and I were relieved, and after John's heart rate dropped enough to speak, he explained that he was a little scared at the start, but he loved it all the way down. Job done. I posted a comment on Facebook the other day that I love my job even more, now you can understand why.Martin.P.S. Gilly at the end of the week said to me "I don't believe it, I've become a bumps addict". That's quite a statement when sometimes the bumps were as big as her.

P.P.S. Meanwhile back at La Bouitte, the cheeseboard has just been wheeled out. Good job I've been skiing so many bumps this week, to burn off all of the calories.

Blog

Ski lessons and coaching in Meribel / 3 Vallees with British instructors

Transport yourself to the slopes of Meribel with MH2ski's blog. All of life is there. Philosophy. Croissants. Fine wine. And skiing, lots of skiing.

Read more MH2ski blog>

With our skills- based system of learning, we give you the tools to safely negotiate any demands the mountains make on you, helping you to increase your comfort zone and ski in a wider range of conditions. Whether you are a nervous novice, a blue piste cruiser or an all mountain adventurer, we tailor your ski lessons to create a perfect fit. The question is, which one are you?

Ski lessons & guiding>

Gallery

Ski lessons and coaching in Meribel / 3 Vallees with British instructors

I am a keen photographer, working as a professional in the summer. See some of my favourite photos of skiing and the mountains here.

Enjoy my Gallery>

With our skills- based system of learning, we give you the tools to safely negotiate any demands the mountains make on you, helping you to increase your comfort zone and ski in a wider range of conditions. Whether you are a nervous novice, a blue piste cruiser or an all mountain adventurer, we tailor your ski lessons to create a perfect fit. The question is, which one are you?

Ski lessons & guiding>

Latest blog article

With our skills- based system of learning, we give you the tools to safely negotiate any demands the mountains make on you, helping you to increase your comfort zone and ski in a wider range of conditions. Whether you are a nervous novice, a blue piste cruiser or an all mountain adventurer, we tailor your ski lessons to create a perfect fit. The question is, which one are you?

Ski lessons & guiding>

How Is Skiing In Slush Related To Skiing In Powder Snow?

Hi everybody, and welcome to a long overdue blog post from your favourite blogging Méribel ski instructor. With the season soon coming to an end, I'd thought that I'd write another article that might help you become more aware about the possibilities of improving your skiing in all conditions.

Follow us on Twitter

With our skills- based system of learning, we give you the tools to safely negotiate any demands the mountains make on you, helping you to increase your comfort zone and ski in a wider range of conditions. Whether you are a nervous novice, a blue piste cruiser or an all mountain adventurer, we tailor your ski lessons to create a perfect fit. The question is, which one are you?

Ski lessons & guiding>