HOW TO SKI STEEP SLOPES – A BEGINNERS GUIDE

STEP 2: MASTER PREREQUISITE SKILLS

Before launching on steep slopes, plan to master several skills on easier intermediate groomed runs. Once you can execute these maneuvers, only then is it time to notch up the pitch of the terrain.

DYNAMIC PARALLEL

To make parallel turns work more efficiently and broadly across varied terrain, skiers add more dynamic action. You can recognize dynamic parallel turns by the up-down movement. Hips, knees, and ankles flex more, and between turns, bodies extend more in shifting weight.

Dynamic parallel turns also have rhythm. Pole plants help with establishing the rhythm for turning.

CARVING

Carving turns is skiing on edges. If you look up a slope where a skier has carved turns, you’ll see thin “S” shaped lines in the snow from the ski edges. Carved turns go from edge to edge with little to no time spent on the flat part of the ski.

Carved turns require force to be put on the edges. That means flexing the hips, knees, and ankles. Applying the force causes the ski to flex, which makes it carve through the snow. Various skis carve differently, based on the shape of the ski. The length and amount of sidecut affect turning.

SHORT RADIUS TURNS

Most skiers learn to make medium or large radius turns first, but you’ll need to do more than making big swooping arcs down steeper slopes. When runs pinch narrow or contain trees, you’ll need to pull short radius turns out of your arsenal.

Short radius turns are faster and quicker. After pressuring your skis in one turn, release them quickly to start the next turn. In large radius turns, skiers sink into the skis, toying with the speed of the fall line.

The quicker short radius turn cuts into the snow for speed control and immediately leaps to the opposite turn. Rather than lingering to gain speed, these turns use quick movements from edge to edge instead.

The turn uses all the same moves, only condensed into half the time or less than it takes to do a medium or long radius turn.

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