I had a good time at The Big LePowSki event this weekend, where one of the clinics I taught was “How to Assess and Ski the Steeps.” As much as I love steep skiing, I’ve never put much thought into how to actually teach it, so it was a fun learning experience for me as well. First off, don’t fall.
There have been various semi-popular steep skiing techniques over the years, including the Schmear Turn, the Pedal Hop Turn, the 1-2-3 Turn and the classic over exaggerated double-pole plant turn. Personally, instead of adding anything extra to a basic parallel turn for steep skiing, I like to strip it down to its absolute bare minimum. This means shoulders square to the fall-line, hands forward, weight on the balls of your feet, keeping your upper body as quiet as possible and doing all of the turning from your waist down. In a nutshell, this is basically a hop turn, which can be easily practiced on almost any slope angle.
In the right conditions, one of the coolest things about steep skiing is that it can almost be effortless as you hardly need to unweight at all to send yourself flying into space on a 50-degree slope. Once you unweight, there is a brief moment when you are suspended above the snow, facing straight down the hill and completely airborne. This is the stuff that causes people to become terminal ski bums.To be continued tomorrow…
Category: 06 Downhill