Riding the powder: Beginners top tips


RIDING THE POWDER: BEGINNERS TOP TIPS

Skiing powder should be like skiing on clouds. Soft, untouched snow helps skis glide over the surface; powder, however, can be a daunting prospect for a beginner, but there many who attempt the off piste before they master the techniques. University of Southampton Dry Slope Race Squad skier, Chloe Taylor, who learnt how to ski on her Winter Season 2015/16, shares her top tips for your first time skiing on powder.


Weight + Balance

Leaning back in your skis to ski powder is a myth that will not produce an easy position to turn both skis. Instead, maintain an upright, central posture and distribute your weight evenly over both skis.

Rather than putting your weight on your outside ski, which is what you would do on the piste, concentrate on bending your knees, flexing your ankles into the turn and straightening as you come out, turning both skis at the same time.

Keep your turn smooth and slow in the beginning, using your poles to mark the way.

Riding Powder

When skiing in knee deep powder, there is a possibility of sinking if you’re not carrying enough speed and have your weight too far forwards, allowing the ski tips to dig into the snow.

If this happens and you have a face full of snow but your skis are still attached, take a couple of breaths and try to regain the upright position on your skis.

Don’t attempt to turn straight away; let your skis run down the mountain for a moment or two, to gain some speed.

Lost + Found

If your skis have detached, this is where the shovel in your avalanche pack becomes useful! It may be a case of looking at your ski path and seeing your skis on the mountain. Sometimes, it is buried under the snow, so mark out where you fell and dig around the area until you locate them. Make sure that the base of your boots are clear before you clip back into your skis!

Keep your Confidence

Like anything, powder skiing takes practice. Don’t let a couple of falls knock your confidence, everyone has to start somewhere!

 

If you are planning to find some powder fields on your next trip, read our avalanche awareness and mountain safety guide and always take an avalanche kit (and know how to use it). Never explore the backcountry without an experienced local mountain guide.

 

 

The most important advice? Have fun and be safe on the mountain!


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