Close

Member Login

Logging In
Invalid username or password.
Incorrect Login. Please try again.

not a member? sign-up now!

Signing up could earn you gear and it helps to keep offensive content off of our site.

PRINT DIGITAL

How to Heli Ski: From the Pros at CMH

How to Heli Ski: From the Pros at CMH

You don’t have to rip to heliski. In fact, for intermediates and up who struggle with powder, the untracked wilds are the best place to learn.
By Roko Koell, CMH Director of Powder Performance
posted: 01/07/2011
How to heli ski

If you're an intermediate...

1. Weight both feet equally: On hardpack, you stand mostly on your downhill ski, which gives you the power you need to carve a turn. In powder, however, a weighted ski will dive down and knock you off-balance. So distribute your weight on both skis and steer, rather than carve, through the fluff.

2. Make small vertical movements: To turn in powder, you need to make your skis a solid platform in order to pressure the soft snow. Lower your body into a crouch, then stand up, bouncing up and down slightly. Go too low, however, and you’ll lose your leverage— and your stamina. Your muscles will become fatigued from overuse.

3. Get up to speed: You need to stay on top of the powder, which means speed is your friend. Go too slow, and you’ll end up weighting one ski and losing your balance. Choose a straighter line or steeper terrain, pushing yourself into territory that may initally feel outside your comfort range.

4. Get a rhythm: It all gets back to equal weighting. To stay centered, you need rhythmic pole plants in front of your body. If you let your shoulders rotate, you’ll put too much weight on one foot, sink a ski and lose your balance. With level shoulders facing the fall line, plant near the tip of your ski.

If you're advanced...

1. Center yourself: Most advanced skiers think the key to powder is to sit back on their tails. But you won’t ever be able to ski agressively from the backseat. Center yourself fore/aft (it might feel like you’re angling slightly back) just enough so your ski tips float up and become free from the snow’s resistance.

2. Get efficient: Too much body movement, especially shoulder rotation, inhibits your agility, making it tough to turn quickly through trees. Keep a quiet upper body, with your hands in front and arm movement restricted to a minimum. Pole swings should be no more than flicks of the wrists.

3. Angulate: Many confuse being “centered” with being too square on their skis, causing them to cross the fall line too much and over-weight the downhill ski. At speed on steeps, being equally weighted on both skis means your knees are angled into the slope and your center of mass is moving down the fall line.

 

--Roko Koell, CMH Director of Powder Performance

reviews of How to Heli Ski: From the Pros at CMH Write a comment
From an intermediates skiers perspective who has little powder experience it sounds very logical the way its described. First note is the perfect introduction; it is not like skiing on hard pack. Balance the weight on both ski's. Very helpful tips.
Your Comment
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • No HTML tags allowed

More information about formatting options

Type the characters you see in this picture. (verify using audio)
Type the characters you see in the picture above; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.
All submitted comments are subject to the license terms set forth in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use