Remember as a child being told how good vegetables were for you? Back then you would eat brownies over broccoli any day. But now that you're older, you know some things are worth effort and sacrifice. Next time you're faced with the choice to ski corduroy or crud, choose the latter. If you want to be healthier, you'll choose broccoli. If you want to improve your skiing, you'll choose crud.
Skiing crud forces you to be precise with your technique and to work to stay balanced. Balance is always a key part of skiing, but in difficult snow conditions, it's crucial. If you let it, crud will bounce you around. To ski it well, you need to start on the center of your skis-and stay there. Balance starts in the core: Squeezing your abdominal muscles keeps your upper body disciplined.
Next, focus on your legs: Keep your shins against the tongues of your ski boots to keep your entire body from rocking back and forth. On to your carving tools: If you weight both skis evenly, you might get tossed around. Put more weight on your outside ski in these conditions. Once you get both skis on edge, they can act like knives and cut their way through the variable surface. Today's skis love to carve, and soft flexing boots allow you to get forward and roll your ankles to initiate your turn.
You'll notice an improvement in your technique after skiing cut-up snow-and you'll kick butt on the groomers. Crunch your abs, get both skis up on edge, and you'll be carving up crud like corduroy.
Doug Pierini is a member of the PSIA Demo Team and the training supervisor at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyo.