Skiing a spine, with fall-away turns on both sides of it, isn’t easy. But it’s a great way to sharpen your technique.
What’s in It for You › Spines, where adjecent slopes meet to form a peak like the roofline of a giant house, often come with different exposures and even snow conditions on either side. Ski right along the spine and you can sample the goods on each side before you commit to one slope or the other. And it’s fun. You’ll have to contend with variable snow and light, with ground that falls sharply away from you after each transition, and with unpredictable, ever-changing pitches. But the greater the challenge, the sweeter the reward.
Pro big mountain skier Seth Morrison shares his tips on skiing a spine.
Planning a to-die-for heli-ski trip? Before you go, learn to charge the best feature on those dreamy steeps.
STEP 1: GO HUNTING Flutes and spines are formed when sloughed-out snow builds up on rocky ridges or where the terrain naturally funnels into a V. They're most common on monster faces in Alaska and BC, but you can find them on any big backcountry peak.