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Powder Day: What's a "Smear?"

Fat, rockered skis have changed the way we ski powder. Get with the program.

The term “smear” only recently entered the skiing vocabulary, with the advent of super-fat, rockered skis. Smearing is the fundamental technique for new-school powder skiing, but it’s not one everyone understands. It helps to think of the difference between skidding and carving on flat snow.

What I Learned: Woodward at Copper

Good news for trying to keep up (survive?) with your kids on the slopes. Yeah, you really can teach an old dog new tricks.

“I’m not so sure about this.” That’s the thought playing in my head as I step up to the thick blue mats inside Woodward at Copper’s vaulted space, known as the Barn. Am I nervous about flying down a 41-degree slope of synthetic snow into a seven-foot-deep pit filled with blue foam blocks? Well, yes. Am I nervous about sliding down said slope in front of a dozen 10- to 16-year-old park rats? Totally. 

What I Learned: Women's Freeride Ski Camp

Self-doubt can be paralyzing—or it can be empowering.

In my experience, chutes always look their steepest, narrowest, and scariest from above. So I’m caught off guard by the paralyzing fear that grips me when I’m standing nearly a quarter-mile away from La Parva’s La Chiminea. The tributary cut from the Andean rock walls looks ominous. Catch an edge in there and you’re toast. Are those tears pooling in the foam liner of my goggles? What is wrong with me?

What I Learned: CMH Film School

Fact: You can make a rad ski edit without a fancy camera or mad editing skills.

It makes me wish I had my GoPro on right now, so I won’t miss a word Guy Clarkson says about shooting and editing ski action footage. He’s dropping tips and techniques faster than I can adequately process them, imparting his knowledge readily, efficiently, without reserve or condescension.

What I Learned: Cast and Carve

Sure, you can push your limits. But in Alaska, the real lesson is how to let loose.

Sure, learning new things is cool and all. But this year, I want to learn to forget things for a change. I want a total escape. I want corn couloirs. The smell of sunscreen. Fresh oysters and beers on the deck. A thwapping helicopter. A pristine river with 60-pound king salmon to wrestle in on a fly rod. Jet skis.

How To Ski: Crud, Chop, and Mashed Potatoes

Crud Busters. Don't let heavy, uneven snow slow you down.

How to Ski: Air It Out!

Be safe—not intimidated— when dropping in. Here's a good flight plan.

Instruction: How to Ski Secret Terrain and Hidden Lines

A mountain’s best lines are often unmarked and ignored by most skiers. Don’t be most skiers.

Your best turns of your ski day just might be off the grid. Get off the groomed and make your own tracks. Here’s how.  

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