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Ski Full-Throttle

Private Lessons
posted: 03/27/2006



STEP 1: OPEN IT UP
In this photo, it looks like I'm hardly moving, but I'm skiing a massive Alaskan face at 40-plus miles per hour. Follow my lead by finding a long untracked line without many moguls or other obstacles. Ski the mellowest part of the line first; do it again so you know what to expect on the way down. Then let gravity take over.

STEP 2: KEEP YOUR FORM (right)
On a face like this, your speed-more than the terrain-should dictate when and where you turn. Stay compact, and keep your center of gravity low to absorb changes in the terrain and be able to stop quickly if you need to. Keep your hands high and pointed down the hill, and look as far forward as possible.

STEP 3: THE BETTER THE SNOW, THE FASTER YOU GO
Snow conditions will dictate your speed. If it's untouched powder, you can relax a bit. You'll be floating fast, but able to stop quickly. If you're on hardpack, watch for obstacles. Crud chunks can be like moguls-you get bounced around and have to muscle to stop.

STEP 4: RIP AND REPEAT
As you get used to conditions and gain more confidence, you can start to open it up even more. Work the same line over and over again-following your tracks will help you take it to the next level.

MARCH/APRIL 2006

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