You probably know Glen Plake as the guy with the mohawk crushing bump turns in movies like “Blizzard of Ahhhs”, but in addition to being a hot-dogging, hair-did movie star, he’s also a world-class ski mountaineer who has taken down multiple first descents, and spends a chunk of his year on the steeps of Chamonix.
I got to ski with Plake on his home turf: the Sierras outside of Bishop, California. We spent a lot of time going uphill. A lot of time. And Plake, with his constant drive to find something cool to ski, isn’t the kind of guy who’s going to wait around if you’re slow on the skin track.
Not surprisingly, his backcountry traveling technique is super dialed and one of the skills he’s particularly concerned about is kick turns. He says almost no Americans can do them correctly. Here are his steps for doing a safe, efficient uphill kick turn.