Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Early season skiing is tough on ski bases. For skimo racing this is the time to get in as much base training and general skiing as possible, yet conditions can be rocky. I recently found myself on an abandoned ski out run at one of my local hills in the Canadian Rocky mountains. This particular very steep and very rocky section lived up to the Rocky Mountain moniker.

In order to get down the very narrow steep section (I wanted to go carefully b/c of all the unseen rocks beneath) I recalled seeing a youtube vid where this guy did a double pole jump turn. I tried it- a little clumsily at first-man did it work! By having both pole arms in front, your weight stays forward, mandatory in steep sections, and with both poles I could jettison myself up and out of the sketchy snow conditions.

I’ve been employing this new discovery on my "Steve0's Stealth run", a little backcountry course I’ve set up behind my house. One downhill section has mandatory jump turns down a mossy (underneath), steep descent between closely spaced trees. It’s worked awesomely.

I’ve also found that the technique is a great confidence builder at the top of a steep coulior. I’ll start w/ double pole jump turns to get going (helping me keep my weight forward), then as confidence builds I may then move into a more standard single pole plant turn.

Happy steep skiing (and hopefully not too rocky!).


PS an older pair of rock skis at this time of year are your most important quiver tools. I ski on my old K2 Sahales far more than any other ski Oct-Dec.