IMPERFECT SNOW? NO SWEAT. CHARGE THROUGH CHUNDER LIKE IT AIN’T NO THING.
Pro skier and all-around good guy Marcus Caston shows you how to put crud in its place.
Unless you live in heaven, chances are you’re not skiing untouched powder or perfect corduroy all day, every day. Knowing how to ski crud efficiently provides a much more enjoyable experience across the entire mountain, especially when conditions are less than perfect. But what, exactly, is crud? Why aren’t there any professional crud skiing competitions? “Crud” somewhat eludes definition. It’s not quite powder, not quite moguls, and not quite groomed. As crud-lover Dave Matthews once noted, it is the snow that lives in “the space between.” Crud is variable snow, and it calls for constantly adapting your technique and tactics from turn to turn, essentially being prepared for anything.
Tactically skiing crud is a lot like trail running down a steep path with lots of rocks and roots. If you look straight at the ground, you’re not going to see what’s coming up next. Instead, you have to look ahead to know where to place your feet. The same goes for crud: bumps and piles of snow dictate where you should turn your skis. Find a flexible tempo down the path of least resistance, and it will all flow together.
Technically speaking, crud skiing is all about being in a relaxed, balanced position to absorb the varying terrain. Maintaining loose ankles in your ski boots will help absorb the micro terrain and snow variations more efficiently than your legs can. Be sure to save your legs for that moment when you have no choice but to explode through a surprise mogul that will pop up out of nowhere; they always do.