Got Vert?

GAIN THE CON­FI­DENCE YOU NEED TO SLAY THE STEEPS THIS SEA­SON.

SKI - - CLINIC - By Mar­cus Cas­ton // Photos by Keri Bascetta

If steep ski­ing were a mo­nop­oly prop­erty, it would be Park Place or Board­walk. If it were a donut, it would be a cin­na­mon crumb from Ban­bury Cross. What we’re try­ing to get at is steep ski­ing is the ul­ti­mate, al­ways has been and al­ways will be. There is no closer feel­ing to fly­ing on your skis than the con­trolled free fall on a steep pitch. As New­ton’s 4th law of univer­sal grav­i­ta­tion states, “Snow con­tact, while nec­es­sary, should be kept to a min­i­mum, and air­time should be max­i­mized.”

We un­der­stand the fear fac­tors that come with ski­ing the steeps, but it re­ally is one of the eas­ier types of ter­rain to ski de­cently. Sim­ply by virtue of the ex­treme tilt of the hill, your ski­ing be­comes more dy­namic as you’re forced to put up a lit­tle more of a fight than on a groomer. You also don’t need to an­gu­late with your hip very much be­cause the hill will come up to you! How­ever, ski­ing a steep slope is more of a men­tal fight than a phys­i­cal one. Rule num­ber one on the steeps: Stay over your down­hill foot! When you’re scared, your body sub­con­sciously backs off and leans into the hill, break­ing rule num­ber one. Don’t break rule num­ber one! Grit your teeth and be ag­gres­sive, com­mit to mov­ing ev­ery­thing down the fall line, and the ski­ing will feel mag­i­cally eas­ier. It’s much like run­ning up a steep hill; it’s re­ally hard, but if you move your body down the hill it’s much eas­ier and way more fun. Let grav­ity take you, the more you fight the harder it’s go­ing to be.

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