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Before You Heli Ski, Here’s How To Ski Powder

Posted by & filed under Heliskiing, Specials.

If you are new to Heli Skiing and only just beginning to think of moving away from the groomers and into some seriously deep powder, you need to make sure that you are ready for this thrilling sport.  That means mastering the art of skiing in deep powder, because we are located on the Powder Highway and it’s going to be more snow than you’ve ever seen before!

To make the most of your time in the powder and to ensure you get as much out of your trip as possible, we’ve asked Guy Hetherington to break it down for us.  As the Director of ALLTRACKS Academy, CSIA level 4 examiner, self confessed powder junkie, and Head Coach for their ski instructor courses and off piste camps, he knows his stuff.  Here’s his breakdown of how to master thigh high powder.

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“Many skiers on our ski instructor courses and off-piste ski camps are very competent on the groomers, but when they ski in deep powder they lose all control and technique. It is not that skiing powder is a different sport, so why does this seem to happen to so many people? When you ski deep powder on the Heli Skiing trip, you are not riding on the snow,
you are riding in it!


As the video demonstrates, the number-one technique you need to learn to overcome this is “Cresting”. Cresting is the ability to bring your skis up above the surface of the snow, in
order to turn them more easily. Mastering Cresting means you will able to ride deep powder snow on the Heli Skiing trip, just as well as a groomer. Follow my simple seven-step Cresting guide before your Heli Skiing trip to ensure you get the most out of those powder days:

  1. Find a relatively gentle slope with deep snow.
  2. Ski in a straight line.
  3. Once you have gathered some momentum, start bouncing – pushing your skis into the
    snow. Once they get to a certain depth, the snow will push the skis back towards the
    surface.
  4. When you feel the “push back”, give into it, pulling your knees up towards your chest.
  5. Repeat this action to establish a rhythmical flow. This is the most important lesson for all
    powder skiers.
  6. The last technique is to simply add direction change. The timing of the direction change is critical. It needs to happen when the skis are at their highest point.
  7. Add in a pole plant and you will find that turning left and right happens seamlessly.

My guide will ensure you get the most out of your Heli Skiing experience. Enjoy every moment!”