Powder Skiing

Posted 22nd September 2015

Powder Skiing

How to ski powder

Powder skiing is the holy grail of winter sports – for many, the ultimate aim of leaning to ski. Every magazine cover has a cool picture of a skier deep in powder with fresh snow flying over their head; they make it look so effortless. So surely it can’t be that difficult, or that different from skiing on the piste… can it?

The answer for most intermediate skiers is yes it is quite tough – and your first foray into the deep stuff will usually end up with you buried upside down in snow!  So here are a few essential tips for learning to ski powder:

1) Wear goggles

When you start skiing powder it’s a fair bet that you’ll fall over in the deep snow so make sure you are ready. Wear goggles, a helmet and zip up your jacket. It’s also a good idea to rent a pair of all mountain skis, which are better suited to powder skiing than a piste performance ski, because they are wider and will make it easier to stay on top of the snow.

2) Start easy

Start on a slope that’s not too steep. When you ski powder you will almost always be facing down the mountain thus going quite fast so it’s a good idea to start on a gentle slope; something similar to a blue, and make sure it is not too far from the piste in case you need to abort the mission!

3) Weight over your skis

It’s a common mistake to lean back when skiing powder in order to get your tips out of the snow. However doing this makes it harder to control your skies and keep your balance. So try and fight this feeling, instead aim to have your weight in the middle of you skis and balanced equally over both skis; this will spread your weight and help to keep both skis higher in the snow.

4) The need for speed

The deep snow will create resistance against your skis, feet, and legs – so when you try to turn in powder when going slowly it will be very hard work. The solution is to go a bit faster; your skis will naturally float higher in the snow, and your speed will make it much easier to move through the deep snow.

5) The turn

Turning in powder requires a soft bouncing motion.

Start by extending your knees and ankles, this will create a springboard in the snow under your skis; and this will unweight your skis giving you the freedom to turn them before coming back down while bending your knees and ankles at the end of the turn. Extend again to start the next turn.

6) Get some rhythm

Skiing powder is all about rhythm; be graceful and patient between turns. Try not to rush your movements, as this will become exhausting. Some people find it helpful to count their turns to create a kind of pattern to their movement – i.e. one, two, turn, one, two, turn.

7) Falling with style

It can be very difficult to get back up after a fall on skis – particularly in the deep powdery snow. When you are falling, before you come to a rest, use your momentum to keep rolling until your skis are down the mountain from you. This will make getting back up a lot easier.

8) Have a lesson

If you are a happy and competent intermediate skier and are looking to improve your skiing then having a two-hour private lesson in the powder will be invaluable. It is without doubt the best way to learn the new skills required for skiing powder.

Happy skiing!

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Visit our site to discover more about skiing in Chatel and the Portes du Soleil.

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Tracey Woodcock  March 2018

         
One of the loveliest chalets we have stayed in, large rooms, private swimming pool. We had food delivered to the chalet so we could eat when we like, shopping was done for us when we arrived. Skis brought to the chalet. Paddy, who owns and runs the chalet, is lovely, friendly,always there to answer questions and run us any where on request, the perfect host. Fabulous holiday with views to die for. X

Stuart YB  April 2018

         
A beautifully appointed and presented luxury chalet with great views. Paddy & his team (Chris, Becky & Shauna) seamlessly attended to our every need both in the chalet and on the mountain. Thank you for making our week so wonderful. Stuart YB

Jane Freedman  February 2018

         
La Belle Vache was awesome. The house was beautiful and well-appointed, in a great location. The house is comfortable with great space to hang out, cook, and enjoy the mountains. Paddy was also wonderful, and met our every need and request. He was so helpful with making arrangements so that our ski week was seamless and so much fun. We highly recommend this property and Paddy!

David Owen Morgan  April 2018

         
Really special stay. Paddy and his team made everything easy and comfortable. We appreciated all the considered details, from our names on the pool towel rack to the kids’ nooks throughout.

Brid Gallagher  January 2018

         
We had a wonderful holiday with Paddy and his team. When we arrived we were warmly welcomed by Paddy & Tessa, the fire was roaring, the chef Harry was cooking a delicious meal and Braydon was preparing welcome drinks, after a long journey with kids it was just bliss! The chalet was fantastic and the service all week was second to none. All equipment delivered to the chalet, and we were taken to the slopes by Paddy. We even got delicious cakes and tea after a long day skiing. Thanks again folks!

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