Problem Solvers: Steeps

PROBLEM Instinctively, people shrink from what scares them. On a steep face, you may try to hug the apparent security of the hill by leaning into the mountain with your upper body, stiffening your downhill leg or throwing your downhill hand upward. These instinctive reactions compromise balance and make edging more difficult.
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PROBLEM Instinctively, people shrink from what scares them. On a steep face, you may try to hug the apparent security of the hill by leaning into the mountain with your upper body, stiffening your downhill leg or throwing your downhill hand upward. These instinctive reactions compromise balance and make edging more difficult.
Steeps Problem: Leaning Into The Hill

SOLUTION Lead with your chin, tilt your upper body.

A Mike leads himself into the turn with his head and upper body. He keeps his outside hand down.

B He lets his ankles and feet do the turning but stays ahead of them. As his knees and hips push into the hill, his upper body tilts out, away from the mountain. This creates stable angles.

C Edge to control your speed, and remember that the more you complete each turn, the easier speed will be to manage.

D
Resist the tendency to let your feet get ahead of your upper body. Be aggressive with your head and torso. If your chin and shoulders lead, your feet will follow.

—Originally published in December 2005