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It’s 10:30 a.m. on a powder day and your favorite bowl is nearly tracked out. For the last few lift rides, you’ve been eyeing a 50-yard stash of glory with your name written all over it. Problem is, the lift doesn’t go that high. Getting to the goods means postholing up a 45- to 50-degree slope.
Fear not. There’s an easier way to access that apron of powder than hauling your skis on your shoulder and plunging into the mire: Use your skis as a climbing aid. First, put your boards together and hold them horizontally across the front of your body and reach as far upslope as possible. Lay your skis across the hill, and use them as a platform to take some leverage off your lower body. As you climb up to your skis, keep your weight distributed evenly between your feet and the platform.
Laid across the snow like this, your boards are less likely to knock you off balance—and having them planted in front of you while you climb helps anchor you to the slope. When you’ve reached the top, use your skis to pack down a landing where you can click in. Using this simple tip also means you won’t need to fumble around on a steep, exposed face trying to get them off your pack.
Vail, Colorado, resident Chris Anthony is a veteran of 16 Warren Miller Films, including, Impact, which debuted last fall.