Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+ Sign up for Outside+ today.
STEP 1: PLANT AND GO
Passive skiers drag their baskets instead of planting them. To attack your line, reach forward, plant your basket, and use your wrist to flick the basket behind you. Fluid repetition will keep you moving down the fall line. (Remember: Reach, plant, flick, go.)
STEP 2: GO LOW (BUT NOT TOO LOW)
Passive skiers stand tall and stall between turns, thinking they’re more secure in the parallel position. But the taller you stand, the more susceptible you are to going over the handlebars. Give it up, and get down: Drop your stance, widen your feet, and find stability in a slight lunge position.
STEP 3: ANGLE INTO IT
Passive skiers rely on the lower body to do all the work. Their legs initiate a turn and their upper body follows. To ski more powerfully, remember to pinch your obliques. Put more power in your edges by driving your uphill shoulder toward your downhill knee. This will allow you to set and release your edges faster, making you a more dynamic skier.
QUICKTIPKeep your feet wide and stay compact. It’ll help you attack your line.
A.J. Cargill works on the Jackson Hole Ski Patrol and is a guide-in-training for Exum Mountain Guides. In June 2004, she became the first woman to freeheel the 13,770-foot Grand Teton. At the resort, she splits her time between alpine and tele, but when she heads into the backcountry, it’s all tele, all the time.