Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Instruction

This Drill Will Help You Find a Path Through the Mogul Maze

The key to finding your line in moguls is being willing and able to improvise.

Lock Icon

Join O+ to unlock this story.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

All-Access
Intro Offer
$3.99 / month*

  • World-class journalism from publications like Outside, Ski, Trail Runner, Climbing, and Backpacker.
  • Annual print subscription to Outside Magazine + 2 Gear Guides.
  • Outside Watch – Award-winning adventure films, documentaries, and series.
  • Gaia GPS – Premium backcountry navigation app.
  • Trailforks – Discover trails around the globe.
  • Outside Learn – Expert-led online classes on climbing, cooking, skiing, fitness, and beyond.
Join Outside+
Ski Mag

Ski Only Digital Access
Intro Offer
$2.99 / month*

  • Access to all member-exclusive content and gear reviews on SKImag.com
  • Ad-free access to SKImag.com
Join SKI


*Outside memberships are billed annually. Print subscriptions available to U.S. residents only. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

Myth: The really great skiers you see ripping zipper lines down moguls know exactly where and when to turn.

That belief is probably the biggest hoax in skiing, one that’s kept many intermediate and even advanced skiers from succeeding in the bumps. Skiers desperate to conquer moguls believe that they must attack them from top to bottom with a fully fledged plan in place, knowing exactly where they’re going to turn before they even start down the run. They think that without a plan, they’ll never make it down alive.

Here’s the thing: Even great skiers have no idea what their plan is in moguls. Moguls are chaos (at least, at resorts they are), and so experts have to improvise just like everyone else. They may be more skilled and can react more quickly, but they still figure out their line as they go.

Related: This is how you avoid crashing into trees when skiing the glades

So the secret to bashing bumps successfully is not necessarily being better at visualizing your line or going in with a steadfast plan, but being OK with not having a plan.

“It is really difficult to think that you can pick a line that lasts 20 to 30 turns and remember it,” says Michael Rogan, professional ski instructor and head coach of the PSIA Alpine Team. “You’re going to get four or five at the most. Once you get into the third turn of that section—the rest you just kind of have to figure out and wing it. That’s the beauty of moguls. You realize you’re good enough to figure it out on the fly and still keep linking turns.”

If you’re not quite there yet, try Rogan’s “Lane-Switch” mogul drill. Practice finding your line around just three or four bumps at a time, then force yourself to commit to a new line to get in the habit of winging it and linking it.

Watch: Practice linking turns in moguls with the “Lane-Switch” drill

Video loading...

More on Moguls

Struggling in moguls? Change the way you use your poles. 
The Old Man and the Moguls
Marcus Caston’s bump bashing drill