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One of the reasons I enjoy skiing at Solitude Mountain Resort is the variety of terrain that you can ski in the same day (and the Solitude Spa). From flats to steeps, corduroy to punchy un-groomed, powder to bumps, skiing regardless of the terrain offers a variety of challenges. Let’s go over some pointers to help you navigate your way through some of the hardest tests you’ll encounter while exploring the mountain.
For starters, wherever you are on the mountain, always start with your weight on the balls of your feet and your shins pressed into the fronts of your boots while keeping your hands in front of your body, core engaged (navel pulled slightly into your spine), and your vision in front of you. All of these things will help you move down the mountain in the offensive position rather than in the back seat, or defensive position.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s move to what the focus should be while specifically skiing moguls and powder.
1. Pick your line – look at the path that you would like to travel and in doing so, note the path that water would follow
2. Bend your knees slightly and keep your hands in your peripheral vision
3. Maintain your vision three moguls in front of you (try not to look at your toe pieces at any point, as they are not going anywhere)
4. Unless you are skiing a World Cup where we ski directly through the moguls, I would strongly encourage you to go around the moguls. In doing so, bend your knees as you go up the mogul and extend your legs back down while pulling underneath you while skiing down the back of the mogul. Maintain your weight on your forefoot, keep your back upright, with your shins pressed into the front of your boots (throughout the turn) and with supple knees
5. Enjoy the ride
1. Maintain your vision in front of you and pick your line down the mountain
2. Hands in front at all times
3. Shift your weight slightly behind your forefoot
4. While skiing down, the set of the turn is slightly behind center with a supple touch to keep your turns light. Keep in mind that the biggest difference between skiing groomers and powder is the set of the turn. With groomers, the turn is set by driving the knees forward with the pressure maintained on the front of the boot
5. Put a smile on your face and enjoy the float
Skiing bumps or powder can challenge even the most experienced skier. Realizing that I have given you a lot to remember, please add one more thing to the top of the list:
Take a look around you while you are in the mountains and breathe in the beauty around you, put a smile on your face and go!
Looking forward to seeing you on the mountain.
Jillian Vogtli – Vogtli is a two-time Olympian and 13-year member of the U.S. Ski Team. She is known for her extensive success in the freestyle skiing events of moguls and dual moguls, as well as being the only woman to perform the Cork 720 during the Olympic Games.