Harbor chop, Sierra cement, mank, moguls: These are all tough conditions to ski in—the uneven snow and terrain can make minced meat of you—so it’s natural to respond in kind, with brute force. But the flailing arms and gyrating hips that come with it betray a skier absorbing too much impact with his upper body and not enough with his legs. Experts’ upper bodies, on the other hand, remain smooth and steady—like a duck’s above the water’s surface—while their legs and feet do the work of absorbing uneven terrain. Only when you move your feet, ankles, knees and hips through their full athletic ranges of motion can you respond to rough terrain with fluidity and grace.
To change the way you perform on the mountain, you must reprogram your body to move in new ways. And the more you’ve done it the old way, the harder you have to work—both physically and mentally—to adapt to the new. These dryland drills will not only boost your strength, stability and mobility, they’ll also train your neuromuscular system for efficient technique that’s flowing, not forced.
When people think of Chile, they think of wine. But like the country’s diverse vintages, Chile serves up a wide variety of skiing experiences, from tiny local areas to the international destination that is Portillo. With so much on tap, how do you choose the experience that’s right for you? We’ve created a non-inclusive A to V primer on the best that Chile has to offer. But don’t forget that there are other options that we’re not telling you about. Because, as every skier knows, sometimes discovering your own secret stash is the best part of making turns. By Tom Winter.