Powder Skiing

January 11, 2012

Awesome January Snow

Well I can report that Austria has indeed had some of its best snow for years, and these mounds in the picture are cars, which were left for three days!!!

In last few days the Amade system has had about 2 metres of snow and we have been out every morning in the fresh powder. Which has meant lots of questions about powder and how to ski it. Let me dispel one myth, you do not lean back in normal powder, the exception is the wet heavy ‘powder’ which we will look at later.


Normal powder snow; the type that falls in temperatures below -4c with no wind, sits on the older snow layers and gradually compresses under it own weight, so the best time to ski it is when it is falling or as soon after as possible.  Most powders will be sitting on a base maybe 20cms down or even 50-60cms. Whatever the depth of the powder the important thing to remember is that your skis will still work in powder, although the softer flexing skis and the broader/fatter ones will be better.

Skiing powder is a modification of on piste skiing, in that we still need to turn to keep our speed in check, and turning is the important thing, as we have little or no rebound from our lower/outside ski, as we do on the piste. Therefore, we need to create our own rebound and we do this simply by keeping both skis as close together as possible and keeping even weight on them. That is 50% on the right ski and 50% on the left ski, to create the turn we do what is called  ‘compression turns’. We suck up our skis by bringing our knees up and then we extend our legs in the direction of the new turn. After two or three turns you should be getting into a rhythm, this is important as it makes the turns consistent and keeps the speed in check, give it a go next time you see some fresh powder.


Next week more about different types of powder skiing.



{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Suzanne January 16, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Like the blog


Hillwood January 16, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Hello Suzanne,

I’m pleased you like my blogs.



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