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On steep slopes, control your speed through different means based on the needs at hand. Use the bottom of the turn to dump speed by traversing further across the hill or even heading slightly uphill.

Carving turns will speed up the ski, but skidding turns will slow them down; a little skidding, like the prelude to a hockey stop, can slow down a turn by using less edging. If you need to drop speed suddenly to avoid another skier, for instance, use a controlled hockey stop followed by a release.

Savvy experts often read the terrain for places to control speed. A short rise in a slope provides a good place to shirk off some speed. Rather than tucking into the compression before the rise, ski up the rise and bank slowly off of it.

On a rollover, instead of skiing straight over it down the fall line, carve a turn across it to lessen speed. Learning to read the terrain will help you find many ways to help you manage control of your speed. Enjoy the adrenaline, but keep the speed under control.


Turn shape can aid in skiing steeps. Rounded carved turns can be adjusted to slow down or speed up. The longer you pressure the working ski at the end of the turn, the more the ski will slow down.

If the skis are turned uphill a little before starting the next turn, they will slow down, too. Conversely, swapping quickly at the finish of the turn into the start of the next turn will speed up the skis.

Broad radius, giant slalom-style turns work on steep, wide slopes. On narrower steep slopes, short radius turns do the trick of descending within the confines of the run edges.

On ultra steep, narrow slopes, such as chutes, employing quick, pivoting side slips work better instead of rounded turns. This type of turn keeps the speed slow and the turns within the narrow confines of the chute.


Rather than attempting to conquer the steeps via trial and error, which could end with an emergency room visit, hire a professional instructor. Many ski resorts offer lessons in steep skiing techniques.

You can take one group or private lesson to gain an introduction to the steeps, but you’ll progress further and faster with multi-day programs or ski weeks that solidify techniques. Look for ski instructors in North America certified through the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) or Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance (CSIA).

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