Tree skiing is one of those aspects of downhill skiing you love or you hate; it’s either too dangerous or gets your adrenaline pumping. If you are open to the wild and wondrous work of tree skiing here’s a few pointers that are going to give you a better run for your money.
Here are 8 strategic and safe factoids you can use to boost your tree skiing up a notch or two.
Ditch the Pole Straps
This one is a no-brainer; it’s much better to have to backtrack and find your pole then to get carried off to emergency with a dislocated shoulder. Make your freestyle tree skiing safer by hanging onto your poles, don’t attach them.
Keep in mind that trees are never evenly spaced like you see in storybooks. Traverse until you see a fairly wide lane and start skiing down; when the lane starts to get narrow just traverse until you find a wider opening, and follow this line until you need to traverse again. Just know that one lane isn’t going to get you all the way down the hill in one piece.
Always Ski with a Buddy
It’s VIP that whenever you set to take on the slopes that you always ski with a buddy. Not only does this make your skiing adventure more enjoyable, but you know you’ve got someone that can help you if you run into trouble; which makes perfect sense because tree skiing isn’t exactly risk-free!
Is there Enough Snow?
Make sure you’ve got at least 6 inches of fresh snow on the top of the hill before you decide to tree ski down. Be wary of stumps and logs that may not be buried early in the season. The last thing you want to do is come flying through the trees and get your tip stuck under a half-covered log – ouch!
Off season the best route to get used to the trees is to spend some time downhill mountain biking, trail running, or just plain old hiking; although having some speed coming down is best. Get used to the tree-line so you can take full advantage when you’ve slipped into your skis.
Be Set for Hitting a Tree
It’s not a matter of “if” but “when” you’ll smack into a tree; don’t panic. Take your skis off and use whatever you can to climb out; poles or the tree. You may even be able to roll out. If you are not hurt it’s not such a big deal.
Head for Thicker Trees to Improve Visibility
If the snow is flying and you’re having trouble seeing, head toward thicker trees. Where there are more trees the extra coverage helps block more snow and improve your sight line.
Be Set for an Emergency
Whenever you are tree skiing make sure you have a space blanket, food, mobile phone or radio, water, extra layers, and a first-aid kit. Better safe than sorry!
Tree skiing is loads of fun. Use these practical pointers to stay safe and make your downhill skiing adventures something to remember!