Good Skiing Part 2


By Susi, Instructor at Snowbird Mountain School


Skimum Nicole gains greater control by pointing that Belly button downhill, getting the weight on the outside ski and “schmearing”

 Leg rotation and skiing bumps efficiently  

Our technical focus in our second coaching session was turning our legs more than our upper body… What??? Yes, it is the truth: a turn starts with the body parts closest to the snow: the feet and the legs. Often times we use our shoulders or our hips to start a turn, we are twisting shoulders and arms uphill at the end of a turn, we flail with our arms to help us stay in balance… These movements are not very efficient and not always graceful  😉.

The Skimums worked hard to keep their upper bodies disciplined, rotate their feet and legs to steer their skis through the turn, while keeping their belly buttons – and other body parts – directed towards the tip of the outside (or downhill) ski. We realized that the release of the energy created by twisting the lower half against the upper half of the body made it much easier to start a turn and to point the skis in the opposite direction.

We also put our “schmearing” skills to use.  We’re not carving into the turn.  As Skimum Denice visualized, “It’s like spreading cream cheese on a bagel — the schmear.”  As we release energy placing weight on that outside ski, gravity allows the entire bottom of the ski to coast downhill. More contact means more control over our direction and speed.

To apply the new skills we found some crusty and then soft bumps, where we POINTED our belly buttons into the direction of travel, rotated our legs on TOP of the bump, SCHMEARED down the back side of the bump to control our speed, then GLIDED up the next bump!  Like magic, Skimums found they had total control.  Turning and shmearing, turning and shmearing… In control, with grace and efficiency!!

If you did not have a chance to be with us or you want to review turning the legs under a stable upper body and bump technique check out these videos

Losing Fear Off The Beaten Path

Losing Fear Off the Beaten Path

By SkiMum Nicole

February 25 was another Monday not to be missed at Snowbird with Skimums.  The weekend snowstorms produced over 18 inches of fresh powder.  Skimums was in luck to have a lesson organized for the morning with our awesome instructor, Emelia, from the Snowbird Mountain School. Being in a lesson on a powder day has its advantages, including, breezing through the growing lines at Mineral Basin, which offered some nice powder turns first thing in the morning.

Tramsecret powder stash call Dalton’s Draw.  As we headed into the steep trees near a cliff, I would face my biggest challenge yet — a crazy bumpy traverse.

One of the ladies laughed as she told me, “Our instructor was clearly trying to scare us.”  I knew that she was extremely nervous.  This was no joke as I waited for everyone to enter the trees.  Then she said to me, “So, what are you waiting for.  You can ski anything!”   She was right.  I could ski most runs at the resort (although it may not look pretty).  However, skinny traverses with bumps that drop 4 feet around tree roots on steep terrain with little margin for error truly scare me.  If my husband was with us, he would say, “Just go faster and you will hardly feel the bumps.”

After my friends vanished over the next bump, I cautiously entered the trees.  With no room to snow plow, I just went for it.  I was amazed that I stayed on the traverse as I brushed several 100-year-old pines trees.  This was truly the craziest traverse that I had been on in years.  It would definitely scare away most skiers because you could not see where it would end.  Coming out of the trees was an amazing sight, a beautiful run full of knee deep super soft powder completely boxed in by steep cliffs and trees.  There were no rocks or crusty moguls, just plenty of room for nice powder turns.  The tram passed overhead.  This was definitely the better snow on the mountain today.  Everyone agreed that it was so great we would try it again.  I did not even hesitate on the second entry in the trees.  The traverse, like so many things, was so much easier the second time.