There is nothing like spring skiing.
The combination of warm air, slushy snow, and the relaxed vibe on the mountain is something I look forward to every year.
But during this time, as I ride the lift back up for another lap, I can’t help but see some skiers struggling in the slushy snow.
So to help you make the most of spring skiing, here are six tips for how to ski slushy snow.
6 Tips for How to Ski Slushy Snow
1) Use a Neutral Stance
My first tip is to use a neutral stance. Typically in skiing, you use an aggressive stance to weight the front of your boots and drive your skis. But slushy snow is different from hardpack groomers, it’s softer, and if you are too far forward, your tips will dig in.
Instead, use a boot-neutral stance and apply even pressure to both the front and back of your boot. This will keep your weight over the center of your skis, allowing your tips to rise and plane across the slushy and chunky snow easily.
There is a caveat. If you’re skiing a damp charger ski, something that weighs a lot or has a lot of metal underfoot, you will need an aggressive stance to turn that ski.
(Going spring skiing? Learn how to layer for the warm conditions.)
2) Ski Fall Line
Slushy snow is notorious for being slow and grabby. So to counteract this, ski the fall line whenever possible.
The fall line is the direct route downhill from wherever you are standing. If you are not comfortable skiing directly downhill, go to an easier run and get comfortable skiing straight down the fall line. Then slowly work your way to steeper runs.
3) Be Patient with the Snow
Just like fresh powder, slushy snow is slow. So my third tip is to be patient.
As you start your turn and load up your edges through the apex, relax and let your skis complete the turn. Turning in this snow will take longer than you expect.
But don’t worry, since the snow is a lot slower, you will come out of your turn with less speed than you expect.
A great way to practice this patience is to stop at the top of a run and plan out the first four turns you are going to make.
4) Make Sure to Wax Your Skis
I’ve already said it numerous times, but slushy snow is slow.
So make sure that you wax your skis before you go spring skiing.
I recommend that you use a warm-weather-specific ski wax, something with a temperature range from 20-35+. I like this one because it’s environmentally friendly.
Pro Tip: Keep a little stick of wax in your pocket during the day. If your skis start to slow down, you can pop them off at the bottom of a run and quickly rub them down with the stick to get your speed back.
5) Prepare for the Slushy Conditions
Lastly, prepare for the conditions.
That way, you can focus on skiing and make sure you’re ready for apres on the patio.
Spring Time, Best Time
Spring skiing is a special time. The weather is warm, and the energy on the mountain is high from another great ski season.
It’s a time to get with some friends and check off some of the tougher runs that haven’t been open all year.
So no matter if you’re a local who’s been at the mountain all winter or someone who only gets a couple of days in per year, I encourage you to get out there this spring. There’s nothing better than a warm day on the slopes.