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Friday October 13, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

A black run can be daunting. But it's nothing to be afraid of - it's something to conquer and the perfect opportunity to develop your skiing.



This is a guide by winter snowsports holiday tour operator SnowTrex to give a few tips as to how you can see yourself down your first black run safely:

Drop In At An Angle

When you approach the crest of your first black run, your first instinct may be to go straight down - well don't do that.

Choosing the correct starting position can really help you control your speed.

Starting the run from a left or right angle will allow you to plan your turns.

Skiing across the piste ensures that your skis are not facing down straight away, giving you more time to calculate your movements.

This has the added benefit of keeping you at a moderate speed.

However, always be wary of other skiers, as you don't want to ski into the path of someone coming down behind you.

Mont Fort, VerbierMont Fort, Verbier
















Make Large "S" turns

In principal, skiing a black run safely is no different to skiing a blue run.

If you remember the fundamentals, you will be able to make it down without falling.

Making big "S" turns allows you to ski slowly down the run, maintaining control at all times.

Your focus should be on enjoying the challenge of skiing a tough run, and improving your ability as a skier.

S turns are the safest and easiest way to make progress without having to stop too often.

The only downside of this turn is that it takes a lot of energy to perform, so ensure you are well rested and are mentally focused before tackling a black run.

Ischgl, Tirol, AustriaIschgl, Tirol, Austria













Learn How To Hockey Stop

Every skier learns how to control their speed using the "pizza pie" technique (angling your skis to make a point at the front like a V).

On black runs, this is very inefficient and makes it hard to stop.

Hockey stops on the other hand are far more effective.

By putting your skis together and making a 90 degree left or right angle, you will come to a stop extremely quickly.

This is especially useful on black runs, as you may need to make a quick stop if you are picking up too much speed.

Practice hockey stops on less steep runs, to develop your technique and then use it to stay safe while skiing black runs.

The Swiss Wall, Portes du SoleilThe Swiss Wall, Portes du Soleil
















Control Your Breathing

Being in control of your breathing is extremely important when skiing your first black run.

Staying calm can avoid any moments of freezing up, and in extreme cases, having to be carried down by a rescue team.

It takes a certain level of confidence and bravery to tackle your first black run.

Although it may seem steep and scary from the top, once you are on the run and build momentum, you will forget you ever worried about it.

However, do not go into a black run overconfident, as this is where mistakes are made and accidents occur.

If possible, try and ski with a more experienced skier, or an instructor to build your confidence and learn the best techniques for the specific run you are on.

Overall, if you are trying to have a safe skiing holiday, always make sure you are prepared for skiing your first black run.

Follow this advice, and become a proficient skier in no time!

Fancy a challenge?Fancy a challenge?




















About SnowTrex:

SnowTrex is an international winter sports tour operator, offering ski holidays in up to 1,500 accommodations and 500 resorts around the Alps and other areas.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news

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