Want to carve better? Snowplough.

Ski+board Deputy Editor Rosie Barcroft takes an early-season trip to Les 2 Alpes to brush up on her technique with the European Ski and Snowboard School.

Travelling on a T-bar up Les Deux Alpes glacier with a ski instructor can be a little daunting.

James Lister, from the European Ski and Snowboard School was currently giving me some useful critique.

“It’s your inside leg that’s letting you down”, he said. “Get that sorted and you’ll find everything a lot smoother.”

Les Deux Alpes

Preparing to… snowplough?

How was I supposed to fix it? Simple. I just had to hold my poles like an airplane, snowplough down the slope, then dig in my outside ski while keeping my inside ski flat. At the same time I was to push my body out over the carving ski. Easy, right?

Sort of.

“I just want to see one line Rosie”, said James… I looked back at the tracks I had created. There was one line on the bottom, then a smudge on top. It was going to be a long morning.

It sounds like a very roundabout way of learning how to use your inside ski, but after repeatedly snowploughing to the left, and to the right, I was beginning to understand (and feel) just what my inner leg (and outer leg) was capable of.

Slowly, I sped up the turns, put my skis parallel again, and went for it. James was right; my turns felt more connected and instead of forcing my skis to turn, I let them make the first move.

Before moving onto other technique, James took out his camcorder and made his way down the mountain. When he was a tiny speck, he waved; my signal to begin.

High above Les 2 Alpes

High above Les 2 Alpes

Determined to do well, I set off. It’s a wonderful feeling carving down a slope with your legs really feeling, and using, the skis. And, even if (on the video) I resemble some bandy-legged banana, at least for that minute I felt like I was flying.

For more information:

European Ski and Snowboard School

Les Deux Alpes

Read the next blog from L2A: Not every ‘A’ is good…

Rosie Barcroft


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