How to Turn on Cross Country Skis in Deep Snow

How to Turn on Cross Country Skis in Deep Snow
While cross country skiing in groomed tracks is fairly easy to learn, skiing in deep snow requires different techniques. Deep snow skiing is often associated with back-country touring, where a skier is using cross country skis to hike, or tour, in the back country. When the snow gets deep, it is best to use a variety of alpine skiing techniques to negotiate the snow and make effective turns.


Difficulty: Moderate

Basic turns

Things You’ll Need:
  • Skis
  • Poles
  • Boots
Step 1
Master the kick turn to turn in deep powder when traveling uphill. The kick turn is also useful for changing direction from a standstill when traveling downhill. Plant one of your poles below your downhill ski for balance. Lift the downhill ski out of the snow and turn your leg so that the ski is pointed in the direction you want to go and place it back in the snow. Remove the other ski from the snow and turn it to face the new direction and continue uphill.
Step 2
Use a modified snowplow for basic turning when traveling downhill in deep powder. Keep your weight centered over your skis and evenly distributed between both skis and bring the tips together to form a V. To do small turns, apply more weight to the downhill ski. In deep snow, it is important not to weight either ski too much, as it will throw you off balance.
Step 3
Use the kick turn for downhill turning when you get stuck. In deep snow, the key is to keep moving. If you stop, change direction with the kick turn.

Advanced turn

Step 1
Learn the telemark turn for better turning power in deep snow. The telemark turn keeps the weight balanced between both skis.
Step 2
Get into a wedge position. Slide the uphill ski back so that the tip of the ski is at the same level as the front of the binding of the downhill ski.
Step 3
Drop the knee of the uphill ski towards the top sheet of the uphill ski and tuck it behind the knee of the downhill leg, keeping both skis evenly weighted, and make the telemark turn.

Article Written By Candace Horgan

Candace Horgan has worked as a freelance journalist for more than 12 years. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Denver Post" and "Mix." Horgan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and history.

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