#SkiTheDifference Tip Series – Week 16

Eyes Ahead



Just like when driving, being a good skier entails constantly looking down the hill in the direction you want to go next. By relying on physiological input as well as paying attention to what comes next, you are able to select the most playful and/or efficient lines for better flow down the slope. This works great on groomers, but it’s even more valuable in bumps and trees.

When you ski bumps and trees you have a lot of obstacles to navigate, looking ahead allows you to play your route. In the bumps, look for a route that is rhythmic with similar sized and shaped moguls. This will help you find a turn tempo and maintain momentum. That said, you can also identify a rogue bump and plan accordingly.

When skiing through our beautiful gladed areas, look at the gaps between the trees and not at the trees themselves. Imagine your route a few turns out and also establish a backup plan. Having options “B” and “C” will open options to unleash creativity, which equals more fun!

As the bearer of your weekly tips, I’d like to give a shout out to Derek Althof who has provided me with the necessary material to post each week. Derek is one of 40 instructors nationally who has qualified to compete for the 2016 PSIA-AASI Team. Fourteen skiers will be chosen from these 40 following an extensive selection process being held April 17-21 in Breckenridge, Colorado. Every four years, PSIA-AASI selects the nation’s best instructors to represent the association at the highest level. We’re all wishing Derek the best of luck in achieving this milestone feat!

Read the rest of the series:
Week 1 – Come prepared
Week 2 – Tune ups
Week 3 –  Early season conditions
Week 4 –  Skills not hills
Week 5 – Use the whole ski
Week 6 – Always be moving
Week 7 – Find your rhythm
Week 8 – Trust your outside ski
Week 9 – Like riding a bike
Week 10 – Carving and Steeps
Week 11 – Edge from your feet up
Week 12 – Enough is enough
Week 13 – Powder & Crud
Week 14 – Separation is key
Week 15 – Don’t Oversteer


Derek Althof has 16 years experience in the ski industry and is Deer Valley’s ski school training manager and an alpine examiner and clinic leader for the Professional Ski Instructors of America’s Central and Intermountain Divisions. Derek learned to ski at age 4 and has had a passion for good skiing ever since.

We hope you enjoy our weekly skiing tips. Please remember that they can help but will not eliminate risks, as skiing is a dynamic sport. These tips are meant to help you build skills  for a more enjoyable skiing experience.

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