Verbier How to ski off a cliff

Skiing off a cliff would be the last thing that most people would want to do on their holiday, but for some, nothing beats the adrenaline rush of deliberately doing just that.

This is Powder Extreme’s step-by-step guide to skiing off a cliff.

1 – Select your cliff

To begin with, choose a small drop, say two to three feet. As your confidence increases you can gradually build up to bigger and bigger cliffs. The most important thing is to inspect the landing. The landing should be steep and there should be plenty of deep, soft snow. It is a good idea to send a less adventurous companion to inspect it and to check there are no nasty surprises lurking just beneath the surface such as rocks or discarded ski poles!

Step 2 – Inspect the take-off

You will need to get as close as possible to the edge to inspect the take-off. You should check whether there is good snow cover and try to gauge how much speed you will need to reach the steepest part of the landing. At this point you can decide whether you can just roll-off the lip or whether you need good speed and a small hop to clear the take-off.

Step 3 – Mark the take-off point

Before moving away from the edge you should mark your intended take-off point – you can use your ski pole to do this. It is important to know exactly where to take-off from and in which direction your skis should be pointing because often you will not be able to see the landing until you are airborne.

Step 4 – Take-off

You will then need to edge back up the slope to a starting point that will allow you to reach the desired speed – then clear your mind of any doubts and GO!!!! Do not hang around, the longer you think about it the harder it becomes. As you head towards the take-off point, what ever you do, keep your speed up, despite the fact that your mind will be telling you to stop. A good speed will ensure a clean take-off and a safer landing.

Step 5 – Stay compact

Once in the air it is really important to keep a tight, compact body position with your knees tucked up and your arms forward. If you let your body open up into a standing position you will land off-balance and backwards resulting in an almost certain crash.

Step 6 – Land

Just before making contact with the snow you need to extend your legs slightly, ready to absorb the landing, but keep your hands forward for balance. As you make contact with the snow drop your bottom down to counter the forward momentum and to avoid the otherwise inevitable forward roll. It is really important to land in the fall line. If you attempt to land across the slope, in an attempt to decelerate on landing, the impact of the drop will be much greater.

Step 7 – Ski away and claim your glory!

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