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Skiing Disciplines - Extreme Skiing

Skiing Disciplines - Extreme Skiing Extreme Skiing is one of the extreme winter sports that continuously engross adventurous and fearless skiers. Done in steep mountain slopes of more than 45 degrees, Extreme Skiing is one of the toughest extreme sports around. Moreover, the combination of steep slopes, natural obstacles, ungroomed snow, and aerial maneuvers pushes a skier to his physical limits. Therefore, utmost control of one’s movement is important in this challenging and risky sport.


Skiing History has it that Tuckerman Ravine, found in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, is said to be the birthplace of Extreme Skiing. This mecca for skiers has deep snow and challenging terrain, paving the way for the inception of Extreme Skiing.

It was in the 1970s that the French invented the term Le Ski Extreme. Swiss skier Sylvain Saudan was one of the first skiers to practice Extreme Skiing. In the 1960s, he invented the windshield wiper turn. He slid down slopes that were extremely difficult to traverse.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Patrick Valencant and Anselme Baud from France further developed and popularized Extreme Skiing. Its definition also changed in the 1980s. Presently, it is categorized under Big Mountain Skiing or Free Skiing which is synonymous to going downhill off-piste terrain.

Equipment and Gear

Use of protective gear is important in Extreme Skiing since this sport poses difficult challenges. Skiers should wear back protection like a fire retardant high-density foam and Ski Boots with boot fairings and bindings. Other important pieces of Skiing gear like poles, gloves, wax, speed ski helmet and boot bags are important as well.

Safety Guidelines

Extreme Skiing is not for everyone. Having years of off-piste Skiing experience, being able to masterfully dodge natural obstacles and control downhill movement are the prime requirements for aspiring extreme skiers. Being physically fit is also one consideration. Moreover, skiing with the company of ski instructors who are experts in off-piste skiing or with certified mountain guides is necessary.

It is advisable for skiers to start skiing off-piste mountains that are wide and do not involve natural obstacles. This will prevent one from getting injuries and minimize the risk of falling dangerously. Then, shift to progressively steeper slopes that you will descend gradually. Also, try skiing in gullies from short ones that lead to wide slopes and then to longer gullies. When you have already skied on varied gullies and mountain slopes, you may try large drop-off cliffs for real extreme skiing action.

However, choose the right snow conditions for your Extreme Skiing adventure. Some ski on powder snow over a solid base. Others prefer spring snow or transformed snow. Hard and icy or granular snow, mashed potatoes, and wet concrete snow are avoided as these are potentially dangerous.

Extreme Skiing may be one of the most invigorating and thrilling winter sports around but it also involves difficulties and risks. Extreme skiers – both beginners and advanced – should make safety, training, and preparation their prime considerations before trying to ski the extreme way.

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Article Comments
Wayne Nicholson
Thursday 25th February 2010 at 7:57:48 AM  

Interesting Article. Great advice for starting out in wide open areas, very enjoyable. Also, great read about the history of extreme skiing!

Wayne Nicholson
Monday 29th March 2010 at 5:06:03 PM  

I think that the fire retardant high-density foam is only required when doing cliff drops. For most extreme skiers that just like the backcountry in the glades and above the trees, a helmet is the most important piece of safety equipment. Also good gear is key too!

Amy Masson
Wednesday 5th May 2010 at 4:59:52 AM  

This site is :) brill

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