Tree-skiing can be terrifying. Dive off-piste into a patch of forest, and what started as a high-spirited adventure can quickly turn into a nightmare. The trees seem too dense, the gaps too narrow and the snow too bumpy. Yes, okay, you’ll get through them – eventually. But by the time you’ve snow-ploughed to the nearest patch of clear snow, your self-esteem will be in your ski boots.
So, how do you turn this terror into triumph? Well, you can follow these two simple rules for starters.
1. Don’t learn how to ski the trees in a deep, dark forest
The average stretch of Alpine or Rocky-Mountain forest is much too dense for first-time or improving tree skiers. Pick somewhere which offers a combination of widely-spaced trees and gentle slopes instead: somewhere like Heavenly ski resort in California. Virtually the whole of the mountain is covered by trees, and although some of its terrain as stomach-churningly steep, there are a significant number of easier, confidence-boosting runs, too.
2. Watch this video
I shot the video, above, in Heavenly with Owen Lund, one of the stars of the Heavenly Ski and Ride School. In it he gives three clear, concise tips on how to ski the trees, which should demystify the process and put you on the path to slaloming pleasure.
Now all you need is a cool head and some quick, rounded turns…
If you’re in Heavenly, and would like Owen Lund to burnish your ski technique, then you can book a lesson with him at the Heavenly Ski and Ride School on (530) 542-6904 or (775) 586 7000 ext. 2400.
For more information about Heavenly Ski Resort, visit skiheavenly.com – and check out my skiing in California blog, too. With Virgin Holidays, a week skiing in California, based in South Lake Tahoe – which is linked to Heavenly by gondola – starts from £785pp, room only, including flights and hire car.