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How to Ski on Ice on the Mountain

18 July 2019
Group of skiers

Nothing beats skiing freshly groomed pistes or making first tracks on your ski holiday, but truthfully, it’s not the only kind of terrain you’re going to come across. At some point you’re going to find yourself tackling an icy run.

Plus, chances are, the iciest of runs will be the most heavily skied piste that winds down into your holiday resort—the one you could be required to ski daily to get down the mountain. For this reason, knowing how to ski over ice before your ski trip could largely improve your mountain experience.

How to practice skiing on ice

Your UK local real snow slope is a great place to learn the skills needed for facing icy slopes. While the indoor slopes may not be icy, they are likely to feature compacted snow later in ski the day; once the slope has been heavily skied—and skiing over compacted snow is a great way to ease into learning the skills needed for those icy mountain runs.

Here’s 5 hints and tips to work on at your local slope, to ensure you’re ready for whatever mountain terrain your ski trip throws your way.

Plan a route

There’s no need to tackle more ice or compacted snow than necessary! Plan a route that avoids skiing over too much ice by staying away from the middle of the slope. The sides of the piste are normally less heavily skied and therefore have retained their soft snow covering—making them easier to ski.

Stay balanced over your edges

Leaning too much into any of your edges could cause you to slip out on compacted snow and will almost definitely cause a wipe out on ice—unless your edges are extremely sharp!

Avoid skiing aggressively

An icy slope is not the time to start skiing aggressively or with too much speed, save this for freshly groomed slopes. Avoid sudden stops or sharp turns where possible.

Slide over the ice

Aim to feel like you’re gliding over the ice or compacted snow, you may want to practice side slipping over it in order to feel comfortable with this technique.

Don’t panic

When you do move your skis over an icy patch, the sound of the scraping ice can be enough to cause a momentary panic. Be prepared for the ‘skis moving over ice’ noise, remain composed and stay with it.  

For more hints and tips for skiing on ice or compacted snow book a coaching session with The Snow Centre’s experienced instructors.

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