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Fan Traverse Drill

EpicSki Skill Development Exercises


Fan Traverse


From a standing position on one side of a trail, pick an aiming point downhill on the other side of the trail and start a traverse in a straight line to that point. After some speed has been built up (e.g. count 3-5 seconds), tip both skis harder onto their uphill edges and use the skis sidecut to turn uphill to a stop. See how far your tracks travel uphill before you come to a stop.

Progression steps


Start with low starting angles (e.g. 10-15 degrees downhill from a straight across traverse), and low speeds (short count) , then work your way to higher starting angles and higher speeds/further uphill travel before stopping.


Video Clip




Common variations


Start the next turn just before coming to a complete stop


Skills developed

Edging, balancing against the outside ski




Groomed snow

Proper boot alignment

Common problems


Too square to the skis

Engaging the downhill edge of the uphill ski

Using foot steering to turn the skis -> skidding

Weight in the back seat.

Shoulders turning with the skis.

Cues for success


Thin carved parallel ski tracks in the snow (i.e. no wobbling)

U shaped ski track with uphill travel side distance from the bottom of the U to the stopping point at least 50% of the distance from the starting point to the bottom of the U (i.e. more of a U shape than a J shape)


Safety hazards


Be very careful not to cut across the path of downhill skiers. Skiers are not expecting other skiers to be travelling back up the hill.

Skiers will be turning into a blind spot if they are looking down the hill, but turning back up the hill. It gets worse the faster you do the drill.


Comments (1)

Seems like some of the participants in the recent curving forum would profit from this exercise. Much of getting to a new stage in any physical activity is getting some form of identifiable bio-physical feedback, in your shins, in the balls of your feet, and in this case — with clean traverse tracks across the hill. Thanks.
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