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EpicSki › Mountain Article › Slough Management

Slough Management

Originally Posted by BJNK View Post
Could someone please expand on slough management for me? I know what is meant by slough, but how exactly is it managed?

What is the best technique to avoid it? What are the consequences of getting caught up in it - meaning does it knock you right over or does it just inhibit turns that would then cause you to fall?

Im curious and would like to know more about REAL big mountain skiing as my skill level progresses


Slough management starts before you even on top of the line. It starts when you're in the heli (or hiking/skinning up) and you start to visualize where the slough is going to funnel into (i.e. it will follow the fall line and then funnel into gullies. It will also pick up speed and gain momentum as the gully it follows narrows).

Once you can visualize that, you can plan your line.

In the first face, it's pretty easy to see where the majority of the slough will go. It's mainly going to funnel into the obvious gully, or gut, in the middle of the run. So obviously a skier is going to want to stay the hell out of there as they'll basically be skiing in a waterfall and would most likely get taken for a ride.

I'd plan my line like this with arrows showing where I *think* the slough will be going. I would work skiers left to skier's right so all of the slough falls into that gully and I am skiing away from it. My turns going to my right would be longer than my turns going back to the left. Assuming there is no exposure below the bottom of the picture off to skier's right, I think *think* this would be a safe and manageable way to ski this slope:

(the first turn on top should be a ski cut to safe spot BTW):


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