How to Ski or Snowboard in Trees

Many skiers and boarders find the open slopes of a resort enough for them to enjoy themselves on their day out, but if you have ever found yourself drawn toward tracks leading into the trees and being drawn in further.

At first glance, there are many compelling arguments in favour of venturing into the trees: making turns around trees is fun and dynamic, while powder snow often remains after open slopes are completely tracked out. Before venturing off on this journey however, be aware of potential risks and ensure you possess some key skills before venturing inwards.

Tree skiing/riding on slopes with insufficient or too icy/firm snow can be extremely challenging, with your more likely getting caught in branches that aren’t fully buried, running over rocks and damaging equipment more likely. Ski resorts usually do an excellent job marking areas without enough snow, as well as potentially closing off any potentially icy regions, but you must still exercise discretion and use sound judgment when out on firmer snow surfaces. To avoid getting caught in branches, it is generally a good idea to wait until solid foundations have been laid and all underbrush has been covered over by vegetation. Avoiding slippery, firm slopes requires paying attention to the weather: if it was sunny and warm the day before but has turned freezing today, then snow might remain solid until it warms up enough for it to soften again. Before venturing into the trees or away from resort facilities, check the resort website or speak with an employee for an update or ask an employee directly for an update on snow conditions.

Stay Within Resort Bounds

Fresh tracks may tempt you to venture outside the resort boundaries or enter closed-off areas where no one else is going, but ropes exist for a reason–to prevent you from going places you shouldn’t. Even if out-of-bounds lines beckon to you, don’t dart under them as doing so could result in both an invalid pass and fine for you!

Start By Planting Widely Spaced Trees

As soon as you’re ready to head into the trees for the first time, make sure you select an area with evenly spaced trees; no need to challenge yourself with tight tree lines! A trail map or resort guide are good places to find this kind of spot; alternatively look for trees near an open and groomed run that offer trees near its edges so you can make some turns through them before returning back out into open terrain for some more turns – as soon as you become more comfortable you can increase your time spent among them!

Go With A Buddy

Before venturing into the woods, always go with someone and plan a way for both of you to keep tabs on each other. Heading into the trees presents unique dangers not found on open slopes: getting lost in the woods, colliding with trees or falling into tree wells (more about those below). Some riders like to leapfrog each other while others prefer riding alongside each other; either way, you need to remain close enough that both parties can hear and see each other clearly.

Be Wary of Tree Wells

A tree well is an area of loose, unconsolidated snow that forms at the base of trees. Low-hanging branches can make tree wells difficult to recognize; once in one, however, they become extremely dangerous if skiers or snowboarders fall in. Tree wells become even more hazardous if someone tumbles into one and becomes trapped by its deep pile of unconsolidated snow, becoming trapped or immersing themselves completely into it and getting trapped inside; tree wells can become nearly impossible to escape from causing snow immersion suffocation if this happens so it’s best if skiing with someone else as this will increase chances of saving them before losing them forever! To help avoid such scenarios occurring altogether you must stay in control and give trees ample distance; stay out from becoming trapped by tree wells by keeping someone else within sight as soon as if this happens it might already be too late!

Practice Powder

Skiers who head into the trees to look for powder can sometimes do it to find un-skied-out snow that has yet to be skied-off, which can be challenging at first if it’s intense. Therefore, to maximize success with powder skiing for beginners it is wise to conduct practice runs before heading into the trees for real. You could try soft snow by simply exploring around groomed runs or by going down ungroomed runs on days with fresh powder snowfall at resorts.

At least Wear Helmet and Goggles

Skiing or boarding among trees increases your odds of an encounter, possibly with trees, at some point in your journey. Helmets and goggles can protect both head and eyes from scratches and scrapes while offering some additional protection should a more severe collision occur; but keep in mind, no helmet can guarantee invincibility; their effectiveness depends on you using it properly and following all safety protocols.

If You’re Using Poles, Remove Your Hands From Straps

Ski poles can become caught on branches when traversing through wooded areas, leading to potential shoulder yanking incidents. To reduce this risk and ensure you arrive safely at your destination without incident, remove both hands from the straps before starting downhill, releasing one pole if firm resistance occurs and being free from your bars is crucial if you end up falling into a tree well; having them restricting arm movement would only delay their rescue attempt further.

Visualize Your Line

Navigating through the trees begins by visualizing your path downhill. Don’t focus solely on trees but rather use white spaces between them as landmarks to help guide you toward where you want to be going instead of where it takes you. (However, being in the trees also requires constantly scanning the terrain ahead so as to adjust for trees, rocks, stumps or any other obstacles which may get in your way). When setting off downhill slopes it is wise to look ahead one or two turns in advance for best results. If it is difficult for you to visualize your line while skiing or snowboarding, take several turns, stop, then look ahead. Practice on open slopes at a resort can help develop your ability to observe surroundings more readily while skiing or snowboarding; try counting how often a particular object such as snowmaking guns or skiers with white helmets appear during your descent and count how often that object reappears – this focus on your surroundings will come in handy once in the trees!

Practice Quick Turns

Turning quickly will allow you to adjust quickly to sudden terrain changes or unexpected tree branches that appear out of nowhere. Practice making quick turns before heading into the trees on groomed slopes–find a straight and open slope and see how many turns you can make in a given distance, keeping your turns compact by not going too far to either side. Or play “follow the leader” downhill: give one friend the instructions of turning frequently but randomly while telling another to lead you along, at which point both should try following each other and turning when necessary.

Maintain Your Speed Control at All Times

Going too fast through a forest can make picking an effective path difficult, and even dangerous, if you can’t stop in time to avoid an obstacle like trees. Therefore, it is best to head into the trees at a slower speed than you’re used to on open slopes; this gives yourself more time for adjustments or turning around obstacles that might obstruct your route.

Form Tips for Snowboarders

Boarders, take note: you need to strike an effective stance and steer with your front foot for maximum control and visibility. Knees should remain slightly flexed; knees in line with toes for optimal viewing experience; shoulders should align with snowboard, and your upper body should remain calm and relaxed.

Form Tips for Skiers

Skiers should aim for an athletic stance, which ensures their weight remains centered over their skis. Knees should bend slightly and lean forward so shoulders are in front of hips; this allows quick response time when unexpected terrain or trees appear unexpectedly. Avoid leaning back too far as this may throw your balance and force you off balance and may cause you to disappear completely from view.

Skiing with a narrower stance will help ensure that both skis are on one side of an obstacle, like a tree, rock or stump instead of being split apart by it.

Skiing with a low edge angle (basicly having your bases close to the surface of the snow rather than steeply tilted on their edges) allows skiers to more easily sidestep obstacles if necessary and stay under control (high edge angles can send skiers racing down slopes too quickly).

How To Ski Trees – 12 Tips To Improve Your Tree Skiing

11 Tips to Ski Trees Without Fear

Ski with someone. Even if the visibility directly in front of you is excellent, the woods can still present challenges that could leave you disoriented quickly. Especially if this is your first experience tree skiing, do not go solo; always check in with a partner or crew as you make your way through them for safety purposes.

2. Practice Short Turns on an Open Slope. To prepare yourself mentally and physically for what lies ahead, spend some time while on one of your favorite wide-open trails or bowls, visualizing a forest of trees below you and practice making short, quick turns down that imaginary slope through it. Doing this will help both mentally and physically get you ready for what awaits.

3. Practice on wider glades. As you develop an obsession for skiing trees, eventually you may need to become human paperclip to navigate tight pine needles. But as you first begin skiing trees, there’s no need for shoulder width tests; plenty of meadows offer ample space for broad, loose turns while you learn; these should be your starting place before moving toward narrower trails.

4. Plan ahead and anticipate turns. Stop and look ahead; planning the next four or five turns can be beneficial in making the journey smoother. Be wary if there are lumps along your planned route that need navigating around since these might be stumps or bushes that require further consideration.

5. Take it slow. No need to emulate Mikaela Shiffrin by dodging trees like slalom gates at lightning pace–take your time when planning turns so as not to build unnecessary speed in turning through obstacles like trees that often have low-hanging branches that could spring out at unexpected moments if approached too rapidly.

6. Stay out of the trees! As with driving lessons, this tip applies here as well: staring directly at obstacles will result in running into them; instead, plant your gaze where you wish to turn and your skis or board will follow accordingly. Keep looking forward and focus on focusing on a white line between trees as if steering down an unfamiliar road.

7. Wait until mid-season when there is an adequate base. No resort has snow guns aimed at meadows; even after multiple snowstorms have blanketed their ski area, it takes some time for an adequate layer of snow to accumulate under trees. End January is an effective timeline to head outdoors for skiing or snowboarding.

8. Keep your hands forward and weight centered. Skiing moguls or variable snow requires you to keep your boxing hands ready in an aggressive stance in order to remain upright while tapping into quick reflexes that come into play when making shorter turns than you’re used to on open slopes. This will allow for the best experience overall!

9. Make short yet round turns. While many assume that jump turns are best suited for tree skiing, this is not always the case. When skiing powder (like what most tree skiers will typically encounter in trees), short but round turns that follow along the same arc should be made instead of making sharp angles with each turn.

10. Don’t duck ropes to reach trees. When venturing into the woods, only do so where slopes or gates allow access. If a rope or fence separates a trail from woods areas, that indicates they’re off-limits.

Relax: As is true with skiing or riding any terrain, tension only serves to tire you out more quickly. Take a deep breath and visualize being Light On My Feet while Gliding Through Snow-Covered Trees; remember you are in control here and it doesn’t get better than this!

How to Snowboard in Trees (In the Snow)

Riding in the trees on soft, deep snow can be one of the best experiences on your snowboard, providing an alternative way to experience higher alpine snowboarding on poor weather days (and far superior than bumming around in your pants all day!).Snow in between the trees remains undisturbed for longer, is far less likely to slide and provides an escape from crowds.

Here are a few things to keep in mind before heading into the woods with your snowboard.

Before venturing into trees for the first time, one of the primary considerations should be snow depth. Early season tree-riding can be especially hazardous when fallen branches and rocks lie just beneath the surface.As a general guideline, when shredding before January 1st it’s best to ride lightly with more weight on your back-foot to lessen the chance of hooking your nose and avoid lumps of snow that might appear deep or soft at first glance.

Establish Pitch and Trunk Density

As trees can obscure the topography of their surroundings, it can be difficult to ascertain exactly what kind of terrain exists within any particular cluster.

Knowledge of the areas both side of trees will give a good indication of the overall pitch. Steeper slopes will allow your board to float more effortlessly over any powder, but will require faster reactions and turns, which requires greater skill. Flatter pitches offer easier turning while demanding calculated terrain decisions so as not to end up stuck on flat terrain.Tree density should also be carefully evaluated; tight trees require better timing and coordination for riding. Some resorts offer special “gladed” runs where some trees have been carefully plucked from the forest to make riding simpler.

Focus on Gaps between Trees

Once in the trees, one of our key pieces of advice when it comes to honing your technique and finding your rhythm is to focus on focusing on the gaps between trees rather than their trunks themselves. As a general rule, where you look is where you ride; looking at spaces between trees will help with planning out future turns more efficiently. In deep snow conditions it is wise to remain mobile by staying on tracks and only stopping where it will be easy to start back again quickly.

Hitting trees can be quite an uncomfortable experience. No matter how hard you try to befriend trees, they won’t reciprocate your kindness by hugging back! Avoid reaching out for branches as you ride past; most times they are much stronger than you expect!

Know Where Your EXIT POINT Will Be

Always know where your destination lies before plunging headlong into a set of trees. Be it another piste, or familiar backcountry territory – having an idea where your final goal lies can help prevent any surprises when emerge from within the woods!

Nothing can beat the frustration of becoming so involved with running that you end up far below where you intended – often leading to an awkward hike back uphill or, worse yet, an unexpected bus ride back.Riding with someone familiar with the area can be invaluable if you’re unfamiliar with its terrain; just make sure they’re more knowledgeable than yourself!


If you’ve had the pleasure of enjoying some exceptional powder on your trip and know that there has been considerable snow earlier in the season, it is imperative that you are aware of potential tree well dangers.

Tree wells typically form in evergreen coniferous trees that retain their leaves throughout the winter, and consist of areas at the base of their trunk where snowpack is thick but less tightly packed than elsewhere on its surface.

Loss of control and headfirst landing into this lightly packed snow of trees

Make Milestones Part of Your Tracking Process

Be mindful to mark off landmarks as you ride through an area of trees so that if you come back later on you’ll know where you belong.Reference points while sailing include small cliff bands, valleys and clearings in the trees.

Does length make a difference for snowboards?

Ability Level. Beginners should choose a shorter snowboard than they would for more experienced users, as it will make it easier to maneuver and manage when starting out. Aim to reduce its length by between 3cm-5cm as this should make life simpler when starting out.

What happens if my snowboard is too long?

An incorrect size board could make controlling it harder than necessary, impeding your progress as a rider. Too long a board can become challenging to handle; too short could become unstable as your speed increases.

Should my snowboard be taller than me?

Beginners should opt for shorter boards (3-5cm more upright). Intermediate riders and those above should not consider ability levels when selecting length; longer boards tend to be harder to manage.

How long do snowboards last?

An average snowboard should last a rider between 150-200 days of riding, provided they handle their board with care and don’t grind the base against rocks and debris too often. A rider should experience about 100 days of great quality riding before gradually losing some performance over the following 50 days but still finding joyousness from their new board.

How heavy can be too heavy to snowboard?

Riders weighing more than 270 pounds should exercise greater care when using snowboards. Weight over this threshold can adversely impact both rider and board; lighter riders are better suited for flexible and smoother riding experiences.

Are longer snowboards faster?

Technically speaking, longer boards are actually better for speed as they provide greater stability – not because they’re faster. Gravity exerts its force upon your mass and pulls it downward; all that stands between you and freedom from gravity is friction between the board base and snow surface.

Are smaller snowboards easier to learn on?

Short boards may be easier to turn than long ones, while longer boards tend to be more stable at speed as more of the board makes contact with snow, meaning fewer bounces and wobbles than with shorter boards.

What waist size should I choose when snowboarding?

According to our experts here, those wearing size 11 or 11.5 boots should opt for waist widths between 258mm/25.8cm and 260-265mm/26.0-26.5cm.

What is a sidecut on a snowboard?

A sidecut is the hourglass-like curve that runs along your board from tip to tail. It determines the way that it turns. Imagine it as part of a larger circle; the deeper your sidecut is, the smaller its radius will be.

Are longer snowboards the superior choice for jumps?

Personal preference will ultimately dictate your choice; shorter boards tend to spin more easily while longer boards offer greater stability on jump landings.

Do snowboards wear out? On average, snowboards last approximately 75-90 days of riding before becoming less fun to use than before. At that point, they should still be rideable but may feel less lively than in their heyday.

About Dehua

An old Internet practitioner who likes all kinds of new things.Our team buys products with good sales and reviews online (Amazon, Walmart and other third-party professional sales platforms) and recommends them to everyone through actual comparison and evaluation.
Portions of this article were generated using automated technology and were thoroughly edited and fact-checked by editors on our editorial staff.

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