3 Ski Tips from 3x Olympian Megan McJames
Welcome to Alta Ski Area, known for deep powder and excellent terrain! My name is Megan McJames and I am an alpine skier who competed for the United States in the last three winter Olympic games! I learned how to ski at Alta Ski Area when I was 2 years old. Growing up at such an iconic mountain gave me a deep love for skiing, a sport that I’ve spent my life striving to master. My twelve-year career as a professional ski racer has been a constant process where I am continually working to improve my skills.
Whether an Olympian or a beginner on vacation to Alta Ski Area for the first time, we are all working to get better on our skis! Here are some easy tips I’ve picked up over the years that I hope will help make the process easier. Looking up from the parking lot at the symbolic High Rustler run can be intimidating, but before you pack your bags and head back down Little Cottonwood Canyon, try these 3 tips:
1. Use your knees and ankles to absorb terrain
Part of what makes Alta Ski Area such a fun place to ski is the varied terrain. Using your knees and ankles to absorb bumps, moguls and varying snow conditions will help keep you balanced for a smoother ride. This tip will be especially helpful when cruising out the High Traverse.
2. Plant your pole and turn around it
Planting your pole in the snow to start your turn gives you an extra point of balance to lean on as you make a turn. Whether skiing an Olympic slalom or getting extra deep on a powder day, the “pole plant” is a key aspect of alpine skiing!
3. Spot your line before you start and look ahead
It seems obvious to look where you are going, but so many new skiers get stuck looking down at their ski tips. When you are traveling at speed, looking ahead gives your body time to react to upcoming terrain.
I hope these simple tips help you enjoy the learning process! For me, working on my skiing is the most fun thing in the world. If you are getting frustrated, it might just be time for a hot chocolate break… extra whip cream?