Finding a Passion in Glade Skiing

“Whatever you do, don’t hit the trees. They don’t move when you hit’m.”

A friend yelled back to me as he dropped in at the top of the line and disappeared into the woods. What followed that run was a passion for skiing that grew and grew even until this day. Glade skiing is just another phrase for skiing between the trees or in the woods. Half of you might be thinking, “Why would anyone want to do that?” While the other half knows exactly the feeling you get when charging through a fresh coating of snow as you bounce from edge to edge, narrowly dodging a large evergreen tree. It is a whole separate feeling to be had while skiing, and everyone should experience it.

I’ve come to the conclusion that it is the commitment factor that I love the most when glade skiing. Unlike normal trails on the mountain, where you can stop whenever you want or feel tired; when you’re in the trees, you don’t stop (no matter how sketchy) until you shoot out from the trees. You don’t stop because there’s always one more untouched snow pile to hit, it’s too narrow to get your skis sideways, you need to keep up with the group so that you don’t get lost in the woods, or your buddy is flying right down the trail behind you and you don’t want to kill his fun either. There is something about the speed and the trees flying past you that really doesn’t let you stop that feeling from happening.

Maybe glade skiing appeals to my inner sense of adventure. For the most part, glade runs are never labeled; and when they are, it’s only the trial head. After you enter the woods, everything is fair game. By late winter, the snow can get waist deep (which is huge on the east coast). I think it’s the fact that it’s constantly skiing the unknown is the best part. My friends and I can dig deeper and deeper into the side and backcountry on the mountains without ever hitting the same lines. There are always new tracks to make and stashes to find. But the fun doesn’t come without the occasional wipe outs, which make for some hilarious videos of smacking into trees. Either way, it keeps me coming back. I cannot wait for this winter to get back into the trees.

Adventure Doesn’t Find You… You have to seek adventure!

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