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How to Huck a Cliff | UNITED STATES, COLORADO | 10/20/2009, by TBG
In preparation for an abundant amount of face shots, floating through the glades and slashing down some hairy chutes this season, I want to address the "Cliff-Drop". Having the technical ability to huck a cliff is one thing, but doing it safe is another. If you drop one cliff, you're going to crave for bigger and better; so it's important that the technique used allows you to huck all season long. Here are a few pointers to ensure your credibility after telling your crew you stomped a cliff:
Before the Huck
It's important that you scope out the line you have picked, and check snow quality and stability. Make sure there is enough snow at the base of the cliff, as well as the take off point; you want a smooth leap and landing. Next, you'll want to check the incline of the slope at the bottom of the cliff. Since you'll be falling...you essentially "drop-in" to the slope and this will help you ski out of your impact creator.
Checking the snow quality is important because if the powder isn't light and plentiful, then shit can hit the fan. Make sure that there isn't a crust layer on top of the powder at the bottom of the cliff; this area can easily be vulnerable to crusting over at night.................oh yeah, and make sure you carry enough speed to clear the cliff, they aren't all vertical yeah know?
When leaving the edge of the cliff, there's no need to "pop", like many maneuvers you'd encounter while skiing in the park. There's very little motion required during the hang time, but most importantly, being in a tucked position is critical. Staying tucked keeps you centered while falling, instead of getting tipsy and leaning like the Pisa tower, catch my drift?
And please, save yourself from rolling down the windows, keep your arms out in front of you in a 90 to 100 degree bend. All is well, just wait for impact now.
When approaching the ground, you'll want to extend your legs towards the ground while drifting back in your seat...in order to keep you from getting ejected after going head over heels. If the powder is deep enough, you will create an impact hot spot, essentially a hole that will slow your speed and act as an absorber. Remember to not only land the cliff drop, but to be prepared to ski out of it into a new line with speed, especially if you're skiing the trees.
Now you have the boys hootin'..uugghhh!