Also called “Glade Skiing”, it is simply, skiing through trees!
In the 1960’s we skied trees when we yawned over the lift queues and had limited choice for ski runs in our low mountain region. No helmets then, but helmets are a must, so too are googles, no-one wants a poke in the eye by a stick!
Maybe it became popularised in the USA after the 1969 film release of the James Bond’s “On Her Majesty’s Service” that was filmed in the Jungfrau region and specifically around the Schilthorn of course !
In the 1960s, some USA ski resorts included “glade’ runs. Réal Boulanger, who is said to be the father of this trend was recalled to cut a few trees out of a slope that he knew would be in the way, let people ski it for a season, then, “every tree that has blood on it, I’m going to take out.”
Of course it’s dangerous and off piste. But it’s quiet, mystical and exciting. It’s another world.
-Don't use pole straps and you can reduce potential shoulder injury
- Look ahead, trees do not grow evenly spaced, find a 'lane' or line of sight down hill, ski that, then traverse to find another 'lane'. You are looking for spaces, a bit like basketball, don’t look at the trees (or you will ski into what you look at)
- Be decisive and make a solid pole plant
- Understand the terrain and where the slope ends and be sure that the snow cover is solid. Be wary of 'bumps" as they may be tree stumps or rocks. Try and look at an area as you ride a lift if it is a new run
- Exaggerate your edge pressure in the midpart of your turn, reduce your speed. Make yourself a bit smaller by crouching a bit to improve your centre of gravity over your skis. “Go slow, stay low”
-Side slipping confidence is a must as often you don’t have enough room to make the next turn
- Be careful of other people’s tracks or you can get stuck in their ruts
- Carry an accessible whistle, cell phone already loaded with the Air Glacier ski rescue service number Tel: +41 33 856.05.60 and space blanket and make sure your insurance covers off Piste adventures
- Be careful of "tree wells" — a space of loose, deep snow that can form around tree trunks. They are most common around evergreen trees and can be deeper in heavy snowfall years
- Don’t make it your last run of the day or late in the day
-ALWAYS ski with someone you trust to look out for you and always know where each other is at all times
- Don’t try it with one ski like James Bond who ended in a face plant pictured above
See James Bond Ski chase through trees:
Where dreams begin for outdoor adventures in the inspiring Jungfrau region