Skiing Crud

Tips for Skiing Crud Snow

Below, you’ll see a lesson I came up with for skiing crud snow. Basically, you’ll want to force your skis on edge through the crud. Having nice, sharp edges on your skis will help a lot. I had been going with a 2 degree edge on mine but I now am hooked on a 3 degree edge – I really love it.

Your stance is also important. Get balanced – for most people, this means get more forward. Feel the shin-boot connection and lean into that boot cuff. Bend your knees and waist (forward), have arms in front and round out your back. The head should be up and looking forward. You should drive your skis – versus your skis driving you.

How to Ski Crud Lesson

By Tony Herman – October 11, 2010

This is my lesson I developed on how to ski in crud snow. It seems it has become a little bit popular. What you see here are basically my notes on how I would give the lesson. I review it from time to time to remember the steps in order to teach somehow how to ski in crud – again, how to teach someone… this isn’t exactly the steps to do it but if you were with a ski instructor, this lesson might be one that they would give you – or something similar. Enjoy!


  • Who: Green and blue skiers.
  • What: We want to learn to ski crud.
  • Where: From the top of the quad down Badger Bowl.
  • When: Night skiing (6pm) – the sun went down and the conditions are poor.
  • Why: So that we can still have fun in bad conditions.


Crud: The morning was great with a little new snow but now the snow has been cut up, it melted in the sun and then has frozen again. It’s a little like popcorn. Crud can also be like mashed potatoes or slushy. The conditions are inconsistent. One second we can be in good stuff and then next, we can almost come to a halt. We will get bounced around.

What we aim to do: Use our edges more, make sure we’re forward in our skis so that the shovels of our skis can plow through it. We will also need to be patient. Speed will help us, so don’t resist it. We want to take our skis for a ride. Don’t let them take you for one.

These kinds of conditions will reveal any flaws we have in our skiing that groomed runs cover up. If you work with me, then I know you’ll be better at skiing this stuff by the end of our lesson. Are you with me?

Let’s quickly review the basics first.


Our stance:

– Where are we standing?
– Where are our hands?
– Where do we feel pressure?

Will we get more control and get through the snow on flat skis or more on our edges? Edges

Let’s practice progressive tipping of our skis while we stand here. Keep your shoulders over your feet and then also counterbalance with your body.

Let me hold your ski tips as you tip so that you can feel the skis progressively go to their edges in a simultaneous movement.

RUN #1

Garlands – Let’s now try some garlands across this area. Ski straight and progressively tip your skis. Flatten them to cause some downhill movement and then start tipping again into the next garland. It looks like this.

Good [give feedback – be specific].

Let’s go back the other way and work the other edges of our skis.

J Turns – Next, let’s work on edging but with just a little speed. We’ll do some “J” turns now. Let’s start with some easy ones that go across the slope still and then we’ll start aiming them downhill more in a few minutes. Remember to progressively tip your skis uphill as we do this.

Good [give more feedback – be specific].

J Turns with Counter – Let’s do them again but this time, let’s add in some counter. As you progressively tip your skis uphill, keep your shoulders over your feet and push your hips downhill. This should enable us to get on our edges even more and cut through this stuff. Instead of the angle we used last time, let’s aim slightly more down hill.

Good [give more feedback – be specific].

J Turns with Counter and Upper Body Facing Down Hill – Let’s do it one more time and something else into this. Let’s progressively tip our skis uphill, use counterbalance and also keep our upper bodies aimed downhill. This should give us more upper and lower body separation and make our turns nice and smooth – well, as smooth as they can be in this type of snow anyway. Let’s aim even more down hill on this one.

Good [give more feedback – be specific].

Now we’re about a third of the way down. Let’s move this to the top of Badger Bowl and try it on more of a slope. Follow me and we’ll meet there.

J Turns Competition With More Speed – Let’s start here and see who can make a J turn and get the farthest back up the hill. I’ll go stand where you should turn and turn around me. Remember what we’ve done so far with edging and the various ways to get us on more of an edge.

Let’s go back up to the top of the hill again and meet at the top.

RUN #2

Review – We’ve done some things to help us get on our edges more so that we can get through this cruddy snow. What was the first thing we did? What was the next thing? And then we did what?

Work Edging Into Our Skiing – Now that we’re using our edges quite a bit, let’s work it into our skiing. Remember to do the progressive tipping as we move from one turn to the next. Use a lot of edges and really carve your turns. That will get us through this stuff. I’ll go down and then come one at a time so that I can watch.

Good [give more feedback – be specific].

Add More Speed – Let’s go try this at the top of Badger Bowl and add more slope into it. I’ll go about ¾ of the way down. Keep skiing and meet me down at the bottom to the right of the main lift.


I saw a lot of improvement. Let’s review again what we did.

Review – What was the first thing? We did some tipping at the top and then tried garlands.

Next, we did some J turns and then took it to a steeper area. There were a few things we used to tip our skis progressively, what were they?

On our second run, what did we try at the top?

Tip – Great. A good way to remember to use these techniques when skiing crud is to use them whenever we ski.

Close – We’re done now and I enjoyed showing all of you how to ski crud. You should now try it since there’s a lot of it around. The good thing is that there are not a lot of people out here, so the mountain is yours! Please come back and take another lesson sometime and we can work on skiing crud on some tougher blue and black runs! Thanks!

Skiing Crud Videos

Here are some decent videos on how to ski crud:

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