As an intermediate skier, you are exploring the mountain with new confidence in your abilities to ski. It’s a great feeling and you should take advantage of it by all means, but keep in mind that the intermediate zone is the easiest time to develop bad habits, so don’t be shy about getting a lesson. As you practice your new skills and improve, it’s important to have an experienced set of eyes to help make sure that all the hard work you’re putting in is helping you and not hurting you. Perfect practice makes perfect!

Here are five common mistakes I see intermediate skiers make, and how to fix those mistakes…

1.) Over-terraining

By far, the most common mistake we see on the hill is skiers regularly attacking slopes that are outside their ability level. Though it can be tempting to take your newly earned confidence to the expert slopes, most intermediate skiers will be better suited by sticking to intermediate terrain. A major concern here is, obviously, safety; no one wants to finish their run or their season in a sled behind a ski patroller. That said, there are other benefits to staying in appropriate terrain that make it a good idea even if your mindset is more Evil Knievel than Nervous Nellie.

By sticking to familiar terrain, you give yourself the opportunity to practice new skills in an environment where you have the opportunity to experiment. It’s a lot easier to play with your balance and technique on easy terrain than it is when you’re fighting for your life in an icy chute. When skiing in terrain that takes you out of your comfort zone, you are more likely to revert to old, often bad habits simply because they feel safe. On an easy pitch, on the other hand, you will find it much easier to try new things, practice new skills, and make mistakes without hurting yourself.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try new things. Ultimately, the only way to improve is to venture outside your comfort zone from time to time. The key is to make it a balance, with the majority of your skiing taking place on familiar terrain, peppering in a few adventurous forays outside the comfort zone.

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