If you have ever found yourself on the top of a mogul run looking down in anguish—or cursed Winter Park’s Mary Jane territory for your burning quads—it may be time to learn to ski moguls and varied, ungroomed terrain.

Moguls form naturally from skiers and, unless the trail is groomed, they will stay for quite some time, irritating many trying to reach the bottom of the mountain.

So, what can you do about these intimidating, leg-burning bumps found at every ski resort? You could avoid them, but this is not going to help your skills, and it will ultimately limit your ability to ski all over the mountain. The freedom of skiing the whole mountain with no limitations is what most skiers strive for; once you’re comfortable with moguls, the trees, bowl runs, and ungroomed terrain are all up for grabs.

Mogul Basics

One of the most difficult aspects of mogul skiing is keeping your balance, so here are some tips to start:

1. Keep your hands in front of you, stay limber, and use your poles properly to plant on top of the bumps.

2. Choose an easy line at first: the easiest way down is to make your turns on top of the bumps.

3. Take a lesson and learn from the professionals: Learning the art of mogul skiing is hard, and learning from your spouse or friend will probably just strain your relationship. Do yourself and your loved ones a favor and learn from those who know best.

Here’s a great introductory video from PSIA-AASI to get you started:

My Favorite Runs

It’s no secret that the Mary Jane Territory has world class mogul skiing, and I would consider it to be at the top of the list in Colorado. Runs such as Outhouse, Trestle and Drunken Frenchman are awesome if you’re up for the challenge of skiing moguls. These amazing trails will surely frustrate and wear you out if you can’t work with bumps, so go learn to ski them.

Beyond the Bumps

Many former mogul racers go on to compete in skiing events with ungroomed and natural features and terrain. Take the Freeride World Tour for instance: a big mountain, freeski competition (taking place right now), featuring some of the best skiers in the world that compete only on natural and ungroomed terrain. Points are earned through line choice, fluidity, and dropping cliffs. These skiers and riders learned from various ski disciplines, with expert mogul skiing as a foundation. The Freeride World Tour has three stops left in Andorra, Austria, and Switzerland, so tune into their live streamed events to see unmatched talent on the hardest terrain in the world.

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