When side hilling first began, it meant standing on the uphill side of your sled with the skies slightly turned away from the hill….like boondocking - except you’re on a slope!
But it, like most other things has evolved - I believe brought to the backcountry by Chris Burandt from his days of mountain climbing competitions when he used a free hanging leg for balance.
So now, we stand with only one foot on the sled – still on the uphill side and hang the other one off for balance. You are actually using your leg like a support point....as you drag your foot, it stabilizes you - when needed….usually you just use it for the balance…...and it looks really cool when there’s powder and it makes a spray!!
Because of this, it’s easy to lean the sled on the uphill side of the mountain with little effort…
Trust me, I'm 50, I use technique...so you're never too old...
So you don't have to fight the weight of the machine and stay perfectly balanced all the time. Let the sled slide along the snow on its side. If you slow down too much - then just push with the free foot ….and get on the throttle.
But remember - not pinned all the time - you must learn to play with the gas.
If you’re on and off the gas then you’re good.
It’s the balance that counts….
When you hit the gas, the sled’s track will sink in the snow and lean more up the hill.
There is a lot of stuff going on all at once when doing this….you have to also look where you are going!!!
Once you figure out the balance point of your sled, then it’s easy….but this is just a basic explanation of side hilling….also the way I see it….
Ryan - 6 ft 5 in, 295 lbs - ....so you're never too big or heavy....
Try it and get back to me and if there's any difficulty we can try and figure out what the problem is…
A little caution, dragging your leg can be dangerous….This is why: logs, branches and also rocks under the snow.
“Sledder talk”: they are called “sharks”.
REMEMBER: When you ride in cuts on the side of the mountains, expect to get stuck!..
Come to the Sled Den and I’ll teach you myself - it's a lot of fun and for sure, it's worth a few laughs together!
More than just a place, we’re here to make your stay a memory and to pass on any knowledge that we can.
Return from Side Hilling to The Backcountry