I took some time to free ski this weekend, before an annual ski instructor party. It was a wonderful day of hard charging down some wonderfully steep and gnarly slopes, in very questionable heavy snow conditions. Exactly the sort of skiing that would have most people running for the lodge and a nice cup of hot cocoa. But then again, I've never been accused of sanity.
So you know to keep your body facing down the hill, and you know to use your poles to make blocking pole plants, but you have a problem. As soon as you start the turn, you quickly pass the pole basket in the snow, which draws your arm back, and causing you to rotate the upper body across the hill. What to do? The answer, as you might have guessed from the title, is to punch!
Next time you're on steep gnarly terrain, make a pole plant as usual. As soon as the pole enters the snow, immediately punch that fist downhill, in the direction of travel. The pole basket remains on the snow, and the pole itself now angles against the surface. This punch will draw the upper body forward and down the hill, helping keep your balance forward, while also preventing excessive rotation of the upper body.