Ascending a slope may seem relatively simple but doing it well does take some practise. One of the most important things to remember is that you should never climb beyond your abilities – particularly those of descending and turn outs. If you’re not comfortable navigating down the terrain afterwards then it’s best to reassess. Essentially, you should always have a plan. It’s something that we at Sled360 are always saying but only because it’s so vital! If you don’t make it you should know what your plan B and plan C turn outs are.
This video provides a good example of how to climb a slope efficently (from around 30 seconds on):
First of all, know your machine! In general, once you bleed down to 5mph/8kmh, you should then have enough momentum to exercise your turn out option. You won’t be able to see the speedometer in most climbing circumstances, so learn the sight and sound (RPM) your machine will make when you need to turn out. When it comes to steeper slopes, most sleds are going to experience some degree of nose lift.
To maintain control, use the neutral position back (standing toward the rear of the running board) to keep the weight off the skis and on the track. This also keeps your center of gravity closer to the slope. Learn to turn like you are on a balance board – the further back you are, the easier this will be. Once the skis come up, they will be useless for directional control.
Keep your eyes well ahead on your line and learn to look past obstacles. Try to use consistent throttle and carry more speed into the hill than you will need. If the nose of your sled comes up more than you want, you can drag the brake to bring it back down.
When climbing, try to avoid letting off the throttle. As soon as you let off the throttle, you will lose momentum fast and you run the probability that your clutch will shift.
We hope you find this useful! Follow these instructions and climbing a slope should be much easier. Remember, it’s always good to plan ahead and have back-up plans in case your ascent doesn’t go as expected!
Did you find this useful? Do you have any tips for this technique? Let us know in the comment section below!