For the last three decades, Andrew Collier, MD, has functioned as a physician and orthopaedic surgeon with Philadelphia Orthopaedic Associates in Pennsylvania. Outside of his work as a surgeon, Andrew Collier, MD, enjoys spending time with his family. He is especially fond of taking family ski trips to places such as Austria and Switzerland.
There are a number of techniques individuals must master as they become familiar with the sport of skiing. However, one important piece of information involving how skis actually move on snow is often overlooked. The ability to ski down a mountainside is rooted in the principle that the freezing point for water changes with pressure. In other words, as skis are pressed against the snow, the applied pressure melts the snow. The result of the melting snow is a thin layer of water that allows the skis to travel downhill with little resistance.
This aspect of skiing plays a critical role in the concept of seeking out the path of least resistance. Skis naturally tend to travel in a straight path down the hill. In any other direction, skiers are forced to push more snow out of the way, creating added friction and slowing progress. A person can take advantage of the path of least resistance by taking a sideways position in order to slow down and come to a stop.