Now is when the wind will be in your face. This not only sounds exciting, it may offer a cool relief from the physical effort of trudging up the hill. Ideally the hill you are on has a flat area at the bottom, and even better, a slight rise after that. This type of hill will allow you to come to a natural stop. If you are not fortunate to have this flat area at the bottom of the hill, skip ahead to the technique tip on page 115. Ideally, it is best to perform a straight run first, but if you are without a flat area to stop, it is possible to skip the straight run and learn the braking wedge to slow down and stop. The good news is that less hill climbing is involved, but initially it will prove a bit more difficult. Ideally, we would like to isolate the skills of the straight run (keeping the skis running straight) and wedge (holding the skis in the wedge position) before adding the skill of pushing the skis out into a wedge from a straight run, but eventually we would end up there anyway.
To face down the hill, do the bullfighter turn. From the sidestepping position with your skis across the hill, make sure you have a comfortable perch on the slope. Slide your hands from the pole grips to the tops of the grips. Turn your upper body so it is facing down the hill. Reach out and downhill with the poles, placing them firmly in the snow like a matador addressing a bull. With your arms straight and in line with the poles, step your skis around with small steps until they are facing straight down the hill. Your poles and ski tips should be about in line and at the same level on the hill. Since your arms are straight, it should not be too much effort to hold yourself, although as soon as you feel you are in balance with your skis (remember the stance, page 110), you are free to start down the hill in a straight run.