Large rocks may look more solid but they are literally a balancing act. Stepping on rocks yields unpredictable results because they have irregular contact on the dirt and rocks below them. Instead look for dirt and plants. These areas are more firm and will allow you to build up piles of dirt beneath your feet to act as a brake.
This technique provides the most control by placing your hands in front of you and extending your feet into the dirt below. It also provides the most safety by placing your center of gravity over your hands. That means if your feet give out that your chest will hit the slope, increasing the surface area to slow you down. Remember, friction is your friend in this environment. The descending technique is to look below through your legs while moving each limb individually down the slope like a reverse bear crawl.
This technique is more comfortable to those new to these types of descents, but offers less safety and stability over crawling. It involves facing outward with your legs down the slope while sitting on your butt with your hands at your sides. To descend you move your butt down the slope by bending and extending your legs. I really don’t recommend this technique because if your feet give out your hands won’t provide leverage at your sides, your butt is the only point of contact with the slope and you are not able to move quickly horizontally to avoid hazards from above.
This is an advanced technique to be used by people comfortable with the terrain. It involves placing your shoulders perpendicular to the slope and extending your outer leg into the dirt while keeping your inner leg bent with your foot under your butt. In this posture you can quickly switch between looking uphill for hazards or downhill to navigate while maintaining your center of gravity towards the slope in case of sliding. Like the other techniques it involves using a built up dirt brake beneath your feet to control your descent.
The One-Legged Slide trades maneuverability for speed so often you will switch into the Crawl position when you need to move horizontally or want more stability. When descending there are several variations you can use:
I would not recommend descending loose terrain any place where you don’t have a lot of runout. You can easily slide for quite a ways don’t want to go over a sheer cliff. Also, remember that descending loose terrain like this is highly erosive and definitely inferior to a descent on stable terrain. These tips should only be used when a loose terrain descent is your only option.
Disclaimer: I am not licensed or certified to provide technical training in any way. I am just a dude who loves to explore in nature’s playground. Usage and replication of any of these techniques is at your own risk.