Ski touring has seriously taken off in recent years, with many ski resorts now opening dedicated touring areas and offering new ways to explore the mountains. In this episode of The White Out Shorts, our friends over at Action Outdoors take us through an intro to ski touring and what you’ll need for a day heading uphill.
Ski touring involves using your skis to access backcountry snow, meaning you don’t have to rely on ski lifts and can enjoy quieter areas and fresher tracks.
What equipment do you need for ski touring?
In order to make the most of your ski tour, you will need dedicated touring skis and boots. These are often much lighter than regular skis and boots, meaning they are easier to manoeuvre uphill. The ski boots will also feature a ‘walk mode’, which allows the cuff to pivot freely and gives you an increased range of motion when travelling uphill.
You will also need touring bindings on your skis, which allow for this heel lift when skinning uphill, but also lock back in for the ski descent downhill.
Finally, don’t forget your skins! These are sections of material (normally synthetic or mohair material) pre-cut to the ski’s shape, that stick to the bottom of the ski and keep the grip on the snow, preventing you from sliding back when going uphill.
Often, ski tourers enter areas of the mountain that are not avalanche controlled, so safety equipment and knowledge is essential too. Make sure that your whole group have the correct avalanche safety equipment (shovel, probe, transceiver – turned on!) and that they know how to use it. If necessary, have a few practice sessions with your kit before heading out on your ski tour, just to be extra safe.