Ski touring - my freedom on powder days |

You might wonder why more and more people seem to do this ski touring “thing”, well let me tell you something about it. Most skiers will know the pure joy of being the first one to ski a track early in the morning, especially after a night of snowfall!

There are usually hardly any people and you can just feel pure freedom. However, during weekends and skiing holidays the places can get really crowded and there is of course the battle for being the first one – if you are ever visiting Innsbruck just watch the battle for the first gondola after heavy snowfall at the Nordkette, it’s spectacular. So, what to do if you are not too keen to fight for your amazing skiing experience too hard – well ski touring is my answer to it!

I have been to amazing places since I started ski touring last year and I had lots of amazing first lines, powder and views that I will never forget! One of my personal favourite spots is probably the Glungezerhütte, with a nice hike, which isn’t too heavy, amazing food at the top and a line with lots of powder that follows me in my dreams. I must admit that I am not the kind of person that does ski touring for the hiking part but rather for enjoying the usually rather lonely ski runs. If you ask yourself how hard it is than, I think if you have been skiing before on a good level and are fit enough to hike in the summer, you will be fine for the easy ski tours. Of course, for the harder ones you might need to get some training and get used to the “funny” walking style and be brave enough to ski down steeper slopes, too.

When it comes to the ski touring equipment, there are slight differences to the normal equipment. The binding can be switched between the climbing and the downhill mode and a you will need to walk up for quite some time, also the boots have a special walk and ski function, and some are reduced in weight heavily. The poles are not a lot different, expect they usually have bigger plates for more support in the deeper snow and for the skis it mostly depends on your personal preference. Hiking focused ski tourers will favour very light equipment, while people like me prefer the bigger powder skis. The biggest difference is probably the additional gear you should carry, as you will usually move into the open ski space for ski touring and safety should be on your priority list! It is important to be aware of the avalanche situation and having the appropriate gear with you is crucial, so especially for the start guided tours are highly recommended.

Overall, if you love skiing, especially on powder days, off-piste, and enjoying exploring amazing landscapes, you might want to think about starting your ski touring career, as well.

Happy ski touring. Janina :)

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