The objective of this highly technical activity is to explore the mountain independently, without having to rely on the specific facilities of ski resorts.
If you’re tired of the expensive ski lifts and overcrowded slopes, come and discover this new and trendy experience in immaculate snow. This activity is however recommended for people in a good physical shape who don’t have any respiratory or heart problems. If ski touring is ideal for nature lovers and winter enthusiasts, it is also a sport of its own. Climbing ascending elevations that can go up to 45% until the top and then going downhill in steep corridors needs a lot of energy and a good condition. We can assure you that it is necessary to be physically ready before considering a full ski touring excursion. But if you practice a regular physical activity like running or cycling, it should not be a problem.
The pleasure of ski touring is above all exploring the mountain, hearing the snow cracking under your feet and meeting wild animals unexpectedly. In between alpine skiing and ski touring, ski touring is a two-step sport: an ascent and a descent with a relatively low altitude difference. And as for every off-piste activity, it’s important to follow the guides’ advice and instructions because only they know the right routes and techniques.
As for the equipment (skis, shoes, skins, poles, avalanche transceiver, shovel, probe…), it’s usually included in the price of the activity, but you should still wrap up well (hat, warm jacket, fleece…) because temperatures can go down quickly.
Furthermore, after 15 years specialists are sure that 2018 will be the best year for ski touring, especially since the heavy snowfall of this winter.
Here’s our selection of ideal spots in Europe with routes perfectly suitable to your level.
Tackle the peaks and ridges of the French Pyrenees! Discover this new activity that will allow you to escape further into the wilderness of the mountain. You can combine the pleasure of snowy mountains with the thrill of riding whilst learning a new way of exploring the slopes. It’s a rather sporty trip that gives you access to natural and peaceful areas, away from the mechanical facilities. You’ll learn the basic ski touring techniques and get the chance to ride down off-piste slopes in complete safety. Also, it’s apparently a good way to meet marmots…
Madonna di Campiglio, Italy
Get your explorer mood ready and try this fantastic ski touring adventure in the heart of the Brenta Dolomites, Madonna di Campiglio. Lunar landscapes, snowy forests, sunlight-coloured peaks, and the silence of nature will accompany you every day. It is a three-day tour to discover the mountain in a complete and immersive way. The route is of medium difficulty with an average 700-meter altitude difference and a daily activity of 6/7 hours with professional and friendly Italian guides.
Møre of Romsdal, Norway
Night ski touring (with a headlamp) has become popular in Norway since the last couple of years, making it one of the most demanding activity in the region! This unusual excursion starts at Uteguiden’s office in Stranda, and then you are driven to the starting point. Here you’ll start your hike up to the summit with the help of your headlamp and the stars. And if you’re lucky there’ll be a good chance to contemplate the Northern lights. It’s definitely an experience of a lifetime!
Møre of Romsdal, Norway
Same spot on a different time of the day. Explore the magnificent mountains and the spectacular views of Møre of Romsdal with an expert guide who knows the region like the back of his hand! The summit that is accessible the first day is in Lisjenibba og Kvitegga, but the guide will adapt to the ski and snow conditions. After a busy day in the snow, you’ll enjoy relaxing in a sauna on the other side of the fjord with a cold Slogen beer in your hand. Uteguiden’s spirit is to focus on skiing, rather than on the summits, that’s why you’ll sometimes have to go down a forest instead of trying to keep going straight.
The ski area of Troll peninsula in Iceland offers numerous possibilities for ski touring. There you can ski from the mountain’s summit to the Arctic Ocean. The region is vast and largely unexplored. The ski slopes are truly unique, with a panoramic view of the immaculate slopes which await you. Get ready for different skiing conditions – skiing into fresh powder to vertical cliffs of 1500 meters in the Arctic mountains. After a beautiful day in the mountains, you can bathe into the natural Icelandic hot springs or try the swimming pools just near the Lodge. You could also go on a boat tour to observe whales in their natural habitat.
Located just near the Italian border close to the Aosta Valley, Tignes is a French town in the valley of Tarentaise. It’s a popular ski resort open all year round. About ski touring, the route will be chosen according to the group’s level but here are the two main ones:
– Vallon des Arses: an easy skiing itinerary that starts at the Pissaillas summit. You’ll then ski toward the Maurienne valley and finish the day in the most fluid and nice area to ride.
– Col de la Sana: an itinerary in the heart of the Vanoise that connects Tignes to Val d’Isère. You’ll start by putting the skins on at the Leisse ski lift, a valley that runs along the Grande Motte. You’ll then join the Col de la Sana easily to get to Val d’Isère. The way down is long and will end at the bottom of the Manchet Valley where you’ll take the ski lift.
Province of Huesca, Spain
re you ready to engage in 4 days of cold, snow and riding on fresh snow in Panticosa? It’s a stimulating and rewarding experience that will end on the last day by climbing the Dientes de Batanes. Even though this trip doesn’t require a good technical level, experience in cross-country skiing is needed as the stages range from middle to high-level. After a day of training, you’ll head to the Bachimaña refuge facing a positive differential in height of 550m. Then you’ll ride towards the Pico Marcadu and face a positive difference in height of 800 meters. Finally you’ll climb the Dientes de Batanes and reach Baños de Panticosa to finish the trip.
This ski touring session is the ideal way to explore the Mount Rosa valleys, and reach wild and hidden places whilst looking for incredible descents on fresh snow. You can count on the knowledge and experience of Francesco – your certified mountain leader -, a real asset that will take you to the best routes according to your level. The Monte Rosa domain is a playground for ski touring, offering various excursions, from multi-day trips along the famous Trofeo Mezzalama to the lateral valleys of the Lys.
La Clusaz, France
Forget about the ski lifts of La Clusaz resort and discover the Aravis Range on an amazing ski touring excursion with a private guide. This ski resort benefits from exceptional snow and sun conditions all winter long. Two marked trails are available during the opening of the slopes (Etale and Beauregard). Skis or splitboard on your feet, you’ll climb to access the virgin slopes, the secret powder or the memorable Combe of Aravis. Away from the crowd, you’ll approach slopes adapted to your level and ride long off-piste routes.