Ski touring has become an essential part of the winter program and it is becoming increasingly popular. Going up the mountain without using a lift is a major attraction for many. For a successful ski tour, one thing above all must not be missing: the right touring equipment. This depends on various factors: season, weather conditions or the duration. In the second blog article of our ski touring series, we focus on ski touring equipment and provide a list of the most important components. In the previous blog article, you can read more about the perfect preparation for your first ski tour.
As with many sports, the material is very important for touring. Touring skis should not be confused with alpine downhill skis. After all, you want to conquer the mountain in this trend sport and not carve down quickly. There are now many different models. Some are more uphill oriented and others more downhill oriented. Regardless of the model, the touring ski should not be too short. The weight of the ski also plays an essential role. Basically, the lighter the ski, the easier the ascent.
The touring shoes also differ from conventional ski equipment. The same applies to touring boots as to alpine ski boots: they must be comfortable to wear. Most models have the ability to switch from hard to soft. So you can adapt to both the ascent and the descent. When buying, you can choose a tight touring shoe. These will continue after the first tours.
The ski touring binding must harmonize well with the touring boot. The binding has one important task when ascending: To ensure a perfect hold. The boot is attached with the toe in the binding. As a result, the heel can also be moved vertically during the ascent. Depending on personal preference, there are two different types of binding: plate binding (rather heavier) and pin binding (rather lighter).
Ski Touring Poles
The ski touring poles ensure stability and are therefore an important part of the equipment. They should be lightweight and also adjustable. Ski touring poles are about ten centimeters longer than poles for the slopes. Depending on the tour, however, the length may vary. Important components of ski touring poles are the large plates and a claw-shaped tip. This gives you a good grip even in deep snow.
Ski Touring Skins
When it comes to ski touring, ski touring skins play a very important role. They are glued under the skis before the ascent. This makes the touring skis more non-slippery. The “snow side” of ski touring skins are made of mohair (skin of Angora goats) or synthetics. For the perfect grip and hold, the skins are often impregnated or fur care sprays are used.
Although crampons are not needed every time, they should not be missing on any tour. These are mounted under the binding in icy and hard conditions. This prevents slipping in difficult conditions. They are made of either aluminum or steel. The sharp spikes dig the hard material into the ground.
Photo: Photo by Greg Rosenke on Unsplash