Take back control of your ski adventures this winter…
After a summer of chaos and quarantine, we'll all be looking to make the most of our winter adventures this year. Adventures uninhibited by resort closures and excessive lift lines, deserted pistes and of course, an abundance of snow… While this may seem like the stuff of dreams, this is the reality of ski touring, and is the reason it is growing in popularity. If you haven't tried it yet, here are 5 reasons you should, courtesy of 5 SunGod Ambassadors:
1. The Unique Sense of Achievement
Recommended by Tasha Edwards (@tasha.edwards)
Having been based in Val d’isere for the past 10 winters, Tasha is busy training for her final exam for the ISTD instructor qualification. For Tasha, touring evokes a sense of achievement that is second to none...
“There’s no better feeling than standing at the summit of a mountain after a long tour and looking out over unspoiled views as far as you can see. It's true, you can achieve a similar feeling at the top of a lift but I can guarantee you, it's not nearly as good! What's more, high altitude, steep ascents and temperature extremes make for a pretty epic workout! As a result, it feels so incredibly rewarding as you reach the top and of course to top it all off, you have a long, uninterrupted ski home across untouched snow, away from the resort crowds!”
2. The Opportunity to Connect with Nature
Recommended by Anna Boschini: (@anna_petits_bois)
Working as an osteopath in the Aosta Valley in Italy, Anna spends every free moment in the mountains…
“Skiing is about being outside and experiencing nature but that can get lost on us when we’re standing in lift lines surrounded by people! Venturing away from the resorts on a ski tour takes you back to that direct connection with the mountain. I love everything about ski touring but this connection with mother nature is what I love most - the beauty of the mountains and solitude takes my breath away. Not only this, in order to stay safe, we must take the time to learn, understand respect the rules of mother nature – isn’t that what skiing should be all about?”
3. Experience Ultimate Freedom
Recommended by Baptiste Leprince (@baptisteleprince)
Based in Grenoble, France, Baptiste has been skiing his entire life. He’s recently started to favour ski touring over just freeriding thanks to the freedom it offers…
"Ski touring is the ultimate freedom for me, there are no piste markers, no directions and no ski patrols - it’s just you, your buddies and nature. Time ceases to exist for the duration of the tour and you can really live life to the fullest. I love venturing away from the resorts relying on well-made plans and intuition, and the moment of reaching your goal is second to none! Apart from perhaps the moment when you remove the skins and shred that mountain from top to bottom…”
4. Disconnect from Civilisation
Recommended by Ranja Schlotte (@ranja_sch)
Kitesurfing all summer and skiing all winter, Ranja lives her life in the fast lane. As a result, touring offers the opportunity to press pause and enjoy what’s right in front of her…
“I love ski touring because it gives me the opportunity to get far away from the ski stations and civilisation. When you’re out touring, everything else in life ceases to matter, it’s just you, your skis and the path in front of you. Your brain is only full of the route you have planned to take, the snow conditions and any friends you’re with. Touring to reach remote places far away from civilisation is the ultimate therapy for me - you don’t text anyone or check your Whatsapp, true disconnection!”
5. Ski the Best Snow
Recommended by Paul Romain (@paul_romain_)
Born and raised in Chamonix, France, trainee mountain guide Paul Romain lives to get off the beaten track, searching for the best snow he can find…
“You don’t have to put yourself in harm’s way to find powder, just grab your touring gear and use your imagination! If you make the effort to skin away from the ‘beaten track’ it is possible to find fresh powder weeks after the last snowfall. Whether you start in the resort and venture out, or jump in the car and head away from the lift stations, with a pair of skins, good touring knowledge and a little ingenuity, you can make every day powder day! Just make sure you have the right safety knowledge and understanding of the terrain and potential dangers - if in doubt, hire a guide!"
Touring presents an excellent opportunity to take control of your winter adventures this year, despite the disruption that the coming months may bring. What's more, touring can suit all levels of skiing and snowboarding. Finally, whether it’s a sunrise session before the lifts open or a full day adventure, if touring is new to you, take a guide. You’ll have more fun, you won’t have to worry about finding your way and above all, you’ll be safe!