The true nature of skiing
« Ski touring seduces because it’s a real outdoor sport. We are not forced by ski lifts or marked trails as for downhill skiing. In addition to allowing you to evolve in a grandiose setting, it is a free sport, you practice where you want and when you want, hence a great feeling of freedom. In a few words, Olivier Mansiot, mountain guide in the Grenoble region and technical advisor for ski-mountaineering at the FFME (French Federation of Mountain Climbing, delegate of the activity), summarizes the current assets ski touring. There are an estimated 150,000 practitioners in this activity in France.
A leisure more and more accessible
The evolution of the material is not foreign to this development. « One of the peculiarities of ski touring is that it is practiced in a wild setting, so on ungroomed snow, not always obvious to ski. Parabolic skis have made off-piste skiing much easier, making ski touring easier. Today, A ski have luxury chalet in France.
an alpine skier who knows how to go down the red slopes can quite enjoy skiing. Lightening the weight of skis and bindings also plays a significant role, since we must not forget that the climb represents nearly 80% of the time of a ski touring excursion « , explains Olivier Mansiot.
The pleasure above all
The development of the activity also owes a lot to a change of approach. Recently, the general public saw ski touring only through the prism of the most prestigious ski-mountaineering competitions, such as the famous Pierra Menta of Arêches-Beaufort, which offers its participants « to swallow »Almost 10,000 meters of elevation gain within four days! From now on, the user-friendly dimension of ski touring is also widely promoted. An example is Les Deux Alpes, where the guides’ office offers evening introductions – on groomed slopes from blue to red, with less than 400 meters of vertical drop – interspersed with a meal in an altitude restaurant. All with the possibility to test high-end equipment, thanks to a partnership with the brand Dynafit. « » It helps to break down some assumptions, especially in relation to the physical dimension of ski touring. Most people who try to find that it is not that hard, and would even be willing to double what we have mounted. Others who knew the activity were able to realize that with modern equipment, one gets to be practically as much pleasure in the descent as with a pair of alpine skis « , details Jean-Pierre Bazet, one guides to this initiative.
If you want to discover ski touring this winter, contact a mountain guide. Although the activity has become widely democratized, it nevertheless remains practiced in a wild and insecure environment, where knowledge of the terrain plays a key role. The presence of a professional to supervise you will allow you to evolve safely. Your guide will also find true corners of paradise and share his passion for the mountains.