Ski touring is the new black

After careful consideration I’ve come to the conclusion that ski touring is the bees knees, the chamois’ horn, and the alpine hare’s ears. It rules! There’s no exercise like it, it is the best way to see the mountains in winter, and off-piste skiing is where the best snow is. Since taking an avalanche course so we can make smart choices on where to go in the mountains, Tanya and I have gone ski touring each weekend and have rather fallen for this particular snow activity. On Saturday Tanya and Olivier and I headed towards Mont Rogneux.

Beginning of the climb.
Happy snow dog who came to say hi.

The tour to Mont Rogneux is a classic choice, which meant there were a lot of other people with us on the path yesterday. It is a tour with a fair bit of height gain and distance involved – to go right to the summit of Mont Rogneux it’s about 1700 metres vertical and 10 kilometres horizontal. We went to a nice col at about 2800 m before turning around because time was getting on and the snow was getting soft, which meant we climbed about 1500 m.

Getting ready for the descent.
Skis!

After ski touring, hiking will never be the same. The descents are just brilliant! Unlike downhill skiing, you have a sense of having worked hard for each turn, so you savour it all the more. You can search out fresh snow, cruise across untracked sections, choose your own way. The only pity about the descent is that after so much work to climb up high, the way down is so fast, but that is also a thrill.

Just like hiking, however, touring on skis is a fantastic way to see the landscape. Every time we go we see more places to go next time, and Tanya and I have spent many hours poring over Swiss maps, which I might say are ridiculously accurate and beautiful. So, here is to ski touring. I raise my glass to a sport I never thought I would get into, let alone enjoy with such a passion.

March 10, 2014

Comments

  1. There are few things cooler than suddenly discovering a whole new world of awesome! Good stuff!

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