Many skiers consider ski touring the ultimate form of skiing. Exploring the backcountry terrain and skiing on untouched slopes is a thrilling ride. You can’t duplicate that in resort skiing.
But as exciting as it sounds, it’s also a challenging sport to get into. Skiing offtrack requires good technique and skills. It’s also a physically demanding sport that can empty your gas tank if you’re not ready for it.
Aside from being a challenging sport, there are also some risks involved. Environmental dangers are always present when exploring the great outdoors.
So before you get into ski touring, here’s what you need to know.
Is Ski Touring Difficult?
Ski touring is a difficult sport because of the skill and physical effort it requires.
It’s naturally more challenging for beginners compared to more experienced skiers. The equipment, physical conditioning, and the environment also factor in.
Also, there are some risks in touring the unexplored wilderness. In ski touring, an avalanche is the greatest danger to skiers. That’s why understanding avalanche safety is a requisite before heading out.
How Difficult Is Ski Touring?
For those without cross-country skiing experience, ski touring will be difficult. That’s why you need to know how to cross-country ski so that you’ll be more confident in the backcountry trails.
But it also gets easier with great physical conditioning and the right equipment so even when the terrain is challenging, ski touring will continue to be fun.
Is Ski Touring Hard?
Ski touring can be hard. But this also depends on your physical conditioning, skill level, and environment. You’ll need to put in the hard work to learn the cross-country technique. With this, you’ll learn how to use the right equipment and move offtrack.
Certain uphill climbs can also be hard and will pose a real challenge. It gets even harder because you’re carrying a backpack. The added weight on your back makes it harder as you climb.
However, it can all be worth it as you take on an exciting descent, something that resort skiing won’t be able to offer.
How Hard Is Ski Touring?
Ski touring is hard if you’re not prepared for it. Even if you know how to ski, you won’t last long with poor physical conditioning.
It’s a total body workout that will work all your major muscle groups. Expect your cardiovascular endurance to be tested as well.
Skinning or skiing on flat terrain might sound easy but it’s tiring at long distances. Then it gets even harder when you start to climb. Not only do you have to carry your own weight, but also your backpack.
While it can get easier with the proper technique, you still need to be in good physical form. This way, you can enjoy ski touring to the fullest.
What Muscles Does Ski Touring Work?
Ski touring is a full-body and cardiovascular-endurance workout. It works your major muscle groups like your shoulders, back, arms, legs, and core.
Your upper body gets a workout whenever you use your poles to push your body forward. Your backpack also adds to the work that your shoulders and back have to do.
During climbs, your hips and legs carry your body upward. Then during descents, they provide control.
Your core is what gives you balance and stability all throughout.
How Do You Get in Shape for Ski Touring?
Getting in shape for ski touring is no different from getting in shape for skiing in general. You need to work on your strength, mobility, and endurance.
To make your body stronger, you need to work on your major muscle groups. So you’ll need to hit the gym and target your big muscles through compound exercises. Go for squats, lunges, and bench presses.
When it comes to ease of movement, mobility exercises will help your range of motion and prevent injuries.
But strength and mobility won’t mean a thing if you can’t stay on your skis for long. Training for endurance allows you to perform for longer stretches without tiring. Sports like cycling and running are great ways to improve your endurance and overall fitness.
Is Ski Touring Safe?
There are certain risks involved in ski touring. So should you decide to take on this sport, one of the goals is to minimize those risks. Only then can you enjoy it safely.
One of the biggest threats to safety is an avalanche. While there are very safe ski touring destinations, it’s impossible to predict when and where it can happen. However, you can reduce the risk to a minimum with good planning.
All skiers are also advised to understand avalanche safety and basic first aid. Thus, bringing safety and communications equipment is a must.
Other risks include injuries and the weather. If you’re not physically fit or lack the right equipment, don’t go ahead with your ski tour. The same goes for bad weather. It’s imperative to check the weather forecast before heading out.
With proper planning and preparation, ski touring can be safe and enjoyable for everyone involved.
How to Get Into Ski Touring
To get into ski touring, you need to have an intermediate skill level in cross-country skiing. With cross-country skiing, you’ll learn the basic movements to ski offtrack. This will make it easier as you explore the backcountry terrain.
But before you do, you’ll need some basic ski touring training first. This includes avalanche safety training. It’ll be critical for your survival in case it happens.
You’ll also need to know how to use the different safety tools and ski touring equipment.
Aside from this, you’ll need the proper gear and setup. Once you have all these, you can now start your ski touring adventure!
How Do I Get Better at Ski Touring?
The key to getting better at ski touring is having the right technique and form. This allows more efficient movements over the snow.
If you have poor form and technique, the only way to get better is through practice and training. Consider hiring a coach for greater improvements. This way, a professional will guide you and correct any mistakes.
How Can I Make My Ski Touring Faster?
Aside from mastering your form and technique, physical improvements are also essential. With it, you can go faster on your skis.
The stronger your body is, the more power it can generate. This will allow you to ski faster. Then with high endurance, you can maintain this speed for longer periods.
With strength and cardio training, you elevate your physical capabilities that will affect your speed.