Ski touring equipment – touring ski, binding, poles – what else?

Ski touring equipment - touring ski, binding, poles - what else?

alpine touring gear

The right equipment for a ski tour
In winter I do many ski tours. I am happy to give you a short introduction to the right ski tour equipment. If you do ski tours, you already know the most important things about skiing on the slopes "The right ski equipment". The biggest difference from ski to go skiing is the climb. When ski touring is not brought with the lift up to the exit, but goes up with the touring ski at the foot. So that you do not slip backwards, a ski touring skin is glued to the ski area. In normal snow conditions it prevents slipping back.

Especially in spring, when the snow thaws during the day and then freezes over at night, hard snow and ice form. Then, during the ski tour, a crampon is attached to the ski. With this one can then go up easily over icy ground, it looks like one "claw", which drills into the ice.

Again, the rule is that in principle not the most expensive ski equipment is the best equipment for every ski tourer. Advice plays an essential role, the ski touring equipment can very quickly become very expensive, if you buy the lightest material – although you do not need it necessarily. There are some additional things to keep in mind when it comes to ski touring gear. Here I introduce you to the individual things that you need on a ski tour. Matching this I have picked out the links from Amazon. There you will find an overview of the current products. If you want you can also order there directly.

The right skis for your ski touring gear

Ski: Which is the right ski for me?
In principle, a ski touring ski is a little shorter than a normal ski. The descent in open terrain increases maneuverability when the ski is not so long. In addition, the weight plays a role in uphill climbing with the ski, which of course is further minimized by a shorter ski touring ski. However, ski touring manufacturers were able to significantly reduce the weight of the touring ski from year to year anyway.

Normally, the touring ski should be 10 to 15 cm shorter than the size of the ski tourer. Unlike the ski slope, Sktitourenski are lighter. This brings enormous benefits in the ascent. Even when driving in deep snow, this is advantageous because you do not sink so quickly. The disadvantage is the lower ride comfort on a ski slope.

There are also different types of skis for touring skis. Depending on the application, they differ. The best-selling touring ski is certainly the all-rounder, with which you can easily uphill and downhill, with an optimal ratio of weight, width and good performance to drive off. Who puts a lot of emphasis on powder snow descents in the open air, will be most comfortable with a freeride touring ski. The group of speed-oriented ski tourers is also getting bigger and bigger. This is primarily about the minimization of the weight to the last – to the detriment of the shutdown and the purse.

The ski touring equipment: your binding

Ski binding is not the same as ski touring binding
Due to the special shape of the ascent during ski touring, the binding at the touring ski must be different than the downhill ski. The ski touring boot must be fixed in the front binding in the front, but at the heel he needs no attachment. So you can push the ski forward on the mountain and run after with your foot. To be able to walk in steep terrain, there is a climbing aid in the heel area, depending on the ski touring binding manufacturer. This provides several levels, so that you can adjust the correct height during the ski tour on site. When shutting down, you can change the ski touring binding. Now the ski touring boot is fixed at the front and at the back, like at the "normal" ski.

What to look for when buying ski touring shoes?

Which ski touring boot for which ski touring binding?
Depending on the ski touring binding manufacturer, the ski boot must be selected. There are differences in fixing the touring ski boots. Dynafit has its own system as the top of the ski touring boot is attached to the ski. Other touring binders (such as Fritschi) now have this system as well. Not all shoes fit here. Many ski touring shoe manufacturers have now adjusted to it, but you have to pay attention when buying. Otherwise you can not get into the binding with the ski touring shoes.

Is the lightest ski touring shoe the best?
Otherwise, you should choose the right touring boot when buying a ski touring boot as when buying the ski touring depending on the type of use. There are mainly differences in weight. The lighter, the more pleasant the climb and at the same time the more expensive. At the departure I personally prefer a heavy shoe. And so you have to decide what is more important to you.

Sticks are part of the ski tour equipment

Ski poles for ski tours with probe?
Here you can use telescopic poles, which can be adjusted to the right length depending on the tour. For ski tourers, there are also special ski touring poles, which can be used with a little conversion as a probe when looking for buried. Whether you need it, everyone has to decide for themselves. It is cheaper to buy sticks and probe separately – and in case of a case you have to have steady hands to rebuild the sticks accordingly fast.

You need this clothing for a ski tour

Ski touring clothing: ski jacket, ski pants, ski underwear
Even more important as skiing on ski holidays is a good ski touring gear. Due to the strenuous physical activity, breathability is especially important. So the sweat wet things can dry faster and you do not catch cold so fast. This danger is particularly great when going on a ski touring, when you first sweat through the ascent and then you are exposed to the airstream when you drive down.

Different manufacturers offer special ski touring pants that address this problem with ventilation. Also, the fit is an issue in the ski touring pants, it should not be too tight and give enough freedom of movement. Otherwise, the ascent becomes a torment. The big manufacturers have the right materials and fabric combinations for them. Depending on the temperature, there are also different warm pants for the ski tour. Alternatively you can with the "Multi-layer principle work".

So in winter a good ski underwear under the ski touring pants makes sense, which you then omit on the warm spring days. This also works with the ski touring jacket, where you are well served with a softshell jacket or a hardshell depending on weather conditions. Due to the more intensive movement during the ascent usually a lighter clothing compared to the ski slope skiing is required. Manufacturers of high-quality and good ski touring clothing include Bergans, Mammut and Dynafit.

Important: safety on the ski tour

Avalanche transceiver, probe, shovel
Anyone who moves in the open air and goes skiing, should definitely have a so-called avalanche transceiver and a probe. For the avalanche transceivers, Mammut has launched a good device with its Barryvox. Probes are also available from mammoth and other manufacturers. A snow shovel that can be stowed as small as possible and has a large shovel surface (for example from the outdoor manufacturer Mammut) is also a must for tourers.

It is quite clear that possession of this equipment alone is not enough. Anyone entering alpine unsecured terrain should also be able to handle the avalanche transceiver and probe and try this once. A first test in case of emergency is too late. In addition, the knowledge of avalanche warning and avalanche awareness is essential.

A ski touring backpack with airbag?

The right ski touring backpack
There has been a lot of work here lately. While earlier a ski touring backpack "just" used to carry the utensils on the ski tour, the current ski touring backpacks can do a lot more. Especially the function with avalanche airbag is interesting for a ski tour. The price for the avalanche airbags is not small. But you get a piece of security. Even many a ski touring backpack with airbag has saved lives.

A ski touring backpack with avalanche airbag
There are different systems of avalanche airbags in the market. The first major supplier was ABS. This system is now installed by some manufacturers in ski touring rucksacks. Here the air flows from a cartridge into a kind of air cushion. In the case of an avalanche, this keeps the skier better on the surface. According to this principle, other avalanche airbags work. You can trigger the backpack once, then the cartridge must be refilled by the retailer.

Avalanche airbag with multiple deployment
A multi-trigger avalanche backpack is available from Black Diamond. Here, the air is not pressed out of the cartridge into the air cushion, but with a blower. Once triggered, you can release the air from the avalanche airbag and simply fold it up again. Then you can start again and use the avalanche airbag again, without stopping at the dealer.

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Christina Cherry
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