Leave the chairlifts behind: and discover a whole new world of skiing

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Skitouring introduction #1
Skitouring introduction #2
Skitouring introduction #3
Skitouring introduction #4
Skitouring introduction #5

Careful now. Ski touring may be tougher and slower than ordinary skiing. But it’s also addictive.

It seems like a crazy idea at first. Why walk up the Dolomites when the ski lifts will whisk you there in minutes? But once you’ve experienced the silence and the sense of adventure you get on a ski-touring trip – and felt the physical benefit afterwards – you’ll be hooked.

You’ll need to change your equipment. On top of avalanche safety gear, you’ll need a pair of lightweight skis, touring boots and bindings, and adjustable poles. You’ll need skins too. These are sticky-backed strips of plastic which go on the base of your skis at the start of a climb and come off at the top, and stop your skis from slipping backwards on the snow.

But just as important is the change in your mindset. You’re on your own now – far from the infrastructure of ski resorts, hiking into a great wilderness of snow and rock. You must be patient, disciplined and methodical. And you must ready be push yourself physically too.

Sounds like the start of a proper adventure? That’s exactly what it is – as well the beginning of a more intimate relationship with the mountains than you’ll ever get on a chairlift.

Mountain guides

You must be prepared to ease yourself gently into your ski-touring career. Book lessons with an instructor first, to learn how to use the equipment properly. Check the local avalanche reports and weather forecasts, and pick a route to suit the conditions. And remember that it’s always better to hire qualified mountain guide to show you the way. There’s a guides’ office in every Trentino valley. Each one is a deep reservoir of local knowledge about the best routes, the most efficient techniques, and the safest slopes.
Published on 06/06/2023