What's So Great About Walking Up Hill Ski Touring?


So you put on skis and walk up hill, carrying a backpack heavy with safety gear. Why would you want to when you can take a lift in resort? Here's why...

How many times are we asked, why walk up the mountain to ski down, when you can take the lifts? STYLE ALTITUDE HQ is just opposite the pistes in Serre Chevalier (see webcam) yet we often choose to ski tour rather than use the resort.

So why? Where to begin. There's  the unspoilt mountain landscapes, the utter peace away from the crowds and bustle of everyday life, the potential for untouched powder or spring snow to ski down and the camaraderie of friends who join you for the craic of backcountry escapades.

Okay so there is, also, the fact that walking uphill for two or three hours can be tiring - and is not for everyone. But this is why the backcountry is so peaceful. Well, maybe not in Chamonix but certainly where we live. 

Yesterday, we did one of our favourite ski tour routes, joined by rookie ski tourer, Kevin (read his own ski blog here about his first time backcountry experience)). Mellow climbs, beautiful views and incredibly quiet. We only met one other French tourer - and he was from the local mountain village - with his friend. We all stopped for a chat and to admire the view.

It was a long climb for a first-timer, of just over 900m. It was gloriously sunny so a case of stripping off to t-shirts for the ascent but, thanks to that sun, a (mostly) spring snow descent with some crust and windblown thrown in. In total it was a four hour outing followed by pints downed thirstily at the nearest bar.

If you still question why we ski tour, then, by all means, stick with the lifts and leave us in peace and pow.