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What Are Alpine Touring Skis?

Touring skis, or backcountry skis, combine styles like alpine, cross-country, telemark, randonnee, and backcountry. They offer the best of all worlds, so you might only need one pair of skis to cover your needs. Touring skis are suitable for more advanced skiers who already have a greater knowledge of the unpredictable backcountry nature.

Ski touring is all about traveling both up and down the mountain without the need to take off the skis. The loose heel and the wide base of the ski touring skis enable you to go explore the powder snow in the backcountry. If you wish to ski on-piste, alpine touring skis can also easily be used on the groomed slopes of skiing resorts.

How to Choose Touring Skis?

As a rule of thumb, touring skis should be lightweight (around 1100 g to 1800 g) while the length should be plus-minus 5-10 cm of your height. Heavier skis are better suited for riding downhill, providing more stability and speed, but will require greater effort during ascends. Lighter skis, on the contrary, are better for more uphill-oriented ski touring. The waist width depends on the touring preference, but it is usually between 82-105 mm in more all-around backcountry skis.

What Ski Touring Gear Should I Get?

For alpine ski touring, you will need special gear to help you get up and down the mountain. The right equipment will make sure you can make the most out of your backcountry adventures.

One of the most important parts of touring gear is the bindings. You are able to walk with your skis on, due to the special touring bindings. They allow you to walk and lift the heel while the toe is still fixed to the ski. You can find alpine touring bindings in our Ski Bindings Selection.

Choosing the right ski boots is also of great importance. Since you have to be able to lift the heel to make forward walking motions, highly flexible and relatively lightweight boots are an advantage. Our range of Alpine Ski Boots includes some specialized touring boots suitable for backcountry skiing.

Other necessary parts of touring equipment are the skins and ski poles. Skins prevent you from sliding backward when hiking up, and they are mounted on the base of the skis. Good climbing skins provide a balanced combination of traction and glide and attach well to the skis. As for ski poles, we recommend using adjustable ski poles for touring. Then you have the option of a long pole for the ascent, and a shorter pole for the descent, or two different lengths for traversing the mountain.

Since you are moving around in the wild nature, you will also need safety equipment such as a ski helmet and avalanche gear. See our selection of Ski Protection Gear and head to the backcountry with ease of mind.

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