SNOW!...Ski touring time!
10th December 2020
With the first snows here in Aviemore the psyche is high!
The skiing is great at the moment, with an unusually good amount of cover for December. The ski centre is yet to open, but it's been fantastic to see so many people out enjoying ski mountaineering.
Ski touring is a great way to explore the mountains.
The uphill part being hard work but well worth it for the effortless glide along the plateaus, ridges and ofcourse the lovely long descent back to the car.
It's a great way to see wildlife. Once your clear of the noise from the ski lifts there are plenty of ptarmigan, arctic hare and snow bunting to be seen in their natural environent, enjoying the peace and quiet alongside you.
The extra equipment may seem complicated at first, but once you've got your head around adjusting your bindings for different steepenings and putting your skins on and off you can get into a good rhythm and cover ground efficiently.
As always in the mountains, navigation is a crutial skill. One that is not made any easier by harsh winter weather, zero visability AND sticking your feet to fast sliding objects! Learning to navigate on skies does require some extra skills and patience, but its something we can all learn and improve apon.
Avalanche awareness is also crutial. As skiers, we are often moving faster than others in the hills and it can be easy to get carried away and forget about your decision making. You might spot a 'sick line' or see someone else's perfect turn tracks and want to get going, but it is vital to pause and make decisions regarding the stability of the snowpack for yourself.
If you fancy giving ski mountaineering a go this season, we run a 2 or 5-day Introduction ro Ski Mountaineering. For more information on this course and for the full list of dates avaiable, visit our winter course section at https://www.cairngormadventureguides.co.uk/winter-courses/intro-to-ski-mountaineering.Recent articles