Scottish Ski Touring Week
Price: £395 per person
Length: 5 days
Ski touring is perhaps the ultimate way to travel through the mountains in winter and our Scottish Ski Touring Week introduces you to the delights. On the ascents skins are fitted to the bottom of skis to allow us to glide uphill without sinking down into the snow as we would on foot. We can move more quickly than we would on foot and of course on the downhills we can enjoy fresh tracks through the back country with the pleasure of having earnt our turns!
What is Ski Touring?
Ski touring allows you to travel through the mountains in winter with skis on your feet. It may also include summits where it is necessary to climb with crampons and an axe, with skis stashed or carried on your back. Skis tend to be very similar to those used by downhill skiers with the emphasis being on off-piste models. Boots are specific to ski touring/mountaineering and are plastic boots in the same way that a downhill boot is but with a Vibram sole unit and a walk mode that allows flex at the ankle. Bindings for ski touring/mountaineering allow you to fix the heel for descents and free the heel for ascents.
Scottish Offpiste Skiing
Scotland offers some superb offpiste skiing and ski touring. The first snows of the season tend to arrive in September but not in sufficient quantities for skiing until November/December. December and January are generally pretty windy but can bring some great powder as we get some larger dumps of snow. February and March are usually the most reliable months for snow cover and when the sun comes out we can have some of the most stunning mountain scenery in the world.
Scotland tends to experience a great deal of temperature variation, going through cycles of thaw and freeze which alternately de-stabilze and re-stabilze the snow pack from an avalanche point of view and change the nature of the skiing from day to day.
There are good resorts in Glencoe, Nevis Range on Aonach Mor and in the Cairngorms, each offering uplift and the potential for offpiste action. For inspiration take a look at the new guidebook “Scottish Offpiste Skiing and Snowboarding” by Kenny Biggin.
Who is the Scottish Ski Touring Week course suitable for?
This course is for people who ski in resorts and on piste and would like to progress to off-piste skiing and be able to tour the Scottish mountains on skis. You need to be a competent parallel skier, happy on at least red runs on the piste and have a good level of hill fitness. The course is also ideal preparation for a ski mountaineering trip to the Alps, allowing you to learn the basics in the UK before you head overseas.
Over the five days we will introduce you to off piste ski touring in the mountains of Scotland. The majority of the Scottish Ski Touring week long course will be out in the mountains and we will also make the most of some uplift over the week within the ski resort. The advantage of the five day program is that we will experience a range of snow types and weather conditions and we can enjoy several days touring to consolidate skills.
Skills covered include:
– Avalanche avoidance
– Use of ski touring kit such as skins and transceivers.
– Choice and planning of ski mountaineering routes
– Navigation skills on skis
– The use of snow anchors and belays in a ski touring context
– Movement skills on skis in ascent and descent
– Use of ice axe and crampons in a ski touring context
– Introduction to a variety of snow types and slope angles
Over the five days we will aim to tick off some of the nicest ski summits/routes the weather and conditions allow. (Also available as a two day course)
Where is the course held?
The course is based in Fort William but we will travel to wherever the best snow conditions are available to us. We often spend the first and last day of the course in the Cairngorms as the best rental shops are in Aviemore for ski touring equipment.
Who runs the course?
I run these courses myself. I have come to skiing from a mountaineering background and over the last few winters have spent 4-5 weeks of ski touring and ski mountaineering each winter in Scotland, Norway and the Alps. I love the feeling of climbing a mountain and then skiing off the top!
Not Scotland – But a video for Inspiration!
Ski & Kit Hire
We will meet in Aviemore and ski mountaineering kit is available to hire for £35 per day from here or from Mountain Spirit on 01479 811 788.
What about accommodation?
Accommodation is not provided as this allows us to keep the course cost low and you can then arrange accommodation to suit your budget.
Previous Experience & Fitness
You need to be a competent parallel skier, have at least three weeks of ski experience on piste and have a good level of hill fitness. We aim to spend both days travelling through the mountains on skis but will keep the grade at a level to suit the group – the course is more about the skills and the journey than shredding steeps! A little bit of training in the form of cycling, running or swimming beforehand will pay dividends on the uphill sections.
Meeting Place & Time
Once you book we will send you a comprehensive set of course notes and a letter of confirmation, this will include a detailed kit list and details of where and when we meet. The first day normally starts at 8:30am in Fort William and finishes in the same place at about 5:00pm.
When does this course run?
You can view the dates of all of our courses throughout the year on the diary page.
If you have any questions that you can’t find answers to on the website visit our contact page for details on how to get in touch. We look forward to meeting you!
Book this Course
To book this course please choose a date from the diary page and then click on the button below to complete our booking form and make payment via Paypal. We require full payment to secure your course space.