/ NEW ARTICLE: Ski Touring for Beginners
Including suggestions of a few top spots in the European Alps...
Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=4342
I don't think Jim has a UKC account, but the short answer to your question above is 'no'. People may use skis purely to access winter climbs, but I think it's fair to say that in the Alps you would generally see people climbing in touring boots, rather than skiing in mountain boots. You have to be a pretty good skier to ski off piste in control in mountain boots.
You best bet might be to hire some kit before taking the plunge.
I think he is right as in 'you can't ski and THERE lies the challenge' not their !!
Why is 'there' grammatically incorrect? 'There' doesn't have to indicate a physical place or position, it also can refer to a previously raised issue. In this case, the issue being not being able to ski. Having said that, if you were looking to be a true linguistic Natzi then 'therein' would be the usual word used in that phrase.
Cheers for the article.
> Why is 'there' grammatically incorrect?
It isn't! To repeat what I told Dan: my posting quoted the original wording, highlighting the mistake. The article was amended after I posted, correcting "their" to "there".
Thanks for this great article Jim. I found it really enjoyable and inspiring to read. There's some good advice in there, and it's given me a much better idea of how to progress my ski-ing to get to touring standard, plus changed my mind about where I might go for my first touring trip (hopefully next year!).
I hope you're ignoring all the petty gripes about the grammar... Don't people have anything better to do?
It's not the writer's fault, rather the editor's, but mistakes in articles do detract from the pleasure of reading them for me.
On the article, I totally accept the argument that the more lessons you have the better skier you'll be, but I'd just add that it's not the only way to do things. I'm a pretty lousy skier, I think I've paid for two hours of lessons ever, the rest was just skiing with mates, but I still have had some of my best mountain days ever whilst ski touring. Doing a course or getting a guide is probably the most sensible way to start touring, but its not the only way.
> I hope you're ignoring all the petty gripes about the grammar... Don't people have anything better to do?
Spelling not grammar, actually, and yes, considering the average on this forum folk should keep quiet and enjoy a free article.
I thought it was quite good. The perspective is rather "BMG" but that's no surprise and maybe appropriate for the audience.
It fails to note that the place where ski touring is probably more popular than anywhere else in the world is Innsbruck in Austria and that this area, extending across the Alps into northern (German speaking) Italy, is more or less perfect for touring, especially for the valley based approach that the article (rightly) proposes for learning (and pleasure) purposes.
Perhaps the author also fails to warn that ski touring at anything above baby level is a very demanding sport requiring years of technical learning and considerable physical stamina, not to mention that it involves serious levels of risk (typically much more than folk realize). Around my area (Dolomites), for example, very few people die on icefalls while ski touring deaths are more or less weekly.
> Perhaps the author also fails to warn that ski touring at anything above baby level is a very demanding sport requiring years of technical learning and considerable physical stamina
Hmmmm....not 100% sure....I know someone who did the Haute Route with only a week of skiing under his belt....admittedly though with plenty of alpine experience.
Here is his article:
Also from an alpine perspective ski mountaineering is an extension of downhill skiing, whilst in the nordic region its an extension of cross country or ski touring. Many Finns do their first "ski mountaineering" doing Halti, the highest mountain in the country using what they used in the army - long wooden skis with tar on the base and "Nokia boots", basically wellingtons with a felt inner and little duck bill to hold the binding.
And although today ski mountaineering might be viewed as an extension of downhill skiing, historically it was a way of getting about the mountains in winter/spring
As to the risks, it's very hard to say without numbers, is ski mountaineering any worse than other forms of mountaineering? Clearly any accidents is to many but what is the proportion of accidents to ski tourers?
As I said "anything above baby level" - so yes, it is easy enough to ski badly over simple terrain. But to ski steep Alpine terrain well definitely takes years of learning, regardless of previous piste or mountaineering experience. Absolutely no question about that!
Indeed, there are a lot of ski tourers and less climbers. I don't think touring is more dangerous than climbing - I just think that it is more dangerous than people imagine.
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