Ski Touring blends the skills of the alpinist with that of the Off Piste Skier allowing the traverse of massifs on ski, the ability to cross cols and for those of a mountaineering persuasion, to bag some summits. In many cases Ski Touring gives a very different feel to resort based skiing, with the potential to reach remoter areas as well as make fresh tracks...
Ski Touring in the Alps
Ski Touring in the alps can take a variety of forms, with most people immediately thinking of 'hut to hut' touring as the default norm. Most mountain areas have a recognised high level tour using the excellent alpine hut network, allowing either a linear or circular traverse of a mountain range while staying in basic accommodation. Often in the heart of the mountains these huts allow access to remote and isolated areas well away from the clatter of the ski lifts.
For those who prefer to stay in valley accommodation 'ski safaris' are increasingly popular. The main aim being to use mechanical uplift to link good off piste descents with only a small amount of uphill skinning. If it's all about the down, and you prefer more traditional hotel based accommodation, or perhaps want to visit a couple of resorts a ski safari might be the way to go.
Many areas also have a huge variety of 'day tours' which can be achieved by staying in the valley. Again a great way to use your time if you want to stay in a specific resort but still split your time between the up and down.
Ski touring can be arranged for small groups at all levels to make a unique trip into the mountains.
Chamonix Day Tours
Chamonix offers plenty of potential for short 'day tours'. For those prepared to use the lift system and skin for a short duration the opportunities to access some big "down" is massive. And let's face it for most of us it's all about the descent. Great day touring areas exist in the Chamonix Valley as well as areas such as Les Aravis, St Gervais and the Val d'Aosta.
The Chamonix to Zermatt Haute Route
This classic ski tour between the two best know alpine centres in the western alps. This tour remains a popular and exciting classic crossing high mountain terrain for the duration of the trip.
A classic Ski Tour in the Eastern Alps hopping along the frontier between Austria and Switzerland. This excellent high level tour starts in the Galtur-Ischgl valley before traversing between some particularly good huts. The days are relatively short making an ideal introduction to a lengthier hut to hut tour or giving some time to ascent the odd peak such as the Piz Buin (3312m).