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Ski Touring

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Black Crows
Ski Touring at Sport Conrad

The uniqueness of ski touring

To you, skiing alone doesn´t quite cut it? You´re rather into going all the way up and down in the mountains? Then, ski touring is exactly your thing! For this thrilling and multifaceted sport, we have all the tools you´ll need for your next expedition: skis, skins, bindings, ski boots, poles, avalanche airbags, and so much more. Your next adventure is calling.

Untouched snow, the peace and quiet away from the busy pistes - on a ski tour you can enjoy nature without the hustle and bustle. What's more, ski touring combines the endurance training of climbing metres in altitude with the fun of skiing downhill, killing two birds with one stone. To make the tour in the snow fun, however, you need the right equipment. Only if your boots don't pinch, your clothes don't make you sweat and you can rely on your avalanche safety equipment during your descent can you fully enjoy your day on the mountain. And especially beginners should not only prepare themselves for the physical exertion before their first ski tour, but also consider the weather and snow conditions as well as the required fabric. In this guide we want to help you with this and explain what should not be missing from your packing list for your ski tour and what you should look out for when buying.

The different types of touring skis 

Let's start with the most obvious part of your ski touring equipment: the touring skis. Which ski is best for you depends on your preferences. Do you like the challenge of steep ascents? Is downhill performance more of a secondary consideration for you? Then you should definitely go for an uphill performance touring ski. These are particularly light and thin, so that you don't have to carry too much weight around with you when hiking uphill and the skis don't get in each other's way. Do you only accept the ascent to be able to enjoy an untracked descent in powder snow afterwards? Then a descent oriented touring ski or even a free touring ski is the right choice for you. Thanks to the comparatively wide centre width of the skis in this category, the ski weighs a little more uphill, but you can glide smoothly over the powder downhill.

More types of ski touring skis

Your motto is: "It's all in the mix"? If you like ski touring because of the mix of ascent and descent, we also have the perfect ski for you. An all-round touring ski combines the best of both worlds. Thanks to its moderate width and pleasant weight, this ski is suitable for all weather conditions and areas of use.

To make your purchase even easier, we have created the category of pre-configures ski touring bundles. With this category, we take the time-consuming search for suitable skis, bindings and skins off your hands and prevent bad purchases. Thanks to our individually assembled ski touring sets from leading brands, you can be sure that the equipment matches perfectly and you are equipped for a successful tour.

Touring bindings

If you are used to classic alpine ski bindings, the filigree touring binding may seem a little unstable at first glance. However, so-called pin bindings have become popular in the ski touring segment because of their low weight. Uphill, the boot and ski are only connected at the toe by small pins that allow the ski tourer to lift the free heel with every step. This means that the entire ski does not have to be lifted laboriously. A somewhat more stable, but also heavier alternative to pin bindings are frame bindings. Here the ski boot sits firmly in the binding. To be able to lift the foot, the boot alone is not lifted, but the entire binding is detached from the ski. Another type of binding is particularly popular in the freetouring segment: the shift binding. Uphill it works like a pin binding, downhill it can be converted into a classic alpine binding with a few clicks and thus has a particularly firm hold.

Ski touring boots

To make sure that the ascent on skis doesn't become a torture, you need the right touring boots. Unlike alpine boots, these are much softer and more flexible. They also have two modes: walk mode for uphill and ski mode for downhill. In walk mode, the ski touring boots are particularly flexible for a smooth ascent. To give you the necessary stability downhill, they are stable in ski mode. You will know which touring boot is right for you as soon as you put it on. The important thing is that you fit tightly, but nothing pinches.

Climbing skins

Skins are indispensable for touring. They are attached to the base of your touring skis and prevent you from slipping back while walking uphill. When you reach the summit, you take them off again. Climbing skins are made of either mohair or nylon fibres. You can also choose between an adhesive version, which sticks to the underside of your skis, or a vacuum version, which sucks itself onto the base with the help of a special coating. Which skin you choose depends on your personal preference and budget. In our category you will also find care products so that you can enjoy your ski skins for a long time.

Avalanche Safety

As beautiful as the backcountry is, it should not be underestimated. The terrain holds some dangers and avalanches often go off unexpectedly. Therefore: never go on a tour through untouched snow without avalanche equipment! In a nutshell, avalanche safety equipment consists of three parts: the tracker beacon, which can locate buried victims, the probe, which measures how deep the buried victim is, and the shovel for freeing them from the masses of snow. These pieces can be either bought seperately or in a set. The equipment is carried comfortably on your back in a special ski backpack. In our category you will also find a detailed explanation of how all the equipment works. In addition to classic ski backpacks, special avalanche backpacks have also become popular. These have a special avalanche airbag that is triggered as soon as you activate it on a handle. Thanks to the air cushion, you stay as far as possible above the snow surface and thus increase the chance of survival.

Ski touring helmets, goggles and touring poles

Of course, you should also wear a helmet when ski touring. You can either use your alpine helmet or a special ski touring helmet that is particularly light and has an additional holder for headlamps. Ski goggles protect your eyes from dirt, precipitation and wind. Another important part of your ski touring equipment are the poles. They should be adjustable in height so that the length is suitable for both the ascent and the descent. In addition, the plates should be very large so that the ski poles do not sink into the deep snow.

Ski Touring apparel

And last but not least, your ski touring apparel must of course be able to withstand the exertion of a ski tour. Fit and functionality are the be-all and end-all here. Touring clothing tends to be cut close to the body and is made of stretchy fabrics that transport moisture to the outside and keep up with every movement. The best choice for ski touring is a layered look consisting of a moisture-wicking baselayer made of synthetic fibre or merino wool, a thermally insulating midlayer and a wind- and water-repellent shell layer made of hard or soft shell. Uphill you'll work up a sweat, but at the summit and downhill you should put on another layer or two to avoid getting chilled.

Ski touring equipment at Sport Conrad 

Right, now you should have an overview of the touring ski equipment you need for a successful ski tour. In our shop you will find a large selection of clothing and equipment for women, men and children. There is something for every taste and every budget. In our range you will find top brands such as K2, Ortovox, Dynafit, Mammut, Scarpa and Norrona. And now - off to the summit!