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Ski touring equipment



Ski touring is booming! This is also reflected in the equipment market. The range of ski touring equipment is constantly growing, the market is getting bigger and bigger and is an important factor for the sporting goods trade. The most important items of ski touring equipment are explained below.

Ski touring ski with binding

The ski is an elementary piece of ski touring equipment. There are skis for different demands. In general, one can say that the elementary characteristics of the ski are weight, average width and length. This then determines the ascent and descent performance. Depending on the requirements, one or the other factor is weighted more heavily. Modern all-round touring skis have a centre width of about 85 to 90 mm. Nowadays, so-called pin bindings are standard. Their weight advantage outweighs most of the features of frame bindings. Only in the downhill-oriented area do touring bindings with frames continue to be used.

The set of touring skis and bindings should in principle have the following characteristics:

  • light but still stable
  • Walking and downhill function of the binding
  • Adjustable climbing aid
  • skins matching the ski
  • Stops are also not a mistake


Ski touring backpack

The classic ski touring backpack has a storage volume of approx. 25 - 30 litres and thus enough space for the necessary equipment. At Ski mountaineering or multi-day tours, larger backpacks of up to 45 litres are also used. A good ski touring backpack is also robust and comfortable for longer tours. An attachment point for skis is important, and also for ice axes on high-altitude tours.


Ski Touring Clothing

The big challenge with ski touring clothing is the contrast between the sweating on the ascent and the cold as soon as you stand. This is why a system of several layers has proven itself in ski touring clothing, the so-called "onion principle". Choose thinner layers for the ascent. For the summit or the descent, or when the weather changes, a wind-insulating, warming layer is advisable. Wind protection is particularly important, as in the mountains you are at the mercy of the wind chill effect.


Standard equipment for a normal ski tour

As much as necessary, but as little as possible is the motto when choosing ski touring equipment. After all, you have to take all your equipment up and back down with you. So what should definitely be included?

  • Avalanche transceiver (three antennas)
  • Backpack with shovel, probe, first aid material, bivouac sack
  • Sun protection, sunglasses
  • Functional clothing, change of underwear
  • Mobile phone, topographical map, GPS (possibly spare battery/power bank)
  • Possibly crampons


Minimum equipment for a glacier tour

The standard equipment of the normal ski tour plus additional:

  • Rope (impregnated)
  • Hip belt
  • Carabiner (HMS, Safe-Lock)
  • Mirco-Traxion and Tibloc
  • Webbing sling material, rope cords
  • Ice screw
  • Helmet
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons


Ice axe

A good ice axe for Ski mountaineering should have the following characteristics:

  • 50 - 75 cm length (no aluminium light pick)
  • Robust steel bucket
  • Anodised for corrosion resistance
  • Tip made of durable steel
  • easy handling, versatile
  • Certification(s): CE, UIAA