Introduction to ski touring.

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by Sbooker, Apr 6, 2018.

  1. Sbooker

    Sbooker Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    114
    Hi all
    I'm a 46 year old fit male from Brisbane. I've only ever skied resorts (lift served) and because I only ski a couple of times a year for a total of about 12 days (per year) I'm a permanent advanced intermediate. I enjoy resort skiing with my wife and kids and will certainly continue to do that in the future.
    I love the idea of what I think ski touring is. I'm into fitness and being there's nothing better than being in the mountains. I'd like to get into that side of things so I can do it when my family is not available to take time off school.
    Is there any 'introduction to ski touring' or 'introduction to backcounty skiing' courses that can be done in Australia?
    Thanks in advance.
    Simon
     
  2. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    May 12, 2000
    Messages:
    70,152
    Likes Received:
    29,108
  3. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2014
    Messages:
    22,367
    Likes Received:
    14,773
    zac150 and telecrag like this.
  4. Hermannator

    Hermannator Addicted

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    Messages:
    958
    Likes Received:
    358
  5. Sbooker

    Sbooker Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    114
    Thanks.
    That's why I want to do a paid 'introduction to backcountry' course. I wouldn't want to be burden on anyone. I admittedly am not a good skier but I also cringe at the thought of being 'soft'. I wouldn't ask a group to stop because I was 'puffed'. On that topic could someone advise how fit one has to be to do ski touring at a half decent level? For reference I will admit I was fairly rooted when I hiked Highland bowl at Aspen. I think the elevation was a big reason for the difficulty. But I got the impression most people find that hike quite difficult.
     
  6. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2014
    Messages:
    22,367
    Likes Received:
    14,773
    What do you mean by "ski touring"? To me it means bushwalking on skinny skis. For others it means a focus on downhill runs, but out of resort boundaries and climbing back up under your own steam.
     
  7. Sbooker

    Sbooker Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    114
    I don’t really know to be honest. I guess hiking up a hill (skinning??) and skiing back down I guess.
     
  8. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Messages:
    21,732
    Likes Received:
    20,387
    For paid, Wilderness, K7 are good options.

    To get free instruction, post in here, as a young female from Chamonix, wanting to hook up with some touring buddies. That should get you a good experienced crew, who may be able to help you out after they get over it.
     
  9. BilbyBill

    BilbyBill Addicted

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2001
    Messages:
    851
    Likes Received:
    339
    While you are deciding what your really want to do, start with nordic skiing on groomed trails, get some instruction, then as you gain experience and skills you can venture off the groomed in small increments.
     
  10. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2000
    Messages:
    30,992
    Likes Received:
    13,160
    Mate it sounds like you have the right attitude.
    Book in for a tour with Wilderness Sports or K7 adventures. It doesn’t sound like you want to do skinny ski Nordic or classic, but out and out alpine touring. Good stuff, no new skiing skills to learn.
    You’ll be tired, and need to hire some different gear at first, but you get to go to nice places and do skiing. Win win!
    You’ll be tired, but same as any new outdoor adventure sport.

    Enjoy!!!
     
  11. Sbooker

    Sbooker Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    114
    That's what I'm thinking - nice places and skiing. I'll check both those crowds out.
    Thanks again.
     
  12. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us
    Ski Pass - Silver

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Messages:
    1,471
    Likes Received:
    752
    There's nothing like a splitfest for backcountry skiiers? That's how I learnt the ropes on the split, very helpful bunch and a great community initiative :)
     
    firstlight likes this.
  13. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2000
    Messages:
    30,992
    Likes Received:
    13,160
    Is called ‘weekends’!!
     
    zac150, piolet and blowfin like this.
  14. Sbooker

    Sbooker Hard Yards

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    114
    Weekends are hard for me. I can't get away from my work so a couple of 4 day trips a season would be it for me I would think.
     
    LMB and climberman like this.
  15. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2014
    Messages:
    1,293
    Likes Received:
    463
    All a matter of perspective, since I look at ski-touring as being bushwalking on skis where the travel itself is the goal, but it can be a very broad spectrum of activities but all with very similar skill-sets where safety and comfort are concerned
     
    Ubiquitous Steve likes this.
  16. piolet

    piolet Found anything yet?
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    May 27, 2004
    Messages:
    22,840
    Likes Received:
    15,506
    Fitness doesn’t matter a heap unless you’re really out of shape or trying to keep up with someone. If the weather is good, just plodding along at your own pace is fine. More fitness and you’ll enjoy it more but then you’ll push it more and get just as tired LOL you just need to know your limits so you don’t run out of steam completely and get stuck out somewhere, in bad weather it could be fatal.

    Consider heading to the charlottes carpark in spring, after it opens, hike down and across the snowy, find something to lap in the sun and soak it up working on getting to know the gear etc. long days, warm weather and easy access

    Get a 10-15kg bag and lap a hill near you, maybe cootha or something. Happily doing a km vert a day will have you in good stead I reckon
     
    JoeKing and Tanuki like this.
  17. ecowain

    ecowain One of Us
    Ski Pass - Silver

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2003
    Messages:
    1,093
    Likes Received:
    1,418
    5 star training run a ski touring course each winter, that leads to a qualification at the end too. With government subsidies, it will only cost a couple of hundred dollars for a week or so of training about ski touring and backcountry skills.

    It might already be full, I'm not sure...

    Their FB page generally has more info than their website.

    K7 great too. ASM from Katoomba run ski touring courses as well.
     
    #17 ecowain, Apr 7, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
    Tanuki likes this.
  18. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty!
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    22,496
    Likes Received:
    9,793
    Not easy from Brisbane (likewise from Perth) - hire touring gear to start. You might hate it, might love it. But at least you’ll get a feel for your preferences before you shell out the dollars.

    The focus changes.
    It’s no longer all about the downhill because it’s a very small percentage of your day. It more about enjoying the journey.
     
    POW_hungry likes this.
  19. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2006
    Messages:
    12,981
    Likes Received:
    16,834
    Sounds like a great intro ...... but ...... qualification??
     
  20. tcross

    tcross One of Us

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2005
    Messages:
    2,640
    Likes Received:
    122
    Chances are it'll be like when I did my TMC course in NZ a while ago... Certificate to say you are of a set standard and competent in certain areas.
     
    ecowain likes this.
  21. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Ski Pass - Silver

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2015
    Messages:
    2,952
    Likes Received:
    2,677
    To me Ski touring can be off piste day trips or it can be a hut to hut trip over 3 nights for instance on the Bogong High Plains.I started doing the equivalent activity on snow shoes but compared with skiing it is painfully slow, so I have made the transition to back country skis. At least I got my snow camping skills up to scratch doing it and found carrying a heavy winter equipped pack up sustained slopes such as Mt. Bogong and Mt. Feathertop in deep snow to be a major workout.
     
    #21 Mister Tee on XC Skis, Apr 11, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
  22. zac150

    zac150 One of Us
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    Messages:
    2,280
    Likes Received:
    2,569
    You obviously haven’t seen the Thredbo back country crew, it’s fair to say most of us wouldn’t make a “men” of the back country magazine, except climberman but his moe might get him the wrong type of attention.

    Seriously if your willing and as climberman said sounds like you have the right attitude you won’t have an issue.

    Where do you ski most? I’ve done a few trips with people I’ve met through the forum here, skied with them in resort, had a few beers and started to organise the odd trip.
     
    telecrag, Fozzie Bear and piolet like this.
  23. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2000
    Messages:
    30,992
    Likes Received:
    13,160
    The Mo delivers an extra 2kmh, though sheer manliness.
     
  24. zac150

    zac150 One of Us
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    Messages:
    2,280
    Likes Received:
    2,569
    Is that required to escape the fan club
     
    piolet and climberman like this.
  25. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2006
    Messages:
    12,981
    Likes Received:
    16,834
    But a 3kph wind resistance handicap.
     
    zac150 and piolet like this.
  26. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2000
    Messages:
    30,992
    Likes Received:
    13,160
    I keep it waxed when on the big trips.
     
  27. piolet

    piolet Found anything yet?
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    May 27, 2004
    Messages:
    22,840
    Likes Received:
    15,506
    Spring wax?
     
    zac150 likes this.
  28. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2006
    Messages:
    12,981
    Likes Received:
    16,834
    And the mo?
     
    DidSurfNowSki and zac150 like this.
  29. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2000
    Messages:
    30,992
    Likes Received:
    13,160
    Trimmed.
     
  30. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2000
    Messages:
    30,992
    Likes Received:
    13,160
    Glide wax, baby.... glide wax.
     
  31. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us
    Ski Pass - Silver

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1,936
    Likes Received:
    727
    As a Bris lad, why not consider heading to NZ instead of down south?
    Maybe get along to the next BrisVegas get together. There a couple of us who don’t mind an uphill shuffle.
     
  32. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    6,989
    Likes Received:
    2,409
    Get down to Falls Creek.....some nice groomed trails to get the feel of x/c skiing and one can use these trails to get well out into backcountry mid winter.....then you can go out off trail to the limit of your ability.

    The groomers do trail usually to Wallaces(historic cattlemans hut)and to Pretty Valley Horse Yards......There is good touring for beginners in undulating territory with some Huts that you may use for lunch breaks or rest stops if you venture a little away from the groomed trails.Falls Creek has a Cross country centre at Windy Corner at the upper end of road access....where they will have updates on groomed track conditions plus weather reports..they do some x/c ski hire from here too......the day car park is outside ....so you may be reasonably close to a vehicle if you drive up to Falls for a day of touring.

    Cross country skiing is of importance to Falls Ck's revenue stream so it is taken seriously by resort management....probably more so than any other Vic resort....with the exception of Lake Mt....(keep Teckel on side .!...)
     
  33. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2000
    Messages:
    30,992
    Likes Received:
    13,160
    I don’t think our OP wants to cross country ski.
     
    Ubiquitous Steve likes this.
  34. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Messages:
    21,732
    Likes Received:
    20,387
    Though you do still need a beard.
     
    skifree and climberman like this.
  35. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Messages:
    21,732
    Likes Received:
    20,387
    Or Moe at very least
     
    climberman likes this.
  36. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Messages:
    21,732
    Likes Received:
    20,387
    That includes the women
     
  37. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    6,989
    Likes Received:
    2,409
    Ski touring=X/C skiing=Nordic Skiing. must be a NSW thing?;)
     
  38. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Messages:
    21,732
    Likes Received:
    20,387
    Thats Skating (groomed trails) or Chookfootin, xc skiing.

    Ski Touring is for people with hair on their upper lip, it kills princesses.
     
    zac150 likes this.
  39. Ubiquitous Steve

    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    6,989
    Likes Received:
    2,409
    Yes but the bright Viccos use the groomed trails to get fast access towards those areas further afield from Falls.But yes we notice NSW brains work at a different speed than their sthn neighbours!!

    Only princesses I know Ski Main Range Kosy!But we hope they come via Hannels and earn those turns this winter!!My every Tom Dick and Harry is busting their butts to nude up on the much discussed Spur!

    The OP says he has not been on crosscountry skis....So a area with flattish terrain is a good starting point......
     
    telecrag likes this.
  40. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Messages:
    21,732
    Likes Received:
    20,387
    You guys still wear gaiters down there?
     
    piolet likes this.
  41. piolet

    piolet Found anything yet?
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    May 27, 2004
    Messages:
    22,840
    Likes Received:
    15,506
    More like the English speaking skiing world vs vicco
    LOL
     
  42. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2000
    Messages:
    30,992
    Likes Received:
    13,160
    Yeah, nahh.
    Ski touring /= xc in NSW main range history, nornin North America nor Europe.
    YMMV
     
    Jellybeans1000 and piolet like this.
  43. Jellybeans1000

    Jellybeans1000 Walking on a dream
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2015
    Messages:
    5,586
    Likes Received:
    5,042
    But OP says he wants to ski up a hill, and then down it. Not ski across a vast majority of flat. Ski touring is different to XC skiing.
     
  44. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Messages:
    21,732
    Likes Received:
    20,387
  45. GS

    GS A Local
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Messages:
    8,176
    Likes Received:
    6,390
    I recently saw the light and discarded them. I was wondering why I was getting too warm, turns out gaiters over woollen ex-army pants is too much insulation. Much better without them.
     
    telecrag likes this.
  46. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Messages:
    21,732
    Likes Received:
    20,387
    Haha, I ran into a xc club on day, it was like a time warp
     
  47. GS

    GS A Local
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Messages:
    8,176
    Likes Received:
    6,390
    I still remember the distinctive smell of sodden, sweaty, grotty army pants......shudder.
     
    telecrag likes this.
  48. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2000
    Messages:
    30,992
    Likes Received:
    13,160
    It’d be a jump to the left, but bigger me it’s hard to jump on those things!!
     
    telecrag likes this.
  49. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Part of the Furniture
    Ski Pass - Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Messages:
    19,212
    Likes Received:
    10,177
    You had me at this.
     
    piolet likes this.
  50. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Ski Pass - Silver

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2015
    Messages:
    2,952
    Likes Received:
    2,677
    Don't forget Mt. Stirling for XC skiing, good huts, snow camping and some ungroomed and unpatrolled routes such as the River Spur trail .The View from the summit at Mt. Stirling in white season on a sunny day is astounding. It gets icy up near the summit so BC skis with the metal edges would be the best choice , if you are not going to ski on skinny classic XC skis.