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5 Ski and Snowboard Touring Technique Tips

5 Ski and Snowboard Touring Technique Tips, courtesy off FREEFLO SKI

The volume of riders heading into the backcountry have dramatically increased over the last decade. Today a large number of riders are heading for the backcountry in search for fresh tracks and the ultimate adventure.  Many of them are inexperienced when it is comes to skinning uphill. To boost your touring skills here are 5 Ski and Snowboard Touring Techniques from us  Freeflo ski who are based in the French Alps.

Katie, Pat, Naomi and Kerry exploring the backcountry of Tignes on the FREEFLO Womens Touring Course

by Jocelyn Cockle (Floss) 

Ski touring in the backcountry is my biggest and favourite winter sport and passion with or without clients. I just love being in the wilderness away from the hustle and bustle of the ski resort or everyday stresses and life.  Moving efficiently uphill and safely in the mountains is a highly mastered skill set which is often overlooked. Here are 5 uphill tips to improve your uphill performance.

  1. Manage your clothing
    It is important to control your temperature through your clothing if you want to be efficient. Depending on the weather, length, and type of tour I will take off clothing layers at the very start. Keep to thin and breathable layers. Designed for adventure I highly recommend high performance base layers from Floã sports.  If you know it will be windy at the top I will keep a windproof layer close to hand around my waist or on top of my rucksack. It is important to keep to a consistent pace that you are not sweating and can hold for a long period of time.
  2. Keep your head up and stay alert
    Keeping your head up keeps your upper body upright.  Having your body upright keeps you looking ahead and more efficient. Looking and taking the correct uphill track will save time and energy.
  3. Line
    You save more energy and time if you use an existing gentle uphill track only if it takes you to the same destination through safe terrain.
  4. Keep your skis or board on the snow
    One of the most common mistakes that skiers and snowboarders make is that they lift their feet whilst moving forwards. Keeping your feet on the snow and slide your equipment on the surface takes less energy and is a faster technique.

    Pat and Kerry skinning out of refuge de Palet, Tignes on the FREEFLO Womens Touring Course 2019
  5. Position in the Line
    As a rule the first person in the group in an existing uphill track or making a new uphill track will exert more energy when compared to the last person in the group. I am constantly assessing individuals energy and will change the order of the group when ski touring.

          Most importantly be safe and enjoy the mountains 

 

FREEFLO specializes in progressive on and off-piste ski instruction, backcountry ski touring and women-specific ski courses. We offer personal British ski instruction for skiers of all abilities. Our primary objective is helping competent skiers to improve their technique on and off-piste and in the backcountry. Our intuitive coach approach will help you to progress, have fun and enjoy the full freedom of the mountains in a safe and confident manner.

The Arcteryx Norvan VT trail shoe is the number one choice for Patagonia.

The Arcteryx Norvan trail and approach shoe is the number one choice for Patagonia.
As soon as I put this trail shoe on I wasn’t disappointed. Tested in the French Alps on running trails, snow and climbing crags. I decided that this shoe would be my number one choice of footwear for the FREEFLO Patagonia Ski and Climb Adventure 2018. It would be the shoe that I could run in, scramble in and an approach shoe to refuges and climbing crags. Intelligently designed and created it will be the connection between trail running and alpinism.
With the combination of a Vibram heel and a sticky rubber compound of the Idrogrip the Norvan VT delivers excellent grip on all terrain. With the adjustable 360° support system can you switch from running mode to a scrambling mode very easily. The fixed adaptive Fit Technology wraps around your foot and keeps your foot dry and free of debris. 
The Norvan VT is a shoe that gives you confidence and support over technical terrain.
Keep up to date with the FREEFLO Patagonia Ski and Climb Adventure 2018 and follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Blog.
FREEFLO specialises in progressive on and off piste ski instruction, backcountry ski touring and women specific ski courses. We offer personal British ski instruction for skiers of all abilities, though our sweet spot is helping competent skiers to improve their technique on and off piste and in the backcountry. Our intuitive coach-approach will help you to progress, have fun and enjoy the full freedom of the mountains in a safe and confident manner. Step into your next adventure and email: [email protected] or visit www.freefloski.com

Ski Touring North Face of the Pramecou, Tignes

Route: Val Claret Tignes/Pointe De Pramecou/Val Claret
Off Piste skiing between: 3054m to 2107m NE/NW
Max Gradient: 48 degrees
Uphill: 3hrs 12 mins
Total Route time from Val Claret: 5hrs
Skiers Level:Advanced off piste
Ski Touring Level: Intermediate
Start: Bottom of Lanches Chairlift
Finish: At bottom Tichot chairlift
Map needed: 3633ET
Grade: 2.1
Exposure: E2

I just love Spring time. Its warmer, the snow pack is more stable and I have more time to go on adventures. Last year touring up and skiing down the 48 degree North Face of the Pramecou on the 9th May 2016 with adventurer and good friend Squash Falconer was one of my vivd memories of 2015/16. From that day onwards we came up with the idea of running backcountry adventures together to inspire, to teach and to motivate people to adventure into the back country. With one of the largest winter store retailers Snow & Rock behind us, in a few days time I am looking forward joining up with Squash and to leading the Snow and Rock Back Country 5 day Backcountry Adventure in Tignes and Val D’Isere.

Fresh Ski tracks on the North Face of the Pramecou
Fresh Ski tracks on the North Face of the Pramecou
Celebrating the fresh powder tracks on a 48 degree North Face
Celebrating the fresh powder tracks on a 48 degree North Face
Ski touring up to the Pointe De Pramecou
Ski touring up to the Pointe De Pramecou

FREEFLO specializes in progressive on and off-piste ski instruction, backcountry ski touring and women-specific ski courses. We offer personal British ski instruction for skiers of all abilities. Our primary objective is helping competent skiers to improve their technique on and off-piste and in the backcountry. Our intuitive coach approach will help you to progress, have fun and enjoy the full freedom of the mountains in a safe and confident manner.

Pisteurs Couloir: Off Piste Skiing and Ski Touring Val D’Isere and Tignes

Route: Tignes/Pisteurs Couloir/Tignes
Off Piste skiing between: 2770m-2441m N
Max Gradient: 43/45 degrees
Uphill: 25 to 40 mins boot hike dependant on conditions
Total Return Route time from Tignes:3.5/4hrs
Skiers Level: Advanced off piste
Start: From the top of the Grand Pre Chairlift
Finish: At bottom Fontaine Froide
Lift pass needed: Espace Killy
Map needed: 3633ET
Grade: 3:1
Exposure: E3

The north face of the Charvet is a super classic route reserved for skiers experienced in committing terrain. It is not  route for the faint hearted. From the top the Grand pre chairlift you hike up to the rocher de Charvet . Continue along the ridge line to the end. The far right entrance normally avalanche prone so its better to access from the top different route opportunities on the way down. Hire a British instructor to take you to these amazing secrets to improve your off piste skiing and increase your route knowledge using fatmap.

Steep skiing Tignes Val D'Isere
Steep skiing Tignes Val D’Isere

Steep skiing Pisteurs couloir tignes val D'sere
Steep skiing Pisteurs couloir tignes val D’sere
Steep skiing Tignes Val D'Isere
Steep skiing Tignes Val D’Isere

FREEFLOSKI offers Elite British Ski Coaching in the snowsure resorts of Tignes, Val D’Isere and La Grave. We specialise in all mountain and off piste skiing, plus backcountry ski touring and women specific ski courses. Step into your next adventure with FREEFLOSKI www.freefloski.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

Couloir skiing