Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better!
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
durr, I forgot...
Or Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)
 
Free your ride!

Ski touring practice... Up the sides of the piste?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Howdy all, I'm kind of new to touring, got the kit last year and want to get some practice in.. there's a possibility of some time off in October, so thinking about a trip to one of the glaciers for a bit of skinning practice (probably Sölden or Kaunertal as you can drive to the base of the piste..)

Just wondering what the deal is if you skin up the sides of the piste? Will I get grief if I don't have a lift pass? I've seen loads of folk doing it?
snow report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I haven't done it that much but I've never seen anyone get in trouble for it. Don't believe you need passes to access the land only the lifts (in Europe at least - may be different in US)
snow report     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I think it's restricted in Chamonix so could imagine it might be elsewhere.
snow conditions     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Some Austrian resorts restrict skinning up the (edges of) piste, can’t remember which ones though.

However I’d be wary skinning up outside the pisted area on a glacier, particularly this autumn (so soon after the warm summer) as there is no guarantee the crevasses are filled.
snow report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@QRZBuddha, On another thread it was mentioned that it's banned in Tignes. i certainly would not skin up a piste --- seems waaay to dangerous to me, and for the things that need practice (kick turns) you'll struggle to find a piste steep enough. Skinning on a glacier exposes you to crevasses, so not something to do alone or without ropes/harnesses etc.

On the other hand, assuming you can read a map, there are plenty of places beside the piste (summer paths etc) that would provide the environment you are after. But then you are off-piste with all that implies..
snow conditions     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
I have done it a fair bit, its not restricted to my knowledge, well in France anyway. I used to do it early before the piste opened, the only bother I had was when they were blasting the for avalanches,but the piste basher guy just told me not to carry on. I think he just was puzzled as to why i was up there and not in bed.
I did it for the exercise mostly its also lovely watching the sun rise from the top of a mountain and being the only person on the freshly groomed slope when you ski back home.
According to my heart rate monitor i used to use about 2400 cal in around 3.5 hours Shocked
latest report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I've done it a few times, usually as a warm up / new equipment test, in resorts without any issues.

Common sense applies, and skiers/boarders always have the right of way, avoid crossing busy pistes, and minimise your time in blind spots and restrictions (not an issue if you are on a wide glacier). I've seen quiet a few Rando/Skimo racers do it, but they are usually out first thing before it gets busy.

You mention skiing on a glacier, but without a ski pass, how to you get up there? I know some resorts sell single ride passes if you are going equipped as a ski tourer/climber, but then again I assume you will need to take the lift back down again.


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Thu 21-09-17 10:49; edited 1 time in total
ski holidays     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
good point about glacier!

People seem to do it a lot in Les Contamines FWIW - alternative to going for a run.
I've only done it when the lifts were shut for wind.
ski holidays     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
At kaunertal you drive up to the glacier so it's not an issue.
snow conditions     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Thanks for the pointers.. it's not ideal I suppose, but given I've never been on skins before, I thought it would be a gentle introduction..

I'm leaning towards Sölden as I'd have a choice of 2 places to start, could bimble up the blue on the Rettenbach all the way up to the tunnel, ski down to the Tiefenbach side, then skin up the red link back to the car..

Seems like a cheeky way of getting some early skiing in without paying a penny or queuing 👍
latest report     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@QRZBuddha, Remember it's going to take a loooooooong time to get up, and a very short time to get down wink
snow report     
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@ski,

Very Happy That's the whole point isn't it?
snow conditions     
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
In Garmisch they restrict the pistes on which you are allowed to do it, and they provide a track at the side of the piste, or direct you off up the tracks that go through the woods anyway. It's dangerous, and there have been collisions, which is why they restrict it.
snow conditions     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Be aware that the soelden glacier access road is a toll road, you don't pay the toll if you have a ski pass.

https://www.soelden.com/glacier-road-summer
snow conditions     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@rdonalds, ah, nice one.. I'd forgotten about that... always had a pass in the past Madeye-Smiley
snow report     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hah. Apparently it's completely forbidden in France, although one often sees people doing it...
snow report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
People already doing it at Stubai. No need for a lift pass (they're for using the lifts, not the mountains), but depending on snow you may want to go up one stage and start at the middle station.
latest report     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
bug, forgot Kaunertal has a toll road too...

@clarky999, surely you'd need a pass to get up to the midstation?
snow report     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@QRZBuddha, sorry that's what I meant: no pass needed simply for skinning, but there's only snow above the mid station you'd have to buy a pass to get up there (unless you fancy a long hike with skis on back).

EDIT: People were skinning from the base today, but the snow won't last more than a couple of days.

EDIT #2: Depending on when in October there's also a reasonable chance of good skiing/touring on the pistes of resorts yet to open. Obviously totally weather dependent, but I've managed it every year for the last 5.
snow conditions     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
It's restricted at some resorts - you really need to get local advice.

under a new name wrote:
I think it's restricted in Chamonix so could imagine it might be elsewhere.


From what I found out last year, and the year before:
- GM - absolutely NOT on any piste (they're pretty strict about the home run in particular); they have a skin track which was opened the year before last. It's not the easiest - kick turns essential
- Les Houches - NOT on the piste; there's a dedicated skinning route, much easier (and more picturesque) than GM, and a lot of beginners get pointed to that one for practice
- Le Tour - I think allowable on the home run. It's certainly common, all through the day. Def not on any runs other than that.
- Brevent - not seen it anywhere on piste, can't see it being allowed
- Flegere - home run only. That's rather popular with the scandi crowd for some reason. Probably as it's a reasonable workout, but still central.

There are only dedicated skin tracks at the first two, which is probably why it's tolerated (def not encouraged) on the bottom runs of some others.


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Thu 21-09-17 16:09; edited 1 time in total
snow report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Flachau and other Amade resorts - banned but people do it anyway, but not in the numbers I have seen in the past
ski holidays     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@clarky999, Hmm, good call.. I was thinking Axamer Lizum or Kuhtai would be a pretty good bet, but maybe not in October..
ski holidays     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
QRZBuddha wrote:
@clarky999, Hmm, good call.. I was thinking Axamer Lizum or Kuhtai would be a pretty good bet, but maybe not in October..


I've skied both in September/October/November before now... But obviously it's a long way from certain!

Good thing about Lizum is the pistes are all grass, so as long as you're not precious about your skis 20cm in the car park at the bottom is enough to have fun. Kühtai's higher, but a little rockier and also generally drier.

The Arlberg can be a good bet too - skin up from St Christoph then ski down Kandahar to St Anton, or Alpe Rauz to Schindlergrat and back. The old Pettneu area can be fun too, with a bit more shelter/trees for contrast on storm days.
snow report     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@fixx, I must confess it makes me think of cycling the wrong way up a motorway... I can see the operational appeal of skinning up a pisted surface but it does seem daft. And hardly "in spirit"
snow report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Quote:


@fixx, I must confess it makes me think of cycling the wrong way up a motorway... I can see the operational appeal of skinning up a pisted surface but it does seem daft. And hardly "in spirit"


really? I'm sure you are less at risk skinning up the side of a piste than standing at the side of one
a) you present a smaller target face on
b) you are looking up hill at the people that might hit you

If we think skinning up is dangerous then we really shouldn't allow people to stop even at the side of the piste!

To be fair - if hoards of people were doing it or at busy times then it would be a problem.
Anyway - useful to know it is not allowed in a lot of places.
ski holidays     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@jedster, hordes are doing it up the Flegere home run. I have had many occasions when I have come round an icy access road to find a randonneur heading in my direction. I'm capable of dealing with it but many are not.

I just think it's crazy.

Worse even when it's a steep icy run and they're traversing.
snow report     
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I presumed this was people making some kind of statement about everywhere in the mountains being free to use, with extra points awarded for zig-zagging up a race piste while it is in use.
ski holidays     
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@rjs, I've observed that as well. Also zig-zagging up pierre-a-ric at closing time (suicidal).
ski holidays     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@under a new name, totally agree, I don't see the appeal either. Getting away from the piste is all part of the fun! And yeah, the numbers going up the Flegere home run bug me. I think mostly because of the number of people who go down that who aren't as capable, as you say.

I just went to look at the Chamonix info again (maps and descriptions all here: https://www.chamonix.net/english/winter-activities/ski-touring/ski-fitness), and apparently there is now a track at Le Tour also! Actually 3 - the Les Posettes route I've known for while, but never gone up it, only skied down the lower part after offpiste runs from l'Aiguillete. I've seen quite a lot of people using it though. To be fair, the skiing is nice up that way.

The alternate to the home run I've never seen, I had no idea it was there! Shock Good idea to get people away from the piste though - just needs better sign posting. The one from the mid station I've kind of done - very nice and easy, great beginner route. An approximation at least - warm up with a guide one day, but saw no markers of any kind, didn't realise it was an actual route! Nice gradient though, would be good for beginner practice, if they found it.

The Grands Montets path is actually really nice, even being one of the tougher runs - it's almost all through the trees, I find it very calming and peaceful Smile It needs better marking too though - I think a lot of people don't know it's there, and so try to head up onpiste on Pierre a Ric Sad
latest report     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Quote:

Also zig-zagging up pierre-a-ric at closing time (suicidal).

point taken - that is just absurd
latest report     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
under a new name wrote:
@rjs, I've observed that as well. Also zig-zagging up pierre-a-ric at closing time (suicidal).



I think somewhere bellends have to be bellends no matter what activity they pursue. No problem with people skinning directly up the narrow margin of the piste but zig zagging is as bad as stopping for a chinwag in the middle of the piste.
snow report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

I think somewhere bellends have to be bellends no matter what activity they pursue.


To be fair piere-a-ric is bellend central at the best of times. And its equal opportunities for downhill bellends as well as skinning ones. Perhaps there is some mileage in that try and concentrate and keep them away from the rest of us.
snow conditions     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
“And its equal opportunities for downhill bellends as well as skinning ones”

Oh yes indeedy.

Just because you have enormous fat skis doesn’t mean you can ski. Or stop.
snow report     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
under a new name wrote:


Just because you have enormous fat skis doesn’t mean you can ski. Or stop.


Yeah but if you've rockered tails you can sure rooster other punters wink
ski holidays     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@fixx, I've done the one at le tour a few times. Very well signed, reasonably picturesque, crosses the piste once or twice.

I've also been gently reprimanded by the pisteurs for straying onto the main piste as a shortcut!
snow report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@snowdave, good to know, thanks! Will definitely look out for it this winter - I'll try to get some early season training/practice in, as a friend and I keep telling each other we'll do lots of proper touring in March and April next year - if we ever manage to stop ourselves staying in the bars late NehNeh
ski holidays     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quote:

a friend and I keep telling each other we'll do lots of proper touring in March and April next year

I say that every year
snow report     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Bit of an update chaps, I'm in Sölden now and just did my first ever day on skins Madeye-Smiley

Fair to say I'm a convert, especially as getting the bus up to the glacier means not paying for the toll road, so a free days skiing.

Started at the Tiefenbach side and went round the back of the lake (piste was closed, but the run is still marked and had a thin layer of snow on it) and then across the motorway (got lucky with timing) and up to and through the tunnel to the Rettenbach side.. down the Steilhang for a spot of lunch, then back up it.. that involved some kick turns Shocked

Got a nasty blister from the neo dynafits, not a big problem, but I'm having a bit of grief with the radical 2 TLT bindings.. the heel on one just doesn't seem to want to lock in, it feels like it has, but there's a tiny bit of spring return which is a clue.. lift the ski and tap it either end and the heel binding releases.. twice it left me bashing the boot against a piste pole and swapping the skis around to get it to work, is this something anyone else has experienced?

Also, as more of a general technique question, when climbing straight up something that requires the heel riser to be in one of the higher settings, what do you guys generally do with pole length? I had a little experiment, but couldn't seem to find anything that felt right?

Bloody good fun though, and I'm absolutely knackered Laughing

None of the piste guys gave a to$s either, some of them even gave me a bit of encouragement Razz
snow report     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@QRZBuddha, I’ve never had a problem with my radicals, I would have them checked, it might be something with the boot, is it always the same boot?
I don’t tend to ever adjust my poles much other than at the start of a climb, I just hold it further down the shaft if needed. Some touring poles have no adjustment just a handle stretching halfway down the shaft. One little point when using risers, the higher you have them the shorter your stride so don’t overdo it. On the blister, if you’re on a more serious tour one essential is to deal swiftly with blisters trying to catch them before they happen. On a multi day trip a bad blister can be a show stopper. Better to get some compeed on a hot spot before the skin gets broken.
latest report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@jbob, sound advice on the blister.. compeed is applied now and hopefully not an issue.. I've worn the boots for a week of resort skiing (along with the same bindings, and never had a problem before) and they were fine, it's obviously a walk mode thing.. the week I did was in fairly warm conditions back in march (Sauze d'Oulx), so I'm wondering if the colder temps are doing something to the bindings.. not noticed a particular ski doing it, think it was a different one each time, weird

Poles, I'm using black diamond expedition 3 I think, maybe 2.. they're down in the ski room.. they have the foam handle that extends down, found that very useful when traversing.. think I'm with you on leaving the length alone.. didn't find much benefit to any of my tinkering..
snow report     



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy