The joy of ski touring in an environment of immense beauty balances out the dark moments of life;
Can the concept of ski mountaineering on Monte Rosa can be summed up like this?
What motivates you? Is it the silence, the stark white slopes, the rhythm of your breathing or the sport itself that urge you to put the skins on your skis and head for a summit? Or perhaps your friends, the conviviality at the stopover points or is it the solitude or the awareness of it being nothing compared to the whole of creation?
And for you reader, who have never tried ski mountaineering on Monte Rosa
Maybe you are intrigued by the idea, and want to find out more about this sport which is becoming more popular every day?
I would tell you that it is a style of free skiing but without using the ski lifts to go up, where you follow an off the beaten track with your skis as the only means of getting around.
Is this style of skiing suitable for everyone? Certainly, it is for the curious, the dreamers and the enthusiasts, who are familiar with skiing on slopes and who are not afraid to commit to finding new limits within themselves. If you thought that ski touring is only about strenuous effort and a descent on frozen snow, you are wrong. Follow the advice of the Monte Rosa guides and you will discover what fun is!
Tips and Advices provided by the guides of Monte Rosa on how to make sound choices about ski mountaineering:
- Tip1: Choosing your excursion
First of all, choose the itinerary on the basis of your physical abilities; it is then necessary to take into account the weather, snow conditions, slope exposure and the avalanche bulletin.
- Tip2: Study the ascent route but also the descent route
Make sure you study the path you have chosen first to understand if there are tricky sections that could cause some difficulty and foresee what you might need to overcome them; you have to be humble and ask for advice. Don’t forget to consider your descent route as well, which will not be on a beaten track but on a virgin slope, which you will have to be prepared for.
- Tip3: Safety
It is mandatory and absolutely crucial to always have an Artva, Shovel and Sonda in your bag with you. But you also need to know how to use them as it is not enough to carry them in your backpack. You must know its technology and practical use. It is vitally important to take into account the weather conditions; as well as the forecast on the days preceding your trip and plan to start climbing aware of the daily temperatures. And above all you must not overdo it: coming down late with straining and exhausted legs undermine your safety.
- Tip4: Equipment
To enjoy your day, use skis you know well; prepare them thoroughly by waxing them properly (a“fast” ski is an easy ski, a ski that is dry, does not slide and skiing becomes difficult). The ideal ski is fitted and has a width of 90/95 mm under foot; the length should be just slightly above your height. Choose structured skis that are not too light, they will weigh a little more, but you will be more stable! Your shoe is essential: they should be comfortable and a little soft even if this is to the detriment of downhill skiing, but it is easier to wear for many hours. The important thing is that they are warm, with a rubber sole, so as not to slip when you reach the top and stop to eat a sandwich!
- Tip5: Take some lessons before jumping headfirst into your adventure
Ski mountaineering is skiing on a different level, in places that are unfamiliar to you, so do not get caught unprepared. You must be able to read weather reports and avalanche bulletins; the risk of being involved in an avalanche depends 90% on our attitude and how we behave on the slopes! You must learn to know the snow and be able to objectively evaluate your resistance to fatigue; stop before you are too tired because you still have to descend. And above all, only follow the tips of professionals. The internet and word of mouth must carefully be evaluated as the advice is not always verified.
Do you have any doubts? Write to us! We know what advice and lessons you need.
Where to start your ski mountaineering experience on Monte Rosa
- Zube: for those starting out with ski mountaineering
- The pyramid Vincent: for your first high altitude tour
- Capanna Margherita: the tour to do when you are sure of your fitness level