What is it about off piste and ski touring that you love so much?
There are thousands of ski lifts around the world, but there’s a great sense of satisfaction to be gained from skiing down vertical that you’ve earned the hard way. This might be from a few hours skinning in the Alps or Scotland to nearly two weeks of climbing on Muztagh Ata, a 7,509m mountain in China. Ski touring also gives you the opportunity to get the first tracks EVER. I’ve been lucky enough to be part of teams that have done the first ski descents of peaks such as Monte San Lorenzo, the second highest summit in Patagonia and Volcan Domoyu in Argentina.
Ski touring can be hard work and scary at times too. I’ve been avalanched in the Alps, fallen down a crevasse in Bolivia, had 20cm of rain in 36 hours camping in Chile and spent over 48 hours snowed in to a small bivouac on the Monte Rosa.
All skiing is a social activity too. Skinning along, chatting with friends as you go can be really enjoyable. In ski resorts, the Alps can feel very crowded but there are some amazing places just a couple of hours skinning away from most resorts, even big ones like Verbier. Sharing an adventure in a beautiful place is a great way to spend a day. Ski touring has given me the excuse to travel the world, meet interesting people, eat strange new food and travel with my skis on trains, subways, ‘planes, boats, buses, 4x4s, horses and camels. My EMS logbook contained over 200 ski touring days, from three continents.