Ski Touring in the Arlberg – there has never been a better time to try this
Imagine beautiful mountainscapes all around you, just the rhythmic slip-slip-sound of your skis sliding one in front of the other, your mind quiet, far beyond the noise of the resort. You’re gliding easily with your skies through the fresh snow. The climb will be rewarded by the ski down in untracked terrain. Suddenly you see in the distance, perched high up on the mountain rock face, an Ibex, still and majestic and your heart nearly skips a beat. You gesture towards your companions, as they turn their heads towards the beautiful animals. Nature, peace, companionship – touring has it all.
Ski touring in St. Anton, Lech Zürs, Arlberg has long been popular amongst locals escaping the resort into the winter wilderness, however in recent years it has grown in popularity as visitors search out the untracked exhilarating powder descents far from the lifts. The vast mountain ranges of the Arlberg provide an almost endless choice of tours. The only difficult choice is which one. Our local UIAGM / IFMGA qualified mountain guides have expert knowledge of the terrain and are able to take you to secret powder spots on day tours or multi day hut to hut adventure tours.
St. Anton Ski Touring Guiding with Piste To Powder
A ski tour in St. Anton, Lech Zürs can just be 1-2 hours walking 500m ascent, rewarded by 1,500 meters ski down. Start early – some lifts are open especially for tourers, take a picnic for the summit and then enjoy an exhilarating untracked descent, often through beautiful valleys and forests. Some end at a hut, such as the rustic Wagner Hütte in Verwall where you can reward yourself with nourishing hot Tyrolean fayre, and chat about the highlights of the day with your companions.
Contrary to what you might think, you don’t need marathon level fitness for ski touring, it’s more about setting a rhythm, conserving your energy and not allowing yourself to be rushed. It’s a time when your mind can slow down, you can enjoy truly immersing yourself in nature – restorative for the body and soul. Small group tours enable new friendships to be made through shared enjoyment and companionship. If you are trying it for the first time we have some 3 day ski ski touring Bootcamps in St Anton or in the beautiful Silvretta . Or just come for the day in one of our small Open Tour groups.
Ski Touring Equipment
Equipment is key to ski touring – you need touring skis which are slightly narrower than regular Off piste skis, and light pin bindings. Avoid heavy frame bindings, your legs will thank-you if you’ve just started touring. We’re happy to provide more info on equipment depending on your needs, just send us a quick message!
You can rent everything easily to start with but we recommend having your own boots to avoid blisters, if you need to upgrade your boots anyhow consider buying hybrids which work with pin bindings and can also be used for regular downhill. Always be prepared for every eventuality. Uphill you can be sweating so a light merino base, perhaps a long sleeved shirt for sun protection, hat, touring gloves and plenty of high sun protection factor. Descents can often be much colder so you need warm layers you can put back on at the summit.
Generally a 25 liter pack will suffice for a day trip but 35 liters for multi day but always pack light. We have a comprehensive pack list for what to bring on a tour. Energy snacks are also important – and a mixed dried fruit (dates/apricots) and nut mix is better for the slower energy release. And carry plenty of water – a camel back makes it easy to stay hydrated, but bring an extra flask you can fill with hot herbal tea from the huts.
Safety equipment is also very important – the same as you carry for downhill, we’ll provide free of charge in St. Anton.
Technical Skills for Ski Touring in the Arlberg
Learning to skin uphill is straightforward, the most challenging part is accomplishing a low-energy kick turn which requires balance and flexibility. Our Piste To Powder guides are happy to show you all skills and give you technical advice. Then it is just all about the downhill. If you improve your Off Piste skills first in one of our Open groups or technique workshops, then you will be ready for the downhill.
The other important skills are avalanche safety – knowing the terrain, how to recognise avalanche danger and navigating a safe course. A mountain guide will take care of most of this for you but you still will just need to know how to use your safety equipment. We will provide you with these essential skills.
Ski Touring Fitness
Typically you will be ascending at a steady rhythmic pace however you need to be fit enough for the descent – which can sometimes be long as well as exhilarating. Here is where you need to ensure you have done enough aerobic training to ensure your legs don’t tire too early. And for those kick turns a little suppleness will go a long way, yoga is really helpful for this 😉 On your first ski touring trips with us, we’ll start with gentle terrain and tailor the ski tour according to your needs and skills.
St. Anton, Lech Zürs: Ski Touring Guiding for Skiers and Snowboarders
Our experienced mountain guides will take you on an unforgettable ski touring day in the Arlberg, discovering incredible terrain and endless runs and enjoying the peace far beyond the bustle of the resort. Suitable for skiers and snowboarders – beginners and experts – we’ll select the tours according to your abilities!
Our friendly team are here to help and can advise you – just get in touch here, or check out our Hut To Hut Touring Trips and other ski touring guiding options in St. Anton, Lech Zürs, Arlberg.
Find more information about your private booking with Piste To Powder here!
Blog entry by Zoe