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Correcting the Three Most Common Mistakes People Make Ski Touring in the Backcountry

Author(s): Great Outdoors Learning Hub
Video Release Date: November 12, 2020
Video Source: YouTube

Do you want to know how to save your breath when going up with skins, or how to save your energy when skinning up a slope, or how to get an extra lap in your day? There are three major errors that people make when climbing with skins on their skis. Do you know if you’re making one of them?

In this video, professional backcountry guide and ski-touring instructor Rene-Martin Trudel shares his secret skinning recipe to avoid the three most common mistakes all beginner, novice and expert backcountry skiers do! The ski skills shown are for all levels of experience. You’ll gain the confidence to break trail without getting exhausted. Rene-Martin’s touring tips apply to all forms of snow travel in the backcountry. The tutorial applies to split-board, telemark, and alpine touring equipment. You will definitely travel more efficiently on the snow and in the mountains.

EFFICIENCY should be your mantra when out on the mountain because it has a huge impact on the quality of your day and of your backcountry skiing experience. Ever felt really tired on your last lap that you thought you could have increased your risk of injury in the backcountry? Then, try these techniques on your next ski trip and take note on how you feel on your last lap. Post your results in the comments, we’d love to know!


1- Lifting the ski
2- Climbing too steep
3- Climbing risers
4- Bonus Mistake: Using an old… check it out at https://youtu.be/oUigcdJODVI?t=575

SECRET RECIPE for successful efficient ski touring:

Make long strides with your skis, trying to glide the ski the most possible without lifting it.

Follow the Path of Least Resistance! Losing elevation to go around an obstacle will help you conserve more energy. When breaking a new skin track, lift your knees to get your ski tips out and glide them along the snow. And on steep sections, keep your back straight and move your hips forward when skinning; this will optimize traction.

Ah! Risers. It’s so much fun to play with your high-tech ski gear with all the options, adjustments, bells and whistles… But in reality, don’t let the gear get in the way of your efficiency. You should avoid using the risers, unless the terrain dictates it. They limit your range of motion and reduce your stride length. Use them sparingly, and put them back down as soon as possible.

REMEMBER: If the skin track is not good, then open a new line. You’re in the backcountry. Take the freedom to skin up your own path of least resistance. Follow a skin track that makes sense for you. If it doesn’t, break trail for your party and enjoy the feeling of your skis popping up and gliding on the snow. Always travel in groups. Minimum 3 people, that form a team to cover all aspects in the backcountry such first aid, rescue, communications, decision making, terrain evaluation, route finding, snow safety, good morale with humour and someone to carry the emergency chocolate! Did you like this video? This was only part of the whole tutorial. Hungry for more info? Check out Rene-Martin’s Full Backcountry Ski Touring Skills Course here: https://www.golh.tv/BCski-Rene-Martin…

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