A beginners guide to touring - Part 1
Updated: Dec 21, 2021
My journey to touring and freeriding started in a deep deep hole - actually, it was a nice and deeply snowed-in halfpipe in Saas-Fee. At that time, I was very enthusiastic about snowboarding and freeriding, but as one poem says: "A little learning is a dangerous thing" :)
I got stuck in the halfpipe and had my walk of shame through the whole damn thing while being buried in a meter of deep snow.
Why touring? I call it touring, because it can be both - ski touring and splitboarding, both activities define more or less the same, just using another medium aka ski or splitboard to get up and down the hills. And there are the other names - backcountry, off-piste, freeriding, we know them all. We also may forget them all.
I fell in love with snowboarding, with being in the snow, in the mountains and with the rides down and potentially, with the walks up in a limited enthusiastic way. Fast-forward and I realized that I will need two things - the skills to ride deep powder and a splitboard. Things are easy to get, skills are hard to train ;)
In Vercorin, trying to walk unsuccessfully
As you can imagine, the journey of becoming an average "tourer" and free-rider is not easy and surely not quick, at least for people who were not born in the mountains and grew up in flat countries - these people are handicapped, please be nice to them/us ;)
To sum up my first year of trials and fails and what I've learned out of it:
get good equipment, it can be second-hand, but working well enough in freezing temperatures, while it's snowing, blowing and you want to give up
get good companions, not only the advanced ones (they will get bored with you while you're falling down every 2m), but also beginners like you, so you can laugh at each other
acquire the knowledge - avalanche courses, freeride courses, tour planning, ... and ask and listen to the knowledgable people (I don't listen to those who try to advise me on my kick-turns, sorry for that, I'll learn the hard way)
plan well in advance and have an escape plan or at least a headlamp ;)
have fun out there!
To be continued...