This book is about Alpine ski Touring and takes you through a step by step guide on everything that you need to know to get you from a novice ski tourer into the professional. It covers all the salient points for moving on skis and explains how the technical equipment should be used including all the skills that are required to start touring as well as leading a group. It can also be used as a guide for off piste skiers and snow boarders as well as Telemark and Nordic tourers. Each chapter has its own topic as the book takes you through well laid out progressions from your first steps uphill to longer tours moving from hut to hut over glaciated terrain. The photographs complement the text in every way giving a clearer picture of what the equipment looks like and how it should be used. Nothing has been left out and some of the chapters explain all the points to be considered when planning a tour, or overnighting, as well as emergency procedures. And to make the tour safer there are chapters on avalanche awareness and weather. By the time you get to the end of the book you will be armed with all the skills, techniques and knowledge needed to go out and enjoy the sport of ski touring.
The speed that you move forward in ski touring is very important. Ski touring can put extra strain on the body that you might not encounter in summer activities in the mountains. Strenuous track setting in fresh powder snow, as well as unfavourable weather conditions, can certainly wear you down quickly. When setting off it is important to allow the body time to adjust to the activity. As in any sporting activity that you do, a set warm-up period is required in order to get the muscles and the flow of blood adjusted correctly to the exertion. It is therefore better to set off slowly as this also allows everything to settle properly, socks in the boots, rucksack straps and clothing. Fifteen to twenty minutes should be allowed for this, followed by a short rest to adjust any clothing or equipment. Too fast a pace at the start will only result in blisters and exhaustion. Remember that one person can normally move a lot faster than a group of about six people, so if you are setting the pace for a group go even slower.
Henry Branigan MBE has more than 23 years of ski touring and mountaineering experience, qualifying as a Mountain Guide with the German Army in 1983. He has been a Trainer for the British Association of Snowsport Instructors (BASI) since 1984. Following qualification, he has been actively employed in instructing mountain activities, and has been ski touring all over the Alps, in North America, Scandinavia and in New Zealand.
Keith Jenns has over 15 years experience of skiing and mountaineering and qualified as a Mountain Guide with the Austrian Army in 2003. He is a current Trainer for the British Association of Snowsport Instructors (BASI) and a member of the Association of Mountain Instructors (AMI). He has been a squad member of the Great Britain Ski Orienteering / Biathlon Team and has extensive ski touring experience in Canada, Scandinavia, South America and the Alps. Keith also runs his own outdoor activities company.