“How many days per winter is it possible to ski up there?”. Because of the broad skillset required it is good to take your first forays supported by someone who you trust to give you a good introduction. Best for Beating the crowds. If you’ve ever wondered how the pros go about planning their adventures then check out this video from Chamonix-based British … Nonetheless, the backcountry scene is exploding in Scotland, a boom driven partly by dramatic improvements in alpine-touring equipment and partly by social media’s … With the right education, understanding and equipment you can go out and enjoy the mountains well away from the crowds in the resorts. Splitboards are snowboards which can be split into two, to make two splitboard “skis”. The secret, he adds, is knowing where and when to go, and indeed he spells this out. This  video helps explain. “Just be ready to come in a hurry!” “Great,” he replied. With skins attached to the bottom of the skis these enable the skis to grip the snow and not slide backwards as you ascend the slope. Ben Macduiis probably the quintessential Scottish ski tour, and very popular both for the quality of the touring and the reliable late-season cover. These courses will be run by Alison's sister, Gillian, who shares the same passion for skiing and the mountains.Over the last few winters the ski conditions in Scotland have been very good and the number of people going ski touring is on the increase. Snowsport Scotland offers training and awards for backcountry snowsports leaders and participants. Good navigation is essential for anyone skiing beyond a Ski Patrolled area as is snow safety / mountain skills with particular emphasis on Avalanche Awareness. Specialising in splitboard instruction, guding and leading in Scotland's backcountry. Site maintained by. Nevis Range is Scotland's newest ski area. by Fall-Line Skiing / Backcountry, Featured, How To, Snow Conditions, Videos / 18 Jan 2021. Based in Otley West Yorkshire Over the last few winters there has been a boom in skiers and boarders venturing into new locations in the British mountains. Find the best Backcountry Skiing trails in Scotland (United Kingdom). See photos of the route. “Scotland is the ‘ultimate pizza restaurant at the end of the universe’,” he told me. Pizza Margherita: classic, simple and quick, Pizza Quatro Formaggi: the tour for all tastes, Andy Townsend and Martin Chester are IFMGA Mountain Guides. Alistair has ski toured throughout Scotland … | NNadir Khan. There are ski tows on the Pennines and in the Lakes; there’s awesome touring to be had all over the place, from Snowdonia to the Howgills. 20th/21st Match 2021, Cairngorm Mountain. Diagonal Gully, Cairngorm. For many it also includes some none groomed unmarked areas within a resort. If using a frame binding you can use regular alpine ski boots, but these would be less comfortable for the ascent part of the day. The Cairngorms has every type of skiing to suit every type of palette, … Andy: are you mad? This is recommended by the British Nordic skiing website suggests as the best location in the UK for cross-country and Nordic Skiing. Glorious British snow, just a skin away |Photo Nadir Khan. The Backcountry Touring Week is a five-day course designed to challenge and develop your skills and judgement when skiing off piste. The Scottish Freedom Series - Scotland's Big Mountain Freeride Competition Tour https://www.scottishfreedomseries.co.uk/ A series of three off-piste freeride weekend events held at different locations around Scotland. The UK’s premier supplier of Ski Touring Boots, Skis, Bindings & Equipment. The truth is that we have skiing right across the UK. Backcountry UK The Sorting House Wharfebank Mills Ilkley Road Otley LS21 3JP UK e: info@backcountryuk.com 01943 816 011 Get geared up for those #backcountry adventures on us Bindings come in two types, plate and tech. Best for Beating the crowds. scotsman.com - Roger Cox. Part of mitigating risk is to carry a rucksack (something around 20 - 35litrs works well) depending on the equipment required that day. At world-class level outstanding performances involve a complex combination of creative line selection, technical off-piste riding and impressive air & style, all wrapped up into one seamless, fast and fluid run down an open, extreme competition face. Arc Guiding provides a range of ski touring courses in Scotland, specifically within the Cairngorms National Park. The terrain is … Castlegates and Pinnacle Gully, off Shelterstone crag, can be approached with a pleasant ski down Coire Domhain. Scottish Backcountry. For poles, you can get by with any alpine ski poles, however, there are purpose made poles with subtle differences. British Backcountry Winter Opener 2020 https://www.british-backcountry.co.uk/all-events/winter-opener-2020 Ski touring, ski mountaineering and off piste skiing and snowboarding guide books to Scotland and the Scottish Highlands. But – and it’s a biggish but – it’s all too easy. Our 5 day introduction to ski touring course for beginners is the complete experience for those looking to get into ski touring - the finest way to travel on a snow covered mountain! Skimo Scotland - Scotland's Ski Mountaineering Race Series http://www.skimoscotland.co.uk/. ''I feel backcountry skiing is total freedom, a natural progression from the first adventures as a child questing around The Lecht and Glenshee” Check out our next Backcountry Ambassador, Rob Kingsland, and see what he loves most about Backcountry skiing … Nowhere else can you ski so many great lines with such little effort. Powder days are coming kids - let's ride this one out together. We have the easiest access to backcountry in Scotland. HOW TO PLAN YOUR BACKCOUNTRY SKI ADVENTURE. This allows the user to raise their heal and slide the ski along the snow all without lifting the ski from the snow. There are five ski centres in Scotland, each one with its own unique character and attractions.They are the ideal spot for skiing and other winter sports among spectacular mountain landscapes. Will you get cold without finest duck down insulation, or do you sweat buckets in anything but the lightest of ventilated shells? Be Avalanche Aware – Understand the risk, have the knowledge to risk assess your journey itinerary and identify hazard, be able to react in an avalanche scenario. Mouth-watering pictures tempt you, detailed topos lead the way and infographics give you the beta you need. To “slide” uphill you can attach “skins” to the sole of your skis or split snowboard. O n our site you can shop for gear, sign up for courses and plan adventures. In an ever-changing world, one thing remains constant - our shared love of skiing! LATE is the story of our end of season ski and snowboard escapade in Scotland. Once you reach your destination you simply remove the skins from the skis, lock your bindings into downhill mode, click both your toes and heels into the bindings and then ride downhill as with normal alpine skiing. Resorts and crowds are smaller, and you will … Scottish Snow and Mountain Sports, ski reports and webcams Scottish Ski Touring and Backcountry Snowsports, UK trip reports 2020 // Winterhighland SKIS BINDINGS & POLES: You can use any type of alpine ski for ski touring, however lightweight purpose made equipment is always preferable. If we choose to leave them at home then good judgement is needed to plan and execute a day on the hill avoiding their need. Gully Skiing - Cairngorm Classics /West is Best. We had skied from the summit of Y Garn, and the snow cover was so good that we only had to step out of our bindings to open the gate and cross the road. Make the most of your visit by … Upbattle - Scotland's Split Boarding Championships https://www.facebook.com/upbattle If you are looking for something more adventurous than ski touring in Scotland, then our backcountry ski courses offer a variety of choice. Skiing in Scotland is nothing new. Why are Cairngorm gullies so good? Ski conditions in Scotland As of 5 January 2021, everyone in mainland Scotland including Skye is being asked to stay at home except for essential purposes. The award qualifications if completed licenses the awardee to lead groups in UK backcountry environments of differing degrees of complexity. Touring skis have special touring bindings, these bindings allow the user to ski the skis just like alpine bindings do when skiing downhill. CLOSE The training is offered independently to the award in part to make it available for those interested in learning the skills included but whom may not wish to become leaders and hence do not wish to complete the award. Backcountry requires multiple skills due to its environment setting. Backcountry Ski Touring & Splitboarding Over the last few winters there has been a boom in skiers and boarders venturing into new locations in the British mountains. Snow Safety and mountain skills is a broad term that can be boiled down to these components: Navigation – The ability to safely navigate in challenging winter terrain. In the company of our mountain and ski instructors, learn the essential skills to explore Scotland’s mountains in winter on skis. As the wind blows, the snow gets stripped and packed hard into the gullies, filling them up. Backcountry snowsports can be a tailored experience to suit your ability, the weather, snow conditions and the terrain to offer a great day out in the winter mountains. Specialist fitting service for Walking & Hiking Boots & Shoes. For those in the know, heading ‘off the back’ of our very own home hills can be unbeatable. We will look to compliment your skiing with essential backcountry techniques for ascending, off piste skiing, route planning, understanding … Ski Resorts in Scotland Glenshee Ski Centre Located in the Cairngorms National Park, Glenshee Ski Centre is the largest ski resort in Britain. People have been doing it since the sport began. British Mountain Guides have recently published a book entitled A Passion for Mountains. This could be the difference between fun snow or icy slopes, the difference between playing or surviving or the difference between celebrating or spending the night out. Head of Snowsports at Glenmore Lodge and IFMGA mountain guide Andy Townsend outlines his gear of choice for ski touring in Scotland ; Some centres offer backcountry and freestyle tuition for more advanced skiers and boarders. Come learn about pivoting cuffs, walk modes, and the vagaries of plastic flex properties in different temperature ranges. Categorised more by access rather than equipment, Backcountry covers a broad range of snowsports. There are often far too many other folk out touring here in the Alps. In spring, when there’s corn snow, Braeriach is best: a scan with binoculars from the roundabout next to the, umm, pizzeria at the southern end of Aviemore will tell you what the cover is like. Backcountry skiing in Scotland allows you to see the Munros at their finest without the frustrations of winter walking. https://www.fall-line.co.uk/win-dynafit-free-32-backpack-upcycled-thermal-gloves-worth-155/, Rig for the Gig - Scottish Ski Touring Essentials In a tale of two stories we asked Alistair Todd, chair of the Ski Touring Advisory Group, an organisation which advises Mountaineering Scotland on all aspects of ski touring, to show us some of his favoured Backcountry ski spots in the Scottish Highlands. There are five ski centres in Scotland, each one with its own unique character and attractions.They are the ideal spot for skiing and other winter sports among spectacular mountain landscapes. Blair Aitken of British Backcountry, which offers ski touring and backcountry courses in Scotland and France, says demand has grown among enthusiasts seeking new places to explore. “So no surprises then I find myself keeping a weather eye on the conditions back in the Highlands. Therefor your clothing selection for each day needs to reflect the current conditions. We would recommend starting at a ski area or with a qualified person to learn and understand the basics of the sport before venturing out for a tour. For more remote spice, head to the numerous lines in the Coires of Braeriach, with their huge cornices and steep run-outs. This is in part due to the more readily available and higher quality backcountry touring equipment both for skiers … Early in the season the south-westerly wind … Freeride is the term given to skiing and snowboarding in natural, un-pisted (usually steep and sometimes rocky) terrain. Snow Safety Corner in association with Black Diamond. Price: £195, 1:4 ratio. With phone GPS navigation we need to be aware not to run the battery down if the phone is also the primary piece of equipment for calling for help if required. Empty ups, deserted downs. Too hot, too cold, too damp, too sweaty… It’s hard work choosing a ski jacket in these days of expanded polytetrafluoroethylene membranes, durable water repellents and hydrophobic fibres. This is in part due to the more readily available and higher quality backcountry touring equipment both for skiers and boarders. There’s a gentle descent west before you turn north west down to the top of Lurchers gully, possibly the most reliable and skied patch of snow in Scotland. https://www.fall-line.co.uk/rig-for-the-gig-andy-townsends-scottish-ski-touring-essentials/, Are you ready to make a massive impression at #après when we get back to the mountains? We strongly urge those new to ski touring to ensure they have sufficient knowledge and training to understand weather and the risks in the mountain environment. I had been ski touring in Scotland every spring and knew there was enough to keep my favourite pastime going at least. Ski mountaineering, BackCountry ski touring and Freeride skiing in Aviemore, the Cairngorms & Scotland have become hugely popular in recent years, it is perhaps the most satisfying and … A reasonable on piste standard of skiing or snowboarding competence is required to make safe descents in variable non-groomed snow. Jeff Starkey, head of Ski Patrol, Nevis Range. With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to make life difficult for Scotland’s ski centres, it seems likely that more people than ever will head into … www.fall-linemedia.co.uk/product/fall-line-skiing-magazine-2019-2020-season-annual-direct-debit-o... www.fall-line.co.uk/win-dynafit-free-32-backpack-upcycled-thermal-gloves-worth-155/. T.S.P. We love the sensation of gliding across the ever changing snow … In addition to this are the skills associated with using backcountry equipment; skis or snowboards that allow the user to engage uphill or “skinning” mode. A combination of southerly latitudes, low-lying hills and proximity to a warm-wet west coast gives a powder descent in England and Wales a certain je ne sais quoi in a triumph over the elements. This then goes hand in hand with use of all touring equipment including Transceiver, Shovel and Probe? But how about being there for après ski, drinking a pint of ale with ski boots on? We starting looking into ski touring (or backcountry as it’s also known) when we returned from our first motorhome ski trip. And … One of the best ways to see, and ski in Scotland is from a motorhome or campervan. Our ski touring courses aim to give you the skills needed to take to the mountains safely and independently on skis. Journeying through the backcountry of the Cairngorms you will develop your off-piste ski technique, ski touring skills, avalanche awareness and mountain safety. Ski Touring and Ski Mountaineering in Scotland. Snowboarders, splitboarders and kite skiers are all welcome alongside members who traditionally stick to alpine touring kit or tele skiing … The Cairngorms has every type of skiing to suit every type of palette, from steep to shallow, technical to easy.”, So here are Andy’s recommendations for backcountry forays in the Cairngorms, in his own pizza-infested words…. We teamed up with Atomic to chat to 2 of the UK’s most experienced Backcountry Skiers – Gavin Carruthers and Blair Aitken.. With over 20 years of off piste skiing experience in Scotland between them the 2 friends operate British Backcountry which offers skill courses, journeying days, gully skiing coaching, Ben Nevis ski trips and bike and ski adventures. You might expect MBS to write about his new home in the Alps, or some of the far-flung places in the world his career has taken him. So why Scotland? If you can already ski reds confidently and are up for five days of back-to-back mountain travel, then you’re in. Our speciality is Backcountry skiing, getting you away from the piste, whether that's Freeride or Off Piste skiing, Day Ski Tours or full blown Ski Mountaineering. If using a splitboard, you simply remove the skins, lock the two halves back together, and then snowboard back down the hill as normal. These can be found by visiting https://www.glenmorelodge.org.uk/ski-touring-courses/cat-32-ski-touring. At Coire Sneachda, Jacob’s Ladder and Aladdin’s Couloir are classics; while ‘the couloir’ in Lochan is a steep treat. Backcountry can literally take place anywhere if there is snow! From our base in Aviemore we can explore the surrounding hills in any direction. In fact, British Mountain Guide Andy Townsend had just earned his badge when he moved his family to Scotland. However, when it comes to “uphill” mode or skinning uphill, touring bindings allow the heal of the boot to be released but the toe stays attached. Journeying through the backcountry of the Cairngorms you will develop your off-piste ski technique, ski … If using a tech binding your boots will require a toe capable of taking pins. A qualified guide is essential. Nevis Range only opened in 1989, at the top of Scotland’s only mountain gondola. Anyone venturing into the backcountry must understand this responsibility and individuals need to understand how snow conditions, weather and terrain choice all influence safe judgment in avalanche decision making and finding the best snow conditions to enjoy? A backcountry skiing trip in Scotland offers a very different experience to mainstream Europe, absolutely enjoyable in good weather conditions! Finally there is some snow in Scotland and I can introduce my new nordic backcountry ski called the Turas. On the opposite coast, the Chamonix guide Jean Franck Charlet put Ben Nevis on the ski map by skiing Good Friday Climb in 1982, while MBS got the tick on all the main gully lines on this spectacular north face. Mountain Guide Andy Townsend skis Aladdin’s couloir, “Every tasty pizza needs a good base, but it’s the combination of toppings that make them delicious. Our partners Craigdon and Ellis Brigham offer backcountry equipment for sale/hire and sound advice as well as discounts to Membership of Snowsport Scotland, Second hand equipment can be found via the British Backcountry face book site, https://www.facebook.com/groups/371892739934801, https://www.fall-line.co.uk/category/fall-line-back-country/, https://whitelines.com/snowboarding-advice/backcountry, When accessing the Backcountry from one of Scotland’s five ski resorts tourers are expected to adhere to the Snowsports Touring Code. Weather – Understand the impact of weather in the hills and how it can affect avalanche awareness, navigation, route choice both up and down and personal ambitions for the day. Enter to win this kick-ass retro ski suit from @oosc_clothing – worth a stonkin’ £250! GPS can be a very useful back up to map and compass navigation and can be achieved by simple mapping apps downloaded to your smart phone. Intro to Ski Mountaineering #Ski Mountaineering. Car to summit, summit to car. Scottish Snow and Mountain Sports, ski reports and webcams ... Winterhighland's Touring & Backcountry Snowsport Reports Server is for Snowsports reports from any touring, whether high mountain Alpine Touring or track skiing … Ski Scotland Snow Conditions. Contact: tel: 0131 625 4405 email: info@snowsportscotland.org, © Copyright 2018 to 2019 - Snowsport Scotland. Braeriach has open slopes, steep bowls, couloirs that would make a Chamonix guide sweat: the choice is yours. Backcountry Skiing Scotland . But we also get hurricane force winds, zero visibility and desperate snow. I had to confess it was really a case of how many days per decade; or perhaps we should consider hours rather than days as the ideal units for measuring the frequency of pow? Backcountry snowsports gives you the incredible opportunity to access the mountains in winter. Descend first south then south west into Coire Raibert. Backcountry loosely refers to any environment out with a ski resort boundary and terrain that is not pisted or ski-patrolled. Navigation, snow safety and mountain skills are fundamental to enjoying the backcountry and this presents further equipment consideration beyond the actual skis or snowboards. Link to Glenmore Lodge Touring Equipment Video. 20th/21st Match 2021, Glenmore Lodge. It lies somewhere in between a nordic track ski and a telemark ski. If you’d rather not slalom between the climbers who take up residence in these corries, then head to Loch Avon: Diagonal and Y Gully can be linked together before lunch, or combined with more famous lines in Sneachda. With Britain’s largest area of subarctic plateau, together with sweeping corries and high peaks, this is a superb place to hone your backcountry skiing skills. From the summit, make laps of the northern slopes and coires. In decades gone by seal skin / fur was used and influenced the man-made skins we use today. SKINS: Skins allow you to go uphill on your skis without slipping backwards. This must-do classic takes in the four tops: Cairngorm, Ben Macdui, Carn Toul and Braeriach. I mportant: COVID-19 (Coronavirus) advice for customers!!!. Any such project is a labour of love. Easy to access, it’s a great place to warm up before heading over the back. The music is 'Spree' by Martyn Bennett & Martin Low. With skills in off-piste skiing and ski touring a host of other opportunities open up. The plateau acts like an aeroplane wing, accelerating the wind speed to hurricane proportions. One thing's for certain: backcountry skiing and snowboarding, which has already seen a spike in popularity in Scotland over the last ten years or so – is likely to be a major … Failing to prepare is well….you know the rest. Uninterrupted sunshine and snow on an amazing day in the Scottish Highlands. Ski touring in the Cairngorms and elsewhere in Scotland takes place in winter and early spring, and is best when days are longer, from February to April. “Sure, I’ll call you when the conditions are perfect,” I said. If still improving your backcountry riding then it is highly beneficial to have professional input which in turn helps increase your enjoyment, efficiency and safety. From forays on Ben Nevis in 1904 (when men were men and skis were ma-hoo-sive) through to early descents of classic terrain, the books – one on Glencoe, the other on Nevis Range – acknowledge it all. In conjunction with Glenmore Lodge we have developed the ‘new’ off-piste leadership pathway on behalf of UK Snowsport. Backcountry Skiing in Scotland. Ski Scotland Snow Conditions. The 'Scottish Backcountry Ski, Snowboard and Film Festival' in Aviemore (2011-13) brought together like minded folks to explore and develop their own backcountry skills and … Partner Glenmore Lodge we recommend attending these training course to gain adequate knowledge on snow safety and on... All accessing the backcountry touring Week is a five-day course designed to your... Today, a brace of new books makes it easier than ever to find world-class skiing in your.... Increase in skiers and boarders enabling you to see the Munros at their finest without the frustrations winter... 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