Ski touring in search of wide open spaces and freedom

Posted by Céline BAUDIN on 02/21/2024 at 08:50

Estelle et Céline  / Read all Grenoble Alpes Tourisme blog posts

You can get away from it all in the powder snow, in harmony with the great outdoors and without having to use the ski lifts!

In winter, the snow-covered massifs around Grenoble are a source of discovery and novelty. Follow us into the heart of the mountains for an introduction to this increasingly popular sport in complete safety and respecting nature.

Rocher du Midi Chartreuse © Ludovic Petetin


This activity, which is similar to classic downhill skiing, requires special skis for climbing and descending in all types of snow. These are different from downhill skis, with a special binding that allows you to lift the foot like a snowshoe, and the famous ‘sealskins’ that stick to the snow, so you don't slip. The big difference from downhill skiing is that you have to use your muscles to reach the top of the slope before you can enjoy the descent: so you need to have good foundations in skiing and a good cardio fitness!

Lances de Malissard Chartreuse © Ludovic Petetin

The correct equipment for a safe outing

Away from the busy slopes, it is essential to prepare for your outing and anticipate any potential setbacks. Make sure you have a backpack with plenty of water, a snack, sun cream, a waterproof jacket and a hat or cap. You'll also need an avalanche transceiver to carry with you, as well as a shovel and probe to slip into your backpack. Introductions in the use of avalanche transceivers are offered in the mountains and particularly in Sappey and Col de Porte.

This equipment can be hired from most ski shops, as well as touring skis, boots and poles.

    Discover the activity with a guide...

    The mountains can be a hostile environment and beginners need to know their limits. Why not be accompanied by a specialist so you can enjoy the fresh air with complete peace of mind. The ski schools and many mountain guides offer this service, taking you to natural areas you never thought you’d be able to access, for a moment in harmony with nature.

    Chamrousse © Images et Rêves
    Lances de Malissard © Ludovic Petetin

    Or on your own, on signposted trails

    Are you equipped, and have you ticked all the safety boxes? Then, set off on one of the 33 routes available in the Isère resorts, which are signposted and safe for beginners and intermediates It's the perfect way to reach the summits without a care in the world and make the most of this exceptional experience. You can find these routes in paper format at ski lift ticket offices, hire shops and the various tourist offices in the resort.

    Immerse yourself in nature

    Enjoy the great outdoors! Ski touring is an opportunity to combine sport and well-being in the fresh air, far from the crowds. This approach, which is more respectful of the mountains, allows you to enjoy incredible panoramic views and a “well-deserved” view on arrival. Along the way, you’ll discover unspoilt scenery, with almost no-one around!

    Some animals live in the mountains during the winter, and you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of an ibex, a hare, a chamois or the mythical black grouse. To avoid disturbing them, preserve their habitat and help protect them, uncover the golden rules for climbing in harmony with Alpine wildlife

    Lances de Malissard © Martin Clemancey

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