About Free Touring, by Christoph Kaltenböck.

In recent years there have been two main streams of skiing athletes – not considering those alpine skiers – the ones that are taking fat skis to the ski resorts to ski powder and those who are taking their light and skinny skis up to the mountaintops. Those who stick to the resorts are rather limited in options but are also in a rather safe environment to ski cool lines fast. And those who stick to standard routes are also very much limiting themselves to those tracks.

Both streams are in some way limited and then? There are so much possibilities and very little people are exploring these regions. Regions with seemingly endless lines, that are skied by few and even fewer with a fast freeride style. And this is the slot that involves touring and freeriding – it is taking the fast approach and the heavier gear from freeriding to the mountains that have been exclusive to skitouring

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To conquer these lines, it takes a lot more – more training, more preparation, and different gear.

In some way, it is a movement contradictive to the current state, where lightweight gear is the way to go in the backcountry. Changing one’s perspective on this really provides the chance to improve yourself and set new goals or evolve in a field that you love!

“Freetouring” is the end of a thought process to skiing that originated back when skiers first skied lines because they can and want to. In recent years new developments made this kind of approach more appealing to a broader range of people – bindings got lighter and safer, skis got easier to ski and boots got stiffer, and lighter and became more touring-friendly. These ideas – hybrid bindings, burly touring boots, and backcountry freeride skis – are only the purely logical result of the demands of modern free-riders, that want to take their skiing to bigger mountains, steeper lines, and apply a faster style of skiing in more remote mountains regions.

Read more about Christoph’s Freetouring thoughts here! 

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