Santa Fe New Mexican


Ski touring requires different gear than what is used for alpine skiing at in-bounds ski areas, but AT gear can be used for alpine skiing as well. Here are the basic pieces needed for alpine touring: SKINS Skins are strips of fabric that attach to the bot tom of skis and allow the wearer to ski uphill. The fabric’s nap is smooth when pushed forward and rough when pushed backward. This allows the skis to easily slide forward on the snow but creates friction that prevents them from slipping back. Skins are worn for ascents and then taken off and stored for downhill skiing. SKIS Backcountry touring skis are very similar to alpine skis and can be used as alpine skis if one wants to make only a single purchase for both back back with a notch where the skins clip in. BOOTS Ski touring boots have two small divots at the toe, where the front bindings clip in. They are hinged at the ankle to allow for a more natural range of locked to make a stiff boot for skiing downhill. Touring boots are also lighter than alpine boots. BINDINGS Bindings attach your boots to your skis. Ski tour ing bindings allow your heels to lift, making hiking uphill possible. SKI LEASHES If your skis don’t have breaks (which allow skis to dig into the snow, keeping them from slid ing away), it's a good idea to use leashes, small cables that tether skis to boots, so if your skis come off, they won’t get lost. Losing a ski in the backcountry is an expensive annoyance at best, a threat to life at worst. BEACON, PROBE, AND SHOVEL These three items are a must when alpine tour ing, even when the chance of an avalanche is slim, and knowing how to use them is para mount. Beacons are electronic devices that send out a constant signal, allowing other beacons to are extending poles that allow searchers to push through the snow to feel for a buried person. Shovels are used to dig the person out.