Ski mountaineering is an activity that combines the techniques of ski touring with those of mountaineering. In mainland Europe skiing is seen as a useful skill to acquire and as enjoyable a form of mountaineering as rock-climbing or ice climbing. In North America it is often the best way to travel in deep winter snow: easier than walking on the uphill and as exciting or scary as you care to make it on the descent.
Modern equipment is light and efficient. Light skis, lift heel bindings and climbing skins allow easy ascents and modern boot, ski and binding design allow a much greater degree of control and safety than was previously available.
Recent winters mean that Scotland may not be a first choice ski mountaineering destination but there are always a few days when the sun shines and the snow cover is good enough.
Skill set can include any or all from snow-craft plus the ability to ski in off piste snow.
2010 was a fantastic winter for ski mountaineering in Scotland!
For the first winter in years, many hills were summited on skis. Here's just a few images from that year to whet your appetite and keep you going until the next great winter season.
More on ski mountaineering soon.....