Ski mountaineering is experiencing the best season ever. In addition to the closure of the lifts, the desire to be outdoors, and the impossibility of attending the gyms, ski mountaineering has also seen a generous season of snow, which has made being away from the slopes even more difficult.
What is ski mountaineering?
Ski-mountaineering is a mountain sport that takes place mainly on snow-covered off-piste terrain, therefore far from the typically groomed ski slopes. Ski mountaineering can be a stand-alone sport as a winter hiking activity, or it can be seen as a winter approach to purely mountaineering routes. It is carried out through the use of special equipment, such as skis with bindings that allow you to free the heel and skins, for advancement in the snow.
ski mountaineering: season 20-21
During ProWinter Bolzano 2021, this year held in digital version due to the pandemic, the situation of ski mountaineering was largely discussed, with an excursus on the market, new trends, and new possibilities of services relating to this discipline. 93% of the interviewed shopkeepers declared that they have observed the growth of ski mountaineering, especially in the current season, with high percentages of new customers who approached discipline for the first time. In fact, many alpine skiers, due to the impossibility to use the ski lifts, became curious about this discipline, often neglected due to difficulty, required effort, and, sometimes, related risks. The expenses were substantial, especially because to practice ski mountaineering you need to equip yourself with specific materials.
Bianca Balzarini’s ski mountaineering competition
Bianca Balzarini is a ski mountaineering professional, a Gabel athlete of Brescia origin who, this year, brought home several successes. s. Her victory at the Transcavallo 2021 and a wonderful 3rd place at the Adamello Sky Raid, also during this season, is highly respected.
Giampaolo Corona’s exploratory ski mountaineering
An exploratory ski mountaineering, instead, is that of Giampaolo Corona, a great high-altitude mountaineer. During the month of April Giampaolo is in the Nepalese mountains, with the aim of ascending the Lobuche, one of the countless 6,000 in the area. Giampaolo, mountain guide and rescuer at the Trentino headquarters, is now on his 14th expedition, alternating mountaineering, ski mountaineering, and climbing.
Ski mountaineering equipment: Pierramenta Vario Carbon F.L.
As previously mentioned, ski mountaineering equipment differs significantly from ski equipment, despite having also a lot in common. The skis are lighter to facilitate the climb; they are equipped with bindings that allow freeing the heel; the boot is lighter and can be set to flex compared to that of alpine skiing, to facilitate the ascending phase; skins for the climbs, to be attached under the skis, and to be removed during the descents. The ski mountaineering pole is a fundamental piece of equipment for this discipline, essential for completing the movement, advancing in the snow uphill, and facilitating curves and balance downhill.
The PIERRAMENTA VARIO CARBON F.L. is a telescopic and extremely lightweight pole ideal for alpine touring. The cross-country GRIP has a SOFT and thermic foam layer, its shape bends on the top, and has an angle of 6-7° to allow a comfortable grip and a fast release during the excursions. The shaft is made of the exclusive SNAKE CARBON fiber, a material 20% more lightweight and 18% more resistant than common carbon, and it’s coated with a KEVLAR layer to increase the pole’s resistance against hits and scratches.
This model can be adjusted in length and has a double locking system (MULTI LOCK) composed of an internal expander with a double point of friction to increase the holding power (T.P.L Top performance locking) and an external clamp (FAST LOCK). In addition, the innovative DUAL SPIKE tip has been developed in collaboration with Gabel’s athlete team to provide the best performance possible on any ground, especially on icy and slippery rocks. Finally, the large asymmetrical baskets are studied to offer maximum stability and control over the pole in the fresh snow.