Scotland has easily accessible terrain, so that when it snows, your ‘pizza’ can have as many toppings as you want. Here is a taster of backcountry skiing and boarding in Scotland – video. Navigation skills = crucial | Andy Townsend. Arc Guiding provides a range of ski touring courses in Scotland, specifically within the Cairngorms National Park. Delivered by our partner Glenmore Lodge we recommend attending these training course to gain adequate knowledge on snow safety. Kenny started skiing ‘over the back’ at Nevis Range in the early 1990s, and this area holds a special appeal for him. In addition to this are the skills associated with using backcountry equipment; skis or snowboards that allow the user to engage uphill or “skinning” mode. Scotland’s hills and mountains offer a fantastic opportunity to engage with Backcountry skiing and snowboarding. For example the ability to plan days where we appropriately carry or leave out , ice axe, crampons, rope ect, Have the appropriate practiced skills to deal with steep or challenging terrain both on and off your skis or board, For further training on these topics Snowsport Scotland Backcountry Awards offer training that can be completed without the need for assessment. This allows the user to raise their heal and slide the ski along the snow all without lifting the ski from the snow. A gentle skin along the northern edge of the Loch Avon basin (pronounced Arrrrn) will lead into Coire Domhain, a good spot for lunch before the final skin onto the summit of Coire Lochan. From the top, there are sensational Scottish … So why Scotland? Download GPS tracks of Scotland (United Kingdom). With Britain’s largest area of subarctic plateau, together with sweeping corries and high peaks, this is a superb place to hone your backcountry skiing skills. To “slide” uphill you can attach “skins” to the sole of your skis or split snowboard. I mportant: COVID-19 (Coronavirus) advice for customers!!!. The UK’s premier supplier of Ski Touring Boots, Skis, Bindings & Equipment. The terrain is … However, when it comes to “uphill” mode or skinning uphill, touring bindings allow the heal of the boot to be released but the toe stays attached. https://www.fall-line.co.uk/rig-for-the-gig-andy-townsends-scottish-ski-touring-essentials/, Are you ready to make a massive impression at #après when we get back to the mountains? The Backcountry Touring Week is a five-day course designed to challenge and develop your skills and judgement when skiing off piste. This is recommended by the British Nordic skiing website suggests as the best location in the UK for cross-country and Nordic Skiing. Backcountry Skiing Scotland If you are looking for something more adventurous than ski touring in Scotland, then our backcountry ski courses offer a variety of choice. Find the best Backcountry Skiing trails in Scotland (United Kingdom). Again, I use the lifts to get a headstart up to Cairngorm, then head to Coire Domhain. 7th November 2020, Edinburgh. In decades gone by seal skin / fur was used and influenced the man-made skins we use today. These may include having a good layering system, waterproof jacket (with a hood that fits over your helmet) and waterproof pants (that fit over your ski boots), multiple gloves and googles may all be required depending on the conditions. SKI BOOTS: Ensure you have well-fitted ski boots that are designed to match your touring bindings. People have been doing it since the sport began. To find out more about him and the awesome trips he organises, go to martinchester.co.uk, In an ever-changing world, one thing remains constant - our shared love of #skiing! They are long strips of material fitted to the base of your skis with one sticky side and one "bristly" side covered in hairs. Why are Cairngorm gullies so good? Andy: are you mad? Depending upon the type of touring binding you are using, the toe of the boot may attach differently. https://www.fall-line.co.uk/win-a-wicked-retro-oosc-ski-suit-worth-250/, In an ever-changing world, one thing remains constant - our shared love of skiing!Help us to keep you stoked for good times in the mountains by taking out a subscription for just £25.Powder days are coming kids - let's ride this one together.www.fall-linemedia.co.uk/product/fall-line-skiing-magazine-2019-2020-season-annual-direct-debit-o... ... See MoreSee Less, Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on Linked InShare by Email, We've teamed up with Dynafit to give away some seriously awesome turn-earning gear - the Free 32 Backpack (worth £125) and a pair of lightweight Upcycled Thermal Gloves (worth £30) Get geared up for those backcountry adventures on us...www.fall-line.co.uk/win-dynafit-free-32-backpack-upcycled-thermal-gloves-worth-155/ ... See MoreSee Less, Copyright Fall-line media 2018 Resorts and crowds are smaller, and you will find a cheerful, polite and relaxed atmosphere. British Mountain Guides have recently published a book entitled A Passion for Mountains. It is the perfect ski for forest tracks, breaking trail and snowy adventures. And I hear the grassy slopes of Mam Tor, in the Peak District, make for great freshies when the conditions fall right. Splitboards are snowboards which can be split into two, to make two splitboard “skis”. With skins attached to the bottom of the skis these enable the skis to grip the snow and not slide backwards as you ascend the slope. But we also get hurricane force winds, zero visibility and desperate snow. Although downhill skiing has perhaps the highest profile in Scotland, cross country (or Nordic) skiing is increasingly popular with those willing to get off the piste and away from the crowds https://www.fall-line.co.uk/win-dynafit-free-32-backpack-upcycled-thermal-gloves-worth-155/, Rig for the Gig - Scottish Ski Touring Essentials From our base in Aviemore we can explore the surrounding hills in any direction. Journeying through the backcountry of the Cairngorms you will develop your off-piste ski technique, ski touring skills, avalanche awareness and mountain safety. We would recommend starting at a ski area or with a qualified person to learn and understand the basics of the sport before venturing out for a tour. Sliding down mountains on wooden planks can’t be that complicated, can it? Any such project is a labour of love. These gullies can be accessed from the top, but I boot up to check conditions as these shady devils sometimes transform into ice rather than spring snow. Be Avalanche Aware – Understand the risk, have the knowledge to risk assess your journey itinerary and identify hazard, be able to react in an avalanche scenario. British Backcountry Winter Opener 2020 https://www.british-backcountry.co.uk/all-events/winter-opener-2020 Too hot, too cold, too damp, too sweaty… It’s hard work choosing a ski jacket in these days of expanded polytetrafluoroethylene membranes, durable water repellents and hydrophobic fibres. Head of Snowsports at Glenmore Lodge and IFMGA mountain guide Andy Townsend outlines his gear of choice for ski touring in Scotland Skiing on Scotland's mountains . “How many days per winter is it possible to ski up there?”. Best for Beating the crowds. 20th/21st Match 2021, Glenmore Lodge. Entering Backcountry terrain places all responsibility for safety and risk on the participant/s. Website by Sportlomo, Opportunities for People with Disabilities, CPD – Continuing Professional Development Courses, https://www.mountaineering.scot/safety-and-skills/essential-skills, https://www.mountaineering.scot/safety-and-skills/thinkwinter, https://www.glenmorelodge.org.uk/ski-touring-courses/cat-32-ski-touring, https://snowsportscotland.org/courses-qualifications/, https://www.glenmorelodge.org.uk/backcountry-skiing/qualifications/, https://www.british-backcountry.co.uk/all-events/winter-opener-2020, https://www.glenmorelodge.org.uk/backcountry-skiing/wild-ski-weekend/, Ski Mountaineering in Scotland, SMC, Donald J. Bennet. Grab a touring pass from Cairngorm base station (two uplifts for £10), ride the Ridge and M1 poma to the Ptarmigan lift station and neck a hot chocolate before skinning or booting to the summit of Cairngorm. Bindings come in two types, plate and tech. ''I feel backcountry skiing is total freedom, a natural progression from the first adventures as a child questing around The Lecht and Glenshee” Check out our next Backcountry Ambassador, Rob Kingsland, and see what he loves most about Backcountry skiing … If you’ve ever wondered how the pros go about planning their adventures then check out this video from Chamonix-based British … Categorised more by access rather than equipment, Backcountry covers a broad range of snowsports. The terrain is challenging and exciting, … We went on an introduction course with Ellis Brigham at Tamworth SnowDome ( this is worth a read if you’re totally new to backcountry ) and after just a few hours in the inspiring company of backcountry guide Blair Aitken, we knew this was a sport we wanted to get into. Scottish Backcountry. Weather – Understand the impact of weather in the hills and how it can affect avalanche awareness, navigation, route choice both up and down and personal ambitions for the day. Sometimes the plateau has only a few inches while the gullies are buried under metres, which is great for us! Price: £195, 1:4 ratio. HOW TO PLAN YOUR BACKCOUNTRY SKI ADVENTURE. To safely enjoy riding in the backcountry be it snowboarding or skiing the user should be comfortable making turns in variable snow conditions and have an ability to find the safest and most enjoyable snow on offer that day. The Cairngorms has every type of skiing to suit every type of palette, … A day out in the mountains on touring equipment is always an adventure and the fact that it is the fastest growing aspect of snowsports is perhaps a testament to its appeal. Our speciality is Backcountry skiing, getting you away from the piste, whether that's Freeride or Off Piste skiing, Day Ski Tours or full blown Ski Mountaineering. Does your rocker match your sidecut, how elliptical is your varying turn radius, why does it matter that carbon resonates at a higher frequency than metal, and can you really use those huge floppy water skis on piste?! The Cairngorms has every type of skiing to suit every type of palette, from steep to shallow, technical to easy.”, So here are Andy’s recommendations for backcountry forays in the Cairngorms, in his own pizza-infested words…. With skills in off-piste skiing and ski touring a host of other opportunities open up. This  video helps explain. For more remote spice, head to the numerous lines in the Coires of Braeriach, with their huge cornices and steep run-outs. I ride my bike up Glen Einich, leave it in the heather and skin up the Escalator, a ribbon of snow from the plateau to the glen. Sitting in front of a crackling fire in the Vaynol Arms in Nant Peris, Snowdonia, may not sound like anything special. This has also been matched by an increase in skiers and boarders accessing the ski areas for off piste opportunities. There are five ski centres in Scotland, each one with its own unique character and attractions.They are the ideal spot for skiing and other winter sports among spectacular mountain landscapes. Our ski touring courses aim to give you the skills needed to take to the mountains safely and independently on skis. However, because the nature of backcountry skiing means they are exploring remote and unmonitored areas, the Snowsport Scotland campaign will emphasise the need for training … Welcome The IBSC is an all round mountain sports club with a particular focus on backcountry skiing, ski touring and other backcountry snowsports. If you are looking for something more adventurous than ski touring in Scotland, then our backcountry ski courses offer a variety of choice. Share your best Backcountry Skiing trails in Scotland … These courses will be run by Alison's sister, Gillian, who shares the same passion for skiing and the mountains.Over the last few winters the ski conditions in Scotland have been very good and the number of people going ski touring is on the increase. With the right education, understanding and equipment you can go out and enjoy the mountains well away from the crowds in the resorts. Ski touring in the Cairngorms and elsewhere in Scotland takes place in winter and early spring, and is best when days are longer, from February to April. Map, Compass and GPS: A knowledge of how to navigate using map and compass is essential for safe route choice in the winter mountains. Scotland has easily accessible terrain, so that when it snows, your ‘pizza’ can have as many toppings as you want. A circuit of the Northern Corries is a great beginning to your love affair with east coast skiing, with the lifts to help you out. Undulating terrain leads to the summit of Ben Macdui, Scotland’s second highest summit. Descend first south then south west into Coire Raibert. One thing's for certain: backcountry skiing and snowboarding, which has already seen a spike in popularity in Scotland over the last ten years or so – is likely to be a major … Ski mountaineering, BackCountry ski touring and Freeride skiing in Aviemore, the Cairngorms & Scotland have become hugely popular in recent years, it is perhaps the most satisfying and … In Scotland there are many companiesand organisations heading out almost daily teaching people how to discover the backcountry. If we choose to leave them at home then good judgement is needed to plan and execute a day on the hill avoiding their need. We starting looking into ski touring (or backcountry as it’s also known) when we returned from our first motorhome ski trip. We do get stunning bluebird days with fantastic snow. This in-resort activity is sometimes referred to as Sidecountry. The award qualifications if completed licenses the awardee to lead groups in UK backcountry environments of differing degrees of complexity. Further afield, March Burn is my favourite way into Larig Ghru. Freeride competition involves being judged on how well you ski or snowboard down a designated “competition face”. Scotland is known for a lot of things—Braveheart, haggis, bagpipes, Alexander Graham Bell—but one of those is not skiing.In fact, it’s hard to even imagine finding snow on the island nation. Castlegates and Pinnacle Gully, off Shelterstone crag, can be approached with a pleasant ski down Coire Domhain. CairnGorm Mountain . “Next time you’re dreaming of skiing in Norway, the Alps or Japan, take a moment and look at Scotland,” writes Kenny. Welcome to a mysterious world of spring strengths, ramp angles DIN settings… These arcane devices clamp you to your skis, holding you in when rattling around through frozen crud or busting high-speed turns but releasing smoothly to save your knee ligaments in a crash – whether you’re going up or downhill. CLOTHING: When accessing the backcountry in the UK we will experience a huge range of conditions from "blue bird" days to driving sleet and snow. Backcountry snowsports can be a tailored experience to suit your ability, the weather, snow conditions and the terrain to offer a great day out in the winter mountains. Similar to winter walking you put the effort in to gain the up but unlike walking you get to enjoy the freedom and joy of sliding back down the mountain putting turns in on the way. Backcountry Skiing Scotland . With phone GPS navigation we need to be aware not to run the battery down if the phone is also the primary piece of equipment for calling for help if required. Whether they’re instruments of torture or precision-padded wonder shoes depends on the quality of your fitter, but either way you’re not going to ski very far without a good pair of ski boots. We will look to compliment your skiing with essential backcountry techniques for ascending, off piste skiing, route planning, understanding … There was an awkward silence. Choosing a good day and the best place to be on the mountain makes all the difference. A reasonable on piste standard of skiing or snowboarding competence is required to make safe descents in variable non-groomed snow. “Scotland is the ‘ultimate pizza restaurant at the end of the universe’,” he told me. We have the easiest access to backcountry in Scotland. This is in part due to the more readily available and higher quality backcountry touring equipment both for skiers … As the wind blows, the snow gets stripped and packed hard into the gullies, filling them up. There are often far too many other folk out touring here in the Alps. Our partners Craigdon and Ellis Brigham offer backcountry equipment for sale/hire and sound advice as well as discounts to Membership of Snowsport Scotland, Second hand equipment can be found via the British Backcountry face book site, https://www.facebook.com/groups/371892739934801, https://www.fall-line.co.uk/category/fall-line-back-country/, https://whitelines.com/snowboarding-advice/backcountry, When accessing the Backcountry from one of Scotland’s five ski resorts tourers are expected to adhere to the Snowsports Touring Code. The truth is that we have skiing right across the UK. Apart from the odd climber | Nadir Khan. Today the Glenmore guides of Cairngorm – who run a programme of trips and courses in Europe as well as in Scotland – are no less keen than the original bunch. Classic lines and hidden gems are expertly archived. A combination of southerly latitudes, low-lying hills and proximity to a warm-wet west coast gives a powder descent in England and Wales a certain je ne sais quoi in a triumph over the elements. With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to make life difficult for Scotland’s ski centres, it seems likely that more people than ever will head into … Backcountry requires multiple skills due to its environment setting. A backcountry skiing trip in Scotland offers a very different experience to mainstream Europe, absolutely enjoyable in good weather conditions! With the ability to chase the best snow conditions, you’ll find abundant snow sports opportunities from backcountry ski … All of Scotland's ski centres have snowsports schools which operate on-site with friendly and highly qualified instructors. We recommend the Be Avalanche Aware App developed by the Scottish Avalanche Information Service to give insight into Snow Safety – click https://www.sais.gov.uk/, When planning your backcountry journey be aware of the potential conditions and terrain that you may experience and take the appropriate equipment to deal with these challenges. But how about being there for après ski, drinking a pint of ale with ski boots on? Snow Safety and mountain skills is a broad term that can be boiled down to these components: Navigation – The ability to safely navigate in challenging winter terrain. Come learn about pivoting cuffs, walk modes, and the vagaries of plastic flex properties in different temperature ranges. For those in the know, heading ‘off the back’ of our very own home hills can be unbeatable. Resorts and crowds are smaller, and you will … Backcountry Skiing in Scotland. O n our site you can shop for gear, sign up for courses and plan adventures. Snowsport Scotland offers training and awards for backcountry snowsports leaders and participants. In fact, British Mountain Guide Andy Townsend had just earned his badge when he moved his family to Scotland. Snow Safety Corner in association with Black Diamond. We're experts in specialised adventure gear, and stock Revelate Designs … Scottish Snow and Mountain Sports, ski reports and webcams ... Winterhighland's Touring & Backcountry Snowsport Reports Server is for Snowsports reports from any touring, whether high mountain Alpine Touring or track skiing … For more information please visit our qualification page https://snowsportscotland.org/courses-qualifications/, For course dates 2021 please visit https://www.glenmorelodge.org.uk/backcountry-skiing/qualifications/. Easy to access, it’s a great place to warm up before heading over the back. Lessons advice and tips. Well, when it’s bad it is really horrid, but when it’s good it is simply the best!”, Freeze-thaw in spring produces lashings of hero snow | Nadir Khan, Martin Chester is a British IFMGA guide and Fall-Line’s esteemed backcountry editor. In spring, when there’s corn snow, Braeriach is best: a scan with binoculars from the roundabout next to the, umm, pizzeria at the southern end of Aviemore will tell you what the cover is like. Pizza Margherita: classic, simple and quick, Pizza Quatro Formaggi: the tour for all tastes, Andy Townsend and Martin Chester are IFMGA Mountain Guides. At world-class level outstanding performances involve a complex combination of creative line selection, technical off-piste riding and impressive air & style, all wrapped up into one seamless, fast and fluid run down an open, extreme competition face. Once you reach your destination you simply remove the skins from the skis, lock your bindings into downhill mode, click both your toes and heels into the bindings and then ride downhill as with normal alpine skiing. Alistair has ski toured throughout Scotland … ; Some centres offer backcountry and freestyle tuition for more advanced skiers and boarders. Sneachda has steeps, gullies and tributaries. Braeriach has open slopes, steep bowls, couloirs that would make a Chamonix guide sweat: the choice is yours. Will you get cold without finest duck down insulation, or do you sweat buckets in anything but the lightest of ventilated shells? Powder days are coming kids - let's ride this one out together. Early in the season the south-westerly wind … These can be found by visiting https://www.glenmorelodge.org.uk/ski-touring-courses/cat-32-ski-touring. But – and it’s a biggish but – it’s all too easy. by Fall-Line Skiing / Backcountry, Featured, How To, Snow Conditions, Videos / 18 Jan 2021. “Today, from a comfortable base in Switzerland, I can on any day be climbing or skiing in any of three countries in a huge variety of areas and altitudes. Blair Aitken of British Backcountry, which offers ski touring and backcountry courses in Scotland and France, says demand has grown among enthusiasts seeking new places to explore. In the right conditions. Backcountry skiing and boarding in Scotland can be epic. Contact: tel: 0131 625 4405 email: [email protected], © Copyright 2018 to 2019 - Snowsport Scotland. This was a couple of winters ago, but the other day I was tickled when a potential client enquired about ski guiding in Wales. Empty ups, deserted downs. Because of the broad skillset required it is good to take your first forays supported by someone who you trust to give you a good introduction. The subsequent climb up to Cairn Toul via the Devil’s Point is a slog, but on the plateau you zip quickly to Braeriach. Scottish Snow and Mountain Sports, ski reports and webcams Scottish Ski Touring and Backcountry Snowsports, UK trip reports 2020 // Winterhighland 1,730 likes. Backcountry can literally take place anywhere if there is snow! www.fall-linemedia.co.uk/product/fall-line-skiing-magazine-2019-2020-season-annual-direct-debit-o... www.fall-line.co.uk/win-dynafit-free-32-backpack-upcycled-thermal-gloves-worth-155/. Our speciality is Backcountry skiing, getting you away from the piste, whether that's Freeride or Off Piste skiing, Day Ski Tours or full blown Ski Mountaineering. Well, yes – because when I asked him, “Why Scotland?” he started going on about pizza. It’s down to wind; lots of it! He writes: “Some local riders would prefer to keep the Back Corries to themselves, but it is hoped that one or two guidebook-informed runs down such classics as Bold Rush on the west face or the Rough Couloir on Aonach Beag will be enough to change their minds.”. Current conditions 7th November 2020, Edinburgh and participants Martin Low of choice and tech challenging... Boarders venturing into new locations in the company of our very own home hills can be unbeatable - our love! Skins ” to the more readily available and higher quality backcountry touring Week a... This then goes hand in hand with use of all touring equipment both for skiers and boarders venturing into locations. Keeping a weather eye on the mountain makes all the difference Martin Low be closed during time! Failing to prepare is well….you know the rest Pinnacle Gully, off Shelterstone crag, it! Touring or ski mountaineering and off piste none groomed unmarked areas within a resort on. 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