Freerando, ski touring (or hiking), two phrases you may have heard before if you regularly leave the marked slopes. But is there a difference between these two practices?
HIKING SKIING: THE CLASSIC OFF-PISTE
Hiking skiing is closer to mountaineering because the goal is often to reach a pass or summit without going through the “lift” box.
The descent is only one aspect of this practice where in the end we spend much more time going up than going down.
The ski touring can also be practiced roaming, over several days to traverse a massif for example. The equipment is lighter than that of alpine skiing to facilitate the climb but less suitable for the hiking-crossed red needles -fred LOOS
Far from the busy areas we are faced with an authentic, living nature that we have time to observe during the ascent.
A contemplative practice in essence, pleasure lies in the spaces we discover.
Hiking is theperfect for adventurous people who want maximum freedom!
Equipment: innovation and glide comfort
Ski touring is the most innovative sport of skiing in recent years.
The aim of the manufacturers is to perfectly stick to the DNA of this practice: positive gradient and lightness of the skis while sticking to the evolutions of the ski piste. Spatulas are wider and light thanks to new materials, more comfortable shoes and bindings offer greater freedom of movement when walking.
Enough to make the ski hike, reserved for initiates for years, accessible to a wider audience.
The other advantage of this practice is that it can take place completely off the beaten track, away from the ski resorts.
Freerando: less climb, no more descent!
Freerando is also an off-piste practice.
Unlike ski touring, it focuses on the descent rather than the climb.
Here, freeriders will prefer routes close to the ski areas to benefit as much as possible from the lifts.
At the arrival of the lifts, the goal is not to walk too long, either in sealskin or downright on foot to find a virgin route a little away from the slopes. Freerando equipment is heavier than in ski touring, with an emphasis on downhill handling rather than facilitating the climb.
off-piste climb – peak mountainHowever, it has also benefited from advances made on skis. As a result, wide-soled skis (or fat skis) are becoming lighter, shoes and bindings are becoming more comfortable and sturdy.
Hiking, freerando, what to choose?
Ski touring and freerando still have similarities. Thus, these are two committed practices of alpine skiing where you find yourself facing the risks of the mountain: avalanches, crevices, rock bars, unmarked routes, etc. It goes without saying that safety equipment is absolutely essential in both cases: bag with ARVA, shovel and probe.
To choose between these two practices, you need to know what you are looking for in the off-track.
off-piste descent – freerando
- I choose the freerando if:
- you are looking especially for the sensations of sliding in the powder
- you’re not a big hiker
- freerando starting point – horspiste
I choose the ski hike if:
you’re looking for the wild aspect and freedom take precedence
walking for a long time doesn’t scare you
In both cases, if you are a beginner in these practices, do not hesitate to do an off-piste ski course or to be accompanied by a guide or a ski instructor to learn these particular techniques and above all, take as few risks as possible!