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Tuesday, 23 March 2010

The rise and rise of ski touring in Scotland

Ski touring is the big news this winter in Scotland's great outdoors. According to various sources, and including the nice chaps at Aviemore shop and hire emporium Mountain Spirit, the number of people enjoying our snowy mountains on touring skis is "unbelievable".

Rob, who owns Mountain Spirit, says that despite buying a large new stock of touring skis for hire he still hasn't been able to keep up with demand in recent months. "These next few weekends and especially over Easter are even busier," he told me when I phoned to reserve four sets of skis for a forthcoming ski tour adventure.

"The slopes around Cairngorm are just covered with ski tour tracks. People are really keen to make the most of the great conditions out there. We have been overwhelmed by the number of enquiries for tourer skis, especially as we're the only place that hires these skis in Aviemore."

Luckily enough, though, it looks like there will be enough skis ("just") for our trip, although one of the chaps might need to take female skis ("with a flowery design"!). Having never ski toured before I am heading off with an experienced skier, his girlfriend and the G-Force. We're planning two days of touring, hopefully taking in a few of the higher mountain summits in the Cairngorm plateau. I'm expecting the activity to be a lot of hard work – but I'm also hoping for some fabulous views and a lot of fun on the descents.

It'll also offer a chance to "bag" a few more Munros. I'll be writing about the ski touring on this blog, and I'll blog about the Munro "bags" on the new Bagging Scotland website.

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