SKI TOURING SCHOOL
The course is organized by the enthusiastic guiding crew of Shar Outdoors, and adventure travel operator from North Macedonia, located in the grand Shar Mountain.
They specialize in off piste freeride skiing, snow cat skiing and backcountry ski touring. They have successfully combined these products, using their infrastructure to access and ride the furthest parts of the mountain.
Shar Outdoors has a base in Hotel Scardus, a 4* hotel and SPA, where apart from the comfort there is a lecture room for the afternoon theoretical sessions with the instructors.
What is it about!?
While this course is touches on skills related to avalanche safety, to prepare you to be safe in the mountains, this is not an avalanche course and we strongly recommend that you visit one.
This course is about learning how to use modern alpine touring ski equipment competently and efficiently so that you can gain access to terrain beyond the boundaries of a ski area.
What you can expect
We will keep the groups to medium sized, with the maximum number of six clients per one guide, so we can pay attention to each one individually. This will help us be efficient in demonstrating how to choose your equipment accordingly to your needs, how to dress properly so that you can remain comfortable for an entire day while going through radical changes in physical output and exposure to the winter mountain
We keep the total tour length and vertical gain down to around 600 – 1000 meters to leave lots of time for questions and practice. We will choose the best areas of the mountain, so you can get a taste in all possible types of snow, and a mix of terrain to climb, that will be versatile enough so you will be able to try different techniques for uphill movement.
During the course you will become familiar with each type of alpine touring binding, different types of boots and skis, and shown the different functions of each item. We will also cover basic avalanche procedures, making quick and easy transitions between skinning and skiing, and discuss common pitfalls faced by all groups of backcountry skiers. At its core, this is a course about efficiency – how to build skills to maximize your energy while backcountry skiing so that you too can grab some untracked powder days, access more remote areas, and climb the peaks you have dreamed about skiing.
Ski Touring SCHOOL Day Plan
Arrival and accommodation
Dinner and briefing about the course. Expecting and preparing the necessary equipment
Day 2 - Day 4
Preparation for the day. Your guides will help you prepare the skis, skins and all the gear necessary for the day. They will also discuss your choice of clothes for the day, depending on the forecast and the activity. Based on the current conditions, the guides will explain the precise plan according also to the present avalanche risk.
We will get ready and your guides will show you how to properly store your shovel and probe, put the beeper on and how to test.
We will use the snow cat to take us to a more remote part of Shar Mountain, where we will be in the full backcountry. The position will be decided by the guides, to allow us to pass a full day in a mild terrain with good snow conditions.
Your guides will give the info on how to mount and use climbing skins. We will choose the peak and show efficient skinning technique, basic track setting, and how to best adjust your boots. On the uphill we will stop to properly adjust the clothing and bindings for uphill travel.
We will climb for several hundred meters with stopping to practice making kick turns and explain how to position a skin track and show how to find an angle that is comfortable but will get us to our destination.
14:00pm - 16:30 pm:
Once we have reached our high point we will continue our discussion of how to make quick and easy transitions between skins and skis and begin to talk about downhill skiing.
On the downhill your guide will demonstrate different techniques for skiing slopes with a group and will go over things like ski pole signals, fence setting, spooning tracks, and how to have a blast while also realizing that we are beyond the reach of ski patrol. Often in the afternoon we have time for an extra lap if the skiing is great and we are on schedule.
Return to the hotel, short debrief and enjoy a beer and free afternoon.
18.30 – 19.30 pm:
19.30 – 21.00 pm:
Briefing for the next day. Discussion with your guides about the forecast, conditions and tour planning.
In the decision of the track up, and on the ski down, your guides will address the reasons to consider staying as a group or pass sections one by one. Also skiing grouped together or spread out and why the terrain and conditions dictate which is best.
On the tour up we will take turns in leading, and your guides will correct you on the choice of track and on the technique
Skills covered - intro to Alpine Ski Touring
Ski Touring equipment
Guides & Safety
Ski Touring and Skiing techniques
Good to know skills
- Basic avalanche beacon skills, types of beacons, preparation and usage
- Use of shovel and probe – choosing the best combination for you, usage of probe for fine searching and types of shoveling
- Interpreting avalanche and weather bulletins
- Common issues of groups skiing together
- When to travel together and when to spread out
- What to do if an avalanche occurs
- Backcountry ski equipment – how to choose and use the best combination for you
- Dressing for uphill skiing
- Dressing for downhill skiing
- Use of alpine touring bindings
- Use of climbing skins, maintenance, protection and practical use
- Our guides have experience of minimum 6 – 10 years guiding in the area and are experienced free riders.
- We always provide 2 guides for each Snowcat (on ehead and one tail guide) to provide maximum safety for your backcountry experience.
- Additional, we provide you with all neccesary security equipment such as avalanche beacon and ABS avalanche backpack free of charge.
- Getting into skis in deep snow or steep icy slopes
- Techniques for skinning uphill
- Downhill skiing in different snow conditions
- Techniques for skiing downhill with other skiers
- Learning how to make kick turns
- Transition to downhill skiing from skinning, safe positioning, fast transition
- Transition to uphill from downhill skiing
- Usage of ice axe and self-arrest Usage of harscheisen and boot crampons
- Taking care of your body, pre season training and stretching
- Maintaining adequate hydration and nutrition
- Taking care of your equipment, basic knowledge on ski and skins maintenance and service
Have Questions? Call Us +389 75 563 130
OR E-MAIL US AT INFO@SHAROUTDOORS.COM