Skitouring – A-Z guide
The world of skitouring in one place. Here’s an independent guide from Outdoor Magazine.
The first part of this compendium is addressed to beginners. For the more initiated, we invite you straight to the following sections.
- “Equipment will not go by itself!” – the workshop is led by Andrzej Marasek, head of skydiving training at 5+Mountain School, TOPR rescuer and PZA alpine skiing instructor, and Andrzej Skrzypek – workshops are conducted by Maciek Ciesielski, IVBV guide and 5+ Mountain School – lecture is conducted by Arek Jędras (Skitour School by Skitourowe Zakopane) – lecture Wojciech Szatkowski (Skitour School by Skitourowe Zakopane)
Selecting skydiving equipment is quite a challenge. It is also difficult to advise without knowing the skills, style and interests of a particular person. Therefore, beginners are encouraged to rent equipment. This way you can see for yourself what solutions suit you and what do not. Nevertheless, these few articles may help you to discern the topic.
As we pointed out in the introduction to this section, it is a good idea to rent equipment at the beginning. The cost of the whole set is approx. 110-150 zł / day. Skis, skins and poles (without boots) are approx. 60-110 zł / day. You will also be able to rent avalanche ABCs in the rental shops.
- Katowice – I borrow.katowice.pl,
- Cracow – skimokrakow.en,
- Kiry – 5+ Mountain School and Majesty,
- Zakopane – Tatra Trade, tatratrade.com.pl
- Zakopane – Yurta Bar, yurtabar.en
For a good start, you should familiarize yourself with these basic rules, which experienced mountain guides and rescuers have prepared for us:
The main and biggest threat to the skydiver is avalanches. Here you will find a very important and good study of the topic. If you see this leaflet in traditional form somewhere, be sure to pick up a copy and take a peek from time to time – avalanches are, unfortunately, the truly deadly hand of nature:
Other articles on avalanches:
First aid kit and first aid
First aid kit is a piece of equipment that should not be missing on any trip. Here is our description of a first aid kit prepared with skitouring in mind:
Even the best equipment will not help if we do not know how to use it – this is another truism, but as true as possible. In this age of rampant consumerism and the relentless pursuit (of everything), we sometimes fall into the trap of „more and faster”. Unfortunately, this can lead to tragedy. Reason and experience is the basis, no equipment can replace this. So let’s arm ourselves with patience, because experience is gained slowly.
When planning a trip, it is worth to refer to the available guides. For the Polish mountains we found such:
You will also find some suggestions on our site:
Guides are a good starting point, thanks to them we will learn about the specifics of a particular range, attractive areas, regulations in the area and the dangers characteristic of the area. However, many people derive satisfaction from planning the route on their own, such is also our approach. Nothing allows you to get to know the mountains as well as hours spent browsing maps, satellite images and information available on online forums, and bushwhacking in the field afterwards.
Maps we recommend
– for independent planning and navigation in the field (free online application), – more frequent updates of satellite images than in maps.cz (overgrowth of clearings – key issue),
- Apple Maps – convenient, accurate and in many cases the most up-to-date (satellite), – suggestions for skitouring routes, you can find inspiration.
From time to time, it is also worth looking at online forums and FB groups.
Planning goes on all the time (fot. outdoormagazine.pl)
Planning goes on all the time. It is not the evening before the trip, but rather the daily checking of weather, conditions, snow cover, webcams. Thanks to this approach, we are constantly aware of how the snow cover is built, how deep it is, what layers it is composed of and how well bound it is. Even if your next trip is just on the horizon, it is worth regularly visiting the following sites (we provide sample sites for selected mountain ranges).
(convenient application) (forecast for different altitudes)
Not without reason, our motto is „adventure – nature – ecology”. If we want to enjoy the beauty of the wild spaces of our world, we should remember to respect nature, including during seal tours.