Ski touring in Almaty, Kazakhstan
When all the lift-accessible powder has been tracked out and there’s no more fresh snow in the resorts, don’t despair – at FrozenRocks, we have the answer! Ski touring will allow you to open new horizons, get away from the lifts and discover fields of untouched powder, perfect lines and many hours and days of exhilarating riding.
For the uninitiated, ski touring is a way of moving through the backcountry – and in particular climbing uphill – using skis or a splitboard fitted with special bindings and climbing skins.
Each year, the FrozenRocks team runs a ski touring school in the mountains around Almaty, providing lessons and practice in the basics of ski touring and routefinding in the mountains in winter.
We also offer guided ski tour programmes and ski mountaineering expeditions for experienced riders looking for something new.
To get started on ski touring, you’ll need special equipment:
1⃣ Touring skis. These are usually lighter than regular powder skis, although they share many of the same characteristics. Snowboarders use splitboards, snowboards which come apart down the centerline to form two separate ‘skis’.
2⃣ Touring bindings: lightweight bindings with two settings, the first with a free heel (as on cross country skis) to enable climbing, and the second fixing your heel for descents. There are several common types, including railing bindings and tech bindings (TLT, Low Tech and Tour Lite Tech).
3⃣ Climbing skins – made from artificial ‘fur’, these stick to the base of your skis or splitboard and prevent them from sliding backwards down the hill. They are usually divided into three types: synthetic, mohair, and blended (a mix of synthetic materials and mohair).
4⃣ Last but not least, ski touring boots. These are usually lighter than regular boots and have a flexible ‘walk’ setting to make them comfortable on long hikes. Snowboarders can use regular snowboard boots, which are more flexible than ski boots.
And of course, we would never recommend going into the backcountry without a helmet and a full avalanche safety kit.
Ski touring will open up a new page in the life of any skier or snowboarder, offering not just the freedom to discover new areas and new lines, but a way of bringing yourself closer to nature.