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Backcountry Skiing in Switzerland

ColoradoDreamer
(@coloradodreamer)
New Member Registered

I've done some back country skiing in Colorado and am looking forward to this winter in Switzerland. Are there suitable places for backcountry ski-touring around Zurich. Where do people go for skitouring? Is there some things I should know about backcountry skiing here compared to back home in the states?

I am a pretty good skier and have done some training with a beacon, but usually went backcountry with friends in Colorado who were more experienced.

Greetz

Jeff

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Topic starter Posted : 14/09/2021 3:22 pm
swissalpineadventure
(@swissalpineadventure)
Member Admin
Posted by: @coloradodreamer

I've done some back country skiing in Colorado and am looking forward to this winter in Switzerland. Are there suitable places for backcountry ski-touring around Zurich. Where do people go for skitouring? Is there some things I should know about backcountry skiing here compared to back home in the states?

I am a pretty good skier and have done some training with a beacon, but usually went backcountry with friends in Colorado who were more experienced.

Greetz

Jeff

My understanding is that backcountry is a little different here in Europe compared to the states. For a start "backcountry" starts as soon as you leave a piste. I believe in the states you go through gates to get out of bounds and everything in bounds counts as the ski area. Here what is controlled is just between the posts in the ski area. 

Ski touring and off-piste skiing are at your own risk, but there are no real controls to stop you from going either. It is expected that if you go off-piste that you are equipped and making a judgement yourself as to whether it is safe or not. People have been killed in Avalanches right next to ski-pistes in the past. 

For ski-touring, there are a number of places near Zurich which are worth visiting. The Lidernen area near Urnersee or St. Antonien in Graubunden are two areas where specifically come to mind. The maps are readily available online and can be printed at home or you can even download 50MB of maps for free on your phone from here:

https://map.geo.admin.ch/

The geo admin site has the ability to overlay useful information too such as slope steepness or official ski touring routes. It's definitely worth getting acquainted with.

You can also join some of our weekends away or one-day ski tours to meet others to go touring with or get some ideas for other areas. 

Hope this helps

Swiss Outdoor Sports events for an international audience

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Posted : 15/09/2021 3:10 pm
BasilFawlty
(@basilfawlty)
Active Member Registered

+1 for the geo.admin website. It's really great to look get ideas for ski tours. There are also the SAC ski touring books which give good route descriptions, but they are only available in German.

I've been on a couple of the Swiss Alpine Adventure skitours two years ago and they were great. I just signed up again to see if they were happening again this coming winter.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 15/09/2021 3:44 pm
mhstnsc
(@mhstnsc)
New Member Registered

For risk assessment of ski touring routes i often use the risk maps from whiterisk.ch and skitourenguru.ch. 

Just mind Skitourenguru has a modeling of the risk by their own interpretation (you can read about it on the website) so its up to you if you want to believe them or not.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 14/01/2022 9:26 am
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