How To Ski Uphill


Going uphill in a ski resort often requires the use of a lift. However, if you learn skiing uphill, this will no longer be the case! It might be a struggle at first, but with the right gear and knowledge of the right techniques, you can bring yourself uphill.

Also called uphill, skinning, or ski touring, skiing uphill makes it possible to access terrains without being lift-assisted. It requires the use of specialized equipment for you to go all the way up. Like learning how to ski steep slopes and how to turn on skis, you will need patience and determination. More importantly, you have to be physically fit as it can be quite difficult!

Ready to learn how to ski uphill? Read this short guide and learn from the insights we’ll share.

Prepare the Right Gear

As we all know, skis are designed to cruise downhill. So, to be able to ski uphill, you need special equipment. To maintain proper traction, you will need skins. They are attached to the bottom part of the ski to help you climb and will prevent slipping, Make sure that you learn how to put ski climbing skins properly! Once you get to the top and you want to ski downhill, you can easily remove the skins.

Your ski boots are also crucial. Tech bindings are also necessary. Make sure that you are comfortable and able to move freely since going up in a cold environment can be a real struggle. Read this ski bindings guide to help you make the right choice!

In some resorts where skiing uphill is permitted, they might let you borrow specialized skins to attach to your ski.

Because of the rise in the popularity of uphill skiing, companies like Tecnica and Dynafit have introduced skis that you can use both for ascent and descent.

When you are looking for the boots and bindings to use for skiing uphill, it is also important to make sure that they will provide the heels with the freedom to move. This makes it easier to walk going up. The right design will help you to conserve your energy during the climb.

Dress the Right Way

Aside from the ski gear, learning the fundamentals of skiing uphill also requires you to know how to layer. The temperature during the ascent can get extremely cold, so you have to prepare for it. Otherwise, you might end up compromising your safety and comfort.

Layering for skiing is an art and science you need to learn. For ski pants, most people prefer soft-shell without a base layer.  Adding a base layer might make it more difficult for you to move, so keep your wardrobe lightweight but warm. For the shirt, wool is a good choice, which is often layered with a lightweight ski jacket. You will also need thin ski gloves when you ski uphill. For something versatile, you can use mittens with detachable wind shells.

If you are racing, you need speed suits. It has a special fabric that effectively blocks the wind while dumping heat. It also comes with special pockets, which will provide generous space for your skins and your food in case you get hungry after a tiring climb.

Find the Right Destination

Anyone interested in uphill skiing needs to choose a destination wisely. Your safety is a major consideration, so this does not mean that you should just head out to any slope you can access. It is also crucial to be familiar with avalanche safety before you go.

First, check with the resort about their policies. Many resorts won’t allow this. If you are fortunate enough to find a place where you can ski uphill, you may need to sign a waiver. Often, it is extended as a courtesy to the skier, so make sure to show some respect and follow the rules of the management. This is important to avoid compromising not only your safety but the safety of others as well.

If you are clueless about where to go, check out the list that is provided by the United States Ski Mountaineering Association. Also, check with the resorts about the policies just to be sure. The least that you would want is to be humiliated after being kicked out for doing something that the ski resort does not allow.

Practicing Your Climb


Now that you know how to dress and what to use for skiing uphill, the next important thing is to learn how to climb. This is not going to be easy. You need serious ski training to do it properly. It is also crucial that you are physically fit for this activity before you finally give it a shot.

You should aim to make long and smooth rides. To do this, you just have to plant your ski lightly on the ground. As you climb, position your chin up and keep your chest open. Mastery of the proper breathing techniques will make things easier and safer. You won’t easily feel tired.

One of the most important techniques that you need to learn is the extension glide. As the name implies, it is all about extending your legs to glide up. As you move your ski up, try to keep your hips and upper body in a stable position. Push your ski across the snow without weight transfer.

Now, you need to master the weight transfer glide. This is the same thing as the extension glide, but the main difference is that you are shifting your weight this time. If you do not transfer your weight, you won’t be able to move upward.

Once you learn the two principles above, you need to learn how to make the best use of your ski poles to assist your movements. It is important to pay attention to ski pole sizing to make sure that your poles will be handy. Holding the pole properly is the key to keep your balance when skiing uphill.

Going Downhill

The first thing that you should do once you are ready to transition downhill is to remove the skins from your ski. You will also need to click the heels of your boots into the binding. It helps to read this guide on how to mount and adjust ski bindings.

Skiing uphill is tiring and will take a toll on your legs. This makes it more challenging to go down. Do not let this discourage you. Take a short rest and a deep breath. Once you get going, there’s no stopping until you reach the endpoint of your ski!

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Skiing uphill is the combination of two physical activities – skiing and hiking. It might seem straightforward in theory, but it is complicated in practice. It is difficult because the ascent is tiring. Plus, the temperature can make things worse.

As discussed in this post, those who want to ski uphill should prepare the right gear and dress appropriately. It is also crucial to pick the right place, making sure that it is allowed at the resort where you are at. Most importantly, learn the right techniques and be physically fit.

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Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!