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Ski raid

The Ski Raid is a ski touring touring practice, it can be practiced in several ways:
In Etoile, that is to say that we leave every day from the same accommodation, for example a base camp or a refuge from which we radiate to carry out several different routes from this same point.
From refuge to refuge to realize an itinerary like a crossing or a loop so as never to spend the same night in the same place.
Obviously we can also bivouac.

What technical level to carry out a Ski Raid?

Since the program of a ski raid is flexible depending on the weather and snow conditions, it is preferable that the participants have good experience and sufficient ski technique to participate in a raid in ski.
You must have an all-terrain ski and be able to ski slopes between 35 and 40 ° in hard or powder snow.
On the climb, you must be able to make conversions easily but also to put on crampons to be safe in steep passages.

If you do not have a sufficient level or you are just starting out, you should rather go on very easy Raids with comfortable accommodation, the weight of a backpack requires having all the more technique to be able to evolve in the mountains . Better to approach these projects in an honest manner in order to limit the risks during the raid, while keeping a margin of safety.

What physical level?

The physical level is mainly to know what daily drop you can achieve without leaving too much energy, the idea being to distribute the next morning to continue the route.
If you manage to evolve at a speed of 300m / hour, and you are able to do between 1000 and 1300m per day, you already have a good level.
If you are moving more slowly with elevation differences from 600 to 800m / day, you will have to do a shorter and less intense ski raid in terms of daily stage.
The less you will feel tired, the more you will have fun!

The material for the Ski Raid?

Today there is no longer a big difference in skiable in ski touring equipment and piste ski equipment. The touring skis and the light bindings are adapted to the 2 practices and have the same system of TUV standard, we find very light carbon material.

Skis: Take skis of your size with a skate between 80 and 95 mm to have a versatile and light ski, all brands make super cross-country touring skis.

Ski binding: With insert which allows a more natural course of the foot in walking function, but also a very significant weight gain on the climb. There are different kinds which have all their advantages and few disadvantages, in particular with the heel stop which allows wedges to be placed on steep slopes.
Do not forget the knives which will allow you to progress on the hardest snow or in the slopes.

Ski boots: You have to feel good inside, but the foot must be maintained for the descent, they should not hurt you when climbing. Take a light model with a “Vibram” type sole or equivalent to be able to walk with it, brands like Scarpa, Dynafit, or even Salomon are a guarantee of comfort and security.

The sealskins are very important, some are more adherent because they are typed for climbing and grip, others more for gliding and ski-mountaineering competitions, there are also models without glue.
I prefer the models with front and rear stirrups, with glue, because when it is cold the models without glues quickly reach their limits.

Large puck sticks, telescopic or not, are also important, you need a good point with good foam on the handle, the ejectable straps are suitable in case of risk of avalanche.

Backpack: favor a light backpack allowing to carry the skis easily, in liters 40 to 50 liters is generally enough, for large raids, the liters can go up to 70 liters.

Security equipment

The essential trilogy: DVA (avalanche victim detector), shovel and probe are part of the backpack.
The digital DVA must have 3 antennas, the batteries must be new or not less than 50% full, alkaline type battery.
The snow shovel must have a bucket of capacity between 2.5 L and 3L in order to shovel large volume of snow in case of emergency, the handle must be telescopic and have a pick function to practice the technique of shoveling in V or the metal bucket must be unbreakable to shovel the hardest snow.
We save enormous time in shoveling, much more than in research with the DVA.
The probe must measure at least 2.40m and be solid, the too fragile and too light probes are to be avoided, we will prefer a large tube diameter and conical shanks for more rigidity.

More safety information here with Ortovox

Some beautiful Ski Raids

Crossing the Aravis in 4 days
Tour of Mont-Rose 4 days
Chamonix-Zermatt The Haute Route in 7 days
Ski Raid in Greenland-East Coast