Wikipedia defines Ski Touring as “…a form of backcountry skiing involving traveling over the winter landscape on skis under human power rather than through the use of ski lifts or snow vehicles.

The competitive form of ski touring is often referred to as randonnee racing wherein participants compete in a timed event during which they must move through a course ascending (both skinning and bootpacking) as well as by doing traditional ski descents.

On January 29th, 2011 my local ski hill Bridger Bowl is holding their annual randonnee Race, “Skin to Win”. Two classes are available with the Pro class being required to follow a course with a minimum of 5,000 vertical feet and a Recreational class with a minimum of 2,100 vertical feet.

Competitors are required to carry/use the following equipment:

  • 457 kHz avalanche transceiver
  • Ascent skins
  • Backpack
  • Skis/splitboard (with adequate retention devices)
  • Helmet

I’ve been wanting to participate in this race for the past two years since moving to Southwest Montana so I’ve got it on my calendar.  I am capable of putting in the vertical required for the Pro competition but I typically would require all day to do it.  Since this is a competitive format I’ll be entering the Recreational class.