Glacier Skiing – Extend your Skiing Season

August 27, 2007 by  
Filed under features

Glacier skiing is different from ordinary pole skiing, in that the slopes are at a much lower altitude and often the skiing time available is not as long as pole skiing. However, it is a sport that everyone can take part in, whether they are a beginner or an expert. There are a number of areas and ski resorts in Europe and North America that accommodate glacier skiing.

Glacier slopes are usually not very steep and the number of runs a person can make is somewhat limited. Most skiers take part in glacier skiing when they are interested in doing to just a few sessions or if they are looking to improve their skiing technique. Glacier skiing can refer to both downhill skiing and cross country skiing.

Before you can set out on the glaciers, the first thing you need to do is check the weather conditions. Like any high altitude sporting event, weather conditions can help make your trip perfect, or make it an absolute disaster, even fatal. You can never be a hundred percent sure about what the weather will be like as it changes often, but you can get a basic idea of what to expect. Remember to always bring a lot of warm clothing with just incase. Often the temperature will drop as much as 0.5 to 0.7 degrees every 100 meters that you climb.

Clothing is something else you also need to think about. Since glacier skiing is normally done at lower altitudes it is not necessary to put on as thick clothing as you normally would. You can get away with lighter clothing, but always make sure you have packed some warm clothing and some waterproof outer gear. Other items you will be sure to need are sunglasses, wax for your skis if the snow is wet and suntan lotion for the harsh reflections that come off the snow.

The best time to get onto the slopes is early in the morning when the ground is still hard. Usually by lunchtime the ground is a little softer and slushy from the heat of the sun. Normally, if the ground gets too soft the slopes are closed for the rest of the day, which is another reason why you should get out as soon as possible. Of course, if you choose a higher slope, which is not facing the sun, you can take to the slopes any time of the day.

Glacier skiing is also a great way to extend your skiing season and can be enjoyed even when the normal slopes aren’t suitable for skiing. If the heat of the sun does melt the snow you always have the option of enjoying other sports like hiking, mountain biking and white water rafting until the next snowfall occurs.