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Alpine Touring: Ski the Back Country

Ski touring, is also referred to as ski mountaineering, ski randonnée, and alpine touring (or AT). It's a form of backcountry skiing (off-piste skiing) involving trekking from place to place in the wilderness, that has parallels with hiking, backpacking and Alpine climbing or mountaineering.

You have skis that are similar to regular downhill skis, but the heels can detach, kind of like telemark skiing. So you can actually hike around on your skis, climbing up a mountain, and then you can ski down.

The way it works is you attach skins to your skis, that help you ascend up the hill. They're straps that have little hairs on them, that create traction so you can climb up the slope on your skis and not slip down.

Once you get to the top, you take off the skins, click your heels back into the bindings, and then ski back down the mountain.

Alpine Touring is for the serious outdoors-woman, who wants to enjoy more freedom on her skis. You've got to be tough to AT, but you can go wherever you want.

Fit's Tips: When you're going into the back country, you never want to go alone. If you're new to alpine touring, contact your local outdoors group or club to find out about guided ski tours.

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