Ski touring, Freeride | Oct 10, 2021

Trends in ski touring 2021/22

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What if you can’t wait to hit the slopes but you’d like to avoid huge crowds at the lift stations? No problem – you just put some skins on your skis and head up the mountain yourself! Ski touring is immensely popular right now, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. The Alpine sport that was formerly only something for die-hard mountaineers has hit mainstream. 

As new skiers flock into the backcountry, it’s no surprise that alpine touring equipment has become the focus of many brands and manufacturers. They’re designing ever-new gear to meet the needs of both aspiring and seasoned ski tourers. Innovations in materials and technology as well as new approaches to ski touring are reshaping the sport, making it even more fun. 

Together with the experts of ATOMIC, INTERSPORT Rent had a look at the latest trends and developments. Keep reading because we’ll also share our equipment must-haves with you! 

Ski touring – trends & developments

From slope touring to family touring and special gear for women: Find out what’s hot and trending in the ski touring sector!

© ATOMIC
© ATOMIC

Trend no. 1: Slope touring at the ski resorts

The uphill craze continues – even and especially, at many ski resorts. Ski touring on groomed ski runs is an easy and low-risk way to dabble in the sport and to learn the basic technique. In other words: Slope touring makes the sport accessible even to newcomers. In response to this trend, many resorts are starting to launch a variety of routes, offers and ski passes specifically for ski tourers and slope tourers …

Tip: Did you know that there are special skis for slope touring? Thanks to a robust design and increased stiffness, they’re perfectly suited to be used on groomed and thus relatively hard ski runs. They also feature more direct power transfer and grippier edges.  

Trend no. 2: Ski touring as a family activity

Gone are the days when ski touring was only something for seasoned pros and extreme athletes. In recent years, the sport has gained in popularity among families as an enjoyable outdoor activity in nature. The shared sense of accomplishment when you reach the top of the mountain without the help of a ski lift or cable car – that’s a feeling that’s hard to beat. And afterwards, you get to swoosh down the slopes and have a tasty family meal at one of the huts. What’s not to love? 

Trend no. 3: Versatile, multi-purpose touring equipment

Many skiers don’t want to get multiple sets of equipment for the groomed runs and the backcountry. Manufacturers are responding to this with versatile gear that is designed to meet a variety of requirements. Hybrid solutions suitable for both alpine skiing and ski touring combine the best of both worlds. 

An example of this would be the Shift 13 MNC bindings by ATOMIC. They feature full touring and freeride capabilities and, better yet, they’re compatible with your standard alpine boots – for days when you’d rather take the lift up the mountain ...  

Trend no. 4: Special gear for women

By now, women make up around 50 per cent of ski tourers – and they’re expected to shoot ahead of their male pals soon. So, it’s about time manufacturers reacted to this trend with equipment specifically developed for women. 

If you’re thinking of the typical “shrink it and pink it” approach, you might want to think again: Special product lines are becoming more and more important, which differ not only in design but also in their tech specs and construction. Among them, the women’s models of ATOMIC’s Backland series – for instance, the Backland 85 W.

Trend no. 5: Rent – don’t buy.

Ski touring is becoming increasingly popular in the rental sector as well. The consequence: Products are being specifically developed to meet the needs of this market segment. The number one criterion: easy and self-explanatory handling even for laymen and beginners. In addition, the equipment needs to be high-quality, robust, and offer flexible adjustment options. 

The big advantage for ski tourers: They can travel light and always rent the latest gear right at their destination of choice. What’s more, the RENTertainers at INTERSPORT Rent will help you to perfectly adjust the equipment to your needs and preferences. Just drop by at one of the many INTERSPORT Rent shops!

The equipment must-haves of the 2021/22 winter season

So, what’s the latest and greatest in ski touring? We’ve compiled a shortlist of the coolest new gear for you. Whether it’s for slope touring, a family ski tour, or a quick after-work adventure in the mountains: Hybrid models are the clear winners this year! 

© ATOMIC
© ATOMIC

Hybrid boots – ATOMIC Hawx XTD series

The Hawx XTD series combines the tried and trusted all-mountain performance of Hawx with the touring power of Backlands. Natural movement on the ascent and plenty of stiffness on the descent: Hawx XTDs boast all the features you’d expect from a great ready-to-hike hybrid boot. You should give them a try! We recommend the Prime XTD or Ultra XTD.

Hybrid bindings – ATOMIC Shift 13 MNC

Lightweight on the way up, stable on the way down: Just flip the hike/ride switch as needed – and you’re good to go! The Shift 13 MNC is a fantastic all-round binding, compatible with all ISO normed boots on the market (alpine and touring). What’s more, it offers a wide range of adjustment options, which makes it perfect for the rental sector.

Hybrid skins – ATOMIC Hybrid Skin 85/86

The Hybrid Skins 85/86 use 100 per cent race mohair for skinning, which ensures plenty of grip and a smooth glide. Thanks to special hybrid glue, they’re also quick and easy to put on and take off – a big advantage, especially for women. Another handy feature: The glue renews after a quick wash with the Hybrid cleaning kit. 

INTERSPORT Rent tip

Of course, you can rent the latest ATOMIC gear at INTERSPORT Rent – but even if you opt to bring your own equipment: The local RENTertainers will be happy to service your skis for you, and they just might let you in on where you can find the region’s best ski touring routes … Just stop by!   

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