Probably all touring skiers know about the great opportunities for ski touring in the European Alps and the North American Rocky Mountains. These are the great traditional areas in France, Switzerland, Austria, the USA, Canada, etc. But whoever wants something new and special, has to look beyond these well-known and popular spots. Several factors are needed for a real ski touring experience. Here we think about the configuration of the terrain, the quality of snow, the attractiveness of nature, and the level of accommodation. Above all, as already mentioned, it is also important to see something new and special, maybe remote.
So, here is a selection of the top 10 worlds best ski touring destinations in 2022/23 around the world.
This once remote region on the south side of the Caucasus has experienced a real boom in recent years. The combination of modern and ancient is amazing. The capital city of Mestia is considered to be the Georgian Chamonix. The city has a pleasant offer of accommodation and catering, mountains at your fingertips. In winter, it often snows, not necessarily markedly but enough to cover the tracks of previous skiers. The slopes are always freshly prepared. The snow is dry, which allows for a pleasurable meandering in the mist. We can mention two main starting points for the tours. The first one is Mazeri, a village in the valley leading to the imposing Mt.Ushba, Queen of the Caucasus. Another starting point is the remote but world-famous village of Ushguli. Where bare open slopes are available, as well as longer ski treks.
Tien Shan is a mountain range that extends to Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan and China. Eastern Tien Shan is known for two famous seven thousandths, Khan Tegri and Pik Pobeda. The western part of Tian Shan is easier to access and lower, up to 5000 m high. In addition to mountaineering and trekking offers excellent ski terrain. A special feature of skiing in Tien Shan is the stay in yurts. As there are no masonry accommodations near the ski tours. But it is this remoteness and such traditional accommodation that further enriches the ski trip. Especially if the yurt also has a sauna and a bath. A good starting point for best ski touring is the town of Karakol with the valley of the same name. Where there is also a ski resort. This can serve as an option in case of bad weather.
The expanses of Siberia are known for plains, forests and taiga. The Altai Mountains in southern Siberia are more varied, its highest peak Belukha is 4506 m high. South of Belukha is the Aktru Valley, already quite close to the border with Mongolia. The famous Chuysky Tract, the road that connects Russia and Mongolia, famous for its incredible scenery, takes us there. The Aktru Valley offers many skiing pleasures, either along numerous slopes with unnamed peaks and ridges, as well as ascents and descents with some 3,000. The highlight can be the ascent to the highest peak Aktru 4044m. An organized base camp with small wooden houses offers a lot of comfort, even a typical Russian sauna is here…
This South American destination is perhaps best known for its inclement weather and for peaks such as Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre. Anyone who wants to experience this backdrop must take Chantel as a starting point for their touring skis. However, he must expect long approaches and uncomfortable night stays. In short, this destination is really only for perfectly prepared skiers. Much more comfortable and ski-oriented is northern Patagonia, starting at the ski resort of Bariloche. In the vicinity of a few tens of kilometers there are quite a few ski resorts that are great starting points for ski tours. Like Cerro Catedral, Baguales, El Bolson, … And most importantly for all of us who live in the northern hemisphere. The ski season in South America is during the European and American summer, from June to August. This, in turn, adds some extra magic to this ski trip.
Turkey is probably not a country where you would think about skiing. But a surprise awaits you! The Taurus Mountains have more than 60 peaks higher than 3000 m. Which, despite its relatively southern location, allows for a short but good ski season. Most skiing opportunities are in the central part of Taurus, in the Aladaglar Mountains. We would especially like to mention the Emily Valley here. The complexity of the tours varies, there are many easy and enjoyable tours. At the same time, there are some demanding ski descents from peaks above 3500 m. The royal tour is definitely an ascent and skiing with the third highest peak of Taurus, Mount Emler 3723m. Accommodation is possible in apartments in Camp Aladaglar.
Skiing overlooking the blue north sea! Ski touring in Iceland is a very special experience. Wonderful ambiance and spacious wide slopes are the right combinations for an unforgettable skiing experience. The ski descent begins on the snow-capped peak of the mountain and ends on the black volcanic sand caressed by the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. After skiing, you can relax in the famous Icelandic springs or pools. Staying in a detached house in a secluded bay is like a strawberry on a cake …
The mountainous areas in the heart of the Balkans hide many surprises, both for good and for bad. Above all, often well-snow-capped mountains. And also something mystical sticks to these places. Durmitor in Montenegro and Shar Planina on the Kosovo / Northern Macedonia border have many opportunities for ski touring. Here you can also find smaller ski resorts with groomed ski trails, such as Savin Kuk Žabljak, Brezovica and Popova Shapka. The cable cars are used as a start to the tour or are an alternative in case of bad weather.
Skiing in Africa sounds very exotic, doesn’t it? But this is a very real possibility. Toubkal 4167m, the highest peak of the High Atlas, is a good challenge for all touring skiers. Both due to altitude and the considerable slope. M’Goon Massif, on the other hand, offers enjoyable touring skiing in the authentic mountain valleys of Morocco. However, before going on your African ski adventure, it’s a good idea to check out the snow conditions. Of course, the snow comes fast and goes fast …
The Pyrenees are a mountain range that separates France and Spain. For the most part, we perceive them more than Spanish. That is why we are proposing two ski spots in the Spanish part of the mountains. Pico de Aneto (3404m) is the highest peak of the Pyrenees, it is a very demanding touring ski. But the prize is a beautiful mountaineering trophy and a fantastic touring downhill. While Mt Aneto is still in Aragon, not far away is the Vall de Boi, which is already in Catalonia. There are countless opportunities for beautiful tours and for enjoyable skiing.
Ski touring on the sunny side of the Alps! Triglav National Park is the area in the Julian Alps around Mount Triglav, the highest Slovenian mountain. Here you can find demanding all-day ski tours as well as several-day ones. One such example is the Triglav highway, a 4-day crossing of the TNP from south to north. There are also countless lighter and shorter ones available. Good starting points are the Tamar, Vrata, Krma and Pokljuka plateaus, as well as Bohinj.