When Florian is setting off for a ski tour, it can turn into both, an easy going or an extreme one. He doesn’t think in categories like these, though. As long as he can be out in nature with good friends and has a nice piece of bacon in his backpack, he’ll call it a good one. In our interview, the charming mountaineer talks about his last tour with the boys, wonders about his urge to frequently test his own limits and throws in a piece of ski touring advice for lowlanders such as me.
Hey Florian. What fascinates you about ski touring?
In South Tyrol, there are countless possibilities to do ski tours, from easy ones to difficult high mountain tours. Depending on my mood, I can decide whether I want to go on a “gourmet” tour or do an extreme steep face descent. My love for the beautiful nature here and my urge to test my own limits every now and then constantly draws me outside and into the mountains. If, on top of that, there’s fluffy powder snow waiting for me and a couple of good friends for company – it’ll be a perfect outdoors adventure that immediately makes me forget the stress of every day life.
Your last tour brought you up on two peaks in one day. How did you get the idea for this route?
We are a group of five friends who had lots of adventures together when we were “young”, not only on ski tours. Nowadays we all have jobs and families and don’t meet that often any more. But we try to get everyone together once a year to go on a ski tour. It is more about gossip and tittle-tattle than the actual tour, so the destination is not that important.
This year, we chose the tour up to Flatschofel and Dreifingerspitze. One friend of the group lives in the Pustertal and therefore was perfectly informed about the current snow conditions. This tour is relatively secure from avalanches and not frequented very much yet. As always (or almost) this route turned out to be the perfect decision, we experienced a beautiful winter day with two successful summits and powdery descents.
What do you recommend to someone who would like to start ski touring?
It’s important to take a solid beginners course before going off-pist on slopes that haven’t been groomed. Here you’ll learn how to use an avalanche transceiver, a probe and a shovel and you’ll be taught the science of avalanches, how to choose a route, and how to ski in deep powder snow.
In the beginning I would also recommend to hire a certified mountain guide, so you can explore our beautiful mountains alongside an expert. If you just want to try out ski touring without taking any risk, I would start with a slope tour, which are possible to do in many ski areas on specially prepared ascent slopes.
Things absolutely necessary for a great tour in the winter:
Safety equipment including an avalanche transceiver, a shovel, a probe and perhaps an avalanche air bag. A topographic map, a GPS as well as intensive preparation the night before are obligatory to know the conditions in the terrain by heart. Throw in a couple of good friends, a nice piece of south tyrolean bacon and nothing stands in the way of a great ski tour.
What are you going to do next?
Nothing concrete yet, but we have been talking about a couple of more extreme activities in the Dolomites. These are always depending on the current weather and snow conditions though, so we’ll have to decide where our ski touring passion will lead us at short notice.
Find out more about Florian’s Tours on his mountaineering journal Bergportal.com
All Photos by Bergportal.com