The joys of skiing and long-distance hiking are combined in ski touring, a sports activity to be enjoyed in the great outdoors, alone or, in the interests of safety, with a guide. There are 2 versions of this discipline that you can try: Alpine ski touring and Nordic ski touring!

What's the difference? 

Nordic ski touring and Alpine ski touring

This is the best way to explore the mountains in winter, as ski tourers can cross the wilderness without the need for ski lifts.

There are 2 different types of ski touring, and here we explain the specifics of each! 

A physical challenge for downhill fans

Alpine ski touring

Alpine ski touring is a sport that takes you exploring across snowy landscapes but also skiing down steeper slopes.

Alpine ski touring is an endurance sport that's suitable for anyone who enjoys a physical challenge and also has some level of downhill skiing experience.

Which skis? Alpine ski tourers use downhill-type skis with the addition of "sealskins" to stop them sliding backwards on the ascent. The ski tourer then skis or telemarks down a slope, depending on the chosen equipment.

Ski de randonnée alpin au Col de la Faucille
Bestjobers Elisa & Max / BFC Tourisme
Randonnée backountry sur le Mont de l'Herba
Bestjobers Elisa & Max / BFC Tourisme
Contemplation for fans of wide open spaces

Nordic ski touring

Nordic ski touring, AKA backcountry, is a discipline in which skiers can explore the unspoilt wilderness and be truly at one with nature at its purest.

This is skiing for pleasure and a sense of freedom. It will appeal not only to the most experienced of skiers but also to faint-hearted nature lovers in search of wide open spaces.

Which skis? Backcountry skis have a width between that of cross-country skis and that of downhill skis. The boots and bindings give freedom of movement to the unattached heel, without the need for adjustment between the "ascent" and "descent" positions. The scales on the skis provide grip on  uphill sections without too much gradient.

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Ski touring... all you want to know

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Staying safe on your Alpine ski tours

In the mountains you are responsible for your own safety and need to be aware of the dangers and basic safety rules. (You will be asked to pay for any rescue efforts undertaken.)

  • Never go ski touring without your mobile phone.
  • Don't forget to take warm gear with you and sufficient water to stay hydrated.
  • Never leave in bad weather conditions.
  • Make sure you have good visibility and that you can be seen (especially at night when the snowgroomers are out).

Where to try ski touring in the Jura Mountains?

The marked-out itineraries in resorts like Métabief offer the ideal opportunity for a pleasant excursion or a gentle introduction to Alpine ski touring. You'll climb at your own pace in very natural surroundings, before skiing safely back via the resort's downhill slopes.

If you opt for Nordic ski touring, you'll literally be going off the beaten tracks. To stay safe and avoid getting lost, we recommend you call upon the services of a mountain professional!

A gentle start

Waymarked trails, perfect for your first Alpine ski touring experience

Some new Alpine ski touring routes have been marked out in the resort of Métabief.

These ski touring trails take you away from the slopes and to the Morond summit, before you return via the downhill ski slopes!

 

Télécharger les itinéraires
Mise en en place des peaux de phoques - Si de randonnée alpin
Bestjobers Elisa & Max / BFC Tourisme
Total freedom... in good company!

Your first Nordic ski touring experience in the company of a guide

A mountain guide is your closest ally when it comes to leaving the groomed trails without compromosing on safety. Knowing the terrain like the back of their hand, he or she will be your compass, guiding you into the massif's most beautiful untouched landscapes, but without the risk.

 

Randonnée backountry sur le Mont de l'Herba
Bestjobers Elisa & Max / BFC Tourisme

A day of backcountry skiing to the top of the Mont d'Or

Descriptions and photos of a memorable day's Nordic skiing at the Mont d'Or summit, featuring an untouched wilderness, a sense of freedom, and an exploration of some of the most remote corners of the Jura Mountains.

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Finding a guide

For your first ski-touring experience, or to leave the beaten track and explore an unspoilt wilderness without risking your safety, opt for a guided excursion. 

 

HELP US PROTECT THE FAUNA AND FLORA

In the winter season, visitors to the mountains have a heavy impact on wildlife. Certain areas off the cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails are out of bounds in the winter period. This is because certain species are protected, especailly in the high mountains of Jura.

Focus on...

All-inclusive ski tours

Join a group of 6 to 10 participants for a 6-day ski touring experience!

Your chance to perfect your Nordic skiing technique as you go off the beaten track and enjoy a holiday with full board!

Trying other Nordic activities

En résumé