I'm considering learning how to do Alpine Touring skiing this winter and I am looking for some practical advice/reasonable expectations. In return, I will quit ruining your skin tracks with my snowshoes [}
] (I do try to avoid them....)
I do a lot of snowshoeing (so assume I will have all the basic winter clothes/avy gear) but I have basically no skiing experience of any kind (not even resort skiing.) My goal is simply to use skis instead of snowshoes to get from point A to point B and back (especially when point B is higher than point A.) I'd consider it to be a successful first season if I was able to use skis to get to the Elfin Lakes hut and back.
A few questions:
- What is the easiest way to learn? Should I jump straight to AT backcountry skiing or spend some time at a resort (using resort rental gear) first?
- I priced out the gear at MEC (skis, bindings, boots, skins, helmet, goggles) and it looks like it will be about $2,000. Does that sound about right? As a result, I'll probably try to start with used gear and may even stick to rentals. If I only buy once piece of new gear, what should it be? I'm guessing it's boots.
- I know it varies a lot, but what can I expect for a learning curve? Will I be having fun after a day or two of falling over or is it going to take the entire season to figure it out?
Is there any non-obvious protective equipment that I should buy or likely novice injuries that I should be aware of? As an example, I've done some snowboarding and I would never take someone out snowboarding for the first time unless they were wearing wrist guards. I did that once and it ended with a trip to the hospital.
Thanks in advance for any pointers.