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How well do backcountry skis and ski boots gear work on groomed slopes?

Modern backcountry / ski touring equipment can do good on groomed pistes, as far as the slopes are not too icy.

It also depends a lot which kind of touring equipment you choose. Depending directly if you want to favor the climb or the descent. We know that investing in ski equipment is something expensive, that has to be done wisely. And that the offer on the market is very wide.

In these conditions, making the right choice is very hard. Specially that shops will mostly push you to buy what they have in stock, rather than what would be the best for you. Powderwego is here to help you to make the best choice, and make the most of you investment in ski gear.


If you choose super-light ski touring equipment to favor the climb, eventually with short skis to earn weight, let’s be honest it will for sure be a nightmare to ski with on groomed slopes.

If you are ok to deal with a bit more weight on the way up, but that you choose good freeride skis and good free-touring boots for the way down, your touring equipment can do great on groomed slopes.


Here are my personal tips to get great equipment for good skiers, with which you can ski tour, and enjoy great runs on the slopes as well, at high speed. The descent is clearly favored in this choice, but I personally climb hours very day in winter with this combo.

Today, brands like Völkl do great free ride skis, agressive on-piste -specially in wide curves- and a little lightened to make them nice for climbing up.

I personally recommend to use Plum Yak bindings on more than 100mm wide skis. They are the only Low-tech bindings I found after over 20 years working off-piste, that never release by mistake, even at 90 mph, and with 112mm wide skis at least.

About the ski boots, lots of brands do now good freeride boots with walking position, low-tech inserts, more than 110 of flex, and Vibram sole. The most important is to find a brand whose shape fits to your feet.


If you come to Val-d’Isère, you can visit us at PowderWeGo’s, or just get in touch with us for more tips.

We are specialized in Backcountry ski guiding, and it is our pleasure to share our knowledge and tips about equipment to help people making the best choices for their needs. As we are not a ski equipment reseller, our tips are free, and we have no interest in clueing you on a brand more than on another.

The only point is that at the end, you take advantage of our experience, to find exactly what you need.

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