A Celebration of the Mellow Tour
Merits of a Mellow Tour
Cons of the Mellow Tour
- Low-angle slopes are tough for our splitboarder brethren with their inability to herringbone or two-pole through flat terrain.
- Sometimes it snows too much or our skis are too skinny to manage deep powder. A pair of powder touring skis can fix this quite well.
- Diminishing return is real. It's a mental trap that we must fight against when our seventh low angle lap doesn't feel as cool as the first and more avalanche-prone slopes beacon from beyond.
How to Plan a Mellow Tour
Here are a few step for how to plan a mellow backcountry tour:
3. Get out for a tour and test your route. Was the terrain too steep? Was the terrain too mellow? How was the snow quality? This constant stream of improvement and self-assessment will lead you to better and better mellow outings in the future.
Mission Tour: Plan a tour around an objective like reaching a lake, summit or historical site. Think about loops or traverses with this mission style in mind. Here's a great idea.
Fitness Tour: Center a tour around fitness. Can you tour for X amount of hours/miles/feet of vertical gain. Planning longer tours on a ski resort is a great way to get out for a fitness tour. The best on resort fitness touring in the US has to be Aspen Snowmass ski resort.
Social Tour: Focus a tour around the question of WHO not WHERE. Think about who you want to ski with first, then what you want to ski. Ski touring is a great way to spend quality, present company with old or new friends.
A Few Examples of [Very Fun] Mellow Tours
Red Mountain Pass Vista Tour
- Length: 2 miles & 1,800' vertical gain
- Starting Elevation: 11,000' / Ending Elevation: 12,800'
- Quality: Scenic tour with high potential for low angle wiggles
Berthoud Pass Hot Lap
- Length: 0.75 miles & 1,200' vertical gain
- Starting Elevation: 11,200' / Ending Elevation: 12,400'
- Quality: Easy outing up and back right from the car!
A Mellow Conclusion
- sharing fresh snow with quality friends and/or family
- 115-underfoot powder boats equipped with race bindings
- wide-mouthed thermos filled with ramen noodles
- blue bird weather
- no vert-hungry vibes (sometimes this exists)