There are many different ways to be able to take the slopes on your next skiing trip, although the majority of them depend on where it is you are heading and what's available in that area. Here are five of the more commonly found types of skiing.
Alpine or Downhill Skiing
Alpine or downhill skiing is a concept that is a lot more modern than other types of skiing; it is also the most commonly seen around the world. The main difference between this and the original Nordic skiing method is simply the binding and ski its self. The Alpine skiing connects the ski to the bind at both the toe and the heel; this gives the user more of an agile stance when going downhill to be able to let them take turns at speed with precision.
The ski its self is also a lot wider and shorter, this also adds to the agility and supplies more balance to the wearer. The ski its self is designed for downhill runs only and really suffers when it comes to manoeuvring on flat surfaces or trying to make your way uphill.
This type of skiing is more closely related to sledding than skiing. The user would stand on the back of a sled and allow the dogs or horses in the front to pull them across an expanse. Very good for long distance journeys on skis, however not exactly a day-to-day ski run. This is more of a tourist attraction in modern days and is lesser seen in the Alps. However, if you get the location right it can be very fun indeed.
Nordic or Cross Country
This is one of the more traditional skiing methods and has been around for thousands of years, it works by using very long skis and connecting them at only the toe end of the boot. This in turn allows you to be able to ski along very long distances while at the same time also allowing you to be able to walk uphill whilst still wearing the skis. This traditional skiing method is also widely seen, although slightly less established than alpine skiing.
The skis themselves are easily recognisable for being a lot longer than alpine skis and having around half of the width of an alpine ski. Because of this size and thickness, the ski its self suffers when being used on a slope and in turn is a lot more clunky and unforgiving than the alpine equivalent.
Telemark Skiing is a hybrid of both the Nordic skiing and the alpine skiing. Telemark skiing itself is done through skiing on special skis that hold the size and dimensions of an alpine ski, whilst also having the binding of a Nordic ski. This in turn gives the user a very fast and agile skiing experience when skiing downhill and at the same time it allows the benefit of being able to hike long distances and travel up hill. Although it is not as fast as the Alpine ski and nowhere near as agile, it is a good middle ground if you are looking for the basic benefits of both whilst keeping the downsides to a minimum.
Freestyle skiing is skiing with various tricks included, things such as half pipes, moguls, ramps & aerial tricks all factor into freestyle skiing, and in turn it has become more and more popular over the years. Although this type of skiing can sometimes look amazing in appearance, it can be very dangerous and does require an extremely large level of skill to be able to successfully pull off.
Freestyle skiing is most commonly found on the glaciers and in turn is available all year round; however, a lot of this freestyle skiing is actually done on snowboards rather than skis so you may need to diverge slightly before your next retreat.
If this is your first retreat and you are unsure if you are a skier or a snowboarder, then read our guide on skiing and snowboarding to be able to get a better understanding.