Simply Morzine staff’s ski touring adventures

If you fancy doing something a little different here in Morzine why not try ski touring. With the abundance of chair lifts and telecabines, the obvious choice is to take the easy route to the top of the mountain, ski down… and repeat. Myself (Andrew, Simply Morzine’s maintenance man) and a few of my colleagues decided to take a more physically challenging route up the mountain and try ski touring.

Ski touring is a form of back country skiing, defined by a heel piece that allows movement, where both uphill and downhill travel is possible on skis. You are essentially using skis to walk up the hill. There are however some cunning differences to normal skiing.


As you can see from the above picture, modelled by resort representative Rose, the rear bindings can be released allowing your boot to pivot at the toe, which is always attached to the ski. It might look clumsy to walk in, and you would be right, but after a short time you find a rhythm and it soon becomes very easy. There are several settings of different elevation designed for different gradients of slope. When you want to ski downhill you set the binding to the lowest setting and clip in the heel of your boot, essentially it is exactly the same as if you were wearing your regular boots and skis.

The next cunning piece of equipment are climbing skins. You can just about make out them out from the above picture. Skins are long pieces of material, usually made from nylon or mohair, that you attach to your skis for ascents. They are attached via loops or clips on the tips and tails of the ski and have an adhesive base that sticks to your ski. When you run your hand down the ski from the tip to the tail it feels smooth, but do it the other way round and its rough. This is what stops you sliding backwards down the slope. The skins can then be removed to ski downhill.

And off you go..


We hired our gear from Simply Morzine’s long established partner ski hire shop, Felix Ski. As we were complete beginners we were advised by the Felix staff to use the easy blue runs that started directly behind the shop. We stuck to the sides of the piste and slowly made our way up. It was refreshing skiing in the complete opposite direction to the other skiers and the slow methodical technique and the peace of moving through the trees was a welcome change to whacking it down the slopes. We loved it.


The satisfaction and sense of achievement of climbing up the mountain unaided makes the descent feel much more deserved. Although, yes, it is a little tiring.

It took us 3 hours up from Felix to the top of the Nyon plateau and 20 minutes to ski down (including a well deserved beer stop).


We loved our first touring adventure so much, that we decided to embark on a midnight tour up Morzine’s Pleney Piste B under the light of a full moon and ski down with head torches. It was an amazing and liberating experience, although the army of piste bashers slightly devalued the peacefulness of the deserted slopes.

We highly recommend you give ski touting a go during your next Simply Morzine winter holiday.

Trip Advisor Simply Morzine
Atout France
Portes du Soleil
Morzine Avoriaz
Simply Morzine Multi Pass
Our sister company offers luxury Algarve beachfront villas.
Simply Morzine luxury Portugese villas