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Some words of advice on how to choose telemark equipment, mountaineering skis, snowblades, or cross-country skis

Some words of advice on how to choose telemark equipment, mountaineering skis, snowblades, or cross-country skis

Skimium has given thought to snowsports other than boarding and downhill skiing and presents fact sheets to help you choose your equipment for mountaineering, telemarking, snowblades or cross-country skiing.

Mountaineering skiing:

For mountaineering or randonnée skiing, the choice of equipment is as important as in downhill or Alpine skiing. Further, skiing trends in this sport are also rapidly changing so today shorter skis are also becoming de rigueur in randonnée skiing.

To choose mountaineering skis that are appropriate for you there are 4 criteria to take into consideration:

  • Ski length: the trend is for skis that are 4 to 6 inches below your height. It makes climbing and handling easier but the flip side is that they will not be as stable in the downhill. For heftier skiers, it is still preferable to select longer skis.
  • Ski weight: for advanced skiers, the skis should be rather light however intermediate skiers will prefer a ski that is a little heavier and not such a disadvantage when going downhill.
  • Ski width: Today, as with Alpine skis, it is possible to choose between several widths for greater comfort and manoeuvrability.
  • Bindings: There are two types of bindings to choose from: traditional bindings that are relatively simple to use or lighter bindings that are more complicated and which require the purchase of specific shoes.
Cross-country or Nordic skiing

With cross-country skiing, one can ski on either flat or hilly terrain: it’s an ideal way to wander through plains or forests.

Two types of X-country skiing face off: skating or classic cross-country skiing. So then, the choice of ski s depends not only on the type of skiing but also one’s height and weight.

For the classic diagonal stride technique or kick and glide, one will choose a ski with a curved ski tip and a system for preventing back-sliding (scales, micro pores or grip wax depending on the snow type and skiing level) that will be useful in climbing. On average, select skis that are 12 inches above your height. For skating skiing, the technique is like that of ice skating, so the ski tips are rounder and have no system to prevent sliding. The selected skis will be 8 inches taller than the skier.

The choice is yours: skating or kicking and gliding!


Telemark is a discipline which combines Alpine skiing and cross-country skiing. The ski has the same shape as a downhill ski with cross-country bindings (the heel is free).Telemark is a type of skiing that is still rare on the slopes but that it has a certain style and elegance that is not comparable to other types of skiing. To select skis for telemarking, go for the same length as your downhill skis, the choice will depend on whether you downhill or back-country.


Snowblades are mini skis that are ultra manoeuvrable which means they are enjoyable from the first go and also allow jumping or freestyling. Traditional downhill ski boots will fit most snowblades. The other advantage to this type of ski gear is that it takes up little room; mini-skis will easily fit into the boot of a car so you can lose the ski rack!

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