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Uptrack Part 1. Setting

Updated: Jun 6, 2023

As a guide you can get so much more out of a skier over a whole day by setting a lower angle uptrack. Steep uptracks burn out skiers very quickly & spoil the learning & rewards of a full day. Here’s a few tips to help you be efficient, conserve energy & keep the uptrack effective & beautiful.


  • Look ahead to help path selection

  • Look for & feel the snow surface conditions & adjust your track accordingly

  • Make some beautiful curves.It's nice to keep the snowscape beautiful & limit the amount of tracks.

  • When track setting, consider the endurance of all members in your group & that of other parties

  • An inefficient skin track is often set by those with strong descent skills & not a lot of experience

  • Have a go at setting a track but get the experienced group member to break trail in variable terrain

  • Take note of the uptrack others are setting & critique it

  • Learn to be efficient with the terrain.

  • Steep track becomes slippery after a few passes

  • Don't be afraid to set your own track or edit a track

  • If you can't talk your going too fast

  • On a full day's ski tour find your groove & stick to it.

  • For all but the fittest, uphill skiing is a hare & tortoise race.

  • A steep path can be quicker for a short slope, on long haul tours less steep is quicker

  • If you do want to haul & get going you don't need to go steeper just go quicker!

  • Budget your available energy with the track you take, if the track is too steep change it

  • Be sure to know where the ski track is taking you. If there is a whiteout you could end up somewhere you don’t want to be.


Book a tour with SMBC & we'll increase your backcountry learning curve & teach you how to go uphill very well! You'll never look back.


Come in to SMBC & chat to us about the right gear for tough days in the skin track including climbing skins, adjustable poles, ski crampons, Self Arrest Whippet Poles & a whole lot more.


Ski you soon alpinists!

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