Complaining about Crowding?

Post by blogger | April 8, 2011      

Fritz sent this photo over from the old country. A typical day of European springtime ski touring. He asked that I keep the place secret so it won’t get crowded. Click image to enlarge.

European backcountry skiing.

European backcountry skiing, the potential for friendships is huge.


26 Responses to “Complaining about Crowding?”

  1. Smokey April 8th, 2011 9:27 am

    Wasatch in 10 years…

  2. Lou April 8th, 2011 10:04 am

    Er, Wasatch now? I think I can spot Andrew up there at the head of the line.

  3. Tuck April 8th, 2011 10:06 am

    Looks like Tuckerman Ravine on Mt. Washington.

    My wife asked me what would happen if I got injured there, and I told her, “They would pass me hand-over-hand down to the parking lot.” LOL.

  4. Lou April 8th, 2011 10:32 am

    Tuck, yeah, that’s how they get the beer kegs up there, so they could easily do it in reverse as a rescue, LOL.

  5. XXX_er April 8th, 2011 11:01 am

    wow the local ski hill would kill for crowds like that

  6. earle.b April 8th, 2011 11:02 am

    This looks like Blackcomb on a sunny Sunday.

  7. Nick April 8th, 2011 11:16 am


    Tuck – I have only been to Tuckerman’s Ravine once, and some dude went down it in a canoe (literally) with about 1,000 people watching. I have never seen anything like that in my entire life. Although it was at the time of a big rando race, so I am sure the crowds were escalated that weekend.

  8. Tuck April 8th, 2011 11:40 am

    @Nick: LOL Depending on the quality of the snow, a canoe’s not a bad option, actually.

  9. Davey Cooper April 8th, 2011 11:52 am

    Yep, there are some crowded spots around in the French Alps, but recently I did a 7 day trip, didn’t see another person for the whole time (except 2 people on showshoes in the distance on the last day) and didn’t see another trace for the first 4 days. Anyway, it’s nice to do a crowded hill from time to time, it can be fun with a carnival atmosphere.

    I’ve never been touring in the States but I guess there are a lot of mountains and not so many people. I’ll have to come over some time.


  10. Robtyr April 8th, 2011 12:23 pm

    Hey, there is a reason why some peaks get more people than others. They are just perfect and in spring with corn snow there is no need to battle for first tracks.
    And if you are looking for solitude you’ll find it easy, go where the others don’t go; there are always peaks that for some reason are not so traveled.
    Cheers, Robert


  11. Chris April 8th, 2011 1:11 pm

    Looks like Muir Snowfield in May

  12. Scott Nelson April 8th, 2011 1:47 pm

    Looks busy. Funny thing, I skinned a lap at Tiehack yesterday. Before I headed up a person made a remark to me in the parking lot that she “didn’t realize that half of Aspen was going to be up there” (i.e. skinning/hiking up). I think I saw a total of three people the entire time. We’ve got it pretty good around here.

  13. Florian April 8th, 2011 3:03 pm

    Yeah, this picture doesn’t look unfamiliar to me (Austria). But I bet that this picture has been taken

    1) in the week-end
    2) with very nice spring weather
    3) on an easy ski mountain
    4) not too far from a bigger town

    and yeah, it’s still pretty much fun. I guess the people that don’t like it go somewhere else (at least most people on the mountain seem to enjoy themselves at a day like this). A couple of dogs are normally also taking part. And some rando race guys running up a couple of times as if it were a cross country lap.

  14. Lou April 8th, 2011 6:30 pm

    You guys have me laughing. Here in the US we like to whine about the “crowds” and keep places secret. In Europe, we just look at the actual crowds and figure they are there for a reason and we’ll go somewhere else.

    I’ve indeed been on quite a few tours with crowds like that. One a few years ago in spring in the Tyrol, with Manfred Barthel, where there were easily twice as many people as the photo, and so many cars they were parked bumper to bumper on the roadside for a half mile. It was fun. I like watching all the different styles. The guides with their groups, the young guys looking for extreme lines, the old folks sitting there eating chocolate…

    But I wouldn’t want to be in that crowd every time I went touring!

  15. myska April 8th, 2011 7:40 pm

    reminds me why I immigrated to canada 8)

  16. Tay April 9th, 2011 2:57 am

    Classic European ski tours…….. best done in the dead of winter.

  17. brian h April 9th, 2011 8:01 am

    Speaking of overcrowding, any of the Summit county folks have news about the whole peak 6 thing? (sorry to take the humor out of this post).

  18. Christian April 10th, 2011 2:00 am

    In Scandinavia I can only think of a couple of spots where I can expect crowds like that, and then only on the best days in May – and even they you can have it all to yourself if you have an early start. I like touring when it is crowded too – it is OK to exchange the zen feeling with just beeing social.

  19. Forrest April 11th, 2011 7:46 am

    I thought it was a good thing to get people off the couch and outside enjoying life. Yeah we gripe about crowds but at the same time its refreshing to see people actually enjoying what surrounds them. If more people got out and enjoyed the outdoors I think you would see a bigger push back when beautiful places are threatned by development, pollution, logging, drilling, etc….

  20. Powder White April 20th, 2011 10:30 am

    Interesting post, I wanted to share this picture taken in Espace Killy on April 10th 2011 showing that you can still have space to yourselves when skiing, especially in popular ski resorts like Val d’Isere. Have a look at how un-crowded this ski resort is.

  21. Frame April 21st, 2011 7:04 am

    To be fair, that part of France is also having it’s worst snow season / warmest winter in a long time. Probably a few people swimming at the lake in Tignes?

  22. Tuck April 21st, 2011 8:38 am

    Just so all you Western/European skiers know what you’re missing:

  23. Forest April 21st, 2011 9:02 am

    Yup, that’s one entertaining show up there on a sunny day, Tuck! I’m bailing on work to head into Gulf of Slides tomorrow… praying for good solar gain on a cold morning.

  24. Jesse April 21st, 2011 10:33 am

    >> Wasatch in 10 years…

    Cerise creek next weekend!! :mrgreen:

  25. Tuck April 21st, 2011 12:03 pm

    See you up there, Forest. Tomorrow should be a great day.

  26. Toby April 21st, 2011 3:02 pm

    These popular tours here are called a ➡ mode tours ➡ this one in the picture must be one of them.
    I luckilly manage to do most (or quite many at least) of my tours without seeing too many or sometimes even no other groups on the hill. I try to avoid easy access tours and I wake up super early. It usually has to be more skiing mountaineering oriented and less people will be out there. Or even better: a totally unspectacular secondary summit.

    P.S. I’m living in Munich

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