Ski Mountaineering: the sport

Ski touring requires aerobic and cardiovascular fitness, mental toughness, and a firm understanding of mountain craft. It can be physically incredibly demanding but it is also exhilerating, at times alomost adrenalinic.
Touring involves navigating and route finding through potential avalanche terrain, and often requires familiarity with meteorology along with skiing skills. For advocates who possess the skills to safely enter the backcountry in the winter, the rewards of touring can be exceptional. Ski tourers can access mountain ranges and experience solitude, even in areas that would typically be quite crowded in the summer.
Competent ski tourers also get to experience the self reliance that few others ever get to experience in the modern world. In many mountain areas, cell phones are worthless and the ski party must rely on self-rescue should something go awry. Whether a tourer is looking for winter powder or spring snow, the emphasis is on being self reliant in the mountains and skiing wild snow.
The greater surface area of a ski prevents "postholing" which renders hiking in snow very energetic, slow & inefficient. While snowshoes can also address the hiker's tendency to sink in snow, the fit ski tourer can cover far longer distances because the downhill sections are skied much faster than they could be hiked or snowshoed. Even traveling on flat sections is made more efficient by the ski's ability to glide, which extends the stride but does not require expenditure of additional energy.
The main technical challenge is posed by steep ascents, where tourers have to proceed diagonally across the face of the slope and change direction using a particular cross-legged turning technique that requires great sense of balance. The snow conditions, deep powder or uneven spring snow, as well as the steepness of the incline, add to the difficulty of the turn, and to the potential risks of a fall.
Snow conditions and the landscape pose the other technical challenges: the gliding step, very similar to that of cross-country skiing, that is the chief propelling motion of the skier, can be made very difficult by hard-packed or icy snow (if the slope is steep, special crampons have to be applied to the skis to maintain balance), by uneven or easily crushed snow, typical of spring, by low vegetation when going through wooded patches at low altitudes. It can be tough, but it is all part of the exhilerating ski mountaineering experience.