The mountains are a magical and mysterious place that offers so much to all those who love to explore and learn about them.
Especially in winter the snow-capped peaks, skiing, hiking, relaxing in a warm cabin and so much more are all activities that these places at high altitude offer us to experience unique and unforgettable moments. We must also remember that all this is possible because there are people, almost always born and raised in the mountains, who allow tourists to live many experiences and learn about the mountains in all their beauty, learning also that nature can sometimes prove to be an uncontrollable force.
Given the indescribable power of the mountains especially in winter, it is important that there are people who have made their passion for nature, high altitudes, adventure and snowy views a job, so that this can be shared with even the most experienced tourists up to those just beginning to approach the mountains.
Jobs that embrace the mountains and winter
The mountains in general are a world in which tourism is an integral part, bringing people from all over the world to visit places surrounded by nature that allow them to play sports, relax or start new adventures of all kinds.
It is important to emphasize how, in these contexts, they also need to follow unwritten rules regarding approaching certain jobs correctly in order to be safe and not let the low temperatures or adverse conditions typical of the mountains in winter get in our way. It is necessary to be well familiar with the terrain, the climate and above all to have proper equipment and clothing for all those jobs in close contact with nature.
In this article, the main professions we want to focus on and make a special focus on the best and suitable footwear are:
Ski and snowboard instructors
In many mountain resorts, the winter season means skiing. Ski and snowboard instructors are key figures for all those who wish to learn these sports safely and having fun however, it is good not to underestimate the choice of boots to prevent injuries and keep feet warm.
As many people will know, although it is not a given, ski boots are different than snowboard boots and also for these two realities there are brands that specialize more on board models, while others are renowned for exclusively ski products.
As for the world of skiing, there are some brands, even historical ones, that are a certainty in that they offer a wide catalog of footwear depending on how good we are on the slopes, according to our preferences on fit and for the level of comfort that is required.
Since ski instructing is a job in which a lot of time is spent on the slopes, it is important that the boot used first and foremost ensures a high level of comfort for the foot, avoiding possible pain after only a few hours of use.
The Atomic Hwx Ultra XTD 130 BOA GW model is one of the best because it is able to offer excellent performance during descents and at the same time be very efficient during walks.
It is a product that manages to adapt perfectly to any type of skiing; from classic slope, to ski mountaineering thanks to the BOA Fit Alpine system that gives strength, more stability while skiing and comfort. It features a tongue with a system that can adapt in the most precise way to the instep, and the cuff offers a wide range of movement to be able to move without too much difficulty.
Regarding the world of snowboarding, footwear, as in skiing, must try to offer maximum comfort along with foot protection, and in this case it is not Atomic that is one of the best companies for their production, but Burton.
Their snowboard boots are cornerstones of the sport, so that they offer unique styles, designs, technologies and safety during the hours spent on the slopes by even the most experienced skiers such as instructors.
The Photon BOA boots allow for a precise fit so as to avoid injuries as much as possible and for responsiveness during downhill runs that knows how to put the snowboarder at ease.
The fit of the product can be adjusted to our liking precisely because of the BOA Fit system in the forefoot and upper part of the boot also, again the BOA system, allows for a better fit around the ankle and a secure fit in the heel area.
Winter alpinism is an extremely strenuous and demanding discipline that, being practiced in the colder months, is carried out in very cold weather conditions so it is essential for those approaching the sport to get to know it and practice it with experts.
Any mountaineering teacher will always say that the choice of clothing is crucial, preferring garments that are warm, breathable, comfortable and durable. You will also need proper equipment such as helmets as protection in environments exposed to rock or ice falls, an ice axe, crampons and of course a backpack of the right size to carry the necessary gear.
A very important element to best deal with this sport is the choice of footwear, without making distinctions between beginners and experts.
The ideal would be boots that reach above the ankle, waterproof and thermal offering protection from external agents. The sole plays a key role because it must be designed to offer excellent grip on especially muddy and snowy terrain and that it knows how to cut through snow to create small steps when necessary to allow safer and more stable movement.
For this specific discipline, La Sportiva has developed footwear that can be ideal in tackling the mountain for even the most experienced climbers by adapting to any level of difficulty.
The Nepal Cube GORE-TEX boot is a cramponable boot designed, in addition to the features listed above, with a waterproof Idro Perwanger leather upper, abrasion-resistant rubber and a Carbon Tech footbed that insulates the foot.
Let us not just stop to think about types of work that are exclusively related to the mountains. There are many jobs that bring people into close contact with nature and so for each season, depending on temperatures and weather, there are different requirements and different equipment to use.
Let’s think about those who are professional photographers. Who especially is a nature photographer the importance of the right and appropriate clothing for each season and each need becomes essential to stay in a comfortable situation.
When you happen to shoot in the mountains, surrounded by cold and snow the choice of shoe is crucial to avoid unpleasant situations and even in this case, boots are one of the footwear par excellence because they keep the foot warm, support at the ankle level and are able to cope best with precipitation or extreme cold conditions.
There are numerous brands that offer certain types of footwear; from Nordica to La Sportiva, the list would be very long indeed but to leave you with an example Salewa’s Raven Combi GTX boot is a shoe that, for those who have to spend many hours in water, snow, wind, rain and low temperatures with their camera, is perfect for offering as much comfort as possible.
Thanks to the GORE-TEX membrane, the boot is waterproof and breathable, the sole is designed to be as stable as possible during stance and compatible with crampons if needed, and finally the 3D lacing is designed to be adjusted to our liking according to our preferences.
The mountain must be known in order to know how to live it
The arrival of low temperatures, increasingly short days, cold, snow and sharp winds are all almost everyday features if we find ourselves in the mountains during the colder months, but they should not be a reason to give up one’s passions and especially one’s work.
Some of the professions we have covered in this article make us realize how, the mountains are a place as fascinating as they are imposing and there is a need to know it so as not to be caught off guard by unpleasant situations. From ski instructors, to alpinism instructors, to photographers and more; anyone who finds themselves having to work in close contact with the cold, snowy nature of high altitudes must be well aware of how to face the days with the right equipment, the right clothing, and especially the right footwear.
There is now a very wide selection of different kinds of shoes depending on our needs and depending on where we are, so let’s learn from those who work in close contact with the mountains in order to experience them at their best.
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