ski+snowshoe = skishoe | combining the efficiency and fun of skis with the ease and mobility of snowshoes.

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Leaving the pass at the start of the climb

This time of year things start to slow down a bit at Altai Skis and I can sneak away for more skiing …. testing, I mean. This last week has seen an abundance of new snow and I got out for some skiing on Tuesday (4/17) and again on Thursday (4/19) to confirm my findings….. I have mixed the days a bit in these pictures, but they were both excellent late season powder.



Snowy Trees !

Snow depth at the lake (click image)! šŸ˜Æ

Sherman Pass is quite high – the highest all season in Washington State at 5600 feet. Near the Canadian border and in the interior it is cool and relatively dry compared to the Cascades. This year has been an above average snow year and as of these excursions the snowpack at 6000 ft was 88 inches – deepest of the season.


Late season powder is not unusual here, but it degrades quick so one must be opportunistic about catching it. Ā ā„šŸ™‚


Trees at the lake


The Tiak track is inside of the ski track


I have been shooting images and video to put together a more detailed look at how to use Tiaks (single poles). A lot of these shots are video stills.








Wind Sculpting near the summit


Rime on burned trees from the ’88 fire










Clouds and Rime


Why we backcountry ski…


Summit of Sherman


Steeply down


Coyote tracks up high


A favorite line šŸ¤

















In mid January, my daughter and her husband to be came up for the Hoks Festival at Sitzmark, and on a free day after the festival they joined Lisa and I for a day of touring in the Kettle Range. The weather was cool and snowy the whole day, and the snow finally had a supportable base, often lacking in the early to mid winter skiing in the Kettles. We did a lot of bushwhacking and found some powder on the way down…. All in all a great day in our local mountains.


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2018 Altai Ski Festival

January 20th 2018 is the 3rd annual Altai Skis Hoks and ski festival at Sitzmark Ski Area in NE Washington, Okanogan Highlands.


Nils’ Map of the Highlands Area with some skier points of interest


The Okanogan Highlands are a high mountainous area in the far north central Ā part of Washington State. The Highlands are remote and very rural, and in the winter, cold and snowy. Sitzmark, one of the smallest ski areas in the state, has one chair and one rope tow. Views are expansive, north into Canada (less then 20 miles north), west to the North Cascades, and east to the Kettle Range. Sitzmark rarely gets a big snowpack but with consistent cold temperatures it does not lose much snow either.

Altai Skis has had a festival there for the last two years, featuring free demos, lessons, and tours. Discount lift tickets are available Ā for those who wish to ride the lifts. Altai Skis will have Hoks and Koms there for people to try, Bring your own Hoks if you have them


2017 images



Lisa and I (Nils) went up yesterday ( January 15th) to check out the conditions and skiing was great – cold snow and a beautiful day up there.


Looking west to the Cascades

North to Canada

Looking north to Canada

Looking East to the Kettle Range


SaveSave is the companion site to our Altai site. We thought it would be good to have a informationalĀ site dedicated to using skishoes in the many ways people do.

You will find some posts on field work being done on Hoks, kids using them (the Hokstars!), schools, and some user posts as well.

We also will add instructional information over time, using skishoes in different terrain and conditions, as well as the pros and cons on different bindings, and, of course, using the Tiaks (single poles).

There will be lots of images (see the Gallery page) as well as some great new videos for this year.

We welcome comments, user feedback, requests, and contributions.

Happy Skishoeing!

Nils Larsen


TiakĀ [tīăk] means stick in theĀ local languages in the Altai Mountains of North Central Asia. Tiak is also the nameĀ for the single pole used inĀ all the traditional skiing in that region. Prior toĀ 1900, the single pole was used by pretty muchĀ all skiers in the world! Continue reading

SKOE2Andrew Morrisey and his friendsĀ really captured the backyard backcountry aspect of skishoes. They are having lots of fun close to home. A big thanks to these guys as this is a lot of time involved in makingĀ a video like this. Continue reading