Ski mountaineering is a sport of the skiing discipline which combines aspects of ski touring, backcountry skiing, Telemark, and mountaineering. The objective of the sport is to climb up a mountain wearing skis, and occasionally carrying them if the ascent is too steep, and then descend on skis after reaching a fixed point. It is practiced both at a recreational and competitive level, and is mostly popular in Europe.
Competitions are conducted on established trails on challenging alpine terrains, in which competitors are required to pass through a series of checkpoints. Races are mostly timed events in which the athlete to complete the ascent and descent in the fastest time is the winner.
The three most important races in the sport of ski mountaineering are, the Mezzalama Trophy in Italy, the Patrouille des Glaciers in Switzerland, and the Pierra Menta in France.