All of the snow ways you can snow slide, from skiing and riding in resort to cross country skiing rock, but it’s Fall and your watching ski film candy, getting so pumped, jonsing for some backcountry powder turns. You’re not alone. Backcountry ski touring is one of the fastest growing segments of snow sports today. For good reason, freshies for sure, but even more benefit comes, skinning up is glory for your heart, and hanging out in the forest and fresh air is mind-full of crazy goodness for your soul. Let’s un-pack this so you can hit the trails safely this winter.
Go Old School.
Yep. Take some courses on ‘how to ski tour’, not just from your friends (although this is good too if they know what they are doing), but from acredited ACMG guides (Association of Canadian Mountain Guides), like those offered by Yamnuska Mountain Adventures, PeaksStratagem, and the University of Calgary Outdoor Centre.
Snow know how.
In addition to the how tos of ski touring, snow education is good too. Sign up for your AST 1 (Avalanche Skills Training Course) , offered by many guiding operations, again with professional ACMG guides providng the education. If cost is a concern check into AST courses offered by your local College and University, like College of the Rockies.
Programs in resort.
Another option, once you have your gear is to take the Backcountry Basics program offered at Fernie Alpine Resort , which provides a general overview of basic instruction to get you started ski touring, in a safe and controlled area inside the ski area boundary.
Many longtime ski touring enthusiasts, say go slow, start with safe low aspect terrain to begin your knowledge journey, every step, learning more about snow, weather, terrain choices and most importantly taking stock of your own capabilities, the knowledge and experience of who you go with and making safe travel and respect your ultimate goal of every outing.
Hut. Hut. Let’s go this winter
Nothing beats staying in a mountain cabin. Absolutely so good in so many ways, obviously storm protection that shelter provides, but it is the cozy and gathering place that provides the magic to connect with your crew in a better way. Besides you are ready to go for pow action first thing in the morning. Some way good reasons to choose a place like Mallard Mountain Lodge, where small is good, that is in group size, as only up to 8 at one time here, combined with location, stunning describes it, and many don’t offer the 30 minute heli flight-seeing experience this one does, surreal to be so far away, and that is so good. Mallard Mountain Lodge, has just a few dates left, anyone in, as the 3 nights arriving February 27th has spots open!
More options for a wilderness stay-cation
Backcountry Lodges of BC has a bunch of places to check out for your next ski touring, backcountry experience in British Columbia. You’ll want to book mark this site. Check out Boulder Hut , located in the Purcell Mountains, Kimberley, British Columbia, for it’s Women’s Week.
Gear to go.
Take the Spot X with you, providing you a way to keep your friends and family up to date on where you are, and if something does happen, quick, informative communication to those who need to find you.
G3, Canadian maker, of gear that gives you the edge in the backcountry, from adjustable lightweight poles, to the new Minimist Universal Climbing skins, to the durable, and very lightweight Zed 12 bindings.
Rossignol, Seek 7 Tour, lightweight, performance all mountain ski, will do the trick for days of enjoyment in the wild.
Outdoor Research, makes winter ready jackets and pants, so you can enjoy more time outside, like the Skyward 2, totally waterproof and breathable, and so light for those long tours.
Gregory Packs, offers some great options for ski touring, like the Alpinisto 35, perfect for day missions, complete with many key features, like snowboard carry set up, and full side zip access.