The snow is flying, it’s starting to accumulate, and you’re ready to get into the backcountry. Don’t forget to take your backcountry knowledge and education with you. One of our friends, Sarah Carpenter, works with the American Avalanche Institute, recently we tapped her on the shoulder and asked for a few pointers about skiing in the backcountry. Check out her “Beginners Guide to the Backcountry” tips below. Get educated, stay smart and have fun.
Words by Sarah Carpenter:
Backcountry skiing is an adventure. You can explore new places, find good snow, and escape the crowds. But in order to go backcountry skiing successfully, you have to be prepared. There is gear, knowledge and a mindset that you have to obtain before you leave the safety net of the ski area.
We got this message from a fellow Alpine Guide, Rich Meyer, with an interesting last minute technique for replacing his touring skins. While a bit random, it’s a pretty solid bit of information to keep in mind should you find yourself without skins and in need of a quick fix.
Consider adding this to your BC skiing tool kit:
What are your options when your luggage doesn’t show up on an international ski trip?
“I arrived in the Lake District of Chile with about half my gear. By chance I found skis that would work with my boot and managed to cobble together a lot of other gear, but unfortunately no climbing skins could be found in Northern Patagonia in less than a day. So I roped up. Literally. I wrapped my skis with old pieces of climbing rope we found in our car.
To my surprise and excitement, it worked in the spring conditions fairly well. Otherwise, I would have been booting in soft snow for multiple hours with an extra 15 lbs on my back. I did eventually throw the skis on my pack when conditions got a bit steeper and firmer, but overall it was a great quick fix.
Not to mention I was lucky enough to harvest 3000ft + of spring corn and pick up my lost luggage by the end of the day. A good day was had, regardless of equipment.