Backcountry skiing has many inherent dangers, but so does walking down a busy street or commuting in rush hour traffic. Flirting with Mother Nature is never anything you’d want to place bets on. Just when you think you’ve got it dialed, she can let you know who rules this green earth. But, it is possible to travel safely in the backcountry and live a long life of untracked powder. The key to backcountry longevity lies in education, equipment and friends.
Every time we hit the backcountry, I feel in awe of nature… its beauty and its unchecked fury. That’s a good feeling to have in the backcountry, because the second you get cocky and think you have it all dialed in is the second that you get into trouble.
Now, back to the point, aside from all the training and gear, the most important aspect of backcountry skiing is the people you ski with. Pick your touring partners carefully, but always be willing to show the ropes to someone new.
Safe backcountry travel is a skill that’s best learned with friends. Honestly, nothing is better than skinning up a slope alongside your bros, carefully picking a line and skiing it. The camaraderie built in the backcountry is unique, but most of all, the skiing can always be phenomenal.
As I always say, skiing groomers and most in-bounds terrain is just practice for when the powder comes. Because when the powder comes, you don’t want to miss it. The backcountry will keep powder longer and allow you to ski deep, untracked lines days after a storm.
It all comes with a price, however. Be smart out there… no run is worth putting your life or your friend’s life in jeopardy. Be safe and enjoy the bounties that can only be found in the backcountry.