What is backcountry skiing you ask?
Well let me explain;
Backcountry skiing is when you set your skiing boots to walk position, strap on some skins on the back of each ski, and slowly but surely make your way up a mountain however big or small you want.I prefer (since I am a newbie) gently sloping mountains, and then work myself up to steeper “climbs “over time. The clue is that you can start as hard or as easy as you want depending on your level of technique,and physique.
One of the clues to a successful hike up a mountain (at least for me)is that you do everything in your own tempo, and by that I mean allow yourself enough time to account for some of the things listed below:
- Weather changes? Have you checked the weather forecast so you know what to expect ?
- Have you put on the right amount of clothes for the ascend/weather conditions?
- Have you put on to little/many layers, and by that I mean are you in the habit of getting to warm on the way up, and then really cold on the way down due to sweat? I fall into this trip every time
- Have you put on the right clothes?
- Have you taken into account that you might be in need of food/water?
- Are you sure that the hill you have chosen is the right one for you, and within your comfort level?
- Take into account the weather report, and avalanche risk where you are going.
All the points above are worth thinking about when you first choose to strap on a pair of skins, and do that first ascend either with your man/some girlfriends or by yourself.I first fell in love with this form of “hiking” when I got together with my soon to be husband , and have after many a afternoon spent outside after work, gotten to love it over time. Going backcountry skiing on the weekend is a beautiful way of spending time outside, and maybe even seeing nature in a whole new light.
In the winter you really feel part of everything around you when everything is cold, still, silent, and all you hear is yourself, and your own breath as you work yourself up that mountain or power line.