You dont need pro-level skills to ski off-piste, but honing your kick-turn technique and avoiding rookie mistakes will ease your transition to backcountry terrain. Heres how to master the ups and downs when lifts and groomers are miles away. Plus: Prevent blisters, stay energized, and negotiate steeps.
Caused by variable weather, unstable snowpack, and steep terrain, backcountry avalanches claim an average of 25 lives a year in the United States. Your first safety step: Brush up on the basics below. Next, take a course accredited by the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education
On any wilderness trip, smart preparation is key. But its even more important when youre backcountry skiing, due to the technical gear, low temperatures, potential for severe weather, avalanche risk, and tricky routefinding. Heres how to start smartbefore you leave home.