10 Backcountry Skiing Tips
The following are 10 backcountry skiing tips that anyone should take into consideration before going on a ski trip. Be cautious when backcountry skiing and prepare beforehand by being well informed about backcountry skiing and where you are planing to ski.
- Type of back country skiing-Overland Skiing. This type of skiing is most similar to cross-country skiing, with the purpose of covering a lot of ground and slowly taking in the sights. There will not be many other people sharing the same route.
- Type of back country skiing-Mountain Skiing. This type of skiing involves both climbing mountains and then downhill skiing. Instead of using ski lifts, the back country skier climbs using legs and stamina. Skis can be specially treated to help with the climb.
- Ski with a partner. Back country skiing can be dangerous. There is a risk of injury, or avalanche. Without other members in the group, the trip could wind up deadly. The safest way to guarantee a successful journey is to go with other skiers and stay in constant contact.
- Types of skis. All different types of skis are acceptable, no custom back country skis are necessary. The only drawback to alpine skis is that they are heavy, and climbing a mountain while carrying them will be difficult.
- Don't depend on poles for avalanche probes. Many of the poles designed to be used as avalanche probes do not work very well. Instead, buy an avalanche probe that is used just for that sole purpose. Being well prepared in the event of an avalanche is extremely important.
- Possible to use a snow board. Snow boards are difficult to use when in the back country, but it is not impossible. For those that choose to snow board, it is easiest to hike up the mountain only wearing snow boarding boots.
- Use climbing skins. Climbing skins can be attached to skis to make it easier to climb up mountains or hills. These skins give the skis the friction they need to climb. Waxing skis can also make climbing easier.
- Safety equipment to bring. Make sure to pack an extra set of clothes, food, first aid kits, any applicable maps, a compass, a knife, tools to start a fire, and a noisemaker to signal a rescue crew, or other group members.
- Bring a snow shovel. Aluminum snow shovels are preferable, but any will work. This is extremely important in case any member of the group needs to be dug out after an avalanche.
- What to wear. Make sure to layer. Wear an inner layer that will get rid of sweat. The middle layer should keep the body warm. The outer layer should keep snow and wind out. Based on the weather and amount of exercise, layers can be added or shed.