1. Pack The Right Gear
Backcountry skiing is different from traditional alpine skiing because you have a great deal of hiking to do before you hit the slopes. So, you’ll need to pack gear that can accommodate both skiing as well as backpacking. First, you’ll need to start with the basics:
● Skis: the obvious reason you’re making the trek through the mountains!
● Boots: Find lightweight and waterproof boots that can get you through the snow with ease. You may even want to consider Strap-ins for extra comfort.
● Poles: You’ll want to be sure you have the right kind of poles for backcountry skiing; they’ll need to be adjustable so you can control them while hiking on a steep slope.
● Goggles: Make sure you keep your goggles in a dry place, such as the goggle pocket in your coat, while hiking to avoid fogging them up. Once you’re ready to ski down the slopes, pull them out and put them on.
● Helmet: Safety first! Since you’re skiing down the unmarked part of the mountains, it’s especially important to protect yourself in case of an accident.
● Gloves: Make sure you find a pair of good waterproof gloves (or two).
● Coat and vest: You’ll likely work up quite a sweat while hiking, so you won’t need your puffy coat right away, but keep it accessible for when you’re ready to ski.
● Navigation tools: The last thing you want to do is get lost. Bring a map, compass, and a GPS device.
● Sun protection: Even though it’s cold, the sun is quite reflective off the snow. Make sure you have sunscreen, sunglasses and lip balm while backcountry skiing.
● Heat and light sources: Stock up on hand warmers, matches and a headlamp before hitting the slopes.
● Repair kit: You’ll be glad to have a ski repair kit on hand when you get ready to make your way back down the mountain.
● First aid kit: Better safe than sorry! Keep a small first aid kit with you for bandages, tape and antiseptic.
● Emergency shelter: A tarp or single-person tent will do.
● Food and water: Make sure you have plenty of power bars and water on hand. If you can, store them in a place they won’t freeze!
Do some research on your particular ski site to know exactly what items you’ll need to bring, as well as any other items you’d like to take with you. For instance, you can also bring personal care items like toilet paper and a fast drying towel, or you could bring other helpful accessories like a waterproof pad to sit on along the way.