What’s the deal?
Leave the lift lines behind and ski the backcountry.
Where’s it at?
You could hike out of bounds at a downhill ski area with other ill-equipped resort skiers seeking untracked powder, or go cat or heli-skiing if you can afford it. An alternative is to learn backcountry ski touring.
Alpine touring gear – specialized bindings with heel lifts, climbing skins and flexible boots – lets you get to almost any terrain a helicopter can. Spend a few hours climbing high into the mountains, remove your skins, lock down your bindings and descend deep powder slopes.
Head to Silver Star Mountain Resort near Vernon, B.C., and sign onto a one-day Introduction to Backcountry Skiing course with Sol Mountain Touring, a backcountry lodge in the Monashee Mountains. The only prerequisite is being a fit, intermediate-level resort skier. You’ll spend the day in-bounds learning the basics of backcountry travel and gear before heading to Sol where you will summit big peaks, ski gladed tree runs, and explore pristine wilderness all under the watchful eye of a certified mountain guide. You may never want to ski a groomed run again.
Who’s it for?
Those who want to earn their turns. The one-day intro course with Sol Mountain Touring ( solmountain.com) costs $65. A four-day guided trip costs $1,400, including meals and accommodation.
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