Backcountry Skiing: Not Always Extreme

This past week, in addition to nursing an injured knee, I’ve been running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to finish up last minute preparations for my fast approaching trip to Kashmir, India (more on this in another post). I needed to blow off a little steam though, so I called my friend Allen and proposed that we go check out an area I’d been curious about for some time.

This particular spot is highly visible on Google Earth, and, from the comfort of our desk chairs, looked very thinned out, and fun to ski. To top it off, it had a north east aspect, and so would have been sheltered from the stiff winds from earlier in the week.


Well, we spent about 2 hours hiking in, and though we found some beautiful terrain, and had a fun exploring, the day was missing one of the key elements of a perfect ski outing: steep terrain.

Allen, trying to make the most of an essentially flat ski tour.

Boring 1

Boring 2

Allen said it best on the way out: “We took a spot on the map with a question mark over it, and turned it into a spot on the map with a big “X” over it”. We won’t be going back very soon.

Terrain is what you make of it though, and a rugged touring setup (heavy X-country gear) would have made this little outing a lot more interesting. Rugged touring gear, unlike our downhill oreanted Alpine Touring gear, is rooted in the nordic/tele world, and allows for easy movement over rolling terrain. If this is something you’re interested in, I’d suggest looking into a ski like the Kahru guide, or Rossingnol BC90, to get a sense of what I’m talking about.

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