Thinking about backcountry skiing in Colorado? Read this guide first. |

Thinking about backcountry skiing in Colorado? Read this guide first.

Backcountry adventure provides glorious experiences, but you need to know some basics before you begin

John Meyer
The Denver Post
Backcountry skiing near Vail Pass.
Jim Brenneman/Courtesy photo

Visualize being at the summit of a ski resort on a bluebird powder day, surrounded by a glorious panorama filled with snowcapped peaks glistening in the distance. Now imagine you and a few ski buddies have the mountain to yourselves. No lifts, no overcrowded dining halls with over-priced burgers, just you and your crew.

With the proper equipment and training, you can have that experience as a backcountry skier. And if climbing mountains on skis sounds too adventurous, imagine climbing a quiet forest trail with a mellow grade on cross-country skis, the only sounds coming from your breathing and the whoosh-whoosh whisper of the skis beneath you. That, too, can be yours on backcountry gear.

“Backcountry skiing is an amazing sport,” said Jeff Woodward, co-founder and CEO of Bluebird Backcountry, a ski area 30 miles north of Kremmling that functions as a training ground for backcountry skiing and snowboarding. “You can get away from the crowds and be out in nature and have a great time, hopefully with family or friends, but still be skiing or snowboarding. It can be life-changing.”

Backcountry touring comes with different types of gear and techniques suited for different kinds of terrain.

“Backcountry skiing takes a lot of forms, everything from adventurous mountaineering to simple touring around woods,” said John Weir, marketing manager at Bentgate Mountaineering in Golden.


Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.