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Moving from Resort skiing to backcountry and skiing 14ers

Info, conditions and gear related to skiing or riding Colorado Peaks, including the 14ers! Ski/Ride Trip Reports
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Re: Moving from Resort skiing to backcountry and skiing 14er

Postby RoanMtnMan » Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:19 pm

rickinco123 wrote: I'm amazed in the internet age, how quickly people are going from no outdoor experience to getting into some high risk mountaineering.

Agreed that Waffles has a serious guardian angel, but then again many of us seem to, at least until we don't.

I am not sure if you have ever spent much time in Europe or not, but us Americans look like a bunch of over educated, over prepared, over cautious, softies when compared with your average European mountain goer. A fact that is completely fine with me. Picture a glacier at 12,000 feet, crevasses and rockfall danger all around, nearly whiteout weather, and you make out a figure 30 feet ahead. As you get closer you notice he is wearing skinny jeans, Fila sneakers, no pack or climbing gear, and smoking a cigarette. Which direction to the tramway?, he asks. Speechless. Not an abnormal site in the Alps. The exact reason I have adopted the philosophy that we are all solely responsible for ourselves out there.
Always follow the 7 P's. Proper Planning & Preparation, Prevents Piss-Poor Performance.

"An adventure is misery and discomfort, relived in the safety of reminiscence.” --Marco Polo

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Re: Moving from Resort skiing to backcountry and skiing 14er

Postby rickinco123 » Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:45 pm

Never been to the Alps, awesome story though!

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Re: Moving from Resort skiing to backcountry and skiing 14er

Postby PaliKona » Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:25 pm

Maybe start with skiing some of the more "backcountry" inbounds parts of resorts, like the East Wall @ A Basin, the Lake Chutes @ Breck, Tucker Mtn. @ Copper, Rock Chutes @ Loveland, Highland Bowl @ Aspen Highlands, Silverton, and the newer terrain @ Telluride.

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Re: Moving from Resort skiing to backcountry and skiing 14er

Postby Maudie » Sat Aug 04, 2012 7:56 pm

[quote="Jordan Schwartz"]. 4. Read as many books as you can:
a. Backcountry Skiing: Berthoud Pass is a great guide to get you familiar with the Berthoud Zone. Front Range Ascents and Powder Ghost Towns: Epic
Backcountry Runs in Colorado's Lost Ski Resorts are two great ones. Going to a shut down resort that is no longer maintained is slightly safer (though not
quite) and will be great practice.
b. Ready as many snowsafety books as you can get your hands on. I know there is about 20 different ones in the Colorado Library System (I have read most
of them), and they are great about inter library transfers.
c. Wilderness first responder books are amazing, but the classes are better.

I would also add "Skiing Colorado's Backcountry" by Brian Litz. There is plenty of beginner/intermediate tours in the book that can get you started.

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Re: Moving from Resort skiing to backcountry and skiing 14er

Postby SchralpTheGnar » Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:11 pm

What everyone else said, plus double what lordhelmet said. Become the absolute best skier that you can become, I can't count the number of times that an easy "blue square" backcountry run turned into a death ski though unmentionable heinousness that my skiing skills bailed me out of. First aid and avalanche training are great, but solid skiing skills can prevent having to use either of them.


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