EXCERPT: GO BIG AND GO HOME
CANADIAN ROCKIES ANNUAL, VOL. 3
By John Reid
Six experts give their best advice on taking mountain sports to the next level. Here’s how to up the ante – and stay safe doing it.
Backcountry Ski Guide
At just 31 years old, Marty Schaffer is revolutionizing avalanche education through progressive programs at the guiding company he co-founded, Capow! Guiding.
Sell me on this sport:
Backcountry is like being connected to your soulmate instead of just dating. The resort is a good foundation and a good experience, but backcountry is about finding true love.
Favourite piece of gear:
A thermos. Starting your day with warm water kicks your liquid drinking to the next level. A thermos of hot tea is the perfect thing to sip on.
Advice for progressing from the resort to the backcountry:
Take an Avalanche Skills Training (AST) course, go with a guide, or find a really experienced group.
If you could pick one place to go backcountry skiing:
Blanket Glacier Chalet. I grew up there. It’s the best, and safest, skiing in the world. We have easy access without any overhead hazard to seemingly endless tree skiing.
Best advice for a rookie:
Slow down, look up, take in all you can observe. Resorts train us to rush to lines and, in heli, you rush to get to the machine. For backcountry, you need to appreciate all of the experience, whether that’s hiking to the top, studying conditions or skiing down. Take it all in. […]
Lover of limestone, lynx and larch! John Reid is a Rocky Mountain writer and usually the first to say something positive after the third false summit.
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