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what's a BC day like for you ?

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  • what's a BC day like for you ?

    The whole notion of "backcountry" seems like it has such a wide meaning to me. I wondered if some of you do certain things differently.

    Do you wait for each other at way points on the route, or just go ?

    Do you meet at the top, perform any rituals.... of any sort, then ski down together?

    Are you a solo artist? little group? big group?

    What's the normal tour scenario,.. or scenarios?



    I have a few different types of BC days.

    I have some lift assist side country/ BC days where I may find untracked goods close enough to the lift to never have to skin at all. Sometimes I do this alone or with a group. Sometimes these days are mixed with casual laps on the resort picking up friends and going back for more.

    I also climb looking for steep fresh lines after a storm. This is usually tougher skinning and is for more of the hardcore buddys.

    I also meadow skip on lower angle slopes where everyone goes at their own pace mostly and takes as many laps at they have in them...

    They all feel like different days, with different danger levels and different skill sets, but all are BC skiing....

    What's different about your typical BC outings?
    the fall line is your friend.... resistance is futile

  • #2
    Typical? Well, with 3 kids 5 and under, it is depart at 6:00 am, skin up for 2 hours, ski down and meet family at ski area at 9 or 10 if it's a weekend day or go to work if it's a weekday. The lines we pick depend on quality of snow, safety of snowpack, and comfort level on any given day, a.k.a the cajones or numbnut factor, and I tend to fall on the 100%-certain-to-ski-tomorrow end of that spectrum.

    Atypical - access more distant terrain and spend 6-8 hours skinning/skiing; send family off for the day, buy wife a drink.

    Group size is usually 2 or 3.

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    • #3
      My typical BC outing has me going out solo, or with the dog, basically just wandering. Or carpooling with a friend to a specific trailhead, with some consensus on length of trip. Discussions of route selection generally focus on what kind of skis one is taking, rather than what slopes one wants to ski, because the one determines the other and it doesn't make sense for someone to be on heavy gear and someone on light gear. So those are the three critical points for consensus: trailhead, type of gear, and duration of outing. Then you just go.

      If there is avy risk, then one is a bit more formal about it.
      Last edited by Baaahb; 4 September 2013, 02:49 PM.

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      • #4
        No 'typical' BC day around here. It might involve skinning 2000'+ for birch glade skiing, or multiple laps on a 700' vert former ski area at lunch time, it might be putting on leathers and pins and heading out the back door for a rolling tour, and maybe I go skate skiing 20+km on forest service roads. I usually never ski with more than 2-3 others and many times its just me, alone.

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        • #5
          When I'm getting out for a typical full day here in Wasangeles, Ill out with1-3 friends or so, We will pick a given area and ski around a vertical mile picking lines based on snow quality, and safety. of course I have other types of outings but that would be my most common followed by outings that go from one point such as Reynold's to Big water, Wilson and perhaps a final run down Gobblers and out Millcreek using a bus/car shuttle. or a LCC to BBC oup and over hitting various lines on the way using the bus and thumb method of access and retreat.

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          • #6
            I do two primary kinds of tours.
            My solo tours happen when ever I can fit one in so it could be early, sunset into darkness, or anywhere in between. I almost always do these on the XCD gear and take some camera gear to do some photos while nobody is waiting for me. I'll usually ski 2-5 hours in low angle terrain like mountain bike trails or foothills of the larger stuff I like to ski with friends on bigger gear. There often isn't a summit on these as they tend to be more rolling.

            When I tour with friends we try to go early, like leaving the house at 4-5:00am. We usually drive together with 1-3 other people to nearby (<1 Hr) trailheads. These usually have a bigger, steeper climb and I'm doing this kind of thing on AT gear these days (Radicals, Soulflys, Shoguns). Depending on the group, terrain, and conditions there might be summit libations of one kind of another. Then we follow BC protocol and ski down, sometimes skiing multiple laps on the same or other nearby terrain. Beers at the car. These usually go all day and I try to make it home for dinner. If I'm lucky Mrs B has something good in the crock pot waiting when I get home. Those can be really great days.

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            • #7
              Typical? Climb some safe route to the top of something stupid, chicken out, and end up meadow skipping for awhile.

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              • #8
                local hill/dale tours on the light gear solo before work, or high presidential tours on the AT gear with crampons, whippet, and avy gear on days off or when i start work late (sometimes). mostly solo on the local tours and solo or with one or two (preferably no more) folks on the big hill. partners are chosen based on skiing skill, fitness, efficiency, snow sense, and the ability to withstand sometimes absolutely brutal weather at or above treeline. one very small mistake/delay in transition or even adjusting something could mean big trouble on some days, but it's fun, good practice, and makes many other mountain regions seem like a tropical vacation

                local tours usually include lots o kick and glide with about 500 vert of turning terrain on and around an old grown in but gardened ski area. 1-3 hours of woods play and cardio runnin on the skinnies. george tours are typically 6-10k of vert gain in a day using regular dh ski boots, markers, and k2's 129-92-115. springtime opens up more options for getting together with folks of different abilities and skill sets as the weather is milder and avy danger greatly reduced or not at all. beer always comes with so long as daytime high temps are above zero.

                ALWAYS ski one at a time for the full length of run. winter or spring. just good form.
                good snow comes in many different types and consistencies. STICK YER FEET IN IT!!!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by meadowskipper View Post
                  george tours are typically 6-10k of vert gain in a day
                  If you're slogging up 10,000 feet of mountain in a day, you need to change that user name 'cause that ain't meadowskipping.

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                  • #10
                    I have a couple of primary ski partners that I tour with and I avoid going out with larger groups and people I don't know. We were involved in a large group hut trip a while back, AVY and death of a close friend and I made a promise to myself that would never happen again on my watch. So, I keep things simple and stick to people I know or if people I don't know want to ski with me, I control the environment and have some set rules that we follow. Anyway, I,we(LYNN) usually go touring about 3x week and resort ski maybe 2x week. So, we get out alot. Because we get out alot, we don't do full day marathons but usually tour from maybe 9:00 to 2:00 and depending on wither we are fishscaling or skinning our daily vert might be between 1,000 and 3,500 and sometimes might have a car shuttle and get upwards of 8,000 decending. We know the local area well and can find powder well after storms so, we ski alot of powder and redeposited snow, fair amount of crust too. Fishscaling on Vector BC's/X2/T2, AT on Fatskis/Dynafits/Light AT boots.
                    Last edited by Quadzilla; 4 September 2013, 10:30 PM.
                    "Just say no to groomed snow"

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dschane View Post
                      If you're slogging up 10,000 feet of mountain in a day, you need to change that user name 'cause that ain't meadowskipping.
                      some "meadows" are very long with a lot of vert. some we do many times.
                      good snow comes in many different types and consistencies. STICK YER FEET IN IT!!!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by freeheelskier
                        Our bc is sc. The good news is that the goods aren't so good that it's worth passing up all the name brand areas you'd drive past to get to, so nobody does, and at the same time good enough to be just great if it happens to be a few minutes from home with no traffic, no crowds, and lots of lines to choose from. Gravity pig lift served to the top, then a kick-n-glide through rolling woods and meadows for as far as you care to go. Head down, then a nice kick-n-glide glide back through woods and meadows. Repeat. It looks like this: https://vimeo.com/59839682
                        Wow, very nice. I assume all the pillows is big pieces of granite.
                        "Just say no to groomed snow"

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                        • #13

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                          • #14
                            ^Crop circles in the snow. Must be aliens.

                            What will they think when they find these patterns a thousand years from now?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by freeheelskier
                              Our bc is sc. The good news is that the goods aren't so good that it's worth passing up all the name brand areas you'd drive past to get to, so nobody does, and at the same time good enough to be just great if it happens to be a few minutes from home with no traffic, no crowds, and lots of lines to choose from. Gravity pig lift served to the top, then a kick-n-glide through rolling woods and meadows for as far as you care to go. Head down, then a nice kick-n-glide glide back through woods and meadows. Repeat. It looks like this: https://vimeo.com/59839682

                              NICE! Thanks for that....
                              the fall line is your friend.... resistance is futile

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