It’s a new year, and while some are planning to kick their old habits to the curb, others are looking for a new hobby or adventure. With winter in full swing, you might be heading to the mountains to ski or snowboard, but you won’t be alone. By mid-morning the quiet lifelines will have faded, and you’ll wait 45 minutes to take your seat on the chairlift. As you are whisked upward, your friend will tell you where the powder stash is and where the people aren’t, but you’ll return time and again to those same lift lines even though you came to the mountains to escape. Is there another way? You bet there is!
I’m talking about alpine touring. I know what you are thinking: “I don’t know about backcountry skiing, it’s just too dangerous.” Well like anything new, it pays to ease into it and not bite off more than you can chew. The same is true with “touring.” Let me paint a picture for you: You enjoy your breakfast and brew and when you are ready, you head to your favorite snow-covered hiking trail. Nobody said that you have to try out for the next Warren Miller video. In fact, with alpine touring, you control where you go. It’s the ultimate freedom. No more lift lines or crowds, just quiet serenity. You can go for as long or as high as you want to. And when you are ready, you peel off your skins, lock your heels into the bindings, and ski down like you already know how to. It’s your passport to a crowd free powder day. So join those who are leaving the lift lines behind and blazing their own path up the mountain.
It’s easier than you think.