Backcountry Skiing

  Hiking in the winter demands more. More preparedness and more planning. More outdoor experience and ability, and—perhaps most easily overlooked—more time. The cold months require better decision-making and a more cautious mindset. The same trail you hiked in summer six months ago is a different world now. Just as a wind chill intensifies the…

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  Leave No Trace is a practice that applies to any outdoor activity, providing hikers, bikers, skiers, and other users with the tools they need to ensure minimal impact on the environment during their trip. While this seven-principle strategy, developed by Boulder, Colo.-based Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, applies to all seasons, winter…

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  Sarah Goodnow says she was lucky the first time she saw a natural avalanche. Lucky, as in she and others around her were in a safe place, allowing them to witness the phenomenon without fear.“It was after a snowstorm and there wasn’t much wind,” she recalls. “I could see Hillman’s Highway (a ski route…

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You’ve explored the backcountry, but have you done so on skis? Backcountry skiing is experiencing a surge in recent months given COVID-19 precautions at downhill resorts. While backcountry skiing can be a breathtaking way to experience the Northeast’s mountainous beauty, beginners to the sport need to be sure they venture out with the preparation, gear,…

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  Excerpted and adapted from Essential Guide to Winter Recreation, from AMC Books. Getting lost in the woods can happen to anyone, especially in the winter and even to the most seasoned hiker. You make a wrong turn, you lose your bearings in whiteout conditions, or you accidentally get separated from your group. If you…

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With many downhill ski resorts in the Northeast expected to be closed or restricted to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, backcountry skiing is booming. In fact, going back to the early spring, outfitters across the region reported shortages of backcountry equipment as skiers skipped the crowded resorts in favor of more remote options. The sport…

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Dee Bryant sits behind the register at Bretton Woods Market and Deli. As a worker at the only convenience store and gas station in town, Bryant’s job is reliant on the success of Bretton Woods Ski Resort half-a-mile southeast on Route 302. Despite the fact that the ski mountain is her indirect benefactor of sorts,…

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  Winter can be a challenging season, even in ordinary times. Cold weather forces many people inside, making staying active more difficult. Inactivity and prolonged periods indoors comes with a whole host of issues, including higher levels of depression and more frequent illness. Concerns about COVID-19 spikes and continued separation from friends and family make…

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In 1987, I received a phone call from a books editor at the Appalachian Mountain Club. Would I be interested in writing a backcountry skiing guidebook for New England? I was a 27-year-old budding journalist, ski bum, political activist, and climber; I’d never written a book. The invitation seemed incredible: Somebody wanted to pay me…

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As New England ski resorts announce visitor restrictions this winter, a surge of skiers are heading to the backcountry to seek solitude and powder. With national outdoor retailers reporting that sales of backcountry ski equipment have tripled in the last year, this winter is expected to see unprecedented numbers of backcountry skiers, many trying the…

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