There is nothing quite like backcountry skiing.
I enjoy most outdoor adventure sports—whether rock climbing, skiing or mountain biking. If I’m near the ocean, I’ll take surfing. My wife would say I love whatever I’m doing currently the most.
Yet for me, backcountry skiing far eclipses them all. Nothing compares to that feeling of exploring remote mountain vistas where the snow is so fresh and deep that the white crystals cascade over your face like cold confetti as you ski down the hillside.
And I like earning the turns I ski. Backcountry skiing is such a great combination of endurance, grit and camaraderie. To me, it is the purest form of skiing.
And backcountry skiing certainly doesn’t lack for adventure. Route finding can be tricky and avalanches are an ever-present threat—which is why I always bring the proper safety gear, especially a beacon. This radar device can help you find your friends (or them find you) if they happen to get buried in an avalanche.
Traditionally, a beacon is also a light or a warning. We all need such light in our lives to help guide us in the right path, and to keep us from danger. I know my life has been shaped by a lot more than just outdoor adventure, but by an ultimate Light, that beacon which has guided me (John 8:12). Jesus, my Savior, is that Light. I hope others find this Light, too.
Besides skiing, I will write about other sports in this blog (as well as topics related to my life and outdoor culture).
Well, I hope to see you out there—way, way back, where the lines are steepest and the powder is deepest.
Be safe. And don’t forget your beacon.
An experienced backcountry skier with an AIARE 2 certification, Chris was once an alpine ski racer and is now a skimo-racing dabbler. Besides skiing, he is also a Single Pitch Instructor with the AMGA, a Wilderness First Responder with NOLS and a River Guide Trainer in the state of Colorado. His articles have appeared in various newspapers, magazines and outdoor publications including Outdoor Utah Adventure Journal and Sports Guide. He is also a father, husband and cancer survivor.