When the National Ski Areas Association published an editorial titled “There’s No Such Thing As ‘Sidecountry,’” we knew we had to join the resort-accessed backcountry discussion. So we put together this issue to investigate the good, the bad and the ugly of sidecountry riding—inside, you’ll find everything from where to go to whom to hire, what to bring and what you need to know. But this issue goes far beyond resort gates, too. Canadian correspondent Ryan Stuart goes on tour with Island Lake Lodge, Fernie, B.C.’s new cat-accessed touring program, and Tyler Cohen explores a remote corner of the Chilean Andes. Plus, things get hoppy in the first-ever Backcountry Magazine Beer Guide. Drink up!
Backcountry Magazine is excited to announce the increase in skiable backcountry terrain worldwide to a zillion acres. That's right, we're growing. Just as resorts have expanded their boundaries, we're pushing ours— right up to those of the resort. You see, everything outside the resort gates is backcountry because it all has the same hazards, and it's time we started thinking about it as such. You may think it's as easy as leaving a gate, but before you do, check your facts against what you find on p. 55.
Above the azure water of Laguna Invernada and beyond the toothy summit of Cerro Azul are a few thousand seldom-skied acres of the Chilean Cordillera. It's almost always winter there, even in a record-low snow year. After all, it's called La Valle Invernada— The Wintered Valley. But when three gringos head there in search of snow, they find that getting into the valley, and onto the 12,000-foot volcanoes that dominate the landscape, isn't exactly easy.
The Other Side
Death of the sidecountry.
Volcanoes, beer and surfing.
Our readers bang on.
Biff gets serviced.
On tour with Island Lake Lodge, British Columbia's newest cat- accessed touring option.
Cold As Ice
Seven Summits kid Jordan Romero on skiing Antarctica.
The Guy Who Skis Alone
Brad Zeerip, the guy with the coolest last name in skiing.
With massive development in the works, can Jay Peak stay true to its roots?
A Place For Everyone
An Uphill Battle
What goes up....
Skin Glue Part Two. Things get sticky.
Knee Deep in Trouble.
Sidecountry? There is no sidecountry.
What you should bring when you go out there.
Editors' Choice Beer
Tried & New
The editor's split bindings.