Welcome to the Backcountry Skiing course! Let's start with an introduction to the sport and the legend himself, Chris Davenport!
We call this lesson, "Things to Keep in Mind Before Traveling in the Backcountry." But you can call it, "Check yourself before you wreck yourself." By taking a good hard look at your ability level, your attitude, your ski partners, your gear, and more, you're becoming a smarter and safer backcountry skier right out of the gate.
Across these 6 chapters, we'll become familiar with a range of key topics—from understanding why most avalanches occur, to what goes into digging a proper snow pit.
Without the right partner(s) in the backcountry, nothing else matters. This lesson focuses on the importance of this selection process and the consequences of selecting poorly.
You're only as good as your gear in the backcountry and, fortunately, Chris dove DEEP into his gear preferences for this lesson. Whether you already own a perfect setup or need to dial in the details, the following three chapters are absolutely for you.
Like everything in the backcountry, walking uphill isn't as simple as it sounds. Here, we break down the best skinning technique, as well as accompanying situations like breaking trail and executing the perfect kick turn. There's plenty to consider in the safety category of fly fishing—from emergency prevention to proper fish handling.
Before every safe and smart backcountry adventure comes a lot of homework. And a big part of that homework is nailing your route. In this lesson, Chris explains his process—from the early stages researching at home, to executing on the mountain with proper GPS tools.
While backcountry skiing absolutely makes you a fitter skier, it can't stand alone as your sole fitness source. Truly enjoying the backcountry requires workouts on and off the hill. And when you're in the right shape, that's when the sport gets extra fun.
So much goes into the perfect backcountry day, and it's a shame to waste all that preparation by rushing into a line. This lesson delves into this decision-making process and why communication with your partner becomes extra important.
The community of backcountry skiers is a passionate one, not to be messed with. Be sure to understand etiquette to ensure everyone's having a good time and feeling welcome.
Backcountry skiing opens up a world of ski adventures, from hut trips to heli-skiing, you're entering a whole new exciting realm.
You're ready. Chris will send you off with some important next steps and things to keep in mind.
Two-time World Champion skier Chris Davenport is widely regarded as one of the premier big mountain skiers in the world today. Among his many ski mountaineering achievements, in 2007 Chris became the first person to ski all fifty-four of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks in less than one year. He has numerous first descents of peaks around the globe under his belt, and recently guided and skied on Mt. Everest. Chris has been featured in more than thirty ski films by Warren Miller and Matchstick Productions. He is also a TV commentator for ESPN, ABC sports, and Outside Television, and is an Olympic and World Cup announcer for ski racing events. Chris is the author of Ski The 14ers and Fifty Classic Ski Descents of North America.