Experienced backcountry enthusiasts will have a good handle on their ability and their comfort levels. However, for anyone who is thinking of checking us for the first time, we hope the following advice will be helpful in choosing an appropriate tour.
The most important consideration is your crew. Making sure everyone is of similar ability and fitness level. For example, on a week of winter touring, this allows everyone to ski at a similar pace on terrain that is safe and suitable for the entire group. This is especially important in the event of bad weather/unexpected circumstances.
- Moderate: Fitness level and/or past experience to sustain the activity at a moderate pace is required. Expect to be active for 4-6 hours per day. Reasonable breaks in the action.
- Active: Suitable for those with recent similar experience and/or demonstrated proficiency, such as being active in sports or regular engagement in vigorous physical activity. Ability to perform at the expected level for back-to-back days on multi-day trips. Expect to be active for 5-6 hours per day, with brief breaks.
- Advanced: Most physically and mentally demanding. Fitness for the specific activity is required with direct experience in the activity highly recommended and potentially mandatory. Expect to be active 6+ hours per day for back-to-back days. Breaks will be shorter/fewer than for other levels of trips. Trips may involve carrying a heavy pack (up to 50 pounds).
Here’s a quick, general overview of how to train for a backcountry tour:
- Build strength in your lower body. You’ll rely heavily on your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and hips to get you into the backcountry and to descend deep-powder slopes.
- Beef up muscles that provide control and balance. Working core muscles and the muscles around your hips helps you maintain good body position.
- Increase endurance. You’ll need plenty of stamina to get to where you want to go—and back again—after a day in the backcountry.
- Crank up your cardio. There aren’t a lot of ski lifts or gondolas where you’ll be going, so you need to add cardio activities like running, biking, or interval training.
Before beginning any training plan, check-in with your doctor or a certified training professional.
While most of our tours are considered advanced, contact us if you require further options for your tour.