You can enjoy ski touring, as known as backcountry skiing, in the United States at its fullest. Let’s take a look at our top 7 destinations for ski touring in North America. By the way, all of the below-listed routes are quite friendly for beginners!
Picture Courtesy: Washington State Dept of Transportation CC-BY-SA 3.0
7. Stevens Pass, Washington:
In an hour of driving from Seattle, reliable powder and easily accessible slopes await you for having a ski touring journey. Stevens Pass is the place where east collides with the west: storms coming from the Pacific encounter cold air lowering off the Canadian Rockies. It means that you will have a comparatively lasting seaside snowpack, which is characterized by mild temperatures and heavy snowfalls. The snowpack in these places lasts until May and comes together in the forms of glades, bowls, and chutes. There is a prime terrain which will be appropriate for beginners, and which lies within the limits of a simple hike from the place of parking (on the Seattle’s northeast). It is an undoubtedly perfect choice for both beginners and experts who will find appropriate trails for themselves.
Picture Courtesy: Park City Ski Resort CC-BY-SA 3.0
6. Utah Interconnect, Utah:
Enjoy a backcountry tour in one of the six most famous resorts of the world. You may ask your friend to teach ski touring or attempt it on your own, but isn’t it better to use the services of Utah Interconnect? Utah Interconnect implies a guided tour starting from Deer Valley Ski Resort and going through Snowbird, Alta, Solitude, Brighton, and Park City ski areas while stretching out up to 25 miles. In order to make the tour more effective, creators included here 12 lifts that help you to avoid climbing for 16,000 feet in total. It is a wonderful introduction to route finding, powder harvesting, and terrain selection in the field. All beginners are welcome here, of course.
Picture Courtesy: Phil Armitage CC-BY-SA 3.0
5. Beartooth Pass, Montana:
It is a perfect destination for backcountry skiing in the spring, which boasts short-hike couloirs of quite moderate levels. Spring is, in fact, the time about which dream many local skiers. The snowpack gets stabilized at this season, and the Beartooth Pass becomes easily accessible. If you head from the parking lot to hike 100 feet until you get to the Gardner Headwall, you will see three visible chutes there – the East Chute, Main Chute, and Hourglass. Each of them boasts 1000-foot drops, 50-degree entrances, and snowfields of the size of football fields. What else do you need for enjoying a ski touring?
Picture Courtesy: Fredlyfish4 CC-BY-SA 3.0
4. Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho:
Enjoy backcountry skiing in the place where you will not find huge crowds which will only spoil the fun. Boasting modest, forested slopes which transform into almost vertical gullies, the harbor of Idaho’s Sawtooth has the perfect conditions as well as terrain for skiers who want to test their skiing skills. It will be a good choice for both beginners and experienced skiers.
Picture Courtesy: Sugar Bowl Resort CC-BY-SA 3.0
3. Sugar Bowl – Squaw Valley, California:
In this place, you undoubtedly must enjoy ski touring in the spine of the Sierra. The Sierras are indeed famous, thanks to the backpacking tourism, yet in the winter, they become completely covered with snow and blissful solitude. You may take a Tahoe’s High Route which stretches out up to 12 miles and lasts for two days, beginning from the Sugar Bowl Ski Area and ending at the Squaw Valley Resort. It guarantees that you will get memorable experience.
Picture Courtesy: Boogiejet CC-BY-SA 3.0
2. Mt. Marcy, New York:
You have to experience breathtaking skiing from the very top of the highest peak of the state. This destination boasts something many backcountry riders and skiers could only dream about: large vertical drops along with a low risk of avalanche. Mt Marcy (its highest peak located on the high of 5,344 feet – the highest in the state) is connected to a popular nearby ski resort Whiteface Mountain, thus creating the longest vertical drop in the Eastern part of the country, which is equal to 3,166 feet from the top. Are you a daredevil? Then it is your choice.
1. Catamount Trail (Bolton Valley Nordic Center – Trapp Family Lodge), Vermont:
Attempt to experience one of the most untamed tours! This 300-mile-long route has served for many years as a connective link between two ski resorts for ski touring. You can take one of the most popular routes, which stretches out up to 9.4 miles starting from the Bolton Valley Nordic Center and ending at the Trapp Family Lodge. Pay attention that the first half of the trail is the most rugged, and therefore, you must be careful. In general, the Catamount Trail has a lot of options on offer for you.
However, these top 7 destinations for ski touring are among the best not only in America but in the whole world, and every real fan of ski touring must visit them at least once.