It’s the way skiing started: touring uphill as well as downhill on skis designed for hunting and winter travel. Ski touring on backcountry terrain is now a rigorous high-alpine sport requiring wide boards and touring bindings, plus sophisticated safety gear like probes and avalanche transceivers. Yes, it takes a lot of effort, and it’s hard, physical work, but that’s what makes it so fun.
Fast becoming a winter wilderness hub, B.C.’s Fernie Alpine Resort has launched two-day Backcountry Basics courses that include an introduction to ski touring, training on uphill travel techniques, avalanche awareness and use of rescue equipment. Even better: Fernie’s famed Griz Bar is only steps away, and overnight lodging at Lizard Creek Lodge offers newer skiers a luxe alternative to traditional mountain huts.
More adventurous: Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland
For an adventure on the East Coast, head to Newfoundland’s legendary Gros Morne National Park, where Parks Canada maintains two secluded backcountry ski huts. The Bakers Brook Hut, situated in the Long Range mountains, offers a base for exploring Gros Morne’s famous fjords, while the Southwest Gulch Hut sits amid dramatic snow-filled bowls and steep mountain faces. Routes to both huts are best suited to experienced ski tourers.