Coming on a Guided Sun Valley Backcountry Ski Trip?
Check out these tips from Crystal Winn, Backcountry Country Babes Trip Leader, Guide and Ski Patroller.
1. Come Prepared:
- Your guides will take care of your daily itinerary, asses the snowpack, and give you a weather report, but it’s not a bad idea to do a little investigating yourself, too. You will feel more involved and better prepared. There is nothing better than pulling out maps and looking at the weather and avalanche forecast before I go on a trip to get excited.
2. Arrive Feeling Fit:
- Try to work some sort of exercise into your schedule every day. Whether it’s going out for a ski tour, getting in a run and some yoga, working out at the gym, or walking to work, you will be way more psyched once you arrive at 8,000 feet and begin skinning. This way, you can focus more on enjoying touring and skiing through the beautiful burned monochromatic forest, a truly unique experience.
3. Pack Light:
- You will only need the essentials you go out day touring with, plus a couple luxury items to keep you cozy in the yurts. For packing purposes think about having to carry everything you bring, on your back on day one. We’ll get a snowmobile boost most of the way into the yurt, but the last 2 miles are on our skis. No need for a new pair of long underwear everyday…
- The yurts have everything from ceramic mugs for your coffee and comfortable sleeping mats, to magazines and games to keep you entertained. Save room for those luxury items- click here for a pro packing list.
4. Be a Good Yurt Mate.
- There are dialed methods for yurt living in the wilderness, which your guides will go over once you arrive. Here are a couple insider tips: Make sure to dry out your ski socks and gloves by the fire, but not too close. Keep your items organized so you can find your belongings, this will enable you to get dressed first thing in the morning. Collect snow for the snow melting pot. It’s a good deed your yurt mates will love, but it also brings you outside to view a star filled night sky like you’ve never seen before.
5. Take First Tracks, But Not All of Them:
- On guided backcountry trips, you’ll get plenty of first tracks. I’ll also share a little secret from a tail guide’s perspective: Skiing last is the best! You can see where everyone else lays down their track and then you have the rest to yourself. People tend to follow where others have gone, which leaves you with fresh tracks and the feeling of solitude.
6. Listen to Your Guide:
- This one seems obvious, but I have been in many situations where a guide will lay out the law and then inevitably someone will break it. You don’t want to be “that gal”. Our guides are highly trained, experienced, and competent individuals who are in it for your best interest. If they tell you to ski within a certain area, or tell you where not to ski, it is to keep you as safe as possible. There could be hazards they are trying to keep you away from, or simply, they could be making sure you get another amazing powder run in.
7. Take the Powder Plunge:
- The wood fired sauna will be cranking and your muscles will be sore. Not only does it feel good to hop back in the hot sauna after plunging your bare body into the snow, but it also has really good therapeutic qualities. Wilderness spa anyone?
8. Eat, Drink, Sleep, Ski, Repeat:
- The food is fabulous and tastes that much better when you’ve skied hard all day. Your guides will build a fire and prepare dinner while you sit back, relax and enjoy a glass of wine with appetizers. Even though we’ve been told a million times, I’ll remind us all again, stay hydrated. There is nothing worse than a wine hangover holding you back from enjoying that sparkly champagne powder. Did someone say champagne? Okay, powder usually fixes all problems.
Blog Post By Crystal Winn
Crystal WinnCrystal is a Lake Tahoe native who professionally ski patrolled at Squaw Valley for 7 years, is a Licensed Avalanche Blaster, has her OEC Certification, is an AIARE course instructor, backcountry skier and one of the kindest and most humble adventurers you’ll ever meet. When she's not leading Backcountry Babes trips, you'll find Crystal in Bend, Sun Valley, Switzerland, Antarctica, or Lake Tahoe.
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