April 9, 2010, Newsletter Issue #293: How to Choose Backcountry Skis

Tip of the Week

When you hear the call of the wild, will you be ready to answer? The backcountry provides the adventurous skier with the opportunity to enjoy the ultimate solitude of the ungroomed, untracked and unexplored terrain. However, this highly advanced sport requires a special type of ski. Backcountry skiers do not have the luxury of ski lifts or gondolas. In fact, for backcountry enthusiasts, the hike is a significant part of the thrill. For this reason, backcountry skis will be lighter than alpine skis. In most cases, situations that require greater balance, such as carrying a backpack, soft powder and varying snow conditions, require a wider platform. For this reason, backcountry skis require a minimum of a 50mm wide waist.

If you plan to ski backcountry terrain where you might encounter some trees, choose a ski with a 10mm to 20mm sidecut. This will facilitate the type of short turns that are needed to avoid close encounters with tree trunks. Backcountry skis are designed with a Nordic type of camber, which is the ski's central arch. This type of camber is required for the forward movement that is used in classic striding techniques. Skis designed for the backcountry also have metal edges, which help grip the snow in icy conditions.

About LifeTips

Now one of the top on-line publishers in the world, LifeTips offers tips to millions of monthly visitors. Our mission mission is to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Expert writers earn dough for what they know. And exclusive sponsors in each niche topic help us make-it-all happen.

Not finding the advice and tips you need on this Skiing Tip Site? Request a Tip Now!

Guru Spotlight
Carma Spence-Pothitt