There really is no better way to travel in the backcountry in the winter than by skis (though dog sledders, snowmobilers, and snowshoers may argue this point). That said, people have been using skis to travel in snowy regions for ages. It’s super efficient, a great low-impact workout — which is more popular concept now than it may have been during other periods in history — and it’s just plain old fun. Moreover, the ravines, gullies, CCC tails, and forests in the White Mountains are breathtakingly beautiful, especially after a fresh coating of powder. To visit them by skis is one of those ultimate experiences. Seductively sublime. Join us.
Knowing the Mt Washington Valley’s forests and surrounding backcountry areas the way we do, we have a terrific selection of ski opportunities: ravines (Tuckerman Ravine, Gulf of Slides, etc.), CCC trails (Sherbie, GOS Trails, Wildcat, etc.), gullies (Hillman’s Highway, etc.), sunrise and sunset tours, frozen river, lake, and waterfall tours, fire roads and closed trails and rail grades, secluded forest tours through pristine woodlands, and so much more. Our Nordic and Alpine Touring backcountry ski offerings begin with a half day, lasting 3-4 hours or so. We can double this to a full day lasting 6-8 hours or so. We can also extend (9-12 hours) and hyperextend (12-16 hours) the day as needed depending on your objective (ask for pricing). Please include any special desires you may have, if applicable, in the comments box of our Booking Form.
What to Wear
To ensure everyone’s safety and comfort, we offer this important clothing information. When dressing for ski touring you always want to note the following. Please note that the clothing specifics will vary by the conditions, destination, and specific activity. Thus, not all of this clothing may be needed.
- Think layers. While a ski jacket, for example, may be warm and waterproof, if the insulation can’t be separated from the rain/snow protection layer, it really isn’t suitable. You will overheat if you need rain/snow protection while touring. Bring independent layers. Having our “Ready Pack” will solve the matter offering all you will need.
- Never wear cotton, even at the underwear level. Synthetic materials, wool, and especially performance/wicking materials should be your clothing of choice. For ski touring, since cotton won’t dry and doesn’t insulate while wet, it can pose a hazard. You will want to wear the right type of sports or ski clothing and you will want to bring extra.
- Bring more than you think you need. Mountain weather can be very tricky and unpredictable. While it may be nice in town, the mountains can be very different. Being prepared can save your life.
- For footwear, you will want a medium to heavy ski touring boot with gaiters meant for a backcountry-rated Nordic binding (specifically NNN/BC if renting locally) or, if alpine touring, you will want an AT-specific ski boot. This is part of the local rentals if getting skis.
- And your noggin, not a concern unless you’re on an alpine tour with us. Helmets are then required (outsourced gear).
- Avalanche gear, such as a beacon, shovel, and probe, will be provided to you presently at no extra charge should we ski in marginal terrain. That said, it is our aim to stay out of said terrain altogether unless conditions are low danger range.
For your backcountry ski gear needs, in addition to your own non-cotton base layers, hiking/climbing/skiing pants with shirt, and rentable footwear, as described above, we offer three options. Click to expand. Please note that the gear specifics will vary by the conditions, destination, and specific activity. Thus, not all of this gear may be needed.
Gear Option 1 - Open
Gear Option 1 - Close
- Personal first aid kit/meds.
- Personal hygiene items.
- Camera/phone (weather-protected).
- Lip balm, sun block.
- Sunglasses (goggles are included with Ready Packs).
- Proper footwear (see information above).
- Proper clothing layering (see information above).
- Seasonal specialty clothing (see information above).
SPECIAL NOTE: You may get a “Ready Pack, Lean” or “Alpine Ready Pack, Lean,” depending on your needs, without food and water for $30/person/day, or $60/person/day, respectively.
SPECIAL NOTE: You can also order just food and water for $15/person/day. (Available with any option.)
Gear Option 2 - Open
Gear Option 2 - Close
- A lined pack with hip belt and room for the items below (~40-50 liters).
- Rain jacket and pants, or rain poncho (mountain weather can be quite wet).
- Mountain-rated insulated layer (mountains are much colder than in town).
- Winter-rated mid-layer (much colder).
- Food for the day, plus extra.
- Water for the day, at least 2 liters, plus extra.
- Seasonally-rated hat, gloves/mittens.
- Headlamp with spare batteries (or backup device).
- Whistle or sound-making device (sternum strap whistles are okay).
- Tarp, bivvy, or personal shelter.
- A lightweight emergency sleeping pad.
Plus any of these applicable Specialty Gear Items, which may be rented…
- Headlamp, $5/person/day.
- Trekking poles, Gaiters, Microspikes, $15/set/person/day (ski poles will substitute).
- Climbing helmet, $5/person/day.
- Balaclava, Goggles, Mitts, $15/set/person/day (deep cold).
- Down blend puffy, $25/person/day (deep cold).
- Gear Insurance, $10/person/day.
- Plus any outsourced gear items, call for current pricing.
SPECIAL NOTE: If any outsourced gear such as Nordic or Alpine Touring (AT) backcountry skis is needed, we can rent it ahead of time for you for $40 plus the applicable rental fees.
Gear Option 3 - Open
Gear Option 3 - Close
Okay… Let’s Do This!
Here is the pricing and other information you’ll probably want to know.
|Half Day BC Ski Pricing|
|For one person||$125|
|For two people||$175|
|Added people||$75 each|
|Full Day BC Ski Pricing|
|For one person||$200|
|For two people||$325|
|Added people||$150 each|
|Premium BC Ski Options|
|Make it private||Add $75|
|Sunrise or sunset||Add $100|
|Extensions||Ask or Call|
- The difficulty of this activity is as requested.
- This activity has a 1:4 guide/guest ratio.
- The maximum group size is 4 with 1 guide.
- For parties larger than 4, please contact us.
- Gratuities not included; 15-20% is customary for a good job.