Explore Utah’s Backcountry Powder
By Alexandra Frisch
Powder snow is the Holy Grail for skiers and riders, and now more than ever, people are leaving the boundaries of official ski areas and entering backcountry terrain to find it. Backcountry.com reported a 43 percent spike in retail categories such as touring bindings, boots and avalanche beacons. With a wider array of alpine touring (AT) gear, the traditional barriers that kept the backcountry a relative no man’s land are disappearing, making it easier for Park City visitors and locals to venture out into wild terrain. With such an influx of people into the backcountry it is important to remember this safety tip: do not leave ski boundaries unless you’re informed, equipped, or with an expert guide.
Wasatch Powderbird Guides Skiing with Wasatch Powderbird Guides is an unforgettable experience. Tours include an epic day of white-room powder shots and a surplus of smiles and memories that will last a lifetime. Wasatch Powderbird Guides offers both regular operations and private charters. In the regular operations, clients can purchase one seat or more. In the private charter, groups or individuals can rent a helicopter for their exclusive use and access to the backcountry. Groups will be led by expert tour guides who truly know and appreciate the lay of the land.
Park City Powder Cats and Heli-Ski Home to some of the most diverse and highest quality powder skiing and riding in North America, Park City Powder Cats and Heli-Ski is truly a unique and exhilarating experience. Their private resort encompasses more than 40,000 acres of the Thousand Peaks Ranch, a powder hound’s dream. Park City Powder Cats and Heli-Ski offers guided snowcat skiing and riding as well as privately booked heli-skiing. The newly streamlined operation has developed several thousand acres of new terrain and boasts some of the best aspen and fir tree skiing and riding in North America.
If skiing isn’t your thing but you still want to get out and enjoy a powder day, cruising through the Wasatch on a snowmobile just may be your ticket to adventure. Accessing winter backcountry that is usually unreachable, participating in winter exercise with more speed and ease than snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, and seeing wildlife in its natural habitat are some highlights of snowmobiling. Safety helmets, visor or goggles, and warm clothing are essential when snowmobiling. Not riding alone, being prepared for avalanches, and avoiding frozen lakes and rivers are a few cautions to heed when on the trail.
Summit Meadow Adventures Deer Valley The Deer Valley-operated Summit Meadow Adventures snowmobile tours take place on the Garff Ranch, just ten minutes outside Park City. With access to over 7,000 acres of immaculate open lands on which to snowmobile there is sure to be a terrain type for every skill and comfort level. Forty-seven Deer Valley-owned 2013/2014 Ski-Doos make up their fleet. Snowsuits, boots and gloves are available for rent and goggles or protective eyewear is recommended. Helmets are mandatory and are included in the rental price.
Thousand Peaks Snowmobiling Adventures Snowmobiling at Thousand Peaks gives you exclusive access to over 60,000 private acres of amazing backcountry on Utah’s largest mountain ranch. Don’t get caught sightseeing housing developments, circling sagebrush fields, or sharing crowded, bumpy trails on public land. Experience scenic river valleys, huge open bowls and the highest snowmobiling trips in Utah (11,000 ft) with views all the way to Wyoming all on brand new 2014 Ski-Doo snowmobiles. Awarded “Utah’s Best Snowmobile Adventure,” you can expect world-class service from their friendly, certified staff. Thousand Peaks Snowmobiling Adventures strives to give you “Room to Ride.” Cruise private groomed trails, discover winter wildlife, explore giant powder-filled bowls, and warm up in their backcountry log cabin. Ride more, see more, experience more.
No matter how you choose to explore the backcountry, remember to always be prepared and never push the limits. Backcountry skiing, riding, and snowmobiling are exhilarating winter activities enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities but it is important to remember that staying within your personal boundaries and respecting the rules of the resort or snowmobile trail are the best way to ensure everyone has the best powder day possible.