These days, snowshoeing is easy on packed and marked trails, but a lesser known secret about the winter ski experience is guided adventures in the backcountry.
Perhaps the term backcountry or adventure paints pictures of avalanches and extreme skiing movies. The fact is that this type of snowshoeing can mean anything from a quiet morning tromp through the woods, getting back in time for a bowl of hot soup in front of the fireplace, to a challenging all-day tramp to the top of the world. You can maneuver up hills and then swoosh back down, but if you don’t want any hills, you can snowshoe over frozen snow covered lakes, alongside rivers, or through meadows.
Guides can virtually hold you by the hand or offer a recommendation for a self-guided tour. They can suggest appropriate equipment and clothing to make it a more comfortable experience and they can offer ski instruction to a first-timer. Expect an experienced guide to help snowshoers master higher skill levels or lead those who are advanced on more extreme expeditions reaching new heights.
Adventure guides can plan your trip to match your skill level and desired intensity. The value of a guide is that your comfort level is increased multifold. That is because the experienced guide knows about trail and terrain selection to fit the snowshoer’s level; he or she knows technique tips to help successfully crossing terrain in different types of snow conditions. Most of all, the guide will give you personal attention and help you to avoid backcountry calamity.
A resort vacation is great, but while you’re there take half a day to snowshoe off into the untouched powder where the snow is fresh and fluffy. The pace might be like a long hiking trip – where you can hustle along if you’re looking for a killer workout, or just take your time and enjoy the scenery. Most guides love to talk, too. So, expect some gab about local historical, geological or interpretive to provide a more informative and interesting experience.
Guide services to backcountry adventures on XCSkiResorts.com include Vista Verde Ranch in Colo.; High Peaks Adventures in N.Y.; Bredeson Outdoor Adventures in Conn. and Vt.; International Mountain Climbing School in N.H.; and Swan Mountain Ranch in Mont.
Other guides services include Sun Valley Trekking in Idaho; Hilltop Adventures in Mass.; Randonnee Tours in Eastern/Central Canada; Northern Cascades Mountain Guides in Wash.; White Pine Touring in Utah; Alpine Skills in Calif.; and Yellowstone Expeditions in Mont.
For more information about some great snowshoeing destinations in the U.S. and beyond, visit www.XCskiresorts.com.