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Backcountry and Side-country tips, tactics and locations. Where are you looking? Where are you going? or Where have you been?

MidnightJester

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Oct 7, 2011
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It seems the Brandon gap has one of the nicest access to multiple "ground cleared gladed and cut runs" that has a good support network (people around if you get in trouble). I am only picking up on these from some of the writings/posts I have found and a video or two.


Awesome video discussing Good backcountry areas by the people that wrote the Best backcountry book and built some of the GBA/RASTA zones

 

MidnightJester

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Best Backcountry starting spot I know of in Vermont not counting your own hike and ride spots : )
BrandonGapmap2019-1024x663.jpg
 

MidnightJester

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I would also say a great starting Backcountry-ish hike and ski or ride is the Birthday Bowls @ "Smugglers Notch mountain Pass". Park on the Smugglers side of the pass at the end of Route 108. Follow the road/trail on foot after the gate and a giant tree lined bowl awaits. You can also side-country lift access this bowl from smuggler notch resort.


 
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MidnightJester

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Backcountry survival. You never want to but you should be able to do a few things. Having a lighter at least and a few good ideas is the best start.


Most Backcountry rescues if darkness or weather is out or coming on usually pause their rescues till the mornings if they know your locations do to safety . Next day rescues are more common then same day rescues I would think since friends and snow partners might not even alert people till the middle or end of the day.
 
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skiur

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Jan 27, 2012
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Not difficult to warm up a cold lighter, but it is quite difficult to dry wet matches.
 

MidnightJester

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Granite Backcountry Giving Abandoned Ski Areas New Life​

Bringing abandoned trails and ski areas back for backcountry riding
 
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crank

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Mar 3, 2005
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1,360
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Location
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I have some wax coated matches...supposedly they can get wet and still work.
 

eatskisleep

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Joined
Dec 23, 2003
Messages
1,562
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To name some areas that have good sidecountry, Sugarbush, Mad River, Stowe/Smuggs, Cannon, and Jay has great access to bc.
Rob… why do you always forget your favorite red headed step child? Aka Wildcat
#vailstillsucksbutwildcatisawesome
 

zyk

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Feb 10, 2010
Messages
414
Points
43
Looking at some spots near home but old fat and out of shapeScreenshot_20231014-055608.png
 

raisingarizona

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Nov 19, 2014
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1,083
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I’ll try to add a few things that don’t pertain to avalanche terrain.

A shovel. If you are stuck over night you can dig a snow cave that will keep your temps right around 28 degrees.

Headlamp. Even if you aren’t staying the night I’ll sometimes tour into the dark for one more lap. I’ve used a headlamp to get back to my car on several occasions.

Emergency blanket.

Small piece of insulated ridge rest for sitting on. This would be a really big deal if you are out really late or for the night. It’s also great for sitting on while eating lunch.

Basic med kit. I like to carry aspirin in case of cardiac emergency. We had a local skier here die a few years ago from a heart attack while touring.

Duct tape. Multi tool.

Just a few off the top of my head.
 
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zyk

Active member
Joined
Feb 10, 2010
Messages
414
Points
43
I’ll try to add a few things that don’t pertain to avalanche terrain.

A shovel. If you are stuck over night you can dig a snow cave that will keep your temps right around 28 degrees.

Headlamp. Even if you aren’t staying the night I’ll sometimes tour into the dark for one more lap. I’ve used a headlamp to get back to my car on several occasions.

Emergency blanket.

Small piece of insulated ridge rest for sitting on. This would be a really big deal if you are out really late or for the night. It’s also great for sitting on while eating lunch.

Basic med kit. I like to carry aspirin in case of cardiac emergency. We had a local skier here die a few years ago from a heart attack while touring.

Duct tape. Multi tool.

Just a few off the top of my head.
I'll add, and this some my hiking pack
Epipen
Resuscitation kit
Knife or two
Zip ties
Para cord
Super glue
Compass
Clothes a spare of everything including boots
Spikes
Lighters

I'll stop there for now
 

VTSkiBike

Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2020
Messages
59
Points
18
Location
Sugarbush & MRG
There's also some amazing BC skiing near Braintree, VT. It's all signed, mapped and even has a little warming hut at the base of the climb.

No way I'm giving up the locations of any other BC spots near me ;-)

I also carry an "Oh Shit Kit" for BC skiing. Broken equipment in the backcountry can turn a short skin into a death march through deep snow:

Leatherman multi tool
ski straps
binding screws of various lengths
dryer lint + lighter
extra boot buckle
skin hardware/straps
paracord
down jacket
hard warmers
zip ties

Lately I find myself doing a few BC laps instead of fighting crowds on powder days. A few quiet pow laps in the woods is much more relaxing and satisfying than the zoo that comes with resort skiing.
 

zyk

Active member
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Feb 10, 2010
Messages
414
Points
43
extra boots? Ski Boots?
Hiking boots in case my first pair get wet. I pack heavy because you never know😉
Edit I've learned from my mistakes. Knee deep in a stream because I stepped in the wrong place is no fun. Every mistake leads to learning and more gear.
 
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