What do you need before backcountry skiing in Breckenridge?
Avalanche & Backcountry Safety Education
Breckenridge has lots of opportunities for you to get involved in classes and learning seminars involving backcountry gear, avalanche safety, as well backcountry first aid. Groups such as Backcountry Babes and Colorado Adventure Guides offer formal avalanche training through The American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education as well as hands-on, intro-style seminars aimed at introducing newbies to the backcountry. Be sure to refer often to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, which provides daily reports designed to help you travel safely in the backcountry and is a MUST read before planning any type of backcountry travel. Learn more about avalanche awareness through Know Before You Go.
The right gear
Avalanche transceiver/Beacon, Shovel and Probe at a minimum. Make sure you know how to use it.
Where can you rent or buy backcountry gear in Breckenridge?
Don’t have gear? Specialty stores like Mountain Outfitters and Underground Snowboards offer a variety of different gear for you to rent or purchase to get you started. The staff at Mountain Outfitters can also point you to local guidebooks with route suggestions and even offer you some of their personal favorites tailored to the current conditions.
Having a good base fitness level plays an important role in your safety when it comes to backcountry activities. Hone in on your skills and lungs at the gym and by skinning up the ski resort, get familiar with all of your gear and dial in your water and nutrition levels in a controlled environment before heading out into the backcountry. The more you know about yourself and your gear, the safer you will be while traveling around in the mountains.
Be Prepared – for anything!
Be ready for anything. Pack your bag as if you were spending the night out in the middle of the winter. Make sure you have plenty of extra layers, gloves, hats, buffs and an emergency medical kit in case anything were to happen while you are in the backcountry. Pack plenty of food and water, and don’t forget your headlamp. It may seem like you are bringing way too much, but that little bit of extra weight could end up saving you, or someone else’s life, in case of an emergency. Be safe and pack smart.
Know where you’re going
Make sure you familiarize yourself with the area. Know the terrain well enough to navigate it safely and pinpoint your location in case of an emergency. Bring a map and always tell someone where you are going and what time you expect to be back–better yet, go with a buddy. Having another person along could be the saving grace in an emergency situation.