The rec.skiing.backcountry Frequently Asked Questions list

The material in this FAQ is directed to novice backcountry skiers. It contains brief descriptions of the basic ideas and techniques of backcountry skiing, comments on the equipment used during backcountry skiing, and safety concerns related to backcountry travel in the winter. For more detailed information on these topics, the reader should consult the resources presented at the end of this FAQ.

This FAQ does not contain equipment reviews. These are available from various other sources, including magazines and this newsgroup.

Finally, this FAQ does not contain information on specific ski routes. The bibliography contains a list of guide books, sorted by location, that contain this information.



The rec.skiing.backcountry FAQ is a compendium of questions
and answers that frequently appear on rec.skiing.backcountry.
Neither the contributors to the FAQ, the posters of the FAQ,
nor their employers make any claim whatsoever regarding the
accuracy or safety of ANYTHING in the FAQ. Any item that
may appear to be offering either medical or legal advice
is doing neither.


Links to the questions:

1. What is backcountry skiing all about?

2. What are the types of backcountry skiing?

2.1 What is overland ski touring?
2.2 What is mountain ski touring?
2.3 Should I go with AT gear or tele gear?

3. Is backcountry skiing safe?

3.1 How do I prepare for the weather and exposure?
3.2 Are avalanches something to worry about?
3.3 Is it ok to ski by myself?
3.4 What's the injury rate for telemark skiing?

4. What type of skis do I need?

4.1 What the difference between double and single camber skis?
4.2 What are overland touring skis?
4.3 What about telemark skis?
4.4 What are randonee and AT skis?
4.5 Can I use alpine skis for backcountry skiing?
4.6 What are the pros and cons of using epoxy, white glue or nothing on a new mounting job?
4.7 How close can I drill new holes next to old ones?

5. How about the ski boots?

5.0 My feet hurt, what should I do?
5.1 What are overland touring boots?
5.2 What about telemark boots, should I use plastic?
5.3 How should I choose alpine touring boots?
5.4 Can I use my alpine ski boots?

6. What are these different ski bindings?

6.1 What are integral touring bindings?
6.2 Should I use three pin and cable bindings for telemarking?
6.3 What about alpine Touring bindings?
6.4 Do any alpine bindings work?

7. Do I need adjustable ski poles?

7.1 How long should my poles be for overland touring?
7.2 Will my alpine ski pole work?
7.3 Do I need avalanche probe poles?

8. Can I use a snowboard in the backcountry?

8.1 What should I know about snowboards?
8.2 How do I carry a snowboard in the backcountry?
8.3 What are split boards?
8.4 What can I use to climb?

9. What else do I need?

9.1 How do I get uphill?
9.2 Is there safety equipment that I need?
9.3 What should I wear?
9.4 What do I need for winter camping?
9.5 Using backcountry sleds
9.6 What does your checklist look like?

10. How about telemark racing?

11. Where can I get gear?

12. Are there any good books on the subject?

12.1 Skiing technique books
12.2 Periodicals
12.3 Internet Locations
12.4 Guide books

13. Guide services, instruction and organizations

14. Backcountry huts and yurts on the web

15. Some basic physics of skiing.

Charter for rec.skiing.backcountry

For discussion of backcountry skiing, and backcountry skiing issues including avalanche awareness, avalanche avoidance, trail access, and trail use issues. Discussion of minimum impact skiing, and winter survival techniques would belong in this group. Discussion of equipment for the back country skier might belong in this group however, other groups might be more appropriate for discussion of different types of equipment. Discussion of snow cat, heli-skiing and interconnect adventures belong in this group. Also for discussion of telemark and alpine touring. Note: The RESORT ONLY TELEMARK skiers are welcome to post in this group.

Editorial note:

The rec.skiing.backcountry FAQ is a work in progress and is maintained by David Eyre. Assistance with the HTML markup and graphics was provided by Shamim Mohamed. So far the emphasis of this FAQ is on mountain skiing. This reflects the interests of the authors and newsgroup, and not an editorial bias. If you have comments on topics that are included or not included, please feel free to write a paragraph or two and it will be included in future versions. The rec.skiing FAQ in rec.skiing.announce contains more skiing related material.