Rocky Mountain National Park offers more than 265,000 acres of mountainous, snow-covered backcountry terrain. While much of this is skiable in winter, there’s just one problem: There aren’t any lifts. That means that if you want to ski inside the park, you must “earn your turns.” In other words, you gotta get up to get down. Backcountry skiing and snowboarding are very popular inside the park, offering both great exercise and incredible views of peaks that most only ever see in the summer. Plan properly, get equipped, and be ready for a workout. Climbing a mountain is even more fun in the snow.
Preparing for a day in the backcountry
Before ever heading into the backcountry it’s important to properly train and equip yourself in the case of an avalanche, injury, or another unexpected incident. Always have an avalanche beacon, shovel, and probe on you, as well as a winter-specific backpack that can carry this gear. You’ll also need plenty of water, food, and appropriate ski or snowboard gear. And, critically, you must have a buddy with all of the same equipment. Never ski or snowboard in the backcountry alone.
Check with the Colorado Avalanche Information