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Backcountry ski and snowboard gear, camping

Skiing up the south side of Ralston Peak

Winter Solitude:  There is no substitute for getting out in the backcountry when it is snowed over.  The landscape takes on a completely different look, the cold scares away most weekend warriors, and the blanket of snow makes everything quieter and more peaceful.

Select Tours:  This is just a sampling of some of the more popular tours in the Tahoe area.  Try these, or pull out your maps and find your own spots to go.  


Safety

The Tahoe backcountry can be a very dangerous place in winter.  Check weather and avalanche conditions before you go, and learn how to spot and identify terrain prone to slides.  Carry avalanche gear and understand how to use it.  Know your route and carry maps and orienteering tools -- including compass and, if you are a gear freak, a GPS receiver -- and know how to use them.  The routes described on this site are informational only, and our descriptions do not substitute for your own research and common sense.  

One more basic tip:  even if you are a backcountry guru, don't ski alone.  If you break your leg or fall head first into a tree well and can't move, all of your warm clothes and fancy gear won't help get your ass out of the backcountry, but a friend will.  That said, skiing alone in the backcountry can provide a level of solitude that is unmatched anywhere.  If you do so, understand your abilities and limits, and accept the risks.

If you are a novice, learn by going into the backcountry with more experienced skiers, or educate yourself through the many winter survival/mountaineering courses offered in the Sierras. 


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