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Inbounds: Off the Map

Inbounds: Off the Map

By Chris Fellows
posted: 03/08/2010
Inbounds: Off the Map

How To Ski It

Without leaving the ski area, you can find countless secret stashes, hidden nooks and crannies and hike-to lines that feel as distant and unexplored as the deep backcountry. Be prepared to work a little—hiking or bootpacking into the trees or up a ridgeline—and always ski with a partner. You’ll have to contend with ungroomed, variable snow, and you’d be wise to scout your line and exit route. If terrain isn’t designated on a map, it’s probably not patrolled, so look out for hazards such as trees, rock bands, cliffs and cornices that require a mix of imagination, commitment, caution and advanced skills and tactics.


When hiking or kick-stepping more than a couple hundred feet—especially on knife-edge ridges—slinging your skis over one shoulder is foolhardy. It can throw off your balance, and it only leaves one arm for poling.  Secure your skis to a daypack, and use your poles as walking sticks.

[ Tip ] Choose a pack that allows you to attach your skis base to base, diagonally across your back and close to your body, which reduces swing weight. A-frame attachments also work, but they can make you feel top heavy. A truly minimalist ski-carrying device is a 10-foot piece of webbing that attaches to your skis and loops around your shoulders.

What To Take

Where To Find It

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