Ski Like a Girl with Stacey Peterson in the Backcountry
Stacey Peterson has worked at outdoor DIVAS for 3 years and has tested gear for Skiing Magazine. We hope you enjoy reading about her adventure in the high country.
Fresh powder, beautiful scenery, no lift-lines and the satisfaction of earning every turn, are a few of the motivating factors to ski in the backcountry. With the flakes falling in Colorado backcountry I ventured out to Butler’s Gulch, which is at the bottom of the South side of Berthoud Pass, with a couple of buddies to ski some fresh snow.
While backcountry skiing is a wonderful way to experience nature and bring the sport back to its roots, there comes a great deal of risk. Avalanches are a reality. The first step is to enroll in an Avalanche course, learning how to safely navigate the backcountry. A wilderness first-aid course is also well advised. With the right gear and knowledge the possibilities are almost limitless on where you can explore.
Before heading out it is extremely important to have a well packed bag with the essentials for being outside in the cold all day.
General Packing List
- Beacon, Shovel, Probe
- Adjustable poles
- Down Jacket (put this on during breaks to prevent getting cold because once you get cold it’s really hard to get warm again)
- Extra Layers/socks
- Food (sandwich, GU shots, thermos of tea)
- Extra set of gloves, mittens
- Head Lamp
- Sunglasses/goggles (you want something on pretty much the entire time to prevent snow blindness)
- Camera (you will want to capture where you go)
We rolled into the Henderson Mine parking lot around 9:00 AM fueled up and ready to start our trek up. With a starting elevation of about 10,000ft and about a 900 ft. elevation gain the tour took us through some forested areas with a fairly mellow climb.