The New York Times


The New York Times BACKCOUNTRY

The Breckenridge and Big Sky/Moonlight Basin improvements also reflect a trend sweeping the industry: bringing backcountry skiing – going beyond maintained trails to neighboring sections where avalanches are a risk but the rewards of fresh snow abound – to the resort guest. Over the past few years, Sno-Cat skiing, avalanche beacon training sessions, weeklong backcountry camps and guided out-of-bounds skiing have popped up as options at ski areas across the map. In part, the trend can be attributed to advances in gear by which snowboards and shaped skis have made off-piste riding easier for the advanced intermediate, and many people have responded by willingly paying above the daily ticket price for the allure of fresh tracks.


This year, the new offerings continue – with Bolton Adventure Center (guided tours and instructional lessons at Bolton Valley in the Green Mountains of Vermont), a new Sno-Cat operation at Keystone in Colorado and Swissskisafari in Europe, an operation that wines and dines guests while zipping among the Alps’ top resorts and backcountry stashes by helicopter to maximize on-ski time.