For most people the backcountry is a vast and often misunderstood place. It can also be dangerous without the right training and equipment, and even then its never completely safe.
But with the lure of fresh powder, of peace and quiet, and breathtaking views its also a place most people would like to visit now and then.
Thats why organizers of the first World Backcountry Freeride Jam, which is taking place this weekend at the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival, have included several events for entry and intermediate level backcountry skiers and snowboarders.
North Face Backcountry Village and Demo Days April 21-23
The area outside of the Roundhouse Lodge will turn into a backcountry expo with many of the leading backcountry gear companies showcasing gear and giving people a chance to demo some of that gear themselves. The Backcountry Village is also the staging area for free clinics offered and WBFJ events.
Scarpa Telemark Clinics April 21-23
Scarpa, which manufactures Telemark boots, will be offering free telemark clinics and tours throughout the WBFJ, departing the Village at 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Randonee Tours April 21-23
Escape Route and the Whistler Alpine Guides Bureau is offering daily Randonnee Tours, equipping guests with all the gear and a guide and giving people an opportunity to experience the backcountry.
"Just show up at the Backcountry Village and well outfit you with everything, boots, skis, skins, transceiver, probes and shovels," said James Retty of Escape Route. "What we want to do is de-mystify touring in the backcountry for people."
The tours leave at 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. daily.
Prior Backcountry Snowboard Clinics April 21-23
Whistlers Prior Snowboards makes some of the best split boards anywhere, with clients custom ordering their products from around the world. At the WBFJ Prior will demonstrate how split boards work over a short tour, putting them together for riding and taking the boards apart for climbing. Clinics depart daily at 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Ortovox Avalanche Awareness Clinics and Tours April 21-23
Ortovox are a leading manufacturer of avalanche transceivers, and are offering people an opportunity to learn how to use a transceiver in the field. Even expert backcountry users will learn ways to improve their beacon search techniques.
Clinics leave at 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Ozone Kiteboarding and Kiteskiing Clinics April 21-23
Escape Route and Ozone are hosting a series of clinics on kiteboarding and kiteskiing, which is a new trend for backcountry users. Backcountry users can use the kites to get around, even heading uphill, or just as another way to enjoy the powder.