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How to start Backcountry Riding.

9755 Views 80 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  GeeJayBee
Hello peeps.

Will try to make this short. My GF and Friends made me a surprise birthday party (I don't like birthdays) and gave me some backcountry related presents. The biggest one is from GF, it's an avalanche airbag backpack.

We are going to mount baker this January and I already googled if I could sign up for backcountry classes but unfortunately, dates are a little off. So no classes for now.

In the middle of the process, I was a bit confused about how many classes there are, and how diverse backcountry in general (Heli skiing, cat tracks, hiking (that requires split boards)). The thing is I am more focused on my career for now and work, so I am on the budget. My GF knows how much I love snowboarding and wants me to start riding backcountry and introduce her and her friends eventually.

Could you please navigate me and let me know what classes and courses I need to take to be aka "safe and prepared" for backcountry? From what I understand AIARE 1 and AIARE 2 are must have but what about others? I can't afford splitboards for at least 2 years, so, for now, all I can is snowshoeing and leaving resort boundaries.

Also, it seems mount baker has a really good infrastructure when it comes to learning backcountry, here on east coasts we don't have it this developed. Is there another mountain someone can recommend we can plan a trip and corporate backcountry learning with? I heard Tahoe has a good infrastructure as well.

Thank you!
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Yup BC is cheap compared to a heli ride to the ER...and not much joy to be had. Even an ambulance ride to the ER is going to be at least a 4 hour ordeal at our little hill.

More relative for he Backcountry conversation, but I pay $30 a year for search and rescue insurance that includes $50,000 of heli insurance in addition to paying an extra $20 a month for accident insurance through my health care provider which covers a lot of these types of accidents with a larger deductible. The catch for the heli specific insurance is that it is associated with my Spot X Messenger so I have to initiate the SOS through the device in order to receive coverage, though, if it’s a hand off from a “rescue” (which I shouldn’t be charged for as a CO hunting license includes a small S&R fee) ,to an “ambulance” (you are usually considered “rescued” once in the helicopter), then my accident insurance should kick in with a high deductible.

The way I figure it, I spend so much time in the Backcountry doing high risk activities between snowboarding, Mtn Biking and hunting, that the statistics really accumulate against me over time to the point that some redundancy is likely wise.
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