After looking at the cost of obtaining alpine touring gear during my inital pursuit of the sport, I quickly decided that resort skiing would be best. I spoke with a few people experienced in alpine touring who suggested alternatives for obtaining the necessary gear without taking a 401k loan. Alternatives included combing avalanche debris for lost/unclaimed gear, the grab and go at the ski shop, and the best option of buying rental gear/used gear in the offseason. I was able to obtain the proper set-up over the course of a year at less than half the cost of buying new. Now that I had all the gear, I was commited to my new adventure but still lacked the skills and experience to travel into the backcountry.
Last year I completed a three day avalanche awareness course at Alta taught by seasoned backcountry skiers and boarders. The class was a great experience with half the class taught in a classroom setting and the other half learning in the backcountry. The course taught the fundamentals of avalanche safety with the premise being avoidance of getting caught. Now that I have some of the basics down, I am excited to learn more through actual experience while enjoying the quiet, untracked backcountry. Last year was a flop since I only managed to ski out of bounds once though I hope to turn that around this year.
Though I do have big plans for the backcountry, also know that I will continue to ski the resorts, with a focus on skiing with my son. As I venture into the untracked, I plan to detail my trips here on my blog so that all can see just how wonderful the Utah backcountry is.
And of course I will continue posting pictures of our cute kids.