Forums Splitboard Talk Forum new to backcountry
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    4 Posts

    hey im 17 and i live in salt lake city utah, anyways I wanna get into backcountry snowboarding, iv read quite a few articles on the internet and im planning on taking some classes this winter about avalange danger, digging snowpits and whatnot. I was just wondering what the essistial basic equipment i need for backcountry snowboarding, from what i understand the basics are a transeiver, snow shuvel, and a snowboard and normal snowboard apparal. I was also wondering if there is any organization or something in the Utah area where i could hook up with some more experiance people this comming winter to go snowboarding with in the backcountry, i dont realy have any friends who do backcountry snowboarding, and i know its not a good idea to go by your self, I know their guides and heli boarding and such in the utah area, but thats a ton of money i just wanna find a group of people to go with this winter in the backcountry. Any advice for getting started in backcountry snowboarding would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for everything.

    2486 Posts

    Welcome tzobell, first you are starting in the right direction. I have just went through the same thing, first year to the backcountry and I have to say you are at the right place. And you seem to be informed somewhat of the dangers ahead. First you live in agreat area for backcountry fun but you also live in one of the most dangerous areas in the U. S. for avalanche. With that out of the way , tons of people go out into the backcountry in your area and return safely home. Do your homework on avalanche skills and find a partner. I suggest you go to climbing shops or ski shops and ask around about locals who backcountry there . Sounds like you need a ” mentor” . I have gained most of my “bookwork” through the national ski patrol. If you have the time volunteer at a local hill on weekends and there you will meet people who go into the backcountry, ski guides , heleski guides ect. I patrol at a small hill in southern california and we even have a guy on our patrol who has climbed everest and K2. he spews info on climbing and most people will take you out with them. I know the utah avalanche center is your best contact for avalanche classes. Hell I wish I were your age getting into this . at your age you can become anything, heliguide, resort manager or you could even have your own BC guide service . If you check with local BC tour companies you may be able to hire on as an apprentice to lean the trade. But take your time and learn. It is dangerous but the rewards are unbeliveable. Your friends will be talking about thier great day at Brighton and you will just smile , knowing where the good really are. Start studying and go out now in the summer to scout out routes. Start conservative and try to find a book to guide you in routes in your area. In california I use ” Fifty backcountry Ski Routes of the Sierra Nevada” . Im sure someone has something like that for the Wasatch range. Good Luck and Have fun

    59 Posts

    Yo Newbie!

    I can say that cuz I’m a newbie too.

    The avy class is a good move, then practice what they teach.

    Usually I live in Park City although now I’m travelling the US until the snow starts flying again.

    When I get back I’d be glad to hook up with you and go riding, I know two other people in the wasatch that are much more experienced than I that we can go with. Email me at

    Hey all you other Wasatch people… Come out Come out wherever you are.

    4 Posts

    i think im gonna go buy some books to read on bc boarding befour the season starts, and hopefully the utah avalage center will post thier dates for classes in a few weeks for the 05-06 season and then i can start planning my winter.

    Anyways MykeBurtonS70 i’d love to hook up and go snowboarding, it would be fun.

    thanks for all the advice man, it was helpful.

    288 Posts

    Good luck on getting into the bc! All good tips from everybody. Here’s one addition: I would suggest starting out riding in a hike-to out of bounds areas right outside of a ski area (of course after avi training, equipment, partner, etc). That way you can get the feel for what everyone else is riding on that day, plus have the chance to see many different perspectives on the avalanche safety game. Tagging along with experienced bc users is always enlightening, as experience probably counts as much as training – probably a lot more. Of course, keep in mind that even experienced users can make mistakes.

    When you do decide to go into the remote bc, remember that keeping yourself hydrated, warm and dry is just as important as avi safety – clouded judgement is definitely something to avoid.

    Good luck – you’ve come to the right place. I started out riding the bc with unsafe practices when I was younger, so it’s good to see that you’re started in the right direction with avi classes and lots of questions. Keep working at it cause the ski areas are only good for one thing – burning lots of cash. Cheers.

    4 Posts

    okay iv looked up on bc equipment and i plan on getting a beacon, and a snow shuvel possible. How are you suppose to cary a snowsuvel with you into the backcounty, isnt that quite a bit of added weight, and kind of akward to be boarding with? Oh and i was also wondering what probes are, and if i need them or not?

    4 Posts

    okay iv looked up on bc equipment and i plan on getting a beacon, and a snow shuvel possible. How are you suppose to cary a snowsuvel with you into the backcounty, isnt that quite a bit of added weight, and kind of akward to be boarding with? Oh and i was also wondering what probes are, and if i need them or not?

    2068 Posts

    You’ve gotta get a backpack. There’s tons of options out there, you’ll probably want a one day pack. Search around this forum, you’ll read a bunch of opinions on brand, model. Gotta have a beacon, shovel and probe. The shovels aren’t awkward, they’re made to fit in bc packs. Be prepaired to laydown some cash but it will be well worth it. Remember, no more lift tickets.

    4149 Posts

    Welcome tzobell!

    Nice to see your interest in bc boarding and that you are doing your homework.

    Shovels are lightweight, cheap, and can easily be stowed on your pack. It’s a perfect item to get this time of the year (when you can spare or scrounge up) $40 to get one. Start chipping away at some of these smaller items while saving for the bigger ones.

    Most shovels only weight 1-2lbs and compact down so they shouldn’t be any hindrance to you while riding.

    Here is a Voile shovel.

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