With the number of skiers hitting up ski resorts the world over, your opportunity to catch fresh tracks on a powder day might be at risk. Sure, the locals know the hotspots, but it only takes one errant Instagram post before everyone descends on your secret stash — careless talk costs lines. Nowadays, the only way to truly guarantee perfect powder and long ripping runs is through sheer bodily effort. That’s right, it’s time to earn your turns.
This winter, The Bridal Veil Backcountry Ski Camp from Mountain Trip has taken the concept of backcountry adventure and added in a new element; winter camping — or glamping, depending on your view. Sure, there is a time and a place for the traditional five a.m. roadside start, pulling on stiff boots, and frigid gloves, before setting off into the beam of your headlamp, but if you want to truly experience the backcountry in all its majesty, then this is the trip for you.
Skiing in Colorado is not exactly a new phenomenon, and the San Juan mountains are renowned for some of the best powder runs, steep skiing, and mountain vistas anywhere in the world. It’s understandable, then, that Mountain Trip is not trying to reinvent the wheel, choosing instead to simply add a few more spokes and a better set of tires. Those spokes and tires are, in short, three days of guided skiing — leaving from the Telluride backcountry gate — and two nights out under the stars in the Upper Bridal Veil Basin basecamp.
Basecamp, in this sense, consists of heated Arctic Oven Tents, each complete with a sleeping cot, pad, and down sleeping bag for a warm — by winter camping standards — night under the stars. And while we’re on the subject of stars, you probably won’t get a better stargazing opportunity in your life than on this trip. Your evenings will be spent around the campfire in your cozy camp parka — provided — staring up at more stars than you may have even realized were out there.
This isn’t just a skiing experience, it’s a backcountry experience. The thrill of steep lines and powder skiing, the effort of the upclimb, and a chance to appreciate the beauty and majesty of the mountains. Your meals will all be provided, and, probably most importantly, your skiing will all be guided by AMGA-trained or certified guides who will tailor your journey to the conditions and your group.
This isn’t a trip for the faint-hearted, though. If you’re eyeing up the likes of Chamonix, Denali, or any other ski expedition, then this could be right up your street. What this isn’t, though, is a beginner’s backcountry experience. There are serious and demanding climbs, with steep and sometimes committing descents. Sure, you’ll be guided, but you’ll be expected to provide — or rent — your own backcountry gear, manage yourself on the mountain, and take responsibility for your own abilities in the terrain.
This is serious stuff, but the effort is worth it if you want some of the best backcountry skiing that the U.S. or perhaps the world has to offer. Head over to the Mountain Trip website to find out more.
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