5 Awesome Alternatives to Ski Resorts This Winter

Let’s face it: resort skiing can be great, but it’s not for everyone. With single-day lift tickets cracking the $200 mark and a pandemic raging across much of the country, maybe­—just MAYBE—sitting in a dank, humid lodge or standing in a packed lift line just aren’t on your to-do list for this year.  Lucky for us, winter is a total playground and there are a ton of alternatives to ski resorts for winter fun. Here’s a quick reminder of some fun to be had that doesn’t involve a chair lift. Snowshoeing I know, big surprise coming from MSR, but snowshoeing is arguably the easiest and most accessible way to embrace winter away from the crowds. You can literally go anywhere there is snow. A good dump of snow can even…

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Shelter from the Storm: Tips for Building Winter Shelters

In many parts of the world, finding solitude while camping in the backcountry is getting harder every year. But don’t fret; you just need to add two things to get what you’re after: cold and snow. While winter camping definitely adds some unique challenges, those extra few hurdles are precisely what filter the crowds, leaving vast swaths of the backcountry under-appreciated for months. Of those hurdles, one of the biggest is figuring out your winter camping strategy for shelter. Warmth, weight and ease are the primary benchmarks to judge your choice by, and there are two paths to travel: bring your own or use what’s there. Here’s a quick breakdown of four of the most common winter shelters and tips on how best to use and/or build them. Location, Location,…

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Multi-day Ski Mountaineering: Tips from New Zealand

Story by Kate Hourihan In early October, American skiers Nick Webb and Beau Fredlund met up in Christchurch to catch the tail end of the New Zealand winter. Arriving just after the ski resorts closed, and the flocks of winter tourists departed, they aimed to take advantage of the milder weather, longer days and more stable snow of the New Zealand spring. While the snow was still plentiful at high elevations, it was not easy to reach. And while they made several long day tours, Nick and Beau focused on multi-day trips to take advantage of the terrain above the long, tiring approaches. Their longest trip, totaling ten days, was spent exploring the upper Tasman Saddle in the Aoraki/Mt. Cook National Park. After walking two full days up the Tasman…

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