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Off-Piste Skiing

After getting a taste for off-piste skiing, it's hard to seek out anything else.

From the Rockies and British Columbia to Europe, Ski eGuide has put together some tips for finding the best off-piste trails around.

Off-Piste Skiing
The Alps have perhaps the longest tradition of off-piste skiing in the world, which is evident today in the number of options that abound:

St. Anton am Alberg is considered by some to be the birthplace of skiing, and its reputation for off-piste powder precedes itself. Check out the backside of Valluga for a great introduction to high Alps backcountry.

When it comes to off-piste, Verbier is one of the most notorious mountains in the Alps. A local favorite is to head right off of the Mont Fort Cable Car towards some world renowned powder bowls and glacial chutes.

At Chamonix, off-piste is a popular pastime. Its most famous descent is the Valley Blanch, accessed by just a short hike via Aiguille du Midi, the highest cable car in Europe. From here, there are several epic, powder bowls down glacial faces.

The snow-capped Rockies are a playground for powder-hounds looking to poach powder.

With its open boundary policy, Jackson Hole embraces backcountry skiing, boasting some of the most easily accessible off-piste trails around. After exiting the Bridger Gondola, take the challenge on Crags and Sheridan Bowls.

Home of Alta and Snowbird, the Wasatch Range has gnarly options for off-piste skiers. From Alta, take a snowcat up to the Grizzly Gulch Bowl. Alternatively, arrange a guided tour of the range by helicopter that leave from either resort daily.

At Aspen Highlands, off-piste skiing is the norm. With just a short cat ride or 700 foot hike, skiers can poach incredible powder-filled chutes that spit them out into the famed Highlands Bowl.

off-piste skiing
flickr image by Flurdy

British Columbia is often referred to as the "Powder Triangle," due to the epic snowfalls it receives each year. Combined with its steep and limitless terrain, B.C. is an off-piste skier's dream.

Whitewater is a legendary, local's mountain discreetly tucked away in the Selkirk mountains of B.C. While over 55% of its in-bounds terrain is expert, the true draw is off-piste. It is so prolific, in fact, that Whitewater hosts a backcountry powder festival each year.

While Revelstoke only recently opened its doors in 2008, backcountry skiing has a long and deep history here. Be it on foot, by snow cat or chopper, off-piste adventurers have been poaching the Selkirk Range for over a century.

Although skiers will never run out of options at Whistler Blackcomb's resort, for the truly adventurous, there are limitless choices in the backcountry. Helicopters typically whisk skiers away to one of over 475 off-piste runs that are hosted by 173 in this B.C. legend.

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