Backcountry Ski Touring 2020-2021

What, when, and where:  Harry Zinn will be coordinating a backcountry skiing outing on a number of Saturdays and Sundays during the 2020-2021 seasons.

On our backcountry trips, we typically drive to Rabbit Ears Pass and park at one of the winter trailheads.  But then we head off on our own instead of sticking to the marked trails.  Over the years, we have found a lot of beautiful routes and destinations, and we enjoy sharing them.  (Occasionally, we go to North Routt or another area.)

It is important to understand that this is backcountry touring. We do not hunt for big, steep downhills. Avid backcountry downhillers will be bored by the places we go. In contrast, cross-country skiers on narrow, lightweight gear designed for groomed trails and tracks will be frustrated by the terrain and the deep, soft snow.

Covid 19 impact on our trips:  As of late November, applicable guidelines are:  (a) maximum group size is 10; (b) do not participate if you have symptoms or suspect you have been exposed; (c) wear masks whenever possible; (d) maintain 6-foot social distance whenever possible; (e) limit vehicle occupants to members of 1-2 households and open windows for ventilation; (f) wash/sanitize hands often; and (f) wash/sanitize equipment before it is shared.

For all trips.  Meet at 9:20 am at the Safeway parking lot near the line of trees on the north side.  We will organize ride-sharing and leave for Rabbit Ears Pass at 9:30.  We will return to the parking lot before dark.

For additional back ground on SSOTHG backcountry ski outings, click here.

Tom Baer photo

How to sign up for the backcountry ski touring group: 


To receive information about BC Ski Touring events, simply send an e-mail to, so that your e-mail address can be added to the contact list.


If you want to try backcountry touring but are not sure you are ready, please contact Harry (  He would be happy to organize one or more “first-timer” trips to Howelsen Hill.  Howelsen is a great place for a test run.  There are several short, groomed touring loops that are dead flat (on the playing fields and rodeo grounds) and several very short, very gentle slopes.


Dec.     Sat. 12/19

Jan.      Sun. 1/3

             Sat. 1/16

             Sun. 1/31

Feb.     Sat. 2/13

             Sun. 2/28

Mar.     Sat. 3/13

             Sun. 3/28


  • Backcountry touring skis, boots, poles.

  • Layered clothing that lets you adjust to changing conditions and changing exertion levels.

  • At least 16 oz. (1/2 liter) of drinking water in a container you can protect from freezing.

  • A generous supply of easy-to-carry food—energy bars, protein bars, nuts, dried fruit, dried meat, etc.  Bring twice as much food as you think you need in case we are caught out longer than expected.

  • A rescue whistle, an inexpensive compass, and a little toilet paper.

  • An extra layer of protection for emergencies.  A small tarp, an “all-weather thermal blanket,” or an emergency “breathable bivy” is best, but they are expensive and bulky.  A “space blanket” is the bare minimum—they are small, lightweight, and inexpensive, but they tear easily, and they do not breathe.  Wrapping up in a space blanket is a lot like wrapping up in a big plastic bag—before long, condensation gets you wet.

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