Ski Tour­ing is a sport that has seen a huge amount of inter­est increas­ing over the past decade.  It’s actu­al­ly how the sport orig­i­nat­ed — long before there were chair­lifts, snow­cats, and heli­copters whisk­ing crowds of peo­ple uphill to take up a small amount of space.

Instead, back­coun­try ski­ing (and split­board­ing) has fast become an alter­na­tive to the busy ski resort or helis­ki atmos­phere. With skins on your feet, you are able to climb uphill at your own pace, away from every­one else.  You also have the option of climb­ing any slope with snow on it, as opposed to being stuck to places that have been devel­oped for thou­sands of peo­ple on a ski hol­i­day.  Instead you are out in wild nature, pro­pelled by the ener­gy in your body.  It might not seem appeal­ing for many, but for those who enjoy good exer­cise and vir­tu­al­ly unlim­it­ed fresh pow­der turns, there is noth­ing like it.

Here’s our list of the best places in the world to ski tour.  It’s only a brief list to get you start­ed, but even this lit­tle check­list will be a huge one to cross off.

The Spearhead Traverse- Whistler, BC, CanadaThe Spear­head Tra­verse: Whistler, BC, Cana­da — The Spear­head is a clas­sic route, pos­si­bly the most trav­elled in North Amer­i­ca.  It con­nects Whistler and Black­comb Moun­tains the long way — via a horse­shoe-shaped tra­verse that can be done entire­ly above tree­line.  Some peo­ple do it in 4 days, oth­ers in 4 hours.  What­ev­er your pace, you will be reward­ed with deep, sta­ble snow and 1,000m runs.  In the spring­time the views here can’t be beat.

The Wapta Traverse- Banff National Park, CanadaThe Wap­ta Tra­verse: Banff Nation­al Park, Cana­da The Wap­ta is one of the old­est routes in North Amer­i­ca, dat­ing back to the turn of the cen­tu­ry when min­ers were explor­ing the area for new claims.  The avalanche con­di­tions here can be very unsta­ble, so be sure that you know what you are doing when you go here.  But it’s a spec­tac­u­lar route that will not dis­ap­point your insta­gram fol­low­ers.  Def­i­nite­ly one for lat­er in the sea­son, as the Cana­di­an Rock­ies can be extreme­ly cold in the win­ter.  There are huts but it gets busy, so be sure to book in advance before you go.  More infor­ma­tion can be found here. 

eaThe Haute Route: Euro­pean Alps   This is prob­a­bly the most famous route in the world, and prob­a­bly also the most crowd­ed.  The 180km tra­verse from Cha­monix to Zer­matt cross­es the high­est points of the Euro­pean Alps, with all the stun­ning scenery to com­ple­ment.  This is not one for rook­ie back­coun­try skiers — the avalanche con­di­tions and vari­able weath­er will require you to be on your toes at all times.  There are also a pletho­ra of guid­ing out­fits that will take less expe­ri­enced trav­ellers, so per­haps keep that in mind if you are up for the chal­lenge.  You’ll be hap­py you did.

The Lyngen Alps- NorwayThe Lyn­gen Alps: Nor­way — While this is not so much of a route but more of a region, a nod needs to be giv­en to the area known for cre­at­ing ski­ing cen­turies ago.  The Lyn­gen area in par­tic­u­lar has stun­ning beau­ty all around, with long day­light hours in the spring and amaz­ing views of the ocean all around.  There are many islands here with incred­i­ble moun­tains as well — not to men­tion an abun­dance of snow.  It’s def­i­nite­ly a great place to check out, espe­cial­ly at the end of spring when moun­tains at low­er lat­i­tudes have already start­ed blos­som­ing spring flow­ers.  It’s not uncom­mon to ski until the end of June here with great conditions.

So pack up, get edu­cat­ed, get the gear, and get out there!  See you in the mountains!