Approach the backcountry with respect and humility, or it will provide it for you. Skiing skills are just the basic requirements for ski mountaineering. Learning the nuances of avalanche avoidance, terrain assessment, safety, rope work, and all of the other factors involved with the sport is a lifelong endeavor. Don’t expect to become an expert in one season.
Avoid skiing all out in the backcountry and keep a bit in reserve. You never know when you are going to hit an icy patch or trigger an avalanche and need some extra oomph to get out of it.
Andrew McLean has completed first descents on all seven continents and has skied all three of the Alaskan Family of peaks—Denali, Hunter, and Foraker. He lives in Park City with his trophy wife and two jacked-up daughters.
Website: Straight Chuter