Backcountry Skiing

Backcountry skiing     Photo: Digital Visions

DIY
SILVERTON MOUNTAIN, Colorado:
With its wall-tent base lodge, lone double lift, and seriously badass big mountain, this "resort" is the scruffy soul of North American skiing. Early and late season, experienced skiers can now opt to go self-guided for just $49. silvertonmountain.com

Cat Power
BALDFACE LODGE, British Columbia:
There are dozens of cat-skiing operations in the province, but those in the know head to Baldface for its combination of wickedly steep and vast (36,000 acres) terrain and gourmet cuisine. baldface.net

Powder Hunters
SUN VALLEY HELI-SKI GUIDES, Idaho:
If there's fresh snow out there, these guys will find it: Their 750-square-mile playground includes three mountain ranges. Packages include unlimited vertical feet daily. Tip: Fly standby for just $625 day (normal rate is $925). sunvalleyheliski.com

Get Schooled
JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT, Wyoming:
Hire one of the resort's guides ($235 a day) and sample the chutes and bowls just outside the resort's boundaries, or sign up for the Grand Slam smorgasbord, a four-day package that includes heli-skiing, cat skiing, touring, and freeskiing ($1,895). jhrl.com

High Variety
PURCELL MOUNTAIN LODGE, British Columbia:
Mixed group of nordic and downhill skiers? This helicopter-accessed eco-lodge has something for everyone, from snowshoeing to guided backcountry tours. purcellmountainlodge.com

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