Throughout the pandemic, we'll keep publishing news to help you navigate the state of travel today (like whether travel insurance covers the coronavirus), as well as stories about places for you to put on your bucket list once it's safe to start going more far-flung.
Backcountry ski touring is the ultimate winter experience. Sure, you could plan one yourself, but hiring a guide to book you the best backcountry huts and show you their favorite hidden powder stashes will ensure your next trip goes smoothly. Heck, they’ll even break trail for you. But the best part? From snow camping in an expedition tent to posting up in a lavish, off-the-grid lodge, you can go as hardcore or luxe as you want. These multi-day ski tours are perfect for everyone from backcountry newbies to more experienced ski mountaineers.
Valhalla Mountain Touring
New Denver, British Columbia
This outfitter will pick you up in a snowcat and deliver you to a backcountry lodge in B.C.’s Selkirk Mountains, where you’ll spend six days dropping 2,000-vertical-foot, powder-filled lines through the high alpine. You won’t exactly be roughing it. The lush two-story lodge has seven private bedrooms, a sauna, Wi-Fi, and delicious, hearty meals prepared by a cook and skier named Annie. From $1,950
Big Sky Backcountry Guides
Big Sky Backcountry Guides's RAD Camp earns its name. From late March through early April, they'll lead you deep into the Tobacco Root Range west of Bozeman and set up a deluxe snow-camping outpost 12 miles from the nearest access point. For four days, you’ll send world-class couloirs rarely accessed by day-trippers before returning to one of the most comfortable winter camps around, complete with expedition-quality tents, a propane heater in the group shelter, home-cooked meals, and bonfires each night. Basically, it’s expedition skiing without the suffering—porters even help haul in the heavy gear. From $1,500
If you’re a backcountry enthusiast who’s dreamed of getting into ski mountaineering, consider Alpenglow Expeditions. On its 11-day Ring of Fire Expedition, you’ll climb, summit, and ski two of Ecuador’s tallest volcanoes, 19,347-foot Cotopaxi and 18,997-foot Cayambe. Designed for burgeoning ski mountaineers who already have some high-altitude and steep-skiing experience, the trip is perfect for those looking to learn technical skills like acclimatization, glacier travel, and crevasse-rescue techniques. $4,750
Northern Alpine Guides
Lofoten Islands, Norway
Each February through May, Northern Alpine Guides offers three-to-seven-day ski-touring trips around the Lofoten Islands, where guides will lead you on summit-to-sea adventures that end in arctic fjords and charming fishing villages. You’ll spot the northern lights while sleeping in the family-run, waterfront Lofoten Ski Lodge, which has a sauna, après-ski waffle buffet, and cozy cabin accommodations. From $160
High Sierra Snowcat and Yurt
You can do guided, single-day outings with High Sierra Snowcat and Yurt, but you’ll want a few days to truly experience the vast couloirs, wide-open bowls, and peaks of the eastern Sierra Nevada. You’ll stay in bunks in a remote backcountry yurt accessed via snowcat, and guides will prep meals and give safety briefings each day. The snowcat helps with shuttles up to higher ground, but you’ll earn your turns from there. From $295
Points North Heli-Adventures
Want to experience heli-skiing but don’t have the budget for a $10,000 trip? Check out Points North Heli-Adventures’s weeklong, helicopter-assisted touring trips. Its backcountry base camp reopens next year, so for this year’s expeditions, which will happen in March, you’ll spend three days being dropped by a helicopter into the Chugach Mountains and three days ski touring from Cordova’s Orca Adventure Lodge. $3,850, including meals and lodging