Backcountry ski touring is the ultimate winter experience. Sure,Â 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, theyâ€™ll even break trail for you.Â But the best part? From snow camping in an expedition tent to posting up in a lavish, off-the-grid lodge, you can goÂ as hardcore or luxe as you want. These multi-day ski tours are perfect for everyone from backcountry newbies to more experiencedÂ ski mountaineers.
This outfitter will pick you up in a snowcat and deliver you to a backcountry lodge in B.C.â€™s Selkirk Mountains, where youâ€™ll spend six days dropping 2,000-vertical-foot, powder-filled linesÂ through the high alpine. You wonâ€™t exactly be roughing it. The lushÂ two-storyÂ lodge has seven private bedrooms, a sauna, Wi-Fi, and delicious, hearty meals prepared by a cook and skier named Annie.Â From $1,950
Big Sky Backcountry Guides’sÂ RAD Camp earns its name. FromÂ late March throughÂ early April, they’llÂ 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, youâ€™ll send world-class couloirs rarely accessed by day-trippers before returning to one of the most comfortable winter camps around,Â complete with expedition-quality tents,Â a propane heater in the group shelter, home-cooked meals, and bonfires each night. Basically, itâ€™s expedition skiing without the sufferingâ€”porters even help haul in the heavy gear. From $1,500 Â Â Â Â
If youâ€™re a backcountry enthusiast whoâ€™s dreamed of getting into ski mountaineering, consider Alpenglow Expeditions. On its 11-day Ring of Fire Expedition, youâ€™llÂ climb, summit, and ski two of Ecuadorâ€™s tallest volcanoes, 19,347-foot Cotopaxi and 18,997-foot Cayambe. Designed forÂ burgeoning ski mountaineers who already have some high-altitude and steep-skiing experience, the trip is perfect for thoseÂ looking to learn technical skillsÂ like acclimatization, glacier travel, and crevasse-rescue techniques. $4,750
EachÂ February through May, Northern Alpine GuidesÂ offersÂ 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. Youâ€™ll spot the northern lights while sleeping in the family-run, waterfront Lofoten Ski Lodge, which has a sauna, aprĂ¨s-ski waffle buffet, and cozy cabin accommodations. From $160Â Â
You can do guided, single-day outings with High Sierra Snowcat and Yurt, but youâ€™ll want a few days to truly experience the vast couloirs, wide-open bowls, and peaks of the eastern Sierra Nevada. Youâ€™ll stay in bunks in a remote backcountry yurtÂ accessed via snowcat, andÂ guides will prep meals and give safety briefings each day. The snowcat helps with shuttles up to higher ground, but youâ€™ll earn your turns from there. From $295
Want to experience heli-skiing but donâ€™t have the budget for a $10,000 trip? Check out Points North Heli-Adventuresâ€™s weeklong, helicopter-assisted touring trips. Its backcountry base camp reopens next year, so for this yearâ€™sÂ expeditions,Â which will happen in March, youâ€™ll spend three days being dropped by a helicopter into the Chugach Mountains and three days ski touring from Cordovaâ€™s Orca Adventure Lodge. $3,850, including meals and lodging