Hey fellow snow enthusiasts! I don’t know about you, but I’m already starting to scheme about my winter adventures and indicators in the outdoor and resort industry point to dramatic shifts looming in the way we’re used to getting outdoors and recreating this winter. With several resort companies announcing reservation-only ticketing and continued uncertainty about how physical distancing requirements will impact operations and wait times on the mountains where we love to play, REI and other outdoor retailers are seeing early demand for equipment that will allow folks to get out to play in the snow without waiting in lift lines – think backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, fat tire biking!
I noticed that the Mountaineers in Washington State has already begun posting their winter sports classes and activities schedule, and snowshoeing classes are beginning to fill. And many local trail associations are beginning to prepare for an influx of snowshoers, XC skiers, and winter fat tire bikers. Just like we saw this summer on popular hiking trails, it’s likely that there will be a surge this fall/winter of folks who are hungry to get out and play (and it’s seeming likely that inventory in these categories may be hard to find).
So, we’re curious: how are you planning on getting outside this winter? Are you dusting off the XC skis you’ve always had around? Looking at a new pair of snowshoes or maybe a fat tire bike to try out a new way to play? Share your ideas below!
At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
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It is too bad XC and Nordic touring are not popular with the majority of skiers, as it is perhaps one of the best (maybe second only to swimming) ways of straightening up your cardio and lungs and stamina without putting excessive load on your knees. On the other hand, in these parts of the ski resorts the lodges are not crowded and you still can enjoy the nature and solitude without exposing yourself to avalanche dangers which you'd be facing doing alpine touring.
If you liked skiing Bear Valley area, try Royal Gorge ski resort, it is located in the vicinity of Boreal alpine ski resort, and I believe, the two have the same management.
If you are shopping for the gear that would allow you to both ski groomers and venture out of bounds, check out mid-fat skis with full length metal edge, such as Madshus Eon or Rossignol BC 90 (the latter is discontinued by Rossignol who has recently redesigned the whole line of XC/BC skis, but you may find it at closeout sales). Also, consider using NNN BC instead of NNN boots/bindings combo, they are more robust.