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Backcountry Winter Ski/Snowboard Invasion

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avatar Backcountry Winter Ski/Snowboard Invasion
December 25, 2010 04:22PM
http://www.tahoedailytribune.com/article/20101225/NEWS/101229852/1001&parentprofile=1056

Backcountry bonanza
‘Earning your turns' has never been more popular
By Adam Jensen
ajensen@tahoedailytribune.com,
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Maybe it's the fresh snow.

Maybe it's the sense of solitude in nature.

It may even be that the cost of a lift ticket is simply putting one foot in front of the other.

But increasing numbers of skiers and snowboarders are venturing into the Sierra Nevada backcountry.

The exact number of snow enthusiasts making the leap to the backcountry is unknown, but anecdotal evidence abounds.

“I remember, back in the day, it was pretty much limited to just Telemark skiers and we all knew each other by name,” said Lake Tahoe Community College Instructor and backcountry skier Travis Feist. “Now, the Powder House is always packed.”

Sierra Avalanche Center avalanche forecaster Brandon Schwartz agreed. Schwartz spends at least five days a week in the backcountry assessing snow conditions and generating the center's daily avalanche advisories.

He said the number of cars parked at trailheads, as well as the number of encounters he has with other backcountry users, has spiked in the past several years. The Avalanche Center's website also notched 372,551 visits in 2009-2010, a 50 percent jump from the previous winter......



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