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This Winter's Goals

[caption id="attachment_5464" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Superior 11 Skiing Utah's Mount Superior.[/caption] At about this time of year, when the lifts have started turning and the snap of boots into bindings signify the start of another ski season, a lot of people often start to think, This is the year I ll finally and fill in the blank with their own visions of fun. Some might want to land their first backflip or 360. Others might want to go for their first tour in the backcountry. Maybe huck a 30-foot drop into bottomless powder, ski a scary looking couloir or a daunting face. Even if it s just skiing a black diamond for the first time, most everybody gets fired up to try new things each season. With the growing popularity of the backcountry, more and more people want to dig their first snow pit, follow somebody breaking trail, and make fresh tracks with their best friends for the first time. The best way to go about getting into the backcountry is to take a course in avalanche safety. These courses teach how to assess the snowpack by looking at the weather, the terrain, and the snow s layers, and how to make smart decisions in the backcountry. Sometimes, well after you ve taken those first steps into the backcountry, you ll realize you ve been staring at a line for a while. From the top of Snowbird the south face of Superior, Hypodermic Needle, and a few other committing-looking lines stare a viewer in the face, beckoning to be played on. Whenever a line inspires me, I find out what it is, read as many trip reports on it as I can, and then wait for conditions to be good. If possible, try to get a first hand account of the line from somebody who has done it recently. Personally, I find skiing to be the absolute most fun way to explore the mountains. After exploring something and becoming familiar with it, my eyes wander to the next thing. A new place, a new resort, a new trick, a new line it s all part of that wanting more. [caption id="attachment_5465" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Wilson Peak View BW Wilson Peak, Colorado[/caption] The same holds true for me. As with every season, I like to sit down and write down a few things that might give me more of that good feeling. Last year, my best friends and I sat around and wrote down a few things, then I tacked it to my wall to look at every day. We got to check off Hypodermic Needle, the Pfeifferhorn, and Superior, all fun lines that my friends and I have looked at from Snowbird and said, That looks fun. Kyle and I also took a trip to Colorado and checked off Wilson Peak from the list of terrifyingly beautiful things to ski down. This year, I think we ll try our hands at the rest of the things in Hogum Fork, visible from Snowbird: The Sliver, Montgomery, and Dresden Face. Outside of Utah's Wasatch, skiing Tukuhnikivatz in the La Sals would be super wild. It s also one of the 50 Classic Ski Descents of North America, a book of stunning lines that I like to try my hand at. Heading up to Jackson might see some fun on the Grand Teton, the Middle Teton, Teewinot and Mt. Moran. The list of fun things to do is always growing, because everybody is sharing pictures of cool stuff to do, inspiring more adventures. But, for now, I think that s enough of a list of things to do for at least one season. The number one goal for me though, is to do it all in a safe and smart way so that I can do it again the next day with a smile on my face. Ben White Flylow ambassador Ben White, who originally hails from Massachusetts and once skied all 48 4,000-foot peaks in New Hampshire, currently lives and skis in Utah.