Rob Kingsland – What Backcountry Means to Me
”I feel backcountry skiing is total freedom, a natural progression from the first adventures as a child questing around The Lecht and Glenshee. Back then on a wild and windy days the thought of heading over to Glas Maol was filled with excitement and a wee bit of trepidation. Similarly this is now felt on the approach to the Ben or a far flung Coire in the north west.
My first steps beyond the ski centres and the resorts was out in Revelstoke, BC whilst on my first winter season. The short hikes and skins would take you to terrain only seen previously in ski movies. To have such freedom to get to these spots was at first slightly nerve-racking. Knowing that you make all the decisions yourself about where you go and how you approach the mountain opened up a whole new world.
Returning to Scotland to spend 4 years at uni I didn’t think I would find such good skiing. With marginal snow and wild weather I thought surely nothing could match the steep and deep terrain of BC. Luckily Scotland is packed full of beautiful lines brimming with character waiting to be discovered. The lack of powder was more than replaced by the adventure and community.
Heading up to Glencoe and Nevis Range I was soon finding goods from the lift and taking short hikes into even more epic terrain. The realisation that Scotland is home to such adventures has lead to hours pouring over maps searching for that next coire to explore. The days can be hard, often wild weather and difficult snow (mud, ice and heather) but when the timing, friends, and conditions click I wouldn’t want to be skiing anywhere else.”