What Backcountry Means to Me: Euan Baxter
”Getting away from ski lifts is the accepted definition of “backcountry”, whether that’s some sidecountry skiing off to the side of a piste, a line over the back of the resort or perhaps a day out in the mountains away from all lifts, but chatting this over with the rest of the Snowsport Scotland team backcountry for us is really any moment you take to enjoy skiing out with a lift served area. We all take that opportunity to get out and enjoy our local spaces suddenly transformed into possibilities when the snow falls. The woods, the hill just out of town, the nearest Corbett, Graham, Munro all present an opportunity to be out in an environment and enjoy the process of approach, ascent, descent and everything in between.”
”Scotland hosts a diverse landscape but one thing we are not short of is hills. You don’t have to travel far to find yourself at the foot of one. Their variance and diversity is the only common factor and that’s what makes them all so special. Variance could also describe our weather, surrounded by sea, the weather of Scotland is mixture of conflicting influences. One snowfall is different from the next as the one day from another. If consistency is key this can be frustrating but you can be assured one day out will never be match another.”
”For me this variance of land and weather presents a never-ending opportunity to explore home. I have been fortunate to enjoy snowboarding and skiing in some remarkable places around the world but I never tire of going out the door and heading out in Scotland. Every day in the Scottish backcountry is different, an experience of variables for the most part, out with any control. That’s the draw, adventures of enjoying the very landscape that makes Scotland home.”
”The term adventure can portray both challenge or difficulty and certainly if you have the skills there are many big mountains out there able to challenge anyone. But conversely there are many hills and routes that can offer adventure with less challenge but just as much reward. The enjoyment of Backcountry is in the notion that adventure is entirely defined by the participant and this notion comes with a certain responsibility.
Going out into Backcountry is venturing into areas un-managed, no ski-patrol, your actions will define your safety and this has to be acknowledged. Taking responsibility for your own actions and those with you should only add to your experience, making you consider your route, the variables at play and with that planning take satisfaction in your capabilities.”
”Being out in the landscape and taking it all in is fundamental to enjoying backcountry. Snowsport Scotland are engaging with a number of ambassadors who do just that, they go out and enjoy the landscape and all the variables it presents. Over the coming weeks we are going to share their stories and reflections of the backcountry in the hope that it can inspire others to venture out there and enjoy the Scottish landscape. We very much hope to see more people out enjoying what Scotland has to offer.”
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