Basically, no. All the slopes available from the top of chairlifts get tracked out quickly. UMA groups either climb uphill on skins to begin a tour, or after exiting from a ski resort boundary, skins are used to get to subsequent runs.
Only if they have a touring binding that allows the heel to be released for climbing uphill with skins.
Yes, but you will have to climb uphill on snowshoes and carry the board on your backpack. We recommend split-snowboards because they are much more efficient. These are available to rent from UMA with custom fitted skins and telescoping poles with powder baskets. These are also compatible with regular snowboard boots
Utah Backcountry Skiing
Photo by Tyson Bradley
Yes, in powder most riders do not notice a performance drop compared to a solid board. In hard, icy snow, however, there is definitely a difference.
Video: How a Splitboard Works
No. Most newcomers to the backcountry go on Alpine Touring (AT) skis. The heel is free in the uphill climb, but fixed down like normal alpine skis for the descent. You can use regular alpine boots or specialized AT boots, which are available for rent at local shops.
Yes, 95% of UMA ski and snowboard tours require uphill travel, and skins are by far the most efficient way. Skins attach to the base of skis or split-snowboards, peel off at the top of the run and get stowed in a pocket for the downhill fun.
Yes, this is the 5% exception, but this access point is only open about 10% of the time. Even then, if skins are not used, it's only possible to make one run.
Yes, UMA has a fleet of early rise tip, wide powder skis with Fritschi AT bindings, custom fit skins, and telescoping poles with powder baskets available to rent to our guests. The guide will bring these to you on the day of the outing. Our bindings are compatible with any alpine or AT ski boot, but boots are not included in the rental.
The guide will arrange a specific meeting location and time with you specifically. Most commonly, this location is the Big Cottonwood Canyon Park & Ride lot.
Call (801) 550-3986 or email us at uma@UtahMountainAdventures.com
Thank you. You guys are great. Andy Polloczek is unmatched, a great instructor.
- John Pack
Thanks for a fantastic day. Todd Passey is a world class guide. He found great lines and snow. Most importantly he kept me safe. Todd was so impressive at navigating the elements and knowing all of the variables. Thanks for an experience I will not forget.
- Scott Simon
I wanted to let you know what a fantastic time Janet and I had with Todd Glew. His guiding, route choices and knowledge of the area were excellent and, not least of all, he was great company and we really enjoyed hanging out with him. And as for my last day with Todd skiing the Y Couloir . . . that will forever be one of the most memorable days skiing of my life. Wow!!
- Tim Peckett
Just wanted to say we had a FANTASTIC time today on our first backcountry tour. Eric was a wonderful, knowledgable and high-competent guide who truly made our day the best it could ever be. Thank you!
- Coleen Colahan
Quino is a wonderful guide - did a great job taking us up Cardiff pass, couple runs on the slopes north of the pass, and then back to Alta. Quino was great - easy going, set the right pace so that we could all keep up, picked a good route for us. Just perfect - many thanks for having him guide us.
- Harm Scherpbier
Just wanted to drop a quick note thanking you guys for setting me up with such a great guide yesterday! Colby was great and I had an amazing time in the snow. His expertise, professionalism and knowledge of the area was unprecedented.
- Paul Kronser
You have a great bunch of guys here with these individuals and I am sure the others in your organization are just as pleasant. From the office staff I spoke with to all the guides in the field.
- James Albritton