There’s no need to go out West to be able to float on a virgin layer of pow going down an epic backcountry slope. We have everything we need at home! Gear up, choose your destination and get ready to drop in!
Riding in the backcountry is one of the most enjoyable feelings in the world, but still, you have to be aware that it also has its fair share of risks (which makes it even more interesting!). Whether it’s in Gaspésie, in the Quebec City region or elsewhere in the province, your equipment is one of the first things you need to worry about before going on a backcountry adventure.
Because the first thing that will make the difference between a cool adventure and totally insane one is to leave with the right equipment, so you don’t have to worry about about the unexpected that can happen once you’re off the beaten track.
A splitboard or snowshoes
Backcountry riding in Quebec means one thing: You will have to hike up by yourself before you can enjoy the ride down. In order to do that, you will need one of two things: Some snowshoes or a splitboard. Even if the splitboards are very popular these days, snowshoes are still a perfect way to get to where you need to go in order to drop in on that pow! Check out our brand new Fimbulvetr snowshoe model here.
However, the splitboards can make the hike way easier for you. You won’t have to carry your snowshoes on your back during your descent, same for your snowboard during the ascent. If you have already experienced backcountry snowboarding on a splitboard, you know what we’re talking about. In addition, the splitboard ride experience is really on point. As much as a normal snowboard, even more.
For more information on splitboards, their technical features, how they work, and the benefits of owning one, take a look at the blog post we wrote on the subject.
High performance winter clothes
To tackle the backcountry, it’s important to have breathable and waterproof clothing that’s suitable for the most "extreme" conditions. Even if they are a little more expensive, put your trust on high performance jackets, pants, gloves and mittens for everything backcountry and expedition related. Believe us, you will not regret it. Clothing designed for the harsher conditions will make your ride experience unforgettable.
Another great way to make the most of a backcountry day without spending on high tech clothes is the good old onion technique. Layering allows you to remove or add clothes as needed to avoid getting too hot during the climb and too cold during the descent. With that option though, you will need a good backpack so you can safely put away your clothes that you just decided to remove because you were too hot. Trust us, you will want them dry and ready when you start feeling cold again.
An accident can always happen. The only difference is that there is most likely no medic or security team in sight to save you in the Backcountry. Your best bet is to be extra careful and ready for any situation. In addition to your basic equipment (board, clothing, goggles, gloves, helmet, etc.) be sure to also carry the necessary safety equipment in all your adventures. To enjoy the pleasure of bombing down a hill filled with untouched fluffy snow, plan some safety gear to avoid being trapped by the unexpected that can happen when you venture off the beaten track.
In any backcountry adventure, having a shovel at your disposal is a huge plus. Whether you want to build a jump or to get your friend that’s stuck in the snow out, the shovel is a must, it allows you to have a little more control on the new unpredictable environment you just stepped in.
Also, avalanches can happen in Quebec as well, so prepare what you need for it, just in case. It’s smart to always have a backpack with everything you need in it. This will allow you to never have to worry about the possible fall of a large quantity of snow. Remember to pack a proper safety kit in case of injury. To keep in touch with the rest of your group at all times, it can also be useful to have a walkie-talkie system and, of course, a whistle so people can find you if you are in trouble.
Cleats and poles also become necessary for those who like to go a little further off the beaten track. If climbing is needed, make sure you have what it takes to get past the ice and the rocks without risks of falling down.