questionsanyone done any backcountry/sidecountry off…

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Berthoud Pass has some fantastic backcountry skiing. As do treks to the 10th Mountain Huts and Neversummer wilderness yurts. Of course that is here in Colorado.

Make sure someone not with you on your trip knows when & where you are going and what time you will be back. I'm not sure if California has a search and rescue card you can purchase ( http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/DOLA-Main/CBON/1251592090523 ) but would be worthwhile to look into, just in case. One of those better to have and not need.

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@jeeperwoot: Cool info, thanks! I am a little hazy on the purpose of the CORSAR card, this is something that they hope you purchase as a donation to support local search and rescue? What is the purpose of the actual card itself? I agree that it is a very worthy group for donations, especially with the activities I am involved, but is it just a card showing that you in fact donated to the program or does it have use outside of this? I will be checking this out in my area and I just might as well throw $12 to the state of CO for keeping fellow skiers safe!

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@davidschronic: It doesn't cover medical expenses/extraction but does pay the people/aircraft that look for you if you do get lost.

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For God's sake be careful, and watch where you go. Ideally, you need a guide. It is very easy to end up in a dangerous area, and every year people either get lost (never heard from again) and/or get caught in an avalanche.

The youngest brother of two my college friends (this one had a very bright future: he went Princeton, then Wall Street, expected to go the Harvard B School then who knows) went "off piste" on a snowboard with some of his friends. He started a "small" snow slide and (despite having a locator) died. It was absolutely devastating to his family. It's been more than 10 years (2002) and they still haven't gotten over it.

So, please, be careful and think about the risks. I love the thought of virgin snow, but no run is worth dying over.