Unique demands of sidecountry, backcountry skiing influence apparel design
Once upon a time, there was resort skiing and there was backcountry skiing. One required a ski pack and hard work to reach, the other was a place where you rode lifts and didnâ€™t have to work nearly as hard for your turns. But the backcountry had untouched powder, while the resort had tracked-out lines.
Then the rules began to change at ski resorts. Resort boundary gates and hikes traditionally closed to the public opened up, allowing skiers and riders access to backcountry terrain with the ease of riding a lift. Sidecountry skiing was born.
But the sidecountry is more than just popping out a gate at your local resort. According to ski legendÂ Mike Hattrup, who helped design Outdoor Researchâ€™s Sidecountry apparel line, sidecountry skiing is â€œanything from lift-access backcountry to riding a snowmobile or helicopter. The sidecountry skier wants powder and a backcountry feeling, but they also want big vertical. They donâ€™t care how they get up thereâ€”maybe they ride lifts to a hike, or maybe they just coast out-of-bounds to some low-hanging fruit. Itâ€™s all about milking pow.â€