There are two types of expert skier: those who ski on the trails and those who ski off them. You could argue whether the latter are the more skilled, but there's no doubt that they are the more extreme. When I was growing up in New York City, family vacations to the resorts in New England consisted of sticking to the mountain trails. Venturing "off piste," or skiing backcountry, which is so popular now, was not something that ever occurred to us to do.
Related: How to Winterize Your Run
I've since become one of those skiers who ride the back side of the mountain, where the double black diamond trails are often unmarked and it's "proceed at your own risk." I graduated from tackling the tamer mountains in the East to skiing in the Rockies, picking up skills and savvy from resident pros along the way. My safety net is that I always go with a guide or locals who know the mountain, the conditions, where to ski, and where not to. Or at least it was untilRead More »from Postcard from the Edge: How Skiing Taught Me to Take More Risks