Helen Schettini rules. She turned her back on the contest scene to chase the wilds of the Whistler backcountry and now plies her trade making snow movies. In the week that her first solo web series, Hel of a Time, debuted we thought we’d get some tips from her on riding the backcountry like a boss.
1. Make sure you’re surrounded by people you trust. Your life is in their hands and vice versa.
2. Get knowledgeable. Take avalanche courses, ask questions and have the right equipment (i.e.. transceiver, probe, shovel, rope, etc.).
3. Everything is MUCH bigger than it looks. Most of the time anyway, so start small and simple and built it up.
4. Take pictures of the feature or line you want to hit when you’re at the bottom. Since things look completely different when you’re standing at the top and you’ll need to be reminded where that tree is, or where that sweet spot is in the landing.
5. Learn to use reference points when you’re planning your line. For example remember that your last turn needs to be 10 ft above the dead tree, heel side, then a direct line on rider’s left of it. Use the mountain peak on the other side of the valley as a reference as to the direction you need when dropping off a cliff.