Watch Backcountry Responsibly, a new short film about reducing the risks of backcountry skiing

Backcountry Responsibility film
(Image credit: Teton Gravity Research)

Backcountry skiing has seen a massive growth in popularity over the past few years, partly thanks the the COVID lockdown. With ski resorts shut down, powder-hungry skiers started going ever more off-piste, venturing into the backcountry for a more adventurous experience. And once they caught the bug there was no going back. According to SnowSports Industries America, there are now more than six million backcountry skiers in the United States.

But as the number of backcountry skiers have grown, so have the associated accidents. It’s part of the very nature of the sport – skiing less will-regulated areas, further from emergency services, often over more technical terrain, it almost encourages participants to take more risks. 

It’s an issue that this new film, Backcountry Responsibly, tackles head on. Made by Teton Gravity Research, who specialize in skiing documentaries, in partnership with Friends of Bridger-Teton, the film‘s blurb makes the point, “In the heart of the 2022/23 winter season, one of the biggest snow seasons on record, Wyoming’s Teton County Search & Rescue experienced five rescues in five days. Why? Lack of knowledge? Heuristic traps? Social media creating false confidence? Sheer bad luck?”

Through interviews with professional athletes, rescuers, teachers and trainers, and some nail-biting footage, Backcountry Responsibly takes a look at the issue of safety while backcountry skiing, placing the emphasis on the skiers themselves to be a part of the solution and not the problem.

Because, sure, risk is part of the adrenalin rush that attracts people to the sport, but you need to know the difference between risk and downright stupidity and arrogance that might end up putting other people at risk unnecessarily.