If you have backcountry experience, you know that it is essential to prepare for the worst. Backcountry skiers spend much of their time thinking about avalanche safety, spending hundreds of dollars on the equipment necessary to stay safe in case of an emergency. You practice safety rescues and thoroughly research all terrain, checking daily avalanche reports whenever possible. However, complete backcountry trip preparation involves more than avalanche preparedness. It requires an added level of safety.
Avalanches are not the only threat to backcountry skiers. While out exploring, you may experience exhaustion, hypothermia, dehydration, bone fracture, concussions, falls, and falling rock. Unexpected weather could leave you stranded. Genuine emergencies in the backcountry require Search and Rescue assistance, medical facility use, and ambulance rides.
Of course, backcountry enthusiasts do what they can to stay safe. Most are adequately prepared in the event of an emergency, but it is impossible to predict when an accident will strike. To that end, it is difficult to be financially prepared for the outcome of a backcountry accident; ambulance and Search and Rescue fees alone are enough to shock a survivor. Injured skiers often need hospital transfers, and in the most remote locations, you may need a helicopter ambulance.
Rather than stressing out about the financial burden of a backcountry accident, you should invest in ski travel insurance. Injury is more likely to happen off-piste, so you must focus all of your attention on the terrain—not on your wallet. The only way to truly protect yourself is to invest in a travel insurance plan to meet your needs. Now, not all travel insurance policies cover backcountry skiers. When searching for a plan, explicitly ask providers if they cover backcountry exploration. Once you have a plan secured, you’ll be able to spend more energy on the trip itself.