Outdoor Guides

We have a wealth of resources for outdoor enthusiasts of all skill levels. Explore our guides below!

Young woman wearing a red coat and skiing gear on a snowy mountain

Getting Started: Skiing

Have you ever thought of skiing or snowboarding? Those winter sports that all those ”other” people do. Have you said to yourself, well it's too difficult to go. It's too far away. It’s too expensive. It’s too hard or I’m too old. Nonsense. You too can ski. It all starts with a little homework and some patients. A little hot chocolate goes a long way too.

Getting Started: Hiking

Hiking can be an exhilarating experience, it can connect you with nature and serve as a fantastic adventure –while at the same time providing a great workout. Whether you’re setting out for an adventure in a state or national park, or you have opted for a more urban adventure, here’s...

Glossary of Terms

Alpine


Pertaining to high mountains.

Alpine Skiing


Downhill skiing.

Backcountry


Remote, undeveloped, wild areas far from civilization.

Basecamp


A main encampment providing supplies, shelter, and communications for people engaged in wide-ranging activities, like exploring, reconnaissance, hunting, or mountain climbing.

Base Layer


The layer of clothing that goes directly on the skin also known as long underwear or thermals. 

Bib


A type of ski pants that extends up over the chest and has suspenders: They look similar to overalls.  When made for skiing they are usually insulated.

Bear Bag/Bear canister

A bag used to hang food and other scented items out of reach of bears and other wildlife.

Belay


A rope management technique used in climbing to exert tension on the rope in order to catch a falling climber.

Bivy (Bivouac)


A temporary camp without tents or cover.

Bouldering


Climbing without a rope on boulders or at the base of cliffs with a crash pad to protect against falls.

Bushwhacking


Hiking off-trail through dense vegetation.

Cache


A hiding place used to store provisions, gear, or food.

Cairn

A human-made pile of stones marking a trail.

Crag

A steep rugged rock or cliff.

Fire Ring

A barrier used to contain a campfire and prevent it from spreading.

Free Soloing


Climbing without the use of ropes or protection.

Glissading


Sliding down a steep slope of snow or ice, usually while seated, as a shortcut and a quick way to descend.

Guyline


A cord used to stabilize a tent by anchoring it to the ground.

Leave No Trace (LNT)


A set of guidelines for outdoor ethics promoting conservation in the outdoors.

Multi-day Hike

A hike that takes several days to complete, often involving camping overnight.

Pack Out

A principle urging visitors to carry out whatever they carried in, to keep places clean.

Pitch

In rock climbing, a section of a route that is climbed between two belay points.

Rappel

The method of descending a rock face or other surface using a rope.

Ridgeline

A long, narrow high section of mountain terrain, with substantially lower ground on either side. 

Route Finding

The skill of choosing a route to a particular destination or along a particular course, often used in the context of off-trail hiking or climbing.

Scrambling

Moving quickly up or over terrain too steep to walk easily, but not steep enough to require climbing equipment.

Summit

The highest point of a mountain or hill.

Switchback

A zigzag path, road, or trail up a steep incline.

Thru-Hiking

Hiking an established long-distance hiking trail end-to-end within one hiking season.

Topo Map (Topographic Map)

A type of map characterized by large-scale detail and quantitative representation of relief, using contour lines.

Trailhead

The point at which a trail begins.

Trek

A long arduous journey, especially one made on foot.

Water Source

A natural or man-made site from which to obtain water, especially while hiking or camping

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