Backcountry skiers part of winter tourism
I listened with interest to the Feb. 20 edition of “Talk Around Town” on KHNS regarding winter tourism. A great diversity of users enjoy the grand landscape of Haines, so I was surprised that backcountry skiing was not mentioned by any of the participants.
One of them did point out that Haines offers exceptional skiing, for which people come great distances to experience. Haines heli-skiing is well known, and rightly so. It seems local tourism interests would do well to promote the virtues of “the adventure capital of Alaska” to the skiers who use their legs, kites or snowmachines to reach their lines, as well.
Backcountry skiing brings energetic people to the community and entices them to make a longer layover in winter or spring. These skiers (snowboarders included) spend money in town and make connections that will likely bring them back. More and more people, including my husband and I, are moving here because of the community and terrain.
Though they maintain a low profile, local and out-of-town backcountry skier traffic is increasing and should not be overlooked as an important facet of winter tourism. Any number of efforts, such as into increased snowpack information gathering and sharing, new mapped trails and huts would benefit visiting skiers, local adventurers and our economy.