We're big fans of Freeride Maps here at Backcountry Books; they're a great resource for skiers and snowboarders looking to venture beyond the marked pistes of a ski resort.
Freeride Maps work by highlighting popular freeride terrain in and around resorts with colour coded overlays. The steepness and overall seriousness of the terrain depends on the colour of the overlay. Blue represents the least serious, yellow is a step up in steepness and complexity and red denotes terrain that really only experienced off piste / backcountry riders should be looking at. Freeride Maps also show potential lines of ascent which access popular descents.
What's really great about Freeride Maps is the fact that they cover terrain both in and out of the resort.This makes them a useful guide to terrain 'between the pistes' that you might want to seek out when cruising the resort, in bad weather or simply as an introduction to off piste skiing. On the flip side, they also show terrain containing established descents well outside the resort / piste boundaries too. And because all Freeride Maps are based around 1:25,000 scale local mapping, they can legitimately be used as a proper backcountry map, as long as you don't plan to venture beyond the confines of the map, obviously.
On the rear of the maps there is a wealth of information on basic avalanche and safety procedures as well as local emergency phone numbers and info.
As ever much caution should be used when skiing or snowboarding away from the pistes. Freeride Maps are a basic guide only and in no way replace knowledge, experience and ability in the backcountry environment.
Freeride Maps currently cover a large number of areas in the Alps throughout France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Germany. We carry a big range here at Backcountry Books including those for the following freeride hot spots:
- Freeride Map Chamonix Nord
- Freeride Map Chamonix Sud
- Freeride Map Tignes / Val d'Isere
- Freeride Map Verbier
- Freeride Map Arlberg
- Freeride Map Andermatt
- Freeride Map Engelberg
- Freeride Map Disentis
- Freeride Map Monte Rosa
- Freeride Map Zermatt
- Freeride Map Fieberbrunn
- Freeride Map La Grave