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The essentials of a backcountry snowboarding day

December 21, 2020 / By nicolas

4 minute read
Murdochville is not only an old mining town… it is also a backcountry paradise. In a previous article, we presented Murdoch to you from another angle. In this one, we warn you. Backcountry skiing or snowboarding can be dangerous. Before exploring Murdochville’s snowy backcountry, you need to make sure you’re prepared… because mountains and an industrial amount of snow mean avalanche risk.  
“People are often not careful enough, explains Mylaine Robichaud, an employee of the Chic-Chac Hostel and guide in Murdochville. Going backcountry is not like going to a ski resort.  Yes, there are risks of avalanches in the Gaspé Peninsula, so you have to be able to get your people out of there. In your little day pack, is there really everything you need to manage the risks and evacuate?”
The message is clear, be well equipped if you go backcountry. If you are heading to Murdochville from Quebec City or Montreal, make a stop at Alternative113 in Rimouski. “My bag is a 35 liters and it’s full all the time.” Here is what you absolutely need, according to Mylaine. And here is the off-track section of Alternative 113’s website Avalanche safety kit (a DVA set, including a probe) – The perfect splitboard for backcountry – A foldable sled or something to make a burrito (sleeping bag) – Survival blankets – A flask with hot water – Nuts or a CLIF bar – Tools to repair your equipment – Duck tape
Obviously, it is not recommended to explore the Murdochville backcountry alone. The danger is omnipresent and the cellular network is not active everywhere. If you are planning a trip to Murdoch, make sure you are prepared and don’t hesitate to ask the locals about what to expect.