People can be tight-lipped about their favorite backcountry ski spots. While there are no hiding the classic tours that are found in guidebooks, other locations can remain relatively under the radar. It is understandable to not be overly eager to share your favorite tree line or variation of a more popular area with every Tom, Dick, and Harry.
As most people know, the outdoor/fitness tracking app Strava has skyrocketed in popularity. Strava has had added a backcountry skiing setting in recent years. Well, these activities, if not marked “private” on the app will post to the Strava Global Heat Map. The Heat Map shows routes that are frequently used with a particular activity. The brighter the lines on the heat map, the more traffic that route sees.
This can be a problem with locals wanting to protect their more secluded backcountry ski spots. If we look at South Lake Tahoe for example, the Emerald Bay area which is home to the ultra-popular Jake’s Peak and Rubicon Peak is quite visible. Up north, the map off the Mount Rose Highway is extremely vivid. Resourceful folks can search the Heat Map to track down less-popular spots people are skiing.
We can’t comment on the ethics of wanting to keep the masses away from your favorite pow stash. We don’t encourage people to be jerks or elitists about ski spots. That said, there is a lot of middle ground between remaining tight-lipped about less known spots and displaying these routes for the whole internet to see.