Jeff Bartlett is an adventure photographer, filmmaker, and writer based in the Canadian Rockies. Mediaplanet spoke with him about his experiences in Golden, British Columbia, and his tips for travelling out west this winter season.

Mediaplanet: What makes Golden, BC a unique destination during the winter?

Jeff Bartlett: Golden has always been my favourite ski destination. The ski resort has epic terrain — it gets so much more snow than I’ve had while at home in the Rockies. There is also a really great backcountry terrain accessed from the ski resort and what feels like endless snowmobile-access skiing. It’s really a prime destination for skiers.

MP: How do you balance staying safe and having fun while skiing and snowboarding in the BC backcountry?

JB: It comes down to practice. It isn’t enough to own an avalanche transceiver, probe, and shovel. It’s also essential that you know how to use them efficiently in an emergency.

Aside from that, it’s critical to read and understand the daily Avalanche Canada bulletin, as it provides key information about what’s happening in the snowpack. As well, anyone playing in the backcountry should consider an avalanche skills training course, as it teaches the essentials to get the most out of both the standard avalanche bulletins and avalanche tools.

MP: What was your first experience with adventure travel?

JB: My first big international ski trip felt the most adventurous. Inspired by the 2004 film Focused, I booked a flight to Tromsø, Norway, to go backcountry skiing on the Lyngen Peninsula. It helped that my roommate in Whistler, where I spent three seasons, was from Tromsø, so we spent two months chasing the backcountry lines we’d seen in that film.

MP: What recommendations do you have for novice adventurers?

JB: Don’t make the all-too-common mistakes of taking safety for granted or skiing terrain beyond your ability. Hire a guide for a few days to learn how to navigate backcountry terrain, take an avalanche skills course, and seek a mentor with more experience.

BC is home to so many awesome backcountry ski lodges, so get a group together and book a weeklong stay at a backcountry lodge. Both Whitecaps Alpine, near Pemberton and Boulder Hut Adventures, near Kimberley, offer amazing ski terrain, lodging, and an amazing overall backcountry experience.