All dialed for a walk in the woods? Then test your skills against this!

1. The most important thing to consider when going into the backcountry is …

a.) weather.

b.) partners.

c.) snow conditions.

d.) terrain.

e.) all of the above.

2. Among the many essentials in your pack for a day outing, which of the following is least necessary?

a.) Headlamp.

b.) Cell phone.

c.) Avalanche probe.

d.) First-aid kit.

e.) Shovel.

3. In spring conditions, when the snow is freezing at night and corning up during the day, the best way to travel is by …

a.) split board

b.) bootpack

c.) snowshoes

d.) short skis

4. You only need sunblock and sunglasses …

a.) at the ski hill.

b.) on a day hike.

c.) on an overnighter.

d.) on an expedition.

e.) always, even when it’s overcast.

5. The most important protective device you can bring into the backcountry is …

a.) a condom.

b.) an avalanche beacon and shovel.

c.) an automatic weapon.

d.) a cell phone.

e.) pepper spray.

6. Aside from riding up the steepest lines, you can show how stupid you and your snowmobile are by …

a.) painting the sled the same color as your truck.

b.) cracking a beer and putting the hood up every few miles.

c.) entering a wilderness area.

d.) launching cornices.

e.) all of the above.

7. When your group of five is ready to drop in on a 3,000-foot run, you plan to …

a.) meet up periodically in safe zones along the descent.

b.) meet up in a safe zone halfway down.

c.) let the slowest person go first.

d.) meet at the car.

e.) drop in together and race to the bottom.

8. A member of your group is complaining of being fatigued and hungry during the climb. The group should …

a.) leave that person and pick them up on the way down.

b.) call “whine-one-one” for a “whambulance.”

c.) take a break and eat something.

d.) descend immediately.

9. Your friend is caught in an avalanche.

You should …

a.) send someone for help.

b.) look in the trees, that’s where slide paths go.

c.) yell your friend’s name and listen carefully.

d.) make sure the slope is safe and begin a search.

e.) divvy up the friend’s gear, pretend he/she couldn’t be found.

10. The best way to get a backcountry cover shot in TransWorld is to …

a.) jump a cornice into a wind-loaded bowl.

b.) wait until their camera bag is open, then slash a big pow turn above the photographer.

c.) make sure your sponsors paid their ad bill.

d.) set off an avalanche to surf.

e.) forget about it, and leave the camera packed away once in a while.

11. The number-one cause of avalanches is …

a.) sun heating the snowpack.

b.) a snowboarder triggering the slide.

c.) wind deposits creating slabs.

d.) recent snowfall.

e.) rain on the snowpack.

12. Common clues to determine avalanche conditions are …

a.) whompf! sounds in the snow.

b.) natural releases during the day.

c.) shooting cracks in the snow as you climb.

d.) all of the above.

e.) none of the above.

13. Chocolate is good to carry in the backcountry because …

a.) it’s the easiest thing to eat when you lose your appetite at altitude.

b.) it has an enormously high nutritional value.

c.) the cocoa in chocolate gives you a natural, high-energy buzz.

d.) it’s cheap and therefore, a good value.

e.) the Swiss always carry it.

14. When setting out for the day, you know you have entered the backcountry when …

a.) you leave your vehicle.<

b.) you can no longer see your vehicle.

c.) after you cross Forest Service boundaries.

d.) you can no longer see roads, houses, or towns.

e.) none of the above.

15. With sun, wind, and physical exertion, the only way to know if you are drinking enough water is to …

a.) drink until you are no longer thirsty.

b.) make sure you drink a full half-gallon a day, thirsty or not.

c.) add drink mix to all your water to help hydration retention.

d.) eat something each time you drink.

e.) make sure your pee remains clear and copious.

Answers on page 54