Building Booters in the Backcountry

Building Booters

Who doesn’t love watching those epic video parts where the pro launches off a perfectly placed booter built in the middle of nowhere, spinning some switch 1660 quadrillion triple cork thing (pretty sure that’s a thing -ha) landing in to a perfect down ramp of untouched powder and riding out like the wizard they are. How did the booter get there? did they use a snow groomer ?why is it so perfect? Well, it takes patience and an understanding of the snowpack. All those backcountry booters are handmade and built by the filming crew and the riders.

1. Find the right location. When searching for that sweet spot, always make sure that there is a good run in where you will have enough speed and good landing zone (if you crash you don’t want to end up cartwheeling into a tree). Test the run in before you build to ensure you have enough speed.

2. How big do you make it? Once you have established that sweet spot you will want to work out the exact size of the height/distance you will travel in the air. If you want to go higher for a steeper landing build the booster with more “pop” if you want to go further build it with less “pop” these parameters should be established when selecting the “sweet spot”.

3. Start digging. It’s good to start with the base, clear the area where the booter will start to ramp up. Assuming there is enough snowpack in your location, you’ll want to dig down into the snowpack to find the harder snow. Cut blocks out of the harder snowpack and start stacking them like bricks to form the jump. fill the top in with snow and compact with your skis or snowboard.

4. Don’t worry about the looks to much, you can always go back and tidy the edges up with your shovel. Make sure the run in has been shaped and clear. You don’t want to lose speed here and come up short on the landing.

6. Rock-scissors-paper to who goes first as the guinea pig.

It takes a long time to build a good booter. Booters that you see in films are built with the help of the crew and can take half a day or more to build. So give yourself some time out there, the outcome will be a lot of fun.