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Backcountry Downhill Skiing in Minnesota? You Betcha

Nackcountry Faelan Coldwater skis in the "glades" on Moose Mountain near Lutsen earlier this month with members of the Superior Highlands Backcountry ski group. Photo by Josef Fairbanks.

In the snowiest area of Minnesota, on the slopes of the Sawtooth Hills that rise above Lake Superior, a small group of skiers make waves in otherwise untrammeled drifts.

They call themselves Superior Highland Backcountry and they are having a blast doing something most Minnesotans have never heard of.

The idea is to hike or ski uphill in wild areas — or up mountains if you have them — and then ski back down, on specialized equipment that can grip on the way uphill and glide on the way down. You ski between trees, around rocks, over humps and bumps usually through powdery, unpacked snow. The sport is huge in western mountain states, growing in Vermont and the east and in its infancy on the hills of Minnesota's Arrowhead region between Finland and Lutsen.

 Read the full story at DuluthNewsTribune.com
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