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Backcountry Skiing Travel Insurance

JS Travel Insurance provides coverage for backcountry skiing and snowboarding.

Our Long Stay & Backpacker policy provides this for Europe, Japan, Canada, the USA, and anywhere else.

This cover will allow you to Ski or Snowboard in unmarked or unpatrolled areas inside or outside Ski Resorts Boundaries.

Please select Standard, Longstay or Longstay Plus scheme and then select a COVER OPTION.

Select ACTIVITY PACK 4, so you are covered for Back Country Skiing or Snowboarding and other Activities such as Skiing Off Piste with or without a Guide, Ski Terrain Park, Skiing Freestyle and Ski Touring.


To contact us by telephone or email, 0800 043 0020 / 01273 092 757 support@jsinsurance.co.uk

Highlights of our Back Country Skiing and Snowboarding Cover:

  • You can ski or snowboard in unpatrolled or unmarked ski areas inside or outside resort boundaries.
  • Rescue and Medical Assistance from the mountain if you are injured and need to be brought down.
  • Medical Expenses and Repatriation up to £5,000,000 for any injuries or illness whilst away.
  • You will also be covered for Skiing (Recreational), Ski Touring, Ski Terrain Parks and many more winter sports activities.

Summary of Cover (per person)

Section & Cover Standard Longstay Longstay Plus
Cancellation Charges £1,000 £2,500 £3,500
Medical Expenses and Repatriation £2,000,000 £5,000,000 £5,000,000
Personal Liability £1,000,000 £2,000,000 £2,000,000
Personal Possessions £750 £2,000 £2,500
Gadget Cover - £1,000 £1,500
Personal Money and Passport - £500 £500
Legal Expenses £25,000 £25,000 £25,000
Study or Work Placement Abroad  £6,000 £6,000 £6,000
Standard Excess* £75 £75 £75

*Excess payables vary depending on the claim benefit.

Back Country Travel Insurance is arranged for JS Travel Insurance through PJ Hayman & Company Limited, authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Financial Services Register number 497103). Registered office: Stansted House, Rowlands Castle, Hampshire PO9 6DX. Reg no. 2534965. 

Top 10 Backcountry Skiing Travel Insurance FAQs

1. What is the definition of Backcountry Skiing?

You can ski or snowboard anywhere that adheres to the following: Skiing on unmarked or unpatrolled areas inside or outside a Ski Resort's boundaries.

See more about our winter sports definitions below.

2. How can this policy cover me if caught in an Avalanche slide?

If you are caught in an Avalanche slide and have been located by your ski companions, you will be covered for Rescue from the mountain.

Once rescued from the mountain, you would be taken to a local medical facility. You will be treated under the Medical Expense part of the policy up to £2,000,000 on the Standard cover or £5,000,000 on the Longstay or Longstay Plus.

3. What does the term "Backcountry" mean?

Backcountry is a US term for off-piste, commonly known in Europe. I was skiing outside of resort boundaries, which are unmarked and unpatrolled and not accessible via a chairlift.

Backcountry skiing offers more than usual off-piste skiing; you can ski what's known as "powder" and reach new altitudes, mountain faces no one has before and scenery like no other.

4. If I look at a Piste map, how do I determine what Backcountry (off-piste) is?

Off Piste (Backcountry) ski runs are usually marked in neon yellow or orange, which shows the terrain as unmarked and unpatrolled; unlike recreational skiing, it takes a lot of planning before heading into the unknown, and you often will have an avalanche briefing in the morning which consists of the following:

  • Weather Update
  • Restricted Avalanche Areas
  • Planned Routes
  • Avalanche Equipment
  • And more

In this day and age, there is technology out there that will navigate you through the Backcountry. Here are the Top 5 Apps:

Find out more about these Apps in Curated Best Mapping Apps for Backcountry.

5. Do I have to be Avalanche Safety trained to be covered under this policy?

No, it would be best if you were not avalanche-trained to remove this policy. However, no one should enter the Backcountry without knowing about Avalanche Safety. Many of you are up to date and trained, but some will "Wing" it, which is not a clever idea.

There are many Avalanche Safety Courses and Resources to learn the basics of avalanches. See Snowsafe Avalanche Safety Centre.

You can also find the importance of wearing the necessary avalanche safety equipment here.

6. Can I Backcountry ski on my own?

Although you do not need to be guided, you MUST NOT ski the Backcountry alone with this policy. It would be best if another skier always accompanied you so that this policy would be valid.

7. Is there an age restriction on backcountry skiing?

If you are over 40, you can only select the Longstay or Longstay Plus scheme. We can cover up to 70 years (USA / Canada) and 76 years (Europe and Australia / New Zealand).

8. I am doing a Ski Season and want to cover Backcountry Skiing. Is this possible?

Yes, we cover many Seasonal Workers from Le Ski, who are heading as chalet hosts and skiing the Backcountry from France and Austria to the USA, Canada, and now Japan is famous as the powder is like no other.

When getting a quote, select COVER OPTIONS and Activity Plack 4.

If you are doing a ski season and are looking for a Winter Sports policy, look at our blog: Choosing the Right Season Ski Insurance.

9. What Winter Sports Activities are covered in this policy when choosing Activity Pack 4?

Winter Sports Activities fall under Activity Packs 2 to 4. If you select Activity Pack 4 in the quote process, you will be covered in all Activity Packs. Please see the list of Winter Sports Activities you will be covered for:

Activity Pack 2

Recreational Skiing and Snowboarding

Ski Resort Occupations (Chalet/Bar Work but not including Ski Instructor)

Cat Skiing

Cross Country Skiing

Off-piste skiing (Guided or within recognized Ski Resort boundaries)

Ski Boarding

Ski Dooing

Skiing - Mon

Skiing - Nordic

Snow Mobiling

Snow Parascending

Snow Show Walking

Snow Tubing

Snowcat Driving

Activity Pack 3

Glacier Skiing

Heli Skiing

Sk Terrain Parks (excluding Freestyle)

Ski Biking

Ski Blading

Ski Randonne

Ski Yawing

Skiing - Snowcat 

Activity Pack 4

Backcountry Skiing / Snowboarding

Ski Mountaineering

Ski Touring

Skiing (off-piste without a Guide)

Skiing (Freestyle)

10. Is there coverage for any of my ski equipment?

Yes, we provide cover for your ski equipment in the personal possessions section of the benefits. You will be covered for your equipment whilst it is in transit and storage for any loss, theft or accidental damage. Single Article (pairs) limits apply:

Standard: £750 - £100 (single article limit)

Longstay: £2,000 - £250 (single article limit)

Longstay Plus: £2,500 - £400 (single article limit

5 Top Places for Backcountry Skiing in the World

1. Japan

Regions: Hokkaido, Honshu.

Pros: World Renowned Deep and Light Powder, incredible Japanese culture and food.

Cons: Some people complain it is not steep enough. It can rain at any point in the winter season.

2. British Columbia, Canada

Regions: Whister, Black Comb, Selkirks, Revelstoke, Rogers Pass.

Pros: Endless terrain, ideal for the Backcountry, Heli Skiing, Snowboarding, and consistent snow quality.

Cons: Lots of avalanches.

3. Grand Teton National Park, WY, USA

Region: Jackson Hole.

Pros: Ski mountaineering, deep powder and steep skiing, and easy access to the Backcountry.

Cons: The sun and lots of locals hit lots of east-facing terrains.

4. French Alps

Regions: Chamonix, Aiguille de Midi, La Valle Blanche, Les Trois Vallees, Val d'Isere, Alpe d'Huez, Courcheval.

Pros: Mountain ranges connect resorts and recreational skiing at any time of the year. Of course, the French Cuisine.

Cons: Resorts can get very busy. 

5. Austria

Regions: St Anton.

Pros: Skiable mountains, lots of snow.

Cons: The Apres Ski is the best in the world but has drawbacks.

Please check out the 57 Hours Article to learn more about powder skiing.

Definitions of our Off Piste Skiing Cover

Activity Pack 2:

Off-Piste cover with a Guide: Skiing within Ski Resort boundaries, off marked and groomed pistes and between groomed trails and runs, where ski lifts and emergency services are easily accessible, and ending back at a ski area lift, not including areas marked or prohibited from entry.

Activity Pack 4:

Off Piste without a Guide - Skiing within Ski Resort boundaries, off marked and groomed pistes and between groomed trails and runs, where ski lifts and emergency services are easily accessible and ending back at a ski lift. Not including areas marked or prohibited from entry. 

Backcountry Skiing - Skiing on unmarked or unpatrolled areas inside or outside a Ski Resort's Boundaries.


JS Blog on Mountain Rescue Travel Insurance