Freeriding is a style of snowboarding or skiing performed on natural, ungroomed terrain, without a set course, goals or rules. It evolved throughout the sport’s formative early years as a contrary response to the highly-regimented style of ski competition prevalent at the time. Freeride skiers or riders generally have solid skiing or snowboarding skills and some experience on backcountry terrain. They love untracked runs and mainly enjoy the descents, even if some hiking may be involved. Although freeride terrain may be accessible from lifts (plus, eventually, a short hike), it may also be accessible on the side of a road, where you hike up or ski down as far as you want.
Freeriders may use snowshoes to hike up or may opt for touring skis and bindings for a lighter set-up. Avalanche equipment is a requirement for freeriding and even expert skiers find that hiring a mountain guide is a great way to enhance their experience and find the best lines.