You’re in from out of town and don’t have a lot of time. You’ve wandered Main Street, maybe done a day of skiing at the resort, or gotten lost on a hike. Time is ticking and you still want to make the most of the next two days you have in town. It’s summer and you’d love to try rock climbing outside of a gym. It’s winter and you’ve never gone Nordic skiing. Or maybe it’s the off-season and, aside from riding your beach cruiser on sand (definitely been there), you have no idea how to mountain bike.
Enter White Pine Touring. “If you think about a visiting guest, we can help them maximize their time in Park City,” says Scott House, White Pine’s resident Jack-of-all-Trades and Communications Director, “We can teach you how to [Nordic Ski], and it’s not this huge investment. [White Pine Touring] can give you a peek into a new sport and help you experience something different and unique. We offer that other opportunity for folks to explore the outdoors in ways they never thought they could.”
White Pine Touring was founded In 1972 and got its start as a ski school, nestled in what is now The Colony, a cluster of homes tucked in and between today’s Park City Mountain’s winter trail system. Eventually, Charlie Sturgis (today’s Executive Director of Mountain Trails) took over the business and began sponsoring Nordic Ski races, and Mountain Bike Races before outgrowing several retail locations on Main street, and ultimately finding it’s home off Bonanza Drive, where it sits today. The business then changed hands shortly after the 2002 Olympics and is now under the same ownership as Jans’ Mountain Recreation Experts, operating as independently as possible.
The goal was to keep “the heritage as an educational institution, local shop, and backcountry resource, for the core user year round,” says House, “To service the outdoor community and not just be another retail store front, but really be an educational resource because that’s the heritage of the business.” A mission that has been passed down from manager, to guide, to customer, offering guide service, rentals, and avalanche education to locals and visitors year-round.
Visit White Pine Touring’s webpage and you’ll find options for both summer and winter with guides available to take you over the river and through the woods by foot, bike, skis, or hands. “We get people from zero to passion. We’re here to create educated users and to help people access these sports that at times can feel very inaccessible or have these very high barriers to entrance,” says House, “For snowshoeing, we’re one of just a couple businesses to guide out in the Uinta mountains. We get lots of families who want to experience rock climbing and we’re seeing more experienced climbers who want to learn about new locations or have been climbing indoors and now want an outdoor climbing experience. It’s one of their few opportunities to experience climbing outdoors on a natural surface.”
Guides + Tours
At times, the biggest obstacle to experiencing a new adventure outdoors is finding a guide that can create a truly memorable experience. White Pine Touring’s guides are always chosen with both skill level and the specifications of the participants in mind. “Our guide team is very diverse,” says House, “We won’t send a 27-year-old female with a 50-year-old man out climbing in the Uintas. We assess our clients’ personality and goals and make the experience really unique to the person. We have guides who are great with working with families because they’ve taught their kids how to mountain bike or climb. We have other guides who only want to [lead] 30-year-olds who want to go fast and do gnarly things.”
White Pine Touring’s guides are committed to excellence. Clients will always receive up to date information on technique, equipment, and education for whatever sport they choose, and are led by guides who are CPR and first aid certified. “Most of our guides are Wilderness First Responders. We require our guides to keep medical certs current and show proof of currency at the beginning of each season. They also receive activity specific training with any developments in that specific sport.”
All White Pine tours are private and require at least 24-48 hours’ notice to personalize the experience and pair the appropriate guide. “We want to talk to you as a client, get your goals, and find out what you’re interested in,” says House, “We’re going to go out and find the best guide for you. The night before they’ll introduce themselves, reach out to get to know you personally, make a plan for the following day, and setup meeting location.”
The White Pine Touring Difference
For almost 50 years White Pine Touring has been focused on outdoor education, not only leading their clients into the Wasatch and Uinta Mountains, but helping to further their knowledge and confidence to become independent adventurers and natural lovers themselves. “450 miles of trail can be really intimidating as someone who is new to mountain biking or just new to the area. We get [clients] who say ‘I’m going on a guided day with you then 4 days on our own. [They will] hire one of our guides to get the lay of the land,” says House. A land that with so much to do can feel new for quite some time. “White Pine Touring is still very much an educational institution,” says House, “It really is all about helping people get into the outdoors.”