JUST A FEW HOURS’ drive up the St. Lawrence from Quebec City, the alpine scenery and total winter wilderness of Gaspésie National Park takes less than a day to reach from most major Northeastern cities. And is completely worth the journey.

Despite having grown accustomed to a fairly temperate climate, on my trip last winter I never noticed the temperature dipping well below freezing. Granted, we kept the blood flowing by venturing across glacial valleys on snowshoes and cross-country skis. Other days we traversed up the steep Chic-Choc Mountains on splitboards with skins and poles. At the summit of every journey, I would sit catching my breath and gazing out at the views before getting in my well-earned turns.

I’ve recently come to the realization that I may never be able to fully enjoy the spoils of a standard ski resort again. Nothing compares to leaving the constraints of civilization and finding adventure within the vast backcountry of the Gaspésie: