I responded. Thought I'd expound a bit on it since cross country seems to be the neglected step child of this forum. First a short tale. When working I often commuted to DC by 'slugging'; waiting at designated pick up points to fill seats in cars so the drivers could use the express lanes. It often led to interesting conversations with strangers. One day a very type A woman was holding forth about her skiing. Someone asked if she skied locally. "Oh, I go west, I would never ski around here." I said that I enjoyed skiing the WV backcountry and that it can be very good. No response. She went on (and on) and eventually asked if anyone knew anything about Jackson Hole. I said yes I'd been there what would she like to know. "You're a cross country skier, you wouldn't know." I said, "I'm a skier". I believe this fell on deaf ears.
In western Canada, the kind of activity shown below is called Ski Touring.
Making tracks at Crowfoot Pass high above the Icefield Highway (between Banff & Jasper), Apr. 2000.
The valley near Icefield Highway. Note glacier in upper right.
I looked it up and was pleased to see the wikipedia definition of ski touring,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ski_touring
Anyhow my tally of cross country, back country, ski touring for 2008-09
Whitegrass 3 days in Oct. One, the Halloween storm, may have been the biggest single snowfall of the season. You'd have to ask Chip
Vermont 4 days, 3 were below zero (one -30) and I did not want to ride lifts in such cold. 1 in Nebraska Notch near Stowe, 2 at Bolton in woods beside lift served terrain but lift was closed and I skinned. 1 fortuitous getting lost in Stowe woods, finding perfect powder in a perfect glade and coming out in the XC trail system where i slogged back a couple miles to the road and shuttle bus.
Colorado 1 memorable day at Rabbit Ears pass on the continental divide in deep gloppy wet snow, about 4 miles total and elevation 9000 - 10000 feet. Why memorable? My oldest grandson (11) came along for his first backcountry experience. It was not an easy day but he never complained and wants to do more - with grandpa.
Utah - 2 days, an easy one on the Solitude groomed trail system (which is a nice was to spend a half day), one tougher skinning into Grizzly Gulch, across the road from Alta.
By any name it is all skiing and all fun.