View our COVID-19 guidelines

Ski Mountaineering course



Learn Ski Mountaineering in the mighty San Juans

Ski Mountaineering Course Overview

With an emphasis on education, our Ski Mountaineering Course is a fantastic introduction for those who are looking to take their skiing/riding to the next level. Our AMGA educated and certified guides will share their expertise and  train you on a variety advanced techniques to give you the tools to tackle objectives that go beyond a normal tour. Our low client/guide ratio (3:1) ensures you get the dedicated attention required to become proficient in advanced techniques such as belayed skiing/riding, low angle ice climbing, advanced avalanche hazard mitigation, and more. 

As a Silverton based course, you will live, breathe, and eat in the mountains we will be recreating and learning in for the duration of the course. If objectives like the Grand Teton, Snake Couloir (Mt. Sneffels), Holy Cross Couloir (Mt. of the Holy Cross), Shit for Brains (Black Mountain)  are on your tick list, our Ski Mountaineering Course is a great opportunity to give yourself the skills to get you closer to completing your objective.  


Difficulty Scale advanced 2


Duration Scale 3 days v2



What You Will Learn

Technical Winter Climbing

Climbing chops are often an overlooked skill set when considering a technical descent in the mountains. We will cover best practices for steep snow and low angle ice to help you access those hard-to-reach lines.


It is common that when accessing lines from above, rappeling is necessary to safely descend. We will cover a variety of techniques on snow, ice, and rock. 

Belayed Skiing

Belayed skiing is a skill best applied when skiing terrain of consequence or testing slopes for instability. we will talk about the applications of this technique and how to execute this maneuver for best results. 

Advanced Tour Planning

Ski mountaineering requires a keen eye for terrain navigation. Not only do you need to consider avalanche terrain, but you also must consider route finding when entering more vertical terrain. We will show you how to find that path of least resistance. 

Hazard Identification & Management

When venturing in terrain above 30 degrees, mother nature can throw a whole new bag of tricks at you. Learning advanced techniques to identify and mitigate avalanche risk is essential for safe navigation through technical descents. 

Steep Skiing/Riding Technique

Once you are ready to drop, do you have the skill necessary to execute the best part of the ski mountaineering – the descent? We will teach you a variety of techniques not only on how to successfully descent but also self arrest in the event of a fall. 

Modern Equipment Considerations

This is often a lot of people’s favorite part of technical sports, the gear. We will cover at length the types of tools used in Ski Mountaineering and how to select the best kit for your descent. 

Where You Will Stay

addie s cabin min 1

Silverton provides an ideal base camp for our Ski Mountaineering Course. The town is conveniently positioned a short distance from the million-dollar highway on the Southern side of Red Mountain Pass. Nestled in a yawning valley surrounded by a crown of peaks looming above, access to technical terrain is fantastic. The historic town emanates the vibe of a remote outpost but the parallels to a rugged frontiers town stop there. Historic Greene St. hosts a variety of Coffee shops, restaurants, bars and more to indulge in on your off time from the course. With no shortage of places to rest your muscles after a long day in the mountains, our lodging partners The Columbine Road House, Avon Hotel, and The Wyman Hotel offer San Juan Expeditions guests a 10% discount on their preferred lodging. If you have any additonal questions on lodging feel free to reach out to us at [email protected].

where we will meet

The first morning of the Ski Mountaineering Course we will have a meeting at San Juan Expeditions HQ.  We will go over the itinerary for the next three days, you will meet your guides, we will be sure all liability waivers have been completed and then we will set out for the first day in the field. During this meeting we will adhere to our COVID-19 policy to ensure all our participants safety is prioritized. After the first day of the course, meeting locations may vary depending on the objectives of the following days. All this information will be shared with you by your guides and instructors. 


SJE HQ Asset

What is Included in the cost?

included in trip cost icon

– Three days on snow with an AMGA certified & trained guide

– Federal land usage surcharge (USFS/BLM)

– Avalanche safety equipment (beacon, shovel, probe)

– Mountaineering equipment (ice axe, harness, anchors, rope etc.)

Not Included Icon

– Guide gratuity

– Backcountry touring equipment (skis or splitboard, boots, skins, etc.) *

– Personal clothing/gear

* If you need to rent equipment locally visit our friends at Backcountry Experience. If you are coming from the Front Range reach out our partners at Cripple Creek Backcountry.

Course Gallery

(Click for full size image)

past clients feedback

Skied the Anvil with Jack and a buddy! Hands down one of the best days I’ve ever had. Jack was very professional especially with new clients of unknown skill and fitness. 100% will return and recommend their services to anyone who seeks to explore the San Juans!

Mike Klein

Best in the business. Friendly, competent guides who will help you realize your dream adventures in the San Juans and beyond. Also the best source for outdoor based courses such as AIARE avalanche courses.

Kit Barton


Anyone participating in our programs must fill out a waiver beforehand. If you are under 18, please have your parent/guardian complete.


Please familiarize yourself with our Booking & Cancellation Policies.


Skiers/riders should be in good physical condition, and confident/comfortable on their method of snow travel (backcountry touring skis or splitboard).