San Juan Expeditions guide skiing deep snow in the San Juan Mountains

Intro to Backcountry Skiing

  • Duration 8 hours
  • Avalanche Courses

Step into the world of Backcountry Travel on Skis or Splitboard

This course is for those who have little or no backcountry travel experience, with intermediate level in bounds resort skiing experience and want to learn how to take the skills they already have and move into the backcountry. It serves as an excellent introduction to using your backcountry gear, techniques and best practices for uphill and downhill travel, with avalanche education fundamentals.

In this course we will cover the equipment necessary for backcountry skiing and splitboarding, discussing differences in modern equipment, including skis/splits, bindings, and skins. We’ll dive into the crucial avalanche safety equipment needed to move through the backcountry and review its basic functions, and will review how to find and understand the most crucial information from the avalanche bulletin. 

Once everyone is properly outfitted, we’ll head out into the beautiful backcountry terrain around Silverton. Once on the snow, we’ll begin our tour moving slowly as we introduce key concepts like identifying avalanche terrain and using it to reduce our risk, and recognizing weather and snowpack factors that contribute to elevated avalanche hazard. We’ll learn about proper track setting, route finding, maximizing functionality and efficiency of our touring equipment, and specific movement skills for backcountry conditions.

Trip Details

Duration

8 Hours

Difficulty

Some skiing experience necessary – must be able to ski blues at a resort

Maximum Guide Ratio

6:1

Included

  • AMGA and SJE trained/certified ski guide
  • Avalanche beacon, shovel & probe 
  • Federal land usage surcharge (USFS/BLM)

Not Included

  • Personal skiing/riding equipment (you can rent from our partnered retailer, Cripple Creek Backcountry here, and pick up day of)
  • Lunch/snack food & water
  • Guide gratuity (we recommend tipping at least 20% of your booking cost)

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