Skiing is one of the best possible ways to get around in winter. Ski touring, specifically, since it allows travel going up as well as down. Touring skis offer some flotation keeping you atop the snow (to a degree), their proper use offers little resistance on uphill sections — especially Nordic or cross-country skis — on flat sections, depending on the specific gear, some glide can be achieved, and of perhaps the biggest appeal to the most people, is the thrill of a hill with snow on it offers, especially the alpine. This introductory course is meant to start you confidently Nordic or Alpine skiing in the backcountry with proper regard for safety covering topics such as planning, preparation, gear, terrain, travel (skinning, turns) technique, control, and more.
This winter-only course is being offered as a half-day lasting 3-4 hours, or so, as well as a more in-depth, more intensive full day class lasting 6-8 hours, or so. Both offerings are held mostly outdoors, though there is some pre-ski prep and class but that may also be outdoors. Like all of our programs, this course is custom-tailored to meet your wants and needs so please include any special objectives or learning desires you may have, if applicable, in the comments box of our Booking Form.
What to Wear
You will want to be dressed to ski in the backcountry with respect to the season, elements, and forecast. Unlike skiing on groomed trails, skiing the backcountry demands respect and preparedness. The information below will help you with this. Please note that the clothing specifics will vary by the conditions, destination, and specific activity. Thus, not all of this clothing may be needed.
- Think layers. While a ski jacket, for example, may be warm and waterproof, if the insulation can’t be separated from the rain/snow protection layer, it really isn’t suitable. You will overheat if you need rain/snow protection while skiing. Bring independent layers. Having our “Ready Pack” will help.
- Never wear cotton, even at the underwear level. Synthetic materials, wool, and especially performance/wicking materials should be your clothing of choice. For skiing, since cotton won’t dry and doesn’t insulate while wet, it can pose a hazard. You will want to wear the right type of skiing or winter hiking clothing and you will want to bring extra.
- Bring more than you think you need. Mountain weather can be very tricky and unpredictable. While it may be nice in town, the mountains can be very different. Being prepared can save your life.
- For footwear, you will want a medium to heavy ski touring boot with gaiters meant for a backcountry-rated Nordic binding (specifically NNN/BC if renting locally) or, if alpine touring, you will want an AT-specific ski boot. This is part of the local rentals if getting skis.
- And your noggin, not a concern unless you’re on an alpine class with us. Helmets are then required (outsourced gear).
- Avalanche gear, such as a beacon, shovel, and probe, will be provided to you presently at no extra charge should we ski in marginal terrain. That said, it is our aim to stay out of said terrain altogether unless conditions are low danger range.
For your skiing intro course gear needs, in addition to your own non-cotton base layers, hiking/climbing/skiing pants with shirt, and rentable footwear, as described above, we offer three options. Click to expand. Please note that the gear specifics will vary by the conditions, destination, and specific activity. Thus, not all of this gear may be needed.
Gear Option 1 - Open
Gear Option 1 - Close
- Personal first aid kit/meds.
- Personal hygiene items.
- Camera/phone (weather-protected).
- Lip balm, sun block.
- Sunglasses (goggles are included with Ready Packs).
- Proper footwear (see information above).
- Proper clothing layering (see information above).
SPECIAL NOTE: You may get a “Ready Pack, Lean” or “Alpine Ready Pack, Lean,” depending on your needs, without food and water for $30/person/day, or $60/person/day, respectively.
SPECIAL NOTE: You can also order just food and water for $15/person/day. (Available with any option.)
Gear Option 2 - Open
Gear Option 2 - Close
- A lined pack with hip belt and room for the items below (~30-40 liters, or more for an alpine class).
- Hardshell jacket and pants, or rain poncho (mountain weather can be quite wet).
- Mountain-rated insulated layer (mountains are much colder than in town).
- Winter-rated mid-layer.
- Food for the day, plus extra.
- Water for the day, at least 2 liters, plus extra.
- Winter-rated hat, gloves/mittens.
- Headlamp with spare batteries (or backup device).
- Whistle or sound-making device (sternum strap whistles are okay).
- Tarp, bivvy, or personal shelter.
- A lightweight emergency sleeping pad.
Plus any of these applicable Specialty Gear Items, which may be rented…
- Headlamp, $5/person/day.
- Trekking poles, Gaiters, Microspikes, $15/set/person/day (ski poles will substitute).
- Climbing helmet, $5/person/day.
- Balaclava, Goggles, Mitts, $15/set/person/day (deep cold).
- Down blend puffy, $25/person/day (deep cold).
- Gear Insurance, $10/person.
- Plus any outsourced gear items, call for current pricing.
SPECIAL NOTE: Outsourced gear like skis, bindings, boots, and poles, br can rented fit if call tell us ahead of time for you for a convenience charge of $40 plus the applicable rental fees.
Gear Option 3 - Open
Gear Option 3 - Close
Okay… Let’s Do This!
Here is the pricing and other information you’ll probably want to know.
|Half Day Course Pricing|
|For one person||$125|
|For two people||$175|
|Added people||$75 each|
|Full Day Course Pricing|
|For one person||$200|
|For two people||$325|
|Added people||$150 each|
|Premium Course Options|
|Make it private||Add $75|
- The difficulty of this activity is as requested.
- This activity has a 1:4 instructor/student ratio.
- The maximum group size is 4 with 1 guide.
- For parties larger than 4, please contact us.
- Gratuities not included; 15-20% is customary for a good job.