The San Juan Mountains are the premier ski mountaineering venue in the United States. You climb just about everything before you ski it, making it an excellent training ground to learn climbing skills as they relate to ski mountaineering. You will be lead by IFGMA or AMGA certified guides who are highly experienced ski mountaineers with years of experience. Our ski mountaineering trips incorporate the true essence of mountain travel, exposing you to a vast set of ski mountaineering skills, like the following:
- Tour planning and terrain selection
- Map, compass, GPS navigation
- Tracksetting for safety, efficiency, and observations
- Use of ski crampons, ice axe, and boot crampons
- Construction of ski anchors
- Belayed skiing techniques
- Lowering and rappelling for access to steep terrain
- Steep skiing and snowboarding techniques
- Advanced snowpack stability assessment
- Crevasse rescue
Fully-Catered Hut Based 3-Day, 2-Night Trip
The OPUS Hut is easily approached from either Silverton or Telluride. The OPUS Hut offers a European-style, catered hut skiing experience, allowing you to focus simply on your skiing objectives. Located at 11,600’ in the middle of a vast ocean of ski terrain, there are a few areas with tree runs, otherwise most of the skiing is above treeline. It is big, wide open, and filled with high quality backcountry ski runs, many of which eclipse 2,500 vertical feet from top to bottom. Additional $90/person/night fee includes breakfast, dinner, and hut accommodations. Beer, wine and a limited selection of spirits are available from the bar. Cash and credit cards are accepted at the hut.
Self-Catered Hut Based 3-Day, 2-Night Trip
From mid-March through April, the Last Dollar Hut is easily accessed from the town of Telluride. The combination of short approach, the ability to travel without camping gear, and vast terrain make this our favorite hut in the San Juan Hut System. The Last Dollar Hut is located at 10,908′ in area known for high quality ski mountaineering objectives – steep chutes, big faces, challenging climbing, and steep ski descents. Additional $60/person/night fee includes breakfast, dinner, and hut accommodations.
Camping Based – 4-Day, 3-Night Trip
In April each year the Yankee Boy Basin road is plowed by Ouray County, offering quick access to incredible ski mountaineering terrain around 14,150’ Mt. Sneffels–the most famous ski mountaineering objective in the range. It is an iconic ski peak, known for challenging climbing and high quality ski descents. This trip differs from the others by incorporating lightweight alpine camping systems or expedition style systems depending on your objectives. The tour culminates on day 4 by skiing one of the many possible descents off of Mt. Sneffels (e.g. Lavender Couloir, Snake Couloir, Birthday Chutes). Additional $30/person/night fee includes breakfast, dinner, and group camping equipment.
This is a private program, no one else will be paired with your party. If your group is larger than 3, we apply a group discount and additional guides are added to keep the guest to guide ratio at 3:1 or lower.
Time and Place
This is a custom program. Meeting time and place are organized directly with your guide.
Details on lodging/shuttles. All of these tours include transportation to and from the trailhead
It is possible to rent touring equipment from our ski shop: Rental Rates