Intro to Backcountry Skiing Course

In the Intro to Backcountry Skiing & Snowboarding Course, participants will learn fundamental skills for backcountry skiing and split-boarding. We start each course with a brief overview of modern touring equipment (tele, alpine and split-boards), what to bring, how to pack and make sure everyone is outfitted properly. Before heading out, we’ll check the forecast, avalanche bulletin, pull out maps, and go over our emergency response plan. Once in the field, we learn more about terrain avoidance, travel protocols, and rescue strategies. Another big part of this course is working on efficient uphill movement, learning proper kick turns, pacing, track angles and most importantly skills on how to ski. Yep, you guessed it, we pack a bunch in over the two days. Our goal is participants should feel like they can do very simple tours with friends of similar experience after this course.

$440 per person

Program Itinerary


We’ll meet at 8:00am at the Peak Mountain Guides office in Ouray and start off with: introductions, outfit everyone with ski touring equipment, and review the plan for the day in the backcountry. Once everyone is outfitted, the instructor will introduce the avalanche bulletin and weather forecast. Using the information found online, the group will learn how to put together an introductory trip plan for a backcountry ski tour. We will wrap up in the classroom by 9:30 am and the group will carpool to Red Mountain Pass. Upon arrival at Red Mountain Pass, we’ll begin with a demonstration of avalanche companion rescue and then we’ll go on a backcountry ski tour. During the tour, the following skills will be taught: how to use skins and touring bindings for efficient uphill travel; how to make rounded turns, AVA turns, and kick turns in the skintrack; how to conduct snowpack tests to evaluate layers in the snowpack; and how to find the highest quality snow in the backcountry. We may ski primarily in one area or we could ski a variety of different lines depending on snow conditions and group fitness. We will return to the cars in the afternoon and we’ll be back to Ouray by 4:30 pm.


The Group will meet again at 8:00 am and the instructor will guide the morning discussion as needed- focusing on the students running the meeting (being able to find: what the avalanche danger rating is for the day and the weather forecast). Out in the field, the instructor will build on the topics that were covered on day one- improving students’ comfo