Ski Mountaineering Course

Peak’s Ski Mountaineering Course offers students a comprehensive and thorough three days of learning and practicing the skills necessary to engage technical/roped terrain on skis and snowboard. The blend of mountaineering and backcountry skiing gifts some of the most incredible days in the mountains, Peak guides are excited to give you the tools to get there! The course is spent in either the Last Dollar or the OPUS Hut creating an immersive ski mountaineering experience that will prepare participants for ski mountaineering trips around the world.

$860 per person

  • Ski Mountaineering Course
  • Colorado Ski Mountaineering

Program Itinerary

Day 1:

We will meet at the Peak Mountain Guides office at 8:00 am to have introductions, learn about each participant’s goals for the course, and check everyone’s equipment. You will be introduced to a “fast & light” approach to equipment selection and your instructor will show you some of the highly efficient ski mountaineering equipment that is available today. We will also review maps of the area and create a route plan for our approach into camp. From there, we will carpool to the trailhead and ski into either the Last Dollar or OPUS Hut. After camp is established, we will build ski anchors and introduce techniques for belaying and rappelling.

Day 2:

We will make an ascent and ski descent of a nearby peak, learning fundamental ski mountaineering skills along the way. You will learn strategies for efficient tracksetting, on-the-go snowpack observations, and you will get hands-on practice with ski mountaineering tools such as ski crampons, ice axe, and/or boot crampons. You will learn how to properly use each of these tools for improved safety and efficiency in firm, icy, and/or steep terrain. We will also ski a steep line that may require belayed skiing or use of the rope for protection. Once back at camp, if time and energy levels allow, we will demonstrate a system for crevasse rescue.

Day 3:

The final day of the course we will make a ascent and ski descent of a sizeable technical Peak near the hut (larger than the second day). Several objectives offers incredible ascent and descent routes, all of which require an array of ski mountaineering skills. You will get to employ techniques for steep snow climbing with crampons and ice axe, roped climbing, and possibly ski belays or a rappel. With beautiful ski lines, a steep craggy summit, and a technical climb this program provides both a great deal of teaching and a memorable ski mountaineering experience.

Program Dates

April 5-7, 2019
April 20-22, 2019
April 26-28, 2019

Skills Covered

  • Tour planning and terrain selection
  • Map, compass, GPS navigation
  • Setting an up track efficiency for 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
  • Lightweight alpine camping systems
  • Crevasse rescue


Group Size

This is an open enrollment course. The maximum group size is 3.

Time and Place

This trip meets at our office at 280 7th Ave in Ouray.

Getting to Ouray

Details on lodging/shuttles. We provide transportation from the office to the trailhead each day of your trip.

Equipment List

Please come prepared with the necessary clothing and equipment and let us know if you have any questions.

Rental Gear

Avalanche safety equipment (beacon, probe and shovel) are included. We rent modern lightweight touring boots and skis.