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.
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.
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.
April 5-7, 2019
April 20-22, 2019
April 26-28, 2019
- 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
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.
Details on lodging/shuttles. We provide transportation from the office to the trailhead each day of your trip.
Please come prepared with the necessary clothing and equipment and let us know if you have any questions.
Avalanche safety equipment (beacon, probe and shovel) are included. We rent modern lightweight touring boots and skis.