Improve Your Ski Mountaineering Skills and Knowledge
While carrying out high level ski mountaineering tours we will help you develop your ski mountaineering skills and mountain judgment. You will have hands-on opportunities to practice with ice axe and crampons, climb on a rope team, read a glacier, and plan an ascent and descent of a big alpine peak. You will leave the course with a repertoire of skills that will serve you well in any of the great ski mountaineering ranges around the world.
We commonly teach the following skills in the context of some incredible ski mountaineering tours:
- Tour planning and terrain selection
- Map, compass, & GPS navigation
- Traveling skills: tracksetting, pacing, AVA turn and kick turn
- Glacier travel and crevasse rescue
- Use of ski crampons, ice axe, and boot crampons
- Construction of THINX ski anchors
- Lowering and rappelling for access to steep terrain
- Steep skiing techniques
- Advanced snowpack stability assessment through layer identification, understanding of spatial variability, and understanding direct and indirect weather effects
5-Day Trip for Big Descents, Big Education, & Big Fun
We offer a 5-day trip that includes four days of human powered touring on Thompson Pass and one helicopter assisted drop with our friends at Valdez Heli Ski Guides. During the human powered days, we tackle the classics of Thompson Pass like Goodwills, the Berlin Wall, the Python, Cracked Ice, the Promised Land, Lizard Head, the Iguanabacks, and Crudbusters. These are mega-classic ski mountaineering tours with big descents topping out at more than 6000 vertical feet. On the helicopter assisted day, we will get dropped onto a summit that is off the road corridor. From the summit, we’ll make an epic ski descent and then tour back toward the road, tagging another long ski descent along the way. We also include one day of glacier training that covers glacier travel and crevasse rescue.
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.
Cost includes 5 days of instruction and guiding with an AMGA certified guide, pick up and drop off at the Valdez airport, one helicopter drop, transportation during the program, double occupancy lodging, and avalanche safety gear.
Advanced downhill skiing ability.
Ability to make controlled turns in variable conditions.
Previous backcountry touring experience.
Time and Place
This trip runs in the Chugach mountains around Valdez, AK. Meeting times and logistical details are coordinated on a custom basis.
All the technical climbing equipment required for this outing is included.