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Ski Mountaineering Course

2-Day Ski Mountaineering Seminar

Itinerary: This two-day seminar is for students who are well versed in the function of backcountry skiing but want to further develop their skill set to include technical ski descents in steep terrain as well as focus on explicit ski mountaineering; skiing down from the top of a mountain. In addition to this focus, if it is appropriate for the group, considerations and techniques for glaciated ski touring can be implemented within this course as well.

The first day will start at a trailhead of the guides’ choosing. The team will do a brief gear check and introduce some of the novel pieces of equipment found in the pack of a ski mountaineer; the harness, helmet, ski & boot crampons, mountain axe, rope and various climber accoutrement required for technical ascents and descents. The guide will conduct a group discussion regarding the risks associated on that given day including but not limited to avalanche hazard, weather concerns and other objective hazards found in the mountains. The team will perform a routine trailhead departure check using their avalanche transceivers and if need be, refresh avalanche rescue skills before heading to an appropriate outdoor “classroom” to conduct an intro to snow climbing and technical descent techniques.

The first day will be a dedicated “classroom day” to learn snow climbing techniques, mountain axe usage, rappelling and lowering and steep skiing considerations. The day will wrap up with a short ski tour or shorter couloir and then conclude at the trailhead.

The second day will be dedicated to choosing and finding the right terrain for the group whether that be an attempt to ski from the summit of a nearby peak or a climb and ski of a local classic couloir in Rocky Mountain National Park. This will ultimately be up to the guide and based on the group’s collective ability and conditions on any given day. Whatever it ends up being, it will certainly be a memorable experience for the guests!

All trips in Rocky Mountain National Park are run through Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides. 

Prerequisites: Black/Double Black resort run downhill skiing ability, general fitness at elevations up to 13,000’ and the ability to endure cold/windy conditions for 6-8 hours. Intro to BC Skiing course or equivalent.

Gear Required: Ski Touring Skis (AT/Telemark) or Splitboard, Ski Touring Boots, Skins Fit to Skis, Poles, Ski Touring Pack + Standard Ski Accoutrement and Appropriate Clothing for the conditions, ski mountaineering harness, helmet, mountain axe, boot crampons, ski crampons, belay device, locking carabiners, double length sling

Gear Provided: Avalanche safety equipment e.g. transceiver, shovel, probe, as well as some of the basic ski mountaineering gear like helmet, harness, axe, crampons, etc.

Ratios: 3:1, 6:2

Location: Rocky Mountain National Park

Dates: May 18-19, May 25-26, June 1-2

Price: $700

April 17
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