Designed and led by our female staff of AMGA trained ski and splitboard guides.
This 2-day introduction to backcountry course is for skiers and riders who love spending time in the mountains riding fresh snow. No backcountry experience is necessary to join this course.
Modeled after our popular Backcountry 1.0 and 2.0 single day courses, this course will go a bit deeper by providing back to back days of backcountry skills education with AMGA trained guides. Participants will have the unique chance to work with the same guide, giving the ability to compound skills learned on day 1 and significantly boosting the learning curve in a supportive environment. This course is a fantastic precursor to an AIARE level 1 avalanche course.
You must be an advanced intermediate skier/rider that is competent on and off-piste in a variety of conditions.
- Day 1
BC 1.0 Principles
First day out. Welcome to the backcountry! Our main object for the day will be similar to our BC 1.0 outcomes – Increase familiarity and comfort with movements and equipment. The morning kicks off with a meeting between participants and your AMGA guide, in which they will go over required gear, evaluate everyone’s personal gear and providing feedback and recommendations for future gear purchases. The next subject will be to explore the plan for the day, getting an insight into your guides planning system allowing you to learn a bit about how professional guides go about assessing the day before even stepping outside.
Day 1 Outcomes
Familiarity with backcountry skiing and riding equipment
Transitioning to ski or ride mode from walk mode
Various techniques for efficient uphill travel
How to use avalanche safety equipment: beacon, shovel and probe
What to bring in your pack
How to pack your bag
Managing gear in the elements
- Day 2
BC 2.0 Principles
Day 2 will pick up where Day 1 left off, further expanding on basic movement and terrain assessment fundamentals, while pushing into more complex subjects such as leadership, tour planning and rescue scenarious. This day’s itinerary and goals are ultimately up to the team gathered and the guide. Operating in small groups means we can be dynamic if the group wants to spend more time learning a particular subject, while skipping over another.
Day 2 Outcomes
Leadership in the backcountry setting
Avalanche hazard management
Touring movement skills
A digital transceiver that is simple to use or that you are extremely comfortable using.
Recommended: Black Diamond Recon Avalanche X Beacon
Many options are available, and are often comparable. Most important is to ensure your skins are trimmed properly for the ski you will be touring with. Skins with a secure tail clip are preferred.
Recommended for Skis: Black Diamond Ascension Nylon STS
Recommended for Splitboards: Black Diamond Ascension Splitboard STS
These gloves keep the inside of your mitts or other gloves from accumulating sweat on the inside and turning inside out when you take them off, as well as provide additional insulation.
Recommended: Black Diamond Lightweight Wooltech Gloves
A strong, lightweight avalanche probe, 260-300cm.
Recommended: Black Diamond QuickDraw Pro Probe 280
A lightweight metal avalanche rescue shovel. Extendable handle is recommended.
Recommended: Black Diamond Evac 7
While ski crampons are strongly recommended on our domestic backcountry ski programs, they are required on all of our International Ski Expeditions. These are typically used on early spring days when the snow is often icy on the way up before the conditions transition. Many bindings accept a compatible crampon made by the manufacturer.
Recommended: Black Diamond ATK Ski Crampons
A ski specific helmet that is less than 10 years old.
Recommended: Scott Track Plus Helmet
Ski Touring Boots
These need to be a touring specific boot with walk mode, and a rubber sole. Typically sized a bit larger than your regular alpine boot, and light weight is a huge plus. Be sure to try many pairs on to find the right fit; it can make or break a day in the mountains!
Skis w/ Touring Bindings
A lightweight touring ski with touring bindings. Our guides suggest something between 95mm and 110mm underfoot. Keep in mind that extremely lightweight boards are great on the uphill, but can prove challenging in variable conditions.
Recommended Skis: Black Diamond Helio Carbon 95 Skis
Recommended Bindings: Black Diamond ATK Crest 10 Bindings
The same boots you wear at the resort are great for your splitboard. Be sure they’re comfortable, backcountry touring means long days in your boots!
Recommended: Burton Tourist Snowboard Boots
A splitboard that you are comfortable riding in a variety of conditions.
Recommended: Jones Solution Splitboard
While splitboard crampons are strongly recommended on our domestic backcountry splitboard programs, they are required on all of our International Splitboard Expeditions. These are typically used on early spring days when the snow is often icy on the way up before the conditions transition. Many bindings accept a compatible crampon made by the manufacturer.
Recommended: Spark R&D Ibex ST Splitboard Crampons
A simple, lightweight synthetic jacket. This item is good for layering systems to stay warm in cold, wet conditions.
Recommended: Black Diamond First Light Stretch Hoodie
Internal frame pack that is between 25 and 35 liters. Either purchase a matching pack cover, or use garbage bags as liners to protect from precipitation. Make sure the pack is fitted to YOUR body.
Recommended: Black Diamond Dawn Patrol 32L
The most memorable experiences on skis
“My Backcountry 1.0 ski trip with Alpenglow was the best decision I made before attempting to ski in the backcountry. My guide, instructor Ben W, not only gave me the most memorable experiences on skis but he also educated me on the importance of safety and the fundamentals of skiing in the backcountry. His professional certifications, avalanche training, and personalized instruction assured me that I was learning from a qualified and professional instructor. I learned new skills, hiked on my skis, had some awesome descents and enjoyed the beautiful views of Lake Tahoe. Although trying new skills can feel challenging and overwhelming, Ben was always patient and happy to answer any questions and guide me throughout the day. He always reinforced the importance of having fun and returning back safely to enjoy another day of skiing. I am excited to go to the next level with Alpenglow’s Backcountry 2.0 class and a basic avalanche safety class.
Thank you Ben and the staff of Alpenglow!”