Intro to Backcountry Skiing

1 Day in Lake Tahoe / (Skill level: Introductory)

Price per person

$180.00
  • Next Available: Dec 07, 2019 -
    Optional Extension Through
  • Upcoming: Dec 14, 2019 -
    Optional Extension Through
  • Dec 21, 2019 -
    Optional Extension Through
  • Dec 28, 2019 -
    Optional Extension Through
  • Jan 04, 2020 -
    Optional Extension Through
  • Jan 11, 2020 -
    Optional Extension Through
  • Jan 18, 2020 -
    Optional Extension Through
  • Jan 25, 2020 -
    Optional Extension Through
  • Feb 01, 2020 -
    Optional Extension Through
  • Feb 08, 2020 -
    Optional Extension Through
  • Feb 15, 2020 -
    Optional Extension Through
  • Feb 22, 2020 -
    Optional Extension Through
  • Feb 29, 2020 -
    Optional Extension Through
  • Mar 07, 2020 -
    Optional Extension Through
  • Mar 14, 2020 -
    Optional Extension Through
  • Mar 21, 2020 -
    Optional Extension Through
  • Mar 28, 2020 -
    Optional Extension Through
  • Apr 04, 2020 -
    Optional Extension Through
  • Apr 11, 2020 -
    Optional Extension Through

About this trip

Learn the fundamentals of traveling safely and efficiently in the backcountry. This trip prepares you for an intermediate Lake Tahoe Ski Tour. Please note, this course is not for beginner resort skiers/riders. You should be an advanced resort skier/rider before pursuing backcountry skiing/riding. Please contact the office if you have questions about skill requirements. 877-873-5376. Both skiers and splitboarders are welcome in this course.

Overview

  • skill level

    Introductory

  • Duration

    1 Day

This one day course will introduce you to the fundamentals of backcountry skiing and snowboarding. After this course, you will be able to plan and execute an efficient, simple backcountry ski tour. Come out and learn the techniques and tricks from a professional ski guide, and get away from the lifts and the crowds of the ski area. Our Introduction to Backcountry Skiing is a great prerequisite for an AIARE 1 avalanche course.

Location:

Field sessions take place in Shirley Canyon, located within Olympic Valley. Alpenglow operates in partnership with The Tahoe National Forest and Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows.

Skills covered:

Touring equipment options
Clothing layering and techniques
Use of Beacon, Probe and Shovel
How to interpret an Avalanche Bulletin
Uphill travel techniques using climbing skins
Avalanche hazard recognition and avoidance
Downhill travel techniques and group management
Difficulty: Strong intermediate to advanced skiing level required.

 

Alpenglow Expeditions operates under a special use permit from the Tahoe, Inyo and Eldorado National Forests. This institution is an equal opportunity provider. 

Preparation

  • Fitness

    Excellent physical fitness is required. Skiers must be able to hike for many hours at a time while carrying a pack.

  • Technical Experience

    Skiers must be competent resort skiers able to link turns in a variety of terrain and snow conditions.

    • 8am - 8:30am — Meet & Greet

      Meet your guide and fellow skiers. Set goals for the day.

    • 8:30am - 12pm — Morning Tour

      After reviewing gear and equipment, head out for the first climb and descent of the day.

    • 12pm - 12:30pm — Lunch

      In between the morning and afternoon sessions we'll take a break for some much needed calories.

    • 12:30 - 3:30pm — Afternoon Tour

      Depending on our observations from the morning we'll spend the afternoon skiing and may work in a mock avalanche rescue.

      • Equipment

    • What is your cancellation policy?

      1. We reserve the right to cancel any trip at any time. Reasons for cancellation might include (but are not limited to) natural disasters or inadequate enrollment. If we cancel a trip prior to its start for low enrollment, we fully refund your payments. If we cancel your trip prior to its start due to natural disasters or other reasons of that nature, we will refund all but non-recoverable costs. Changes to a trip itinerary made by our guides for any reason do not constitute a cancellation, and no refunds will be made in this case.

      2. If you cancel your trip more than 30 days prior to departure, Alpenglow Expeditions will refund your payment minus a 25% cancelation fee, or the option to rebook to another available date with 100% credit. Cancellations between 10 and 30 days prior to the course start, you may reschedule with a 25% rebooking fee. Inside of 10 days, there are no rebookings or refunds. In light of this, Alpenglow Expeditions highly recommends purchasing trip insurance to protect yourself in the event that you are unable to attend.

      3. On any trip, our guides reserve the right to remove any person, for any reason. These reasons generally stem from a person jeopardizing the safety of themselves or another team member. This includes a person who is not physically able to climb or ski/ride at the level necessary for the chosen objective. In all these cases, there are no refunds whatsoever, and the client will be responsible for any additional costs incurred in leaving the trip.

      4. Travel in the mountains can be difficult at times. Winter weather can have a significant impact on travel times, with temporary road closures, chain control,  traffic, and slow driving conditions, poor visibility, and other issues all possibly contributing to delays. Additionally, there is a certain amount of inherent risk involved with winter driving,  we recommend that all participants take the time to be prepared for unforeseen circumstances or delays. As these issues are a normal part of mountain travel, Alpenglow will not cancel courses due to challenging travel conditions.

    • Do you rent equipment?

      Yes. All-new 2017 Blizzard Skis, Tecnica Boots and Jones Splitboards are available for rent for $55 per day. 

      We also rent beacons, shovels and probes.

    • What level skier or snowboarder do I need to be to take this course?

      You need to be an advanced-intermediate skier or snowboarder within a ski resort.

    • Do I have enough experience for this trip?

      You must be a strong intermediate skier or rider to join us in the backcountry. This is for the safety and enjoyment of everyone. Other than these skills, you do not have to have any other experience in the backcountry. This course is designed to take the resort skier beyond the boundaries, and show them the world of backcountry skiing.

    • I don’t have any avalanche gear- can I still sign up?

      Yes! Alpenglow rents beacons, probes and shovels for a small daily fee.

    • How much hiking will we do?

      While every day varies slightly, on average we skin (hike with skis) between 1,500’ and 2,500’ of vertical gain.

    • Is lunch included on this trip?

      Lunch is not included, we recommend bringing a sack lunch and plenty of water. There are also plenty of food options around our office in the village.

    • How many people will be in our group?

      Alpenglow takes pride in our small group sizes, and while they vary in size, the maximum ratio is a 4:1 clients to guide.

    • Is it safe?

      While no outdoor adventure can be completely free of risk without losing the essence of the activity, hiring a professional guide is a fantastic way to manage and mitigate this risk. Activities like skiing and climbing have what we call “inherent risk”, which can be defined as a risk that cannot be completely mitigated by a professional. That is part of playing in the mountains, we encourage you to reach out to the office if you would like to discuss this in more detail.

Tim Dobbins

With notable first descents in the Alps, Tim Dobbins represents Alpenglow’s cutting edge guiding philosophy providing only the best guides for every trip and expedition.

Growing up in Oregon, Tim started out skiing at the young age of 4 years old. Tim grew up ski racing for 9 years before he moved on to backcountry skiing in Aspen, Colorado. He spent 4 years working as ski patrol at Snowmass Ski Resort.

Tim moved to Chamonix in the mid-’90s where he spent 6 seasons skiing and climbing while studying French. Tim says that Chamonix is where he really started learning how to ski tour, rock climb, ice climb and eventually began skiing the steepest lines he could find.

Examples of those steep lines were the North East face of Les Courtes, Couloir Barbey from Aiguille D’Argentiere, Couloir Couturier from L’Aiguille Verte, Couloir du Diable on Mont Blanc du Tacul, East face of the Matterhorn and many, many others.

Tim has recently spent the last 9 years guiding and instructing in rock, ice, alpine, and skiing as well as becoming an IFMGA aspirant mountain guide, an AMGA Ski Guide and AIARE course leader. He lives on Donner Lake in Truckee with his wife Gisele, sweet daughter Manue and son Matisse. 

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor
  • AMGA Certified Ski Guide

Ben Mitchell

Ben has been in love with the mountains from a young age. He began hiking and skiing with his family and quickly decided he never wanted to stop. After finishing university in Portland, OR Ben moved back to Washington State and began guiding on Mt. Rainier and around the Cascades. For the next many years he followed the seasons, skiing, climbing and pursuing the art of human flight through out the world. He has made expeditions into both polar circles, skied first descents in Afghanistan and climbed throughout the Americas and Europe. When not looking forward to the next adventure he thoroughly enjoys roasting coffee, reading and taking his dog out for walks.

Ben is an IFMGA/AMGA mountain guide, Certified Level III Avalanche Professional, and Wilderness First Responder.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA - American Mountain Guide
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Logan Talbott

director of operations / chief guide

Logan has been guiding professionally for over a decade in the disciplines of Rock, Alpine and Ski Mountaineering. When not out guiding, Logan keeps things running smoothly as the director of operations at Alpenglow Expeditions. From one day ascents of El Capitan to big Alpine climbs in the Himalaya, from ski descents on Denali to backyard ski tours in Lake Tahoe, he can’t help but smile when out running around the hills. Logan is an AMGA/IFMGA mountain guide, an Avalanche course leader with AIARE, as well as a wilderness EMT. In addition to guiding, Logan has extensive experience in mountain rescue, having worked for rescue teams in both Yosemite and Denali National Parks, and volunteering locally for Tahoe Nordic SAR. When not out in the hills, he lives in Truckee, CA with his lovely wife Lynette and daughter Maggie.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA - American Mountain Guide
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Zeb Blais

From bushwhacking miles of Manzanita in ski boots to traversing huge glaciers in exotic ranges, adventure draws Zeb in. Originally from Vermont, Zeb has been hooked on big mountains since his first ski tour in Jackson Hole and has pursued skiing, climbing and exploring ever since. Zeb has climbed and guided in the Himalaya, Alaska, Argentina, Mexico, Ecuador and Asia among others and he’s working hard to keep that list growing. Working as a mountain guide allows Zeb to share his passion for human powered movement in the mountains and to pass along what he’s learned along the way.

Zeb has successfully guided Mt Everest [29,029′], Mt Cho Oyu [26,906′] including a ski descent from the summit, Lobuche East [20,075′],  and four expeditions on Denali [20,320’], including a ski descent from the summit. He has completed 64 summits of Mount Rainier [14,410’]. Additional credentials include 12 summits of Mount Shasta [14,179’]; 5 summits of Mount Shuksan [9,100’]; 3 summits via Mount Baker [10,678’], including one ski descent from the summit, and two ski descents via the North Ridge; 2 summits of Aconcagua [22,841’]; 1 summit of Cotopaxi and 1 summit of Cayabme; 2 summits of Ixtacihuatl in Mexico; 3 summits of Orizaba in Mexico, including a ski descent from the summit; and numerous rock, alpine and ski summits from the Cascades, Sierra Nevada, Coast ranges and Rockies.

Zeb is an AMGA Ski Guide and Assistant Rock and Alpine guide.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Ski Guide

Chris Wright

Chris grew up in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains before moving to Oregon and becoming a guide in 2006, and has been climbing and skiing across the globe ever since. He is a fully certified IFMGA Mountain Guide, and can regularly be found at work from the French Alps to the Canadian Rockies and Norway’s Lofoten Islands. His achievements include everything from big walls to virgin summits, first ski descents and traverses, and his guiding career has taken him from the Matterhorn to Denali, and from Mt. Hood to Mont Blanc. An avid alpinist and expedition climber, Chris has received the prestigious Mugs Stump and Lyman Spitzer Cutting Edge Awards for his ascents of hard new routes on unclimbed peaks in the Nepali and Indian Himalayas, as well as the rest of the world, including the famed East Face of Alaska’s Mooses Tooth. He is easily excited by rocks, snow and ice, and by travel, coffee, beer and greasy food of any sort.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA - American Mountain Guide
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

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    Intro to Backcountry Skiing