Become fully immersed in your backcountry and start your journey into a lifetime of Avalanche education and mitigation at the serene Frog Lake Huts
This is a comprehensive, entry-level avalanche course designed for those with basic ski/snowboard touring experience. This Private AIARE course will be a 3-day, 2-night trip based at the Frog Lake Huts near Castle Peak. They are top notch European style huts that will be nice and cozy after long days out learning! Learn more about the Frog Lake Huts and ski terrain here.
You must be an advanced intermediate skier/rider for this course and be comfortable on both on and off-piste terrain in a variety of conditions. Here is a good example of intermediate skiers and riders.
- Day 1 & 2
Classroom + In-Field
The first two days of your course will be used to learn in a classroom with your instructors. After lunch each day, you will practice and observe the lessons that were taught in the morning out in the field. You will spend the evening enjoying dinner and the company of your group in the Frog Lake Huts.
- Day 3
The last day is used to put together all the skills learned and practiced in the first few days of your course. You will plan and execute your own ski tour with a small team alongside an instructor.
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 ski specific helmet that is less than 10 years old.
Recommended: Scott Track Plus Helmet
A lightweight metal avalanche rescue shovel. Extendable handle is recommended.
Recommended: Black Diamond Evac 7
A strong, lightweight avalanche probe, 260-300cm.
Recommended: Black Diamond QuickDraw Pro Probe 280
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
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
Ski socks will keep your feet warm and dry during long tours in the mountains.
These will be worn on stormy or windy days. Make sure you are getting a snug fit with lenses for bright sun. Ventilation and anti-fog features are desired.
Recommended: Vuarnet Everest Goggles
Neck Gaiter (Buff)
A multi-purpose neck gator that can also be worn under your hat. Make sure that it covers as much skin as possible and yet is still comfy.
Recommended: Alpenglow Buff
Must have dark lenses. Minimal light should come in below, above, or around the sides of the lenses.“Wrap” style is best. Ventilation is important and a retainer strap is very useful (Chums or Croakies).
Recommended: Vaurnet Ice Rounds
Bring your favorite baseball hat for shelter from the sun. No white under the brim – the reflection off of it from the sun is blinding.
Recommended: Alpenglow Hat
We recommend a tight-fitting balaclava that is worn under your hat. Make sure that it covers as much skin as possible, but is comfortable enough to wear for hours.
Recommended: Black Diamond Coefficient LT Balaclava
A comfortable, warm well-fitting hat that covers your ears. Make sure that one of your hats fits under a helmet.
Recommended: Black Diamond Levels Beanie
You’ll love having a warm, comfortable shoe to slip into when tent-bound. These are optional, but nice to have.
Recommended: Western Mountaineering Flash Down Booties
A wool synthetic blend. Pure rag wool socks are not nearly as effective in wicking moisture or retaining their shape and reducing blisters. Bring a few pairs of these socks. NO COTTON.
Recommended: Darn Tough Mountaineering Sock
L.E.D. headlamps are required. Make sure they have 3+ bulbs. Bring extra batteries. We highly recommend a tilting lamp.
Recommended: Black Diamond Storm 450
All-around gloves for mountaineering, backcountry skiing, and hiking. These gloves (and similar options) are warm, wind-resistant, durable and have a sure grip. You will rarely take these gloves off. They should be snug-fitting, and have some sort of reinforced palm.
Recommended: Black Diamond Tour Gloves
These gloves should be full GORE-TEX®, with a removable fleece liner (so you can take the liner out and dry it at night). These gloves are used at higher altitudes and are needed to keep your hands dry, and warm. Over the cuff style is desired.
Recommended: Black Diamond Guide Gloves
Hard Shell Jacket
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
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
Mid-Weight Puffy Jacket
Ultra-light base layer that effectively wicks moisture away from your body and is breathable. Quick-dry is important as well. One light-colored shirt is recommended for extremely sunny days.
Recommended Men’s: Black Diamond Lightwire Short Sleeve
Recommended Women’s: Black Diamond Lightwire Short Sleeve
Two 1L Nalgene Bottles
Two 1 Liter Wide Mouth Nalgene bottles.
Recommended: Nalgene 1 L wide mouth
I highly recommend Alpenglow Expeditions for professionalism, safety and accommodations.
“My 24 year old son and I did the three-day frog lake hut trip. From Sara in the front office to our fantastic guides, Tim and Ally, everything went smoothly and professionally.
The trip was an amazing experience as we learned so much and everyone was so friendly.
They even brought our garbage and extra gear out for us!
I highly recommend Alpenglow Expeditions for professionalism, safety and accommodations.”