Advanced Resort Skiers/Beginner Backcountry Skiers & Riders


Step Zero: Advanced Ski/Riding Skills

Be able to ski black diamond runs and off-piste at the ski resort. You don’t have to jump off cliffs or anything, but you do need to be able to maneuver around complex unmarked obstacles in the backcountry. Don’t start thinking about heading into the backcountry until you are an advanced skier or rider.


Step 1: Try Backcountry Skiing or Riding for the First Time

– Intro to Backcountry Skiing (single day)

– Intro to Splitboarding (single day)

– Take a 2.5 day Women’s Intro to Backcountry Clinic

Recommended: rent gear to try it out for the first couple of times. We have rental packages with beacon, shovel, probe, Blizzard touring skis, Tecnica touring boots or Jones snowboards available in our office.



Intermediate Backcountry Skiers/Riders

Step 2: Gain More Experience in the Backcountry with the guidance of a backcountry professional

Private Ski Guiding

Squaw Valley Backcountry Tour

– Every Sunday we send out an Intermediate Backcountry Ski Tour (this doesn’t mean the skiing is intermediate, just the backcountry skills

Start to think about purchasing your own backcountry gear: Check out our gear guide

Shop local: Alpenglow Sports in Tahoe City or Tahoe Sports Hub in Truckee are our favorites.


Step 3: Avalanche safety and backcountry travel 101, 3-days


There are no pre-requisites for AIARE 1, but we do recommend having a few days of backcountry experience before you take the class. You’ll get so much more out of the course if you have basic touring skills already! In class, you will develop a good foundation on how to prepare for and carry out a backcountry trip, understand basic decision making while in the field, and learn avalanche rescue techniques.


Step 4: Go back to Step 2 and Gain Even More Experience in the backcountry

Intermediate Backcountry Ski Tour

Private Ski Guiding

Squaw Valley Backcountry Tour

-Independent tours with partners who are knowledgeable about backcountry safety


Step 5: Practice Companion Rescue

– AIARE Rescue

A dedicated day to sharpen up your companion rescue skills. Build up the muscle memory for how to react if the worst happens and you or your partners are involved in an avalanche. Worth taking as a refresher every season!


Step 6: Back to Step 2 again: Gain more experience


Advanced Backcountry Skiers/Riders

Step 7: Rack up some ski touring miles with a pro

Private Ski Guiding

Squaw Valley Backcountry Tour


Step 8: Become an independent backcountry leader


A course for advanced recreational students who are looking to advance their decision-making skills in more complex terrain and situations. You should have 2+ solid seasons of experience before thinking about taking this course.


Step 9: Join an Advanced Tour

– High Sierra Backcountry Tours

– Truckee Skyline Traverse

– Intro to Ski Mountaineering


International Backcountry Ski Mountaineering

Step 10: The World is your Oyster!

Now that you’ve built up a solid base of backcountry skills, you have the tools to start exploring ski mountaineering around the globe. Here’s a couple of the international ski descents we offer:



The view just past the Granite Peak, looking into Nat Geo Bowl

Book a Ski Guide

For information on any of our other expeditions check out our website. For any questions call our office at 877-873-5376 or send us an email We hope to ski & ride with you soon!