Ever wonder what it’s like to ski a few thousand feet of untouched pow? We did. And we tried it and loved it!
After skiing all this fresh powder ourselves, we thought about big mountain skiing so much that we decided that we needed to share these ski experiences with everyone. Skiing is many of our team members’ first love, with our climbing obsession going hand in hand, of course. As we’ve learned, skiing is a progression. Most of us began by darting down hills at resorts while parents hollered at us to slow down. After we explored most of the terrain in bounds, we watched people duck the ropes. Where were those people going and were they actually finding more powder? It turns out they were, and consequently, our interest in backcountry skiing was born.
Backcountry skiing is fun. It’s as much about the hike up as it is about the ski down. Fresh snow is almost always out there and no lift lines loom ahead. The only line you have to consider is which one you pick to ski. Along with backcountry skiing, comes a slew of new things to learn including snow safety, snow science, new gear, and the dynamic of skiing with a group in which decisions must be made.
That group dynamic, combined with your individual and collective knowledge of the mountains, is what keeps backcountry skiing safe and fun. Oftentimes, as you gain more experience in the backcountry, you want to progress to bigger mountains, ski longer lines, and challenge yourself and use your more technical skiing skills. That’s where we come in. The combination our our guides’ ski mountaineering expertise and the high-end logistics that have been a priority for Alpenglow since its inception, has us uniquely positioned as the first guide service to offer international, high altitude ski expeditions. We’ve seen what’s out there and we know what peaks are begging to be skied, so join us!
We have designed a Big Mountain Ski Program that offers a guided progression from backcountry skiing to big mountain ski mountaineering. We have set up trips at the introductory level, during which which you’ll learn about roped travel and technical skiing on glaciated terrain while managing the effects of high altitude. And ultimately, you can attempt expert-level ski descents like Cho Oyu, which requires using all of the skills and experience you’ve gained through our progression to ski an 8000 meter peak. We are there, of course, to guide you through it all.
Our Big Mountain Ski Program begins at home in the US with guided backcountry skiing in Tahoe and the Tetons to build your experience. Our ski expeditions in Tahoe and the Tetons are for those who don’t have at least 10 days of backcountry experience or want to build ski mountaineering skills before heading to international peaks (or for those of you who just want to have an awesome time skiing with us in the USA)! If you have backcountry experience under your belt, you can head straight to our Ring of Fire Ski Expedition to Ecuador, which is the first ski trip we are offering. You’ll ski Cayambe (18,997 feet) and Cotopaxi (19,347 feet), which is world’s tallest active volcano. We created this unique program as a perfect segue for backcountry skiers looking to gain the skills that will enable them to ski higher and more technical mountains.