Skip to Content

How To Start Backcountry Skiing or Splitboarding

AMGA Certified Guides Technical terrain High alpine skiing Backcountry skills Ski mountaineering Steeper lines Splitboarding techniques Alpine exploration Tool kit for slopes Ski mountaineering principles Winter courses South Lake based Backcountry course series Advanced backcountry skills Steep lines approach Ice axe and crampons Harness techniques Advanced level course North Lake Tahoe Alpine skiing training Alpenglow Expeditions, Olympic Valley California, Tahoe, Lake Tahoe, Backcountry skiing tahoe, rock climbing tahoe, AIARE tahoe, Lake Tahoe adventures, Lake Tahoe Activities, Palisades Tahoe, Tahoe Via Ferrata

If you’re an avid skier or snowboarder looking to take your winter adventures to the next level, backcountry touring might be just what you need. Backcountry touring offers the perfect blend of untracked snow, solitude, and breathtaking mountain landscapes. However, it’s not something to jump into without the proper knowledge and preparation. In this guide, we’ll take you through the essential steps to start backcountry touring safely and enjoyably.

Learn The Foundations of Backcountry Touring:

We specifically developed an Intro To Backcountry series in Lake Tahoe, dedicated to teaching beginners the foundations of backcountry skiing or splitboarding. Our Tahoe ski guides will help you learn how to use your equipment, help you gain confidence in the backcountry, and teach you proper techniques for skinning, transitioning, and skiing or riding. Our Intro to Backcountry series is three parts. Backcountry 1.0: Intro to Backcountry, Backcountry 2.0: Intermediate Backcountry Techniques and Terrain, and Backcountry 3.0: Intro To Ski Mountaineering. We require Backcountry 1.0 for all AIARE 1 participants.

Take an Avalanche Education Course:

Before strapping on your touring gear and heading into the backcountry alone, invest in avalanche education. Avalanche safety is paramount, and you need to understand the basics of avalanches, snowpack analysis, and how to mitigate risks. Enrolling in an avalanche safety course from American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) helps you gain crucial knowledge and safety awareness. We offer AIARE 1 in two different formats. Our Hybrid AIARE 1 course has a partial online classroom component, perfect for people with busy schedules. Our 3-Day AIARE 1 course is the traditional in-person model which is great for people who like more hands-on learning time with our instructors. Either one you choose is the basic requirement for safely traveling in the backcountry!

The Right Gear:

Backcountry touring requires specialized gear that distinguishes it from resort skiing or snowboarding. Here’s what you’ll need:

a. Touring Skis or Splitboard: These skis and snowboards are designed to allow uphill travel as well as downhill descents. Make sure they are equipped with climbing skins for ascending slopes.

b. Avalanche Safety Gear: This includes a beacon, probe, and shovel. Learn how to use these tools effectively in your avalanche safety course.

c. Backpack: Invest in a suitable backpack with enough space for your gear, safety equipment, food, and water.

d. Outerwear: Choose clothing appropriate for the backcountry, which should include waterproof and breathable layers.

e. Navigation Tools: A GPS, map, and compass are essential for route finding.

f. Climbing Skins: These are adhesive strips that attach to the base of your skis or splitboard for uphill travel.

g. Boots and Bindings: Ensure your boots and bindings are compatible with your touring skis or splitboard.

We offer rentals of backcountry skiing and splitboarding gear, contact our office for pricing!

Plan Your Trip:

Before heading out, meticulously plan your backcountry tour. This involves choosing a suitable route, considering the weather forecast, and establishing a communication plan with someone who knows your itinerary. Inform someone about your plans, expected return time, and provide them with essential information about your trip.

Practice Your Skills:

Practice using the skills you learned in Backcountry 1.0 before attempting a more challenging backcountry tour, start with shorter and less complex routes. Familiarize yourself with your gear and practice transitions from uphill to downhill mode. For expert guidance and pro tips on how to quickly become an intermediate backcountry skier, sign up for our Backcountry 2.0!

Stay Informed:

Keep yourself updated on weather conditions, avalanche forecasts, and trail conditions. Numerous websites, apps, and local resources can provide up-to-date information to help you make informed decisions.


Backcountry touring offers a unique and exhilarating way to explore the winter wilderness. However, it comes with its own set of challenges and risks. By educating yourself, investing in the right gear, and practicing your skills, you can embark on your backcountry adventure safely and responsibly. Remember, safety should always be your top priority, and having the right knowledge and equipment is crucial for a successful and enjoyable backcountry experience. So, start small, build your skills, and gradually work your way up to more challenging tours. Enjoy the freedom and beauty of the backcountry while staying safe and respecting the environment.

AIARE 1 Hybrid Course In North Lake Tahoe

Introductory Next Available
Dec 09, 2023 – Dec 10, 2023
2 Days and Online Coursework Lake Tahoe, CA

Palisades Tahoe Backcountry Tours

Advanced Next Available
Booked privately every day December – May
Full Day / 8 Hours Palisades Tahoe, CA

Backcountry 1.0: Intro To Backcountry

Introductory Next Available
Dec 8, 2023
8 Hours / Full Day Lake Tahoe, CA
Tahoe AIARE Courses AIARE Avalanche Training Tahoe Lake Tahoe Avalanche Education AIARE Certification Tahoe Tahoe Backcountry Safety AIARE Avalanche Workshops Lake Tahoe Snow Safety Training AIARE Level 1 Course Tahoe Tahoe Avalanche Awareness AIARE Level 2 Course Tahoe Lake Tahoe Snowpack Analysis AIARE Avalanche Rescue Training Tahoe Avalanche Risk Management AIARE Avalanche Education Tahoe Lake Tahoe Avalanche Safety AIARE Professional Training Tahoe Tahoe Avalanche Forecasting AIARE Winter Safety Courses Lake Tahoe Avalanche Awareness AIARE Backcountry Training Tahoe

AIARE 1: 3-Day Course In North Lake Tahoe

Introductory Next Available
Jan 05, 2024 – Jan 07, 2024
3 days, 8 hours a day Lake Tahoe, California
Learn Backcountry Skiing Tahoe Tahoe Splitboarding Lessons Backcountry Skiing Workshops Tahoe Tahoe Backcountry Skiing Courses Splitboard Lessons Lake Tahoe Backcountry Skiing Instruction Tahoe Tahoe Splitboarding Workshops Learn Splitboarding Tahoe Tahoe Backcountry Skiing Guides Splitboard Clinics Lake Tahoe Backcountry Skiing Training Tahoe Tahoe Splitboarding Classes Beginner Backcountry Skiing Tahoe Tahoe Splitboarding Skills Backcountry Skiing Intro Course Tahoe Tahoe Splitboarding Techniques Tahoe Backcountry Skiing Basics Splitboard Training Tahoe Tahoe Splitboarding Tips Backcountry Skiing for Beginners Tahoe

Backcountry 2.0: Intermediate Backcountry Skills

Intermediate Next Available
Nov 25, 2023
8 Hours / Full Day Lake Tahoe, CA

Backcountry 3.0: Intro To Ski Mountaineering

Advanced Next Available
Jan 20, 2024
8 hours / Full Day Lake Tahoe, CA
tahoe guides, lake tahoe guides, tahoe mountain guides, rock climbing guides tahoe, backcountry ski guides tahoe, professional mountain guides lake tahoe, south lake tahoe backcountry skiing, south lake tahoe aiare, learn to backcountry ski in lake tahoe, Mountain Guiding & AIARE Avalanche Courses in Tahoe, CA, splitboarding in lake tahoe, learn to splitboard in tahoe, lake tahoe rock climbing guides, lake tahoe backcountry skiing, the best places for backcountry skiing in truckee and tahoe, where to find the best backcountry skiing in tahoe, the ultimate guide to backcountry skiing in tahoe, guided backcountry skiing in lake tahoe and truckee, guided backcountry skiing south lake tahoe, backcountry skiing courses and ski guided adventures in lake tahoe, ski touring in tahoe, north lake tahoe backcountry skiing, best places to backcountry ski in lake tahoe Women's Backcountry Skiing Tahoe Tahoe Women's Splitboarding Lessons Backcountry Skiing Workshops for Women Tahoe Women's Backcountry Skiing Courses Tahoe Splitboard Lessons for Women Lake Tahoe Women's Backcountry Skiing Instruction Tahoe Tahoe Women's Splitboarding Workshops Women's Learn Splitboarding Tahoe Tahoe Women's Backcountry Skiing Guides Splitboard Clinics for Women Lake Tahoe Women's Backcountry Skiing Training Tahoe Tahoe Women's Splitboarding Classes Beginner Women's Backcountry Skiing Tahoe Tahoe Women's Splitboarding Skills Women's Backcountry Skiing Intro Course Tahoe Tahoe Women's Splitboarding Techniques Women's Backcountry Skiing Basics Tahoe Splitboard Training for Women Tahoe Women's Splitboarding Tips Tahoe Women's Backcountry Skiing Experience Lake Tahoe

Women’s Backcountry 1.0 & 2.0

Introductory Next Available
Jan 11, 2024 – Jan 12, 2024
Two 8-hour days Lake Tahoe