Half Day Squaw Valley Backcountry Tour

in Squaw Valley / (Skill level: Intermediate, Advanced)

Price per person

$425 for 1 skier +$50 for each add'l skier

About this trip

New half day option accessing the Tram Ridge zone. Ski and ride outside the ski area boundaries of Lake Tahoe’s premier resort with Alpenglow’s certified guides. Half day option allows you to use your regular resort skis and boots. Call for more information.

Overview

  • skill level

    Intermediate, Advanced

  • Duration

Expanding on our success in year one in partnership with Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows, we are now offering a HALF DAY backcountry ski experience. Our half day groups will access the Tram Ridge Zone as it allows us to avoid using backcountry skis and boots. You can get a taste for backcountry skiing using your everyday resort skis and boots.

Skiers and riders are still expected to wear avalanche beacon and carry a beacon probe and shovel. Alpenglow provides these items at no cost to all reserved clients.

What to Expect:

We start our day with a ride on either the Funitel or Tram. We proceed to the Broken Arrow zone within Squaw Valley, and we exit into the Tram Ridge zone through a gate that only Alpenglow Expeditions groups can use. These boundaries are still closed to public. We’re able to ski in the Tram Ridge zone down into Shirley Canyon floating down slopes of various steepness through playful terrain. Near the bottom we make a hard right and use the last bit of vertical to get back to the trailhead. From here we pop the skis off and in 10 minutes or less we’re back in the Village ready for another lap.

Even on the most crowded days at the resort, we’ll have this backcountry zone mostly to ourselves. Similar to ski school participants, Alpenglow ski clients will have lift line privileges with their guide to efficiently move toward the ski area boundary. Once in the Tram zone we are immediately in an uncontrolled avalanche area – our guides will be critical in selecting the best lines for us to ski.

Most half day groups will get a maximum of two laps in depending on fitness levels and ski ability.

Who Can Participate: 

Intermediate and Advanced skiers or riders. Skiers and riders must be competent in a variety of terrain and snow conditions. Skiers and riders must be able to link turns on ungroomed runs while maintaining control. This is comparable to skiing ungroomed black diamond terrain confidently.

Skiers or riders 12-16 years old can join us with a parent. 16 years and over are able to join without accompaniment.

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

Preparation

  • Ski Ability

    Intermediate and Advanced skiers or riders. Skiers and riders must be competent in a variety of terrain and snow conditions. Skiers and riders must be able to link turns on ungroomed runs while maintaining control. This is comparable to skiing ungroomed black diamond terrain confidently.

    • 9:00am — Ride the Lifts to the Boundary

      After our morning meeting at the Alpenglow office, we leave the base area and begin the day.

    • 9:30am — Depart Ski Area Boundary

      After a final safety briefing, we depart from the ski area boundary.

    • 12:30pm — Finish Day

      After a lap or two, we're ready to have some lunch before finishing a day inside the boundaries, or perhaps we just hit the jacuzzi and soak in the glory of our morning.

      • Head

      • Alpenglow Beanie - Camouflage Flamingo

        These beanies are made of high quality fleece and are guaranteed to keep your noggin warm on even the coldest winter days. Locally made right here in Lake Tahoe, California by our friends at Bandwagon.

        $27.00 Add to cart
    • What sort of experience is required for this trip?

      Skiers must be confident on a variety of terrain, including black diamond-caliber descents. Prior ski touring experience is not required, although excellent physical fitness is important. If you can get down the mountain- we can get you up!

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

      Avalanche gear is required for all of our skiing programs. If you don’t already own a beacon, probe and shovel, we can rent these for a small upgrade charge.

    • Can I customize a day for my group?

      Yes!

      A large portion of our business is designed around custom adventures. Booking a private day gives you the freedom to tailor the day around your goals, pace, and group size. Whether you want to go for max vert gain avalanche awareness, work on backcountry travel techniques, or just explore new terrain, it’s up to you!

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 a fully certified IFMGA/AMGA mountain guide, Certified Level III Avalanche Professional, and Wilderness First Responder.

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 certified ski guide.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Ski Guide

Logan Talbott

Director of Operations / mountain guide

Logan has been guiding professionally for over 10 years 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 a fully certified 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 spotted dog Arlo.

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

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 90’s where he spent 6 seasons skiing and climbing while studying French. Tim says that Chamonix is where he really started leaning 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 8 years guiding and instructing in rock, ice, alpine and skiing as well as becoming an IFMGA aspirant mountain guide, an AMGA certified ski guide and AIARE level 1 course leader. He lives on Donner Lake in Truckee with his wife Gisele and sweet daughter Manu. 

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

Glen Poulsen

A member of Squaw Valley’s pioneering founding family, Glen first ventured into the side and backcountry terrain surrounding Squaw Valley at the age of ten and has never looked back.  His forays into more remote parts of the Sierra Nevada led to numerous first descents and pioneering ski traverses throughout the range. After exploring mountains from Antarctica to the North Pole, Greenland and Spitsbergen,  Africa,  to the Andes , The Alps to Scandinavia,  Russia and China, The Himalaya, Central Asia and Oceania, Glen always returns with a greater appreciation for his home in  the “Range of Light”.  Whether its descents on skis or climbing alpine rock Glen has an intimate knowledge of the entire range. Whether its a local side country jaunt, a Sierra East side adventure, a hut tour in the alps or exploring new first descents in Greenland or Antarctica, Africa or the Andes, he can take you there. Glen has been trained by the American Mountain Guides Association and by the Canadian Ski Guide Association as a ski guide and ski mountaineering guide. He has an AIARE Level 3 Avalanche and Nols Wilderness First Responder certifications and has been an active Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team member.

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    Half Day Squaw Valley Backcountry Tour