Intermediate Backcountry Ski Tour

1 Day in California, Lake Tahoe, CA / (Skill level: Intermediate, Advanced)

Price per person

$199.00
  • Next Available: Jan 17, 2021 -
  • Upcoming: Jan 24, 2021
  • Jan 31, 2021
  • Feb 07, 2021
  • Feb 14, 2021
  • Feb 21, 2021
  • Mar 01, 2021
  • Mar 07, 2021
  • Mar 14, 2021
  • Mar 21, 2021
  • Mar 28, 2021
  • Apr 04, 2021
  • Apr 11, 2021

About this trip

This expedition is for those who are looking to gain more experience in the backcountry, but already have the basics down. In this course, you'll have a leisurely day of touring around beautiful Lake Tahoe with a professional AMGA guide and likeminded individuals. Both skiers and splitboarders are welcome in this course. This is an intermediate level backcountry course so please see the preparation section before reserving.

Overview

  • skill level

    Intermediate, Advanced

  • Duration

    1 Day

Interested in gaining more experience in the backcountry but already know the basics? This course is designed for those who have basic backcountry skills, but may not have a super knowledgable adventure buddy to explore with. In this group ski tour, you’ll be able to gain more experience traveling in the backcountry with a professional guide who is there to answer any questions you may have before venturing out on your own. This trip is also a great opportunity to meet people with a similar skill set and find a backcountry partner for future adventures. As a prerequisite, you should have at least 5 to 10 days in the backcountry before joining this group.

Location

This course will take place on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe, within the Tahoe National Forest. We have many trailhead options at our disposal and your guide will pick the location with the best conditions for the day. Alpenglow operates in partnership with the Tahoe National Forest and Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows.

What to Expect

Depending on fitness level of the group, technical ability and daily conditions skiers and riders can expect to get multiple laps of fresh tracks while expanding upon techniques and skills learned on past tours. Terrain varies from wide open bowls to widely spaced trees.

Each morning starts off with a safety meeting with your guide and a gear check to make sure everyone has what they need for the day. Depending on the zone, we’ll either tour right out of our offices, or take a short drive to a trailhead.

Your guide will come prepared with a defined itinerary for the day, but you’ll have the opportunity to stop and ask questions along the way.

Who Can Participate

Intermediate and Advanced skiers or riders who have taken our Backcountry 1.0 course or who have prior experience of 5-10 backcountry days. 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. Be prepared to ski ungroomed terrain with some obstacles in a variety of snow conditions.

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

Rentals

A complete backcountry touring setup is required. We have a small demo fleet that we rent to our clients at competitive prices. We rent beacons, probes, shovels, touring skis, touring boots and splitboards.

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

Preparation

  • Pre-Requisites

    Skiers or riders who have taken our Backcountry 1.0 course, OR who have 5-10 days of backcountry experience are welcome to join.

  • Fitness

    Excellent physical fitness is required. Skiers and splitboarders must be able to hike for many hours at a time while carrying a pack.

  • Technical Experience

    Skiers and splitboarders must be competent in backcountry travel, able to link turns in a variety of terrain and snow conditions. Be prepared to ski in ungroomed terrain with obstacles and a variety of snow conditions.

    • 8am - 8:30am — Meet and Greet

      Meet your guide and fellow skiers. Set goals for the day.

    • 8:30am - 12pm — Morning Tour

      After making our plan for the day, we head out for the first climb and descent of the day.

    • 12pm - 12:30pm — Lunch

      In between the morning and afternoon sessions we'll take a break for some much needed calories.

    • 12:30 - 3:30pm — Afternoon Tour

      Depending on our observations from the morning we'll spend the afternoon harvesting the goods!

      • Ski/Splitboard Equipment

      • 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: Blizzard Zero G 105 Skis Recommended Bindings: Dynafit Speed Radical

      • Ski/Splitboard Poles

        Adjustable ski poles with powder baskets. Recommended: Black Diamond Expedition 2 or Expedition 3 Poles

      • 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! Recommended: Tecnica Zero G Tour Pro or Zero G Tour Scout

      • Skins

        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

      • Splitboard

        A splitboard that you are comfortable riding in a variety of conditions. Recommended: Jones Solution Splitboard

      • Splitboard Bindings

        Splitboard bindings are required for uphill travel. Be sure to adjust the straps to your boots before using. Recommended: Spark R&D Arc Bindings

      • Snowboard Boots

        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

      • Avalanche Transceiver

        A digital transceiver that is simple to use or that you are extremely comfortable using. Recommended: Black Diamond Recon BT Avalanche Beacon

      • Probe

        A strong, lightweight avalanche probe, 260-300cm. Recommended: Black Diamond QuickDraw Tour Probe 280

      • Shovel

        A lightweight metal avalanche rescue shovel. Extendable handle is recommended. Recommended: Black Diamond Transfer 3 Shovel

      • Apparel

      • Hard Shell Jacket

        A lightweight, waterproof and breathable jacket WITH A HOOD that can withstand extreme weather conditions. Make sure you have pit-zips and if you are using an old jacket, re-waterproof it. Recommended: Eddie Bauer BC Freshline Jacket

      • Hard Shell Pants

        Your waterproof bottom layer for extreme weather days. Make sure you have water-resistant zippers, crampon patches + good pockets. Recommended: Black Diamond Sharp End Pants

      • Lightweight Top

        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. The new wool blends are also an option. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Resolution Short-Sleeve T-Shirt

      • Synthetic Top

        A simple, lightweight synthetic jacket. This item is good for layering systems and the Primaloft keeps you warm when wet. Recommended: Eddie Bauer IgniteLite Stretch Reversible

      • Base Layer Bottoms

        Fitted and quick drying. This piece will be a base-layer that will get you through a wide range of temperatures. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Midweight FreeDry Merino Hybrid Baselayer Pants

      • Long Sleeve Base Layer

        A poly-pro mid-layer that you will never take off. Fitted, light- weight and quick drying. Make sure it is long enough to tuck-in and we recommend zipper collars for more ventilation. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Resolution IR 1/4 Zip

      • Warm Layer

        A polarguard or fleece jacket. This is your mid layer that will be worn over your baselayer most of the trip. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Cloud Layer Pro 1/4 Zip or Patagonia R1 Jacket

      • Lightweight Gloves

        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: Eddie Bauer Mountain Glove

      • Heavyweight 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 altitude and are need to keep your hands dry, and warm. Over the cuff style is desired. Recommended: Black Diamond Guide Glove

      • Ski Socks

        Your everyday ski sock, good for ski tours and day hikes. NO COTTON. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Merino Wool Ski Socks

      • Accessories

      • Backpack 25-35L

        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 25L Pack or Black Diamond Mission 35L Pack

      • Ski Helmet

        A ski specific helmet that is less than 10 years old. Recommended: Scott Couloir Mountain Helmet 

      • Beanie

        A comfortable, warm well-fitting hat that covers your ears. Make sure that one of your hats fits under a helmet. Recommended: Eddie Bauer First Ascent Beanie

      • Alpenglow Expeditions Classic Mesh Backed Hat

        Affectionately referred to as the "dad hat", this mesh backed hat boasts a classically curved bill that is a bit more traditional than our other hat options. For those of us that aren't hip enough for the 5-panel hats, this one is for us. The mesh back provides ample ventilation for those sunny days spent on the mountain keeping our heads cool and our face shaded.

        $25.00
      • Sunglasses

        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: Revoi Guide II

      • Goggles

        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: Smith I/O

      • 1L Nalgene (2)

        Two 1 Liter Wide Mouth Nalgene bottles. Recommended: Nalgene 1 L wide mouth

    • What is your cancellation policy?

    • 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!

    • What is a good course to take in preparation for the Intermediate Group Ski Tour?

      Try our Backcountry 1.0 course! It’s the perfect warmup to a longer touring day in Tahoe.

    • 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 required and excellent physical fitness is important. If you can get down the mountain- we can get you up!

    • How much hiking will we do?

      The amount of hiking during the day varies somewhat on the zone and motivation of the group. The shortest day you can expect contains about 2 hours of skinning, and the longer days may have upwards of 4 hours of skinning.

    • When & where do we meet?

      Location and time is variable for this trip. You will receive information about this in your confirmation email.

    • What gear do I need to bring?

      In general, your gear for the day will be very similar to a day of skiing in the resort, but here are a few key pieces that are unique to the backcountry and crucial for the day –

      • A hat and pair of sunglasses (These come in handy on the hike up)
      • Sunscreen
      • Water and snacks (Our guides recommend between 1-2L of water depending on your intake)
      • Lighter, more breathable layer options than a typical resort layering system. An additional light pair of gloves is preferred for uphill travel
      • Ski poles with powder baskets, or a pair of collapsable poles for splitboarding. (We have these available at no extra charge if you need them)
      • A backpack, and any avalanche rescue gear you may own. (Our guides recommend packs around 20-30L)

      **Please give us a call if you have any questions about what to bring, or if your gear will be appropriate for the day.

    • I need to rent gear, what information should I provide in advance?

      We have an excellent selection of backcountry ski gear available to rent. We offer top of the line equipment from Blizzard Skis, Technica Boots, Jones Snowboards, and Black Diamond. Many of our guides use the same gear available in our demo fleet. If you have any gear or sizing questions, we would be more than happy to get you situated to ensure you get the most out of your day in the mountains.

      A/T Skis

      We can offer touring specific skis from Blizzard, a personal favorite for our mountain guides. We have skis available for both females and males. We have sizes available in 164cm,  171cm, 178cm, and 185cm.

      Splitboards

      We have Jones Splitboards available to rent in sizes 145cm, 152cm, 160cm, 161cm, 162cm, and 164cm) Please let us know your stance/binding angle preferences if you are planning to rent a splitboard setup.

      A/T Ski Boots

      Alpine touring ski boots from Technica Boots are available to rent. Sizes range from 23.5 to 29.5 in both genders.

      Avalanche Equiptment

      Avalanche gear is mandatory for all peoples traveling in alpine terrain. If you do not already own gear, we offer a beacon, shovel, probe setup available to rent for $25/day.

Logan Talbott

co-owner / chief guide

Logan has been guiding professionally for over a decade in the disciplines of Rock, Alpine and Ski Mountaineering. When not out guiding, Logan spends time in the office helping the team with the day-to-day operations of the business. 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 an 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 daughter Maggie.

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

Sam Kieckhefer

Operations Manager

 

Born and raised in Northern California, Sam began exploring the Sierra and developed a love for the mountains at a young age. A Squaw Alpine passholder for more than 20 years, Sam’s passion for the Tahoe area is infectious, and he’s excited to bring that passion to the bigger mountains of the world. In the summer, Sam jumps out of bed at the crack of dawn for pre-work waterskiing on Lake Tahoe and in the winter, he’s searching for fresh turns in the West Shore backcountry. Sam is always down for a new adventure, and loves being a part of your adventures too.

Sydney Paez Duncan

Skiing is just part of life growing up in Colorado, so naturally, Sydney has been in love with skiing since she was 3-years-old. At 18 she started her guiding career as a raft guide and became enamored with working in the outdoors.  For years she honed her backcountry skiing skills in France, Idaho, Colorado, and Tahoe, and she is so happy to be able to share her love for human-powered turns with others.  Sydney has worked at Squaw Valley on Ski Patrol for 4 seasons and guiding was a natural progression.  Recently, she was accepted to the AMGA’s Ski Guide track and she is on the path to becoming a certified Ski Guide. Once the skiing dries up in the summers, you can find Sydney guiding trips on Mount Shasta and the Tahoe Via Ferrata.

Isaac Laredo

Isaac found his appreciation for the outdoors growing up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Isaac attended Sierra Nevada College in Lake Tahoe where his appreciation  evolved into a lifelong passion. The scenery, accessibility, and culture of the surrounding mountains captivated Isaac to major in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Environmental Science and Outdoor Adventure Leadership at Sierra Nevada College. Here he was inspired by his teachers and peers to facilitate the creation of special moments in the outdoors. As one of his mentors say “special moments happen, we just have to show up for them”. These special moments have been responsible for lots of personal growth for himself and those around him. He has experienced the power of the outdoors first hand and looks forward to life long learning in the mountains through climbing and skiing.
Isaac is an AMGA Single Pitch Instructor, Wilderness First Responder, Pro 1 Avalanche Professional, and Leave No Trace Master Educator.
Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor

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-’90s where he spent 6 seasons skiing and climbing while studying French. Tim says that Chamonix is where he really started learning 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 spent the last 10 years guiding and instructing in rock, ice, alpine, and skiing. He is an AMGA/IFMGA mountain guide, and lives on Donner Lake in Truckee with his wife Gisele, sweet daughter Manue and son Matisse.

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

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

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

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    Intermediate Backcountry Ski Tour

Intermediate Backcountry Ski Tour

This expedition is for those who are looking to gain more experience in the backcountry, but already have the basics down. In this course, you'll have a leisurely day of touring around beautiful Lake Tahoe with a professional AMGA guide and likeminded individuals. Both skiers and splitboarders are welcome in this course. This is an intermediate level backcountry course so please see the preparation section before reserving.