Backcountry 3.0 is a day-long, in-depth introduction to ski mountaineering principles, techniques and skills. This course is designed for backcountry skiers and splitboarders who are interested in exploring steeper, higher and more exposed lines.
Ski mountaineering is the next step for backcountry enthusiasts who are looking to get farther out from the trailhead, while having the tool kit to tackle steeper slopes.
This course is the third act in our three-part Intro to Backcountry series. Please see Backcountry 1.0 and Backcountry 2.0 for descriptions of the previous courses.
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
Skiers and splitboarders in this intro to ski mountaineering course should expect to get approach, assess, and descend technical terrain with various hazards present. Your guide will be hands on, teaching and coaching you through lessons on rope technique, ski cramponing, and self arrest scenarios.
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 shape the day depending on your coursemate’s goals.
Who Can Participate
Advanced skiers or riders who have taken both our Backcountry 1.0 course, Backcountry 2.0 course and also have 5-10 days of backcountry experience are welcome to join. Skiers and riders who have not taken our courses but have more than 25 days of backcountry experience are also welcome. Course participants must be competent in a variety of terrain and snow conditions and must be able to link turns on ungroomed runs while maintaining control. This is comparable to skiing or riding 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.
-Steep skiing techniques
-Basic snow climbing, using ice axe and crampons
-Basic rope techniques for steep ground and glacial travel
-Use of ski crampons