Single Run through Tram Ridge Backcountry

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

Price per person

$75
  • Next Available: Dec 14, 2019 -
  • Upcoming: Dec 15, 2019 -
  • Dec 21, 2019 -
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  • Dec 28, 2019 -
  • Dec 29, 2019 -
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  • Mar 14, 2020 -
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About this trip

Skiers and riders looking for the next secret stash can now explore the Squaw Valley Backcountry for a single lap. Each Saturday and Sunday at 11:30am, Alpenglow Expeditions will lead guided groups through the resort boundary, entering the backcountry with special permission from Squaw Valley. These single-run tours will take resort skiers on a backcountry run in the "Tram Ridge” zone beyond the Broken Arrow boundary. All skiers and riders will be equipped with avalanche rescue equipment, but no special skiing and riding equipment will be needed. All winter experiences are weather and conditions permitting.

Overview

  • skill level

    Intermediate, Advanced

  • Duration

Join us for a single lap in the Tram Ridge Zone! You can avoid using backcountry skis and boots and still get a taste for backcountry skiing using your everyday resort setup. At the top of Broken Arrow, we will exit the resort boundary, entering the backcountry with special permission from Squaw Valley. Expect a 5-10 minute hike upon exiting the boundary and another 10-15 minute skate out of the zone after skiing.

Skiers and riders are still expected to wear a beacon and carry a 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 off our skis or boards, and in 10 minutes or less we’re back in the Village.

Even on the most crowded days at the resort, this zone is truly the backcountry. Similar to ski school participants, Alpenglow ski clients have lift line privileges with their guide to efficiently move toward the ski area boundary. Once in the Tram zone groups enter an uncontrolled avalanche area – our guides will be critical in selecting the best lines to ski.

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 tours if accompanied by a parent. Skiers and riders 16 years and older may 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.

    • 11:30am — Ride the Lifts to the Boundary

      After meeting in the Alpenglow office, we leave the base area and begin the day.

    • 12:30pm — Depart Ski Area Boundary

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

    • 1:00pm — Finish Day

      Once we ski through Tram Ridge, we skate out the Shirley Canyon Trailhead where take a short walk back to the Squaw Valley base.

  • Coming Soon

    • Do I need any special equipment? What gear do I need to bring?

      All skiers will be equipped with avalanche rescue equipment, but no special skiing and riding equipment will be needed.

      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 –

      • Touring backpack for avalanche safety gear (Our guides recommend packs around 20L)
      • Sunscreen
      • Water and snacks
      • Lighter, more breathable layer options than a typical resort layering system
      • Ski poles

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

    • What if terrain is closed due to snow or weather?

      If terrain is not accessible and we cannot run your tour due to terrain closures or avalanche safety concerns, we will make arrangements to refund or reschedule you.

      Please read our full cancellation policy below for details.

    • What is your cancellation policy?

      When you book a course with Alpenglow Expeditions you are agreeing to our cancellation policy. Please realize that if your travel does not go according to plan in any way and for any reason, we are unable to provide credits or refunds outside of what is described below. We strongly recommend that you purchase trip insurance to protect your activity purchase against unforeseeable circumstances.

      If you cancel for any reason prior to 30 days before the course start, you may rebook a later date for 100% credit, subject to availability, or you may receive a refund minus a 5% cancellation fee. If you cancel between 14 and 30 days prior to the course start, you may reschedule, subject to availability. Between 14 and 30 days there are no refunds. If you cancel inside of 14 days from the course start, there are no refunds or reschedules available. In light of this, Alpenglow strongly recommends all guests purchase trip insurance to protect against any unforeseen circumstances. This includes but is not limited to:

      -Injury/illness
      -Weather, Mountain and Travel Conditions
      -Personal scheduling changes

      To review our entire policy, please click here.

    • 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 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!

    • How much hiking will we do?

      The amount of hiking during the day varies based on snow conditions. There can be a short 5 minute hike to get out of the ski area (5 minutes) and another 10 minute skate over flat terrain to exit the zone on your way out.

    • Where & when do we meet?

      We meet in the office 1985 Squaw Valley Road #23 at 11:30am. Once logistics are all set for the day, we head to the Tram or Funitel around noon.

Adrian Ballinger

Adrian Ballinger is one of the USA’s premier high-altitude mountain guides, and the only American guide to have both AMGA/IFMGA guide’s certification (one of roughly 150 in the USA) and more than a fifteen summits of 8,000 meter peaks (17 total, including 8 summits of Mt. Everest, 1 without supplemental oxygen, as well as an ascent of K2 without supplemental oxygen). As founder of Alpenglow Expeditions, Adrian has been guiding full-time for over twenty years and has led over 130 international climbing expeditions on 6 continents.

In 2011 he, along with 2 Sherpa partners, became the first people to summit three 8,000 meter peaks in only 3 weeks (Everest twice and Lhotse once). He is also the first person to ski Manaslu (the 8th tallest mountain in the world) from its summit, and the first American to successfully ski two 8,000-meter peaks. These personal successes are combined with Adrian’s passion for guiding and teaching others. Adrian has successfully led more than 100 clients to the summits of Everest, Lhotse (the 4th tallest mountain in world), Cho Oyu (6th tallest) and Manaslu (8th tallest).

Whether on skis, in rock shoes, or mountain boots, Adrian thrives on sharing the big mountains with friends and clients, and helping them to build their skills and experience to be successful on the world’s most beautiful mountains. In the coming seasons, Adrian plans on continuing to enjoy big-mountain skiing, climbing, and guiding in the Himalaya, South America, Europe, and of course closer to home in Squaw Valley, CA. Adrian is a sponsored athlete for Eddie Bauer, La Sportiva, Blizzard, Tecnica, Hiball Energy, and Favre Leuba.

Learn more about Adrian at adrianballinger.com

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

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

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

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 currently an AMGA Ski Guide, Rock Guide, and AIARE course leader. He is working towards becoming an IFMGA mountain guide. He lives on Donner Lake in Truckee with his wife Gisele, sweet daughter Manue and son Matisse.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Rock Guide
  • AMGA Certified Ski Guide

Jules Hanna

If you are looking for an AMGA Splitboard guide, Jules is your man. He has been guiding for 10 years and spends his winters in Tahoe and summers in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.

Whether it’s a ski day or time to board, Jules enjoys the rewards that the backcountry experience provides. He is an AIARE course leader and has logged many adventures in mountains up and down the west coast learning about the avalanche phenomena. Jules is also an Ambassador Guide for Jones Snowboards.

In addition to guiding, Jules has worked as a climbing ranger at Mt Rainer and a mountaineer for the US Antarctic Program and has many stories to tell from his time on Search and Rescue in those locales.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Ski Guide

Tim Mincey

A native of Chicago, Tim grew up barely knowing that mountains existed, much less that you could climb or ski them for fun. But as an engineering student at Stanford, he managed to fall in love with snowboarding, and after college he made the move to Tahoe to ride full-time as a snowboard instructor. Once in Tahoe, Tim couldn’t wait to dive into backcountry splitboarding and rock climbing, and he is perpetually trying to make up for his late start in the mountains by climbing and snowboarding as much as possible. Tim has guided throughout California since 2011, and has a hard time imagining that he’ll ever tire of showing off the beauty of the Sierra Nevada.

He is an AMGA Assistant Rock and Splitboard Guide, Apprentice Alpine Guide, and Single Pitch Instructor, as well as an AIARE Course Leader and AASI Level 3 Snowboard Instructor. He lives in South Lake Tahoe with his girlfriend, Beth, and their Australian Shepherd, Pika.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor

Ali Agee

Ali grew up ski racing and competitive freestyle skiing in Lake Tahoe. It wasn’t until a backcountry skiing trip to the Eastern Sierra that Ali discovered her true passion for moving through the mountains, whether it be on skis or via long alpine rock routes.

Since then, she has skied and rock climbed in multiple venues including the Sierra Nevada, Cascades, Japan, and Canada.
Ali has experienced firsthand the transformative powers that guided trips can have on someone looking to break through comfort zone barriers. She is passionate about sharing similar soul-filling, life-changing experiences with others.

Ali is currently an AMGA apprentice Ski and apprentice Alpine Guide, Pro 1 Avalanche Professional, Wilderness First Responder, Type-Two Fun Seeker, and Via Ferrata Enthusiast. She also has a master’s degree in accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Patrick English

Patrick started climbing on the steep sandstone of the South East. After a trip to the Sawtooths in Idaho, he was hooked. He left his job as a firefighter/medic and packed whatever fit into his Jeep to head west, finding his happy place in the Sierra Nevada. With a background as a technical rescue operator, big wall climbing came pretty naturally to Patrick. Now, hunting down classic alpine rock climbs and multipitching at Lovers Leap are where Patrick spends his summers. In winter, you’ll find him scoping out couloirs and alpine faces to carve up on his splitboard.

Patrick is an AMGA Apprentice Rock and Apprentice Ski Guide.

Will Sperry

After Will’s first ever outdoor rock climb in Slovenia, he was hooked and knew he wanted to pursue a profession in the Mountains. In the subsequent years he worked on honing his craft on rock and enjoyed the places and adventures climbing brought him. Will has traveled to many mountains all around the world since his first taste of climbing, but always seems to call the Sierra his favorite place on earth… so far.

Will has seen the transformative power of the mountains first hand and works to provide experiences to his clients that will challenge their comfort zone and their perception of possibility. Whether this comfort zone is going for a long hike, or spending 5 nights on the side of a mountain, the power of stepping out is undeniable and in Will’s point of view essential for a well lived life.

Will spends his summers guiding on Mt. Shasta, Tahoe, and the Sierra and when winter comes around you can find Will on his splitboard practicing shinrin-yoku in the trees and alpine zones of Lake tahoe and Japan. Will also considers himself a nerd for snow science and will be happy to explain temperature gradients and avalanche problem types to those ready to learn.

Will is currently an AMGA Apprentice Rock Guide and an Apprentice Ski Guide.

Dave Nettle

Dave’s love for outdoor challenge, adventure and fun began early in his life with Boy Scout backpacking and mountaineering trips in the Pacific Northwest.

In 1972 he started his lifelong pursuit and joy of rock climbing with his first climbs deep in the Sierra Nevada backcountry, which remains his favorite mountain range to share and enjoy.

In 1975, at age 17 he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail solo from Mexico to Canada and the following year hiked the Continental Divide Trail from Canada to Mexico, sealing his passion for grand adventure and determination to accomplish what he sets out to do.

Dave’s underlying philosophy of living life fully and approaching the world of adventure travel and alpinism with “confident uncertainty” has led him to the mountain ranges of the world where his climbing accomplishments are just a part of what he values.  At the heart and soul of it all is the experience of interacting with, and learning from, the people, places and cultures along the way and sharing the challenge and beauty of wilderness with friends.

In addition to five decades of rock and alpine climbing which have included new routes and significant ascents throughout North America, South America, Africa, Europe and Asia, Dave is an accomplished ski mountaineer who hangs up his climbing shoes each winter in favor of backcountry alpine ski touring and hut to hut ski tours in the European Alps.

Dave brings 15 years of technical Rope Access and Rescue Training experience to the team.  He has helped pioneer the use of Rope Access methods to complement traditional mountaineering based techniques to improve the safety and efficiency of ski lift, gondola, high angle and crevasse rescue procedures.  He has been a SPRAT certified Rope Access Level 3 Technician since 2002.

His blend of outdoor skills, professionalism and sense of humor make for memorable trips, not to mention epic slide show presentations which he loves to share with others. Dave is the founder of a free community slideshow series in the Tahoe area that has been ongoing since 1988 and continues to inform, entertain and inspire everyone to seek out and accomplish their dreams and goals. You can learn more about the Alpenglow Winter Film Series here.

Guide Certifications
  • IRATA

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    Single Run through Tram Ridge Backcountry

Single Run through Tram Ridge Backcountry

Skiers and riders looking for the next secret stash can now explore the Squaw Valley Backcountry for a single lap. Each Saturday and Sunday at 11:30am, Alpenglow Expeditions will lead guided groups through the resort boundary, entering the backcountry with special permission from Squaw Valley. These single-run tours will take resort skiers on a backcountry run in the "Tram Ridge” zone beyond the Broken Arrow boundary. All skiers and riders will be equipped with avalanche rescue equipment, but no special skiing and riding equipment will be needed. All winter experiences are weather and conditions permitting.