Women’s Intro to Backcountry Skiing

2.5 Days in / (Skill level: Introductory)

Price per person


About this trip

This women's intro to backcountry skiing & riding clinic introduces the tools and techniques that you'll need to venture into the backcountry on your skis/splitboard. Advanced resort skiers and riders are welcome to join this clinic, but no prior backcountry experience is required.


  • skill level


  • Duration

    2.5 Days

General Itinerary:

Evening 1 – 6-8pm – Intro night! Get gear and packs dialed for the first day, meet new friends and get to know your guides.

Day 1 – 8am start – First day out. Welcome to backcountry skiing! Increase familiarity and comfort with movements and equipment.

Day 2 8am start – Review movement and equipment. Learn more efficiency and continue to refine skills.

Clinic Overview:
Designed for skiers who love spending time in the mountains riding fresh snow and who want to start traveling in the backcountry. No backcountry experience is necessary. This Intro to Backcountry Skiing course will consist of one intro night and 2 days in the Tahoe Backcountry.

This course will go a bit deeper than a typical single day intro course by providing two full days of backcountry skills education with AMGA trained guides. This course is a fantastic precursor to a traditional three day avalanche course.

Skiers taking this course should be mentally and physically prepared to spend the whole day outside in winter elements hiking and skiing. We will pace ourselves, but the days are full! We will search for the best conditions but the weather can be variable. The skiing experience and positive attitude each individual brings to the course will enhance the weekend.

Skills covered:

  • Familiarity with backcountry skiing equipment
  • Transitioning to ski mode from walk mode
  • Various techniques for efficient uphill travel
  • How to use avalanche safety equipment: beacon, shovel and probe
  • What to bring in your pack
  • How to pack your bag
  • Managing gear in the elements
  • Layering clothes
  • Skills taught are an ideal prerequisite to enrolling in an AVY 1 course


  • Fitness

    Good physical fitness is recommended. At a minimum, skiers should be able to ski multiple laps in ungroomed terrain, and hike for up to an hour while carrying a light pack.

  • Technical Experience

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

    • Intro Night — Get dialed in | 6-8pm

      Intro night! Get gear and packs dialed for the first day, meet new friends.

    • Day 1 — Get out there | 8am

      First day out. Welcome to the backcountry! Increase familiarity and comfort with movements and equipment.

    • Day 2 — Review and Refine | 8am

      Review movement and equipment. Learn more efficiency and continue to refine skills.
      Apré: Celebrate accomplishments of the past couple days and talk about future trips!

      • 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

      • 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

      • 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

      • 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

      • 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

      • Ski Socks

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

      • 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

      • 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

      • Accessories

      • Helmet

        Easily adjustable lightweight helmet that fits with hat and Balaclava. Make sure this is a climbing-specific helmet. *Climbing helmets are also available to rent at no charge from Alpenglow Expeditions on a first come, first serve basis. Recommended: Petzl Meteor 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

      • Hat

        Bring your favorite baseball hat for shelter from the sun. No white under the brim - the reflection off of it from the sun is blinding. Recommended: Alpenglow 5-Panel

      • 1L Nalgene (2)

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

      • 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

      • 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

    • 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:

      -Weather, Mountain and Travel Conditions
      -Personal scheduling changes

      To review our entire policy, please click here.

    • Do I need experience to be a part of this clinic?

      You must be able to turn confidently and ski black diamond terrain in all conditions.

    • How much hiking will we do?

      Be prepared to spend 6 hours in the winter elements at and above 6200’ while climbing/hiking. We will hike for about 3-4 hours per day, about 1500’ vertical gain.

    • Is previous avalanche education required?

      No avalanche education is required. This clinic is the perfect prerequisite for an AVY 1 course. The goal of this course is to prepare you to enroll in an avalanche course equipped with confidence in both your gear and skills, so that during the AVY 1, all of your energy can be focused on learning about avalanche safety.

    • Do I need avalanche gear?

      Yes, you need to have a beacon, probe, shovel and backpack. Avalanche gear is available to rent through Alpenglow Expeditions.

    • Is lunch included?

      Each person is responsible for their own food, snacks and drinks.

    • Is it safe?

      While no outdoor adventure can be completely free of risk without losing the essence of the activity, hiring a professional guide is a fantastic way to manage and mitigate this risk. Activities like skiing and climbing have what we call “inherent risk”, which can be defined as a risk that cannot be completely mitigated by a professional. That is part of playing in the mountains, we encourage you to reach out to the office if you would like to discuss this in more detail.

Tailer Spinney

Tailer is a young aspiring mountain guide, with her focus on becoming one of the first few certified female splitboard guides. Tailer started as an intern with Alpenglow Expeditions during the 2017-18 winter and is on the path of AMGA education. She has “tailed” many groups with the Alpenglow team, and also helped out around various aspects of the business. During spring and early summer, she guides on Mount Shasta, teaching clients mountaineering skills, and she returns to Tahoe for the summer rock season. She loves sharing the outdoors with others through snow sports as well as rock climbing. Nothing charges up her spirit more than showing people how much fun you can have in the mountains; all while maintaining safety and incorporating leave no trace ethics.

Tailer is an AMGA Single Pitch Instructor.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor

Maggie Eshbaugh

Sales and Marketing Manager

An avid climber and skier, Maggie is at home in Tahoe’s mountains. As Alpenglow’s Sales and Marketing Manager, she loves to share her passion with clients and get them outside to rock climb and backcountry ski. When she is not climbing on Donner Summit or ski-touring on Castle Peak, she enjoys drawing cartoons. Maggie is obsessed with her 2-year-old rescue pup and can’t imagine a better adventure buddy to enjoy the Sierra Nevada with.

Emily Turner

Everest Base Camp Manager

Emily was our office manager from 2009-2015. She left her provenance of New York City in 1998 and has been working odd jobs in Squaw Valley, CA for about 8 years in order to maintain her schedule, which demands time for skiing, biking or climbing on a daily basis. Working on the Alpenglow team was her first exposure to the world of high altitude climbing and she is finding herself increasingly intrigued by this discipline. Although she has moved on from day to day operations, Emily has returned to manage the chaos that is Base Camp on our season Everest expedition.

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    Women's Intro to Backcountry Skiing

Women’s Intro to Backcountry Skiing

This women's intro to backcountry skiing & riding clinic introduces the tools and techniques that you'll need to venture into the backcountry on your skis/splitboard. Advanced resort skiers and riders are welcome to join this clinic, but no prior backcountry experience is required.