Peak Mountain Guides
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Intro To Backcountry Skiing & Snowboarding Course

Learn To Ski The Backcountry

Other Ski Programs: Alaska Ski Mountaineering Course | San Juan Hut Skiing Trips

                                Guided Backcountry Skiing | AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Course

                                AIARE Level 2 Avalanche Course | Companion Rescue Clinic

                                Mt. Sneffels Ski Mountaineering Course |

                                Hut Based Level 1 Avalanche Course |


program details

Location:   Ouray & Red Mountain Pass, CO

Dates:  Offered every Saturday throughout the season.

Cost:  $219.00 per person

Cost includes: Instruction and guiding with an AMGA certified instructor/guide and avalanche safety equipment including beacon, shovel, and probe.

Cost does not include: Transportation, food, lodging, travel insurance, personal insurance, gratuities to guides, personal clothing, and personal ski or snowboard equipment for the backcountry (see equipment list below).  Alpine touring skis, skins, boots, and poles are available for rent from our shop. 


Intermediate downhill skiing or snowboarding ability
Ability to make controlled turns on blue runs at ski areas

Client to guide ratio: maximum of 5:1



Register Now using our online registration system.





"Just wanted to thank you for an awesome ski course. It was so much fun to get out in the backcountry and recognize that I had some of the skills to be a good skier back there, while also gaining more skills to make me solid."

Taylor C.

Intro to Backcountry Skiing & Snowboarding Course

February 2012

Gain Skills & Confidence to Ski The Backcountry

Tired of long lift lines, crowded parking lots, and tracked out slopes?  Do you want to gain the skills to safely and confidently ski and ride the backcountry?  In our Intro To Backcountry Skiing & Snowboarding Course, you will learn how to get into the backcountry in a safety-oriented and calculated way. 

Field Based on Red Mountain Pass

This course is entirely field based for practical, hands-on learning. You will learn how to set a skintrack, do kickturns, evaluate avalanche hazard, and ski powder while carrying out an exciting backcountry ski tour. We capitalize on the backcountry skiing mecca of Red Mountain Pass - located just 30 minutes from our office in Ouray - to bring you an educational, fun-filled day of backcountry skiing.  

Taught By An AIARE/AMGA Instructor

All of our instructors are AIARE Qualified Level 1 Instructors, they hold AIARE Level 3 avalanche certification, and they are certified by the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) as instructors and/or guides. In addition, our instructors have been skiing and guiding in the San Juans for many years and they use this intimate knowledge of the terrain to create highly effective learning opportunities for you. 

A Full Complement Of Backcountry Skiing & Snowboarding Skills

During this course you will be introduced to a full complement of backcountry skiing skills, concepts, and techniques:

  • Equipment selection for the backcountry including an overview of tech bindings (Dynafit), step-in bindings (Fritschi), touring skis, touring boots, and splitboards.
  • Interpretation of the avalanche bulletin for effective terrain selection.
  • Use of skins, touring bindings, touring boots, and splitboards.
  • Techniques for uphill travel including striding, pacing, AVA turn and kick turn.
  • Route selection and tracksetting for safety, efficiency, and observations.
  • Use of snowpack tests such as tilt test, hand shear, and compression test to evaluate avalanche hazard.   
  • Avalanche companion rescue using an avalanche beacon, shovel, and probe. 
  • Techniques for downhill powder skiing.
  • And of course we'll make some great turns while completing an exciting backcountry ski tour!



*The Peak Mountain Guides Intro To Backcountry Skiing Course is located on the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests under priority use permit from the Forest Service, USDA.  Peak Mountain Guides is an equal opportunity service provider.*

AMGA Certification
Peak Mountain Guides staff members Angela Hawse, Geoff Unger, and Tim Brown are AMGA certified American Mountain Guides and IFMGA internationally licensed guides.

Peak Mountain Guides LLC | 280 7th Avenue | PO Box 1025 | Ouray, CO 81427 | 970-325-7342 |

IFMGA internationally licensed guides