Join Chicks and the Silverton Avalanche School for our 1-day intro to backcountry skiing skills clinic focused on learning the ups and downs of backcountry skiing and splitboarding. This day out is designed for both newcomers to the backcountry and seasoned skiers and riders looking for a tune up on technique to make backcountry travel more efficient and enjoyable.
We’ll focus more on the technical aspects of backcountry touring but also delve into terrain assessment and avalanche awareness. We’ll meet you where you’re at with your current skill level but cover the basics of how to use avalanche rescue and safety equipment, how to perform transceiver checks at the trailhead, how to recognize avalanche terrain and how to travel conservatively with a group through avalanche terrain.
Red Mountain Pass provides an outstanding classroom for us to spend a full day out in the field in moderate terrain. Starting at 11,300 feet we step onto our boards close to tree line with both fair and foul weather options to choose from throughout the day. With some of the most stunning scenery and largest avalanche paths visible anywhere this venue is a goldmine of a classroom for beginners and seasoned veterans alike.
Our uphill focus will be on setting a good skin track, establishing a sustainable all-day pace, methods for efficient skinning and the subtleties of different kick turn techniques. We’ll seek out fresh tracks for the down but teach you how to ski typical backcountry crud that is variable and challenging. Armed with these skills you’ll have more confidence than ever before and be a safer backcountry skier, less prone to injury.
Our IFMGA/AMGA certified guide will share their decision-making process with you from the day’s start to finish, giving you insight into how to find “the goods”, how to stay comfortable in the backcountry, how to manage clothing and equipment in adverse conditions and tips for keeping your energy up and calories in. They’ll be your coach, instructor and champion to get you out in front, making fresh tracks up and down. And true to all Chicks programs the fun factor and supportive nature of our trips puts everyone at ease and insures a good time.
We meet at 7:00 a.m. in Ouray at the Guide Garage for coffee, get our equipment sized up and sorted out, and watch the Know Before You Go video before our van shuttle picks us up for the stunning drive up Hwy 550 to Red Mountain Pass. We’ll end the day with a van shuttle back down to the Guide Garage where we’ll celebrate and high five over Happy Hour hors d’oeuvres and a beverage.
- A level of fitness and ability to move uphill at altitude with a moderate pace
- You should be an Intermediate to Expert Alpine Skier/Rider with the ability to skiing “blue” runs at on-piste
- No previous backcountry AT or Splitboarding experience is necessary
- Backcountry skiers and riders with a few days under their belts will also benefit from this program
- Avalanche training / certification is not required for this program
- 7:00 am: Meet at the Guide Garage in Ouray, CO. Coffee, Intros, Welcome Bags and Equipment Check, Know Before You Go video
- 8:00 am: Van shuttle to Red Mountain Pass, All-day Ski Tour
- 4:00 pm: Van shuttle to Guide Garage in Ouray, CO, Happy Hour, KBYG film and Hors d’voures
Please be aware that this course is for women only. For more information on this course, please visit the Chicks website by clicking here.