Backcountry Ski PROGRESSION
- Meet at The Bunkhouse at 7am
- 7am-8am: Check in and gear check
- 8am-3pm: Ski Tour
- 4pm: Debrief the tour
What to Expect
This progression is designed to get you skiing and that's what we will do! Along the way, we will work with you on ski skills and coach you toward more effective and efficient touring practices.
DAY ONE: Proper techniques for effective and efficient uphill and downhill travel
*No backcountry skiing experience required before scheduling this day.
- Packing for a tour
- Efficient uphill techniques
- Sound transitions
- Downhill etiquette and sound decision making
DAY TWO: Ski touring in avalanche terrain
*At least 5 days of self-guided backcountry skiing required before scheduling this day.
- Introduction tour to skiing in avalanche terrain
- Improving your observational skills
DAY THREE: Introduction to Ski Mountaineering
*At least 20 days of self-guided backcountry skiing and 5 days in avalanche terrain before scheduling this day.
- Ski tour into one of our many ravines
- Ascending steep snow with ice axe and crampons
- Negotiating ice bulges, rappels or other "technical" terrain if appropriate
We highly recommend pairing this progression with our AIARE Level I Course
PLEASE BRING THESE ITEMS WITH YOU FROM HOME
When selecting clothing for your adventure, think layers. Choose synthetic materials, wool, or fleece.
The saying is "Cotton Kills." It will absorb sweat and then freeze - increasing the chances of hypothermia.
Snow pants will suffice instead of soft shell climbing pants and if you have insulating layers and jackets we recommend that you bring them. There will be time to sort through what you should bring and what you leave behind.
RENTALS AVAILABLE AT CLIMBINGRENTALS.COM
Most of the required equipment [listed below] is available for rent from our affiliate mtnGEAR.
NEM climbers will receive an exclusive discount of 20% discount on all rental equipment and clothing.
[ ] Ski/Board Crampons Compatible and sized for your skis or board.
Visit mtnGEAR for Rental Prices
|[ ] Pack with Waist Strap: A 30-40L pack is the recommended size for one day tours. Your pack MUST have a waist strap and be meant for ski touring. A backpack will not suffice.
||Black Diamond Dawn Patrol
|[ ] Crampons: 10-12 point adjustable crampons compatible with your ski or snowboard boots.
||Black Diamond Cyborg
|[ ] Ice Axe: Designed for mountaineering or ski touring
||Camp Cassin X All Mountain
|[ ] Helmet: A skiing helmet.
Smith Vantage [W]
|[ ] Warm Hat: Wool or synthetic. It should be warm and thin enough to fit underneath a climbing helmet.
||OR Gradient Hat
|[ ] Buff/Neck Gaiter: Buff makes the best option.
||Buff Merino Wool
|[ ] Ball Hat/Sun Hat: Optional. A lightweight ball cap or sun hat.
|[ ] Sun Glasses: A pair of dark-lensed sunglasses with side shields or full wrap-type sunglasses.
|[ ] Goggles: Goggles designed for skiing.
|[ ] Lightweight glove: One pair of fleece gloves.
OR Catalyzer [W]
|[ ] Medium Weight Glove: Wind/water resistant insulated mountain gloves.
OR Ambit [W]
|[ ] Heavy Insulated Mitten: Wind/water resistant, insulated mittens for protection against wind, snow and cold. These also serve as emergency back-ups if you drop or lose a glove.
||OR High Camp
OR Highcamp [W]
|[ ] Light Insulating Layer/Soft Shell Top: A fleece or other insulation layer.
||Arcteryx Gamma MX Hoody
Arcteryx Gamma MX Hoody [W]
|[ ]Hard Shell Jacket with Hood: Wind/rain Proof. Gore-Tex recommended.
||Arcteryx Beta LT
Arcteryx Beta SL [W]
|[ ] Insulated Parka: This item becomes of highest importance when we are faced with poor weather. This should be an expeditionary-type heavy parka that extends well below the waist and above the knees. Goose down is recommended versus synthetic fill. It does not have to be waterproof, but that is a nice feature. The parka is worn primarily at rest breaks and as an emergency garment if needed. When sizing a parka, allow for several layers to be worn underneath; buy it large. The parka must have an insulated hood.
Arcteryx Cerium LT [W]
|[ ] Skiing Pants: Synthetic skiing pants offer a wide range of versatility. You can wear them alone on hot days, or in combination with the base layer on cold days. The thickness (insulation quality) should be based on how well you do in the cold.
OR Trailbreaker [W]
|[ ] Touring Ski/Snowboard Boots: Designed for alpine touring and backcountry skiing/boarding. Allow for easy walking and click in for downhill travel.
||Dynafit TLT7 Expedition
Dynafit TLT7 Expedition [W]
|[ ] Ski Poles: Collapsible trekking poles.
||Black Diamond Ergo Cork
|[ ] Headlamp
|[ ] Avalanche Beacon
|[ ] Avalanche Probe
||Ortovox 240 HD PFA
|[ ] Avalanche Shovel
|[ ] Ski Skins Cut and sized for your skis.
Please read through the following frequently asked questions and answers. These will help you prepare for your trip and get a better understanding of what to expect.
Do I need any prior experience?
No, but to make the transition to the backcountry you must be a black diamond skier at the resorts minimum.
What happens if the weather doesn't cooperate?
We usually will go out in tough weather. Rain will reschedule or end our course. Please plan for all weather conditions. We may alter the plan based on the weather forecast.
Am I supposed to tip my guide(s)?
Tips are never expected, however if you think your guide did a great job, tips are welcomed and appreciated. A normal tip is 20% of the guide fees or $20 per guide per day.
Can I rent the gear that I do not own?
Most of the required equipment is available for rent from our affiliate mtnGEAR. NEM climbers will receive an exclusive discount of 20% discount on all rental equipment and clothing. We also rent AT skiing setups.
What are 'Touring Boots'?
These are ski boots designed for ski touring and backcountry skiing. They have functionalities that make skinning more enjoyable.
Where should I stay?
We recommend The Bunkhouse at Northeast Mountaineering. For your convenience, we offer co-ed, hostel-style accommodations on site. The cost is $30 per person. To maximize your skiing experience, we recommend that you stay in the area the night before your tour.
How do I find out when and where to meet?
Upon completion of your registration you will get a confirmation email with a link to all the pertinent information. You will be asked to secure your rental equipment and read through the welcome information to be prepared and on time for your course.