Backcountry Skiing - Intro


This 1-day course is designed for those that have intermediate level in-bounds resort skiing experience and want to learn how to take the skills they already have and move out of the ski area and into the backcountry. 

Washington's Mt. Baker wilderness offers plenty of varied and beautiful backcountry skiing. This area is frequently blessed with ample snow (the Mt. Baker Ski Area holds the world record for snowfall!), and continues to provide both pristine skiing as well as a perfect classroom setting.

A skier skins uphill in the Mt. Baker backcountry.

A skier skins uphill in the Mt. Baker backcountry. Scott Schumann

Backcountry Skiing - Intro


Mt Baker Wilderness Curriculum

We'll start off by meeting at our offices in Bellingham. We'll introduce you to the equipment necessary for backcountry skiing and discuss the differences in modern equipment, including skis, bindings, and skins. We'll also discuss the crucial avalanche safety equipment needed to move through the backcountry and review it's basic functions. Once everyone is properly outfitted, we'll load up and head toward the slopes near the Mt. Baker Ski Area.

Once on the snow, we'll begin our first tour in the the beautiful ungroomed alpine terrain in the Baker backcountry. We'll move slowly as we introduce many of the fundamental concepts such as terrain selection and evaluation, track setting, route finding, proper use of ski touring equipment and specific movement skills for backcountry conditions.


Course Goals

At the intro level, this course is aimed at developing the hard skills and techniques associated with uphill and downhill travel on alpine touring and telemark gear. 

In each of our courses, we seek to help you develop a good working knowledge of:

  • Ski touring gear
  • Transceivers and avalanche equipment
  • Uphill movement skills
  • Track setting
  • Terrain selection
  • We will also help refine personal backcountry skiing skills


All course leaders have extensive experience with ski instruction, rescue, and backcountry site analysis in the Cascades and other ranges. They are all AIARE Avalanche Level 1 and 2 certified, and many are avalanche instructors.

Backcountry Skiing - Intro

Dates & Details


Participants in this course should have intermediate level in-bounds skiing abilities (successfully and confidently ski blue runs at a ski area). Since we will be moving uphill under our own power, participants need to also be in good phyical condition.


1-day stand alone course

  • $200 (3+ skiers)
  • $250 (2 skiers)


Max Ratio – 7:1

Capacity - 14


Backcountry Intro and Avy 1 Combo

This course can be combined with our AIARE 1 Avalanche Course and our Winter Overnight 1 - Intro to Winter Camping and Multiday Backcountry Touring Course, which will give you a more comprehensive introduction to backcountry travel. If combined, you will be eligible for a discounted rate on the course:

  • $150 (3+ skiers)
  • $225 (2 skiers)

For more information on the Backcountry Combo Course, click here.



  • Dec 4, 2016
  • Dec 8, 2016
  • Jan 1, 2017
  • Jan 5, 2017 - FULL
  • Jan 8, 2017
  • Jan 13, 2017 - FULL
  • Jan 22, 2017 - FULL
  • Jan 26, 2017
  • Feb 5, 2017
  • Feb 9, 2017
  • Feb 12, 2017
  • Feb 17, 2017

Backcountry Skiing - Intro

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