Hut-Based Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Instruction

COVID-19 UPDATE:  AAI is open and operating with new policies and procedures for COVID-19. Click the following links to learn more about AAI's COVID-19 Operating Plans and cancellation policy. Note that AAI requires proof of full COVID-19 vaccination for all trips at least through September 30, 2022.


American Alpine Institute has partnered with Alpine Lakes High Camp (formerly Scottish Lakes High Camp) to offer multiple hut-based AIARE Rec 1 courses, as well as guided backcountry skiing, splitboarding, and snowshoeing.

Tucked up near the boundary of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, the High Camp is comprised of multiple cabins, a lodge, a wood-fired hottub and a sauna. For our Avalanche Courses, we are doing intimate programs at a maximum of 6 students to 1 instructor. The students will share a mixed-gendered cabin, and each person will have their own bed. Each cabin is equipped with a warm and cozy wood stove, bright propane wall lamps, a propane cooking stove, all necessary dishes and cookware, and a table and chairs. Comfortable mattresses and pillows are provided in all cabins, all you need to bring is a sleeping bag, pillowcase, libations, food, and fun. There is no "classroom time" in this course, but instead numerous shorter discussions in the cabin or on the fly, with the ability to step right out the door and practice the skills then and there.


Hot tub


If you would like to do a private program, there are other cabins available to accommodate various group sizes (the smallest of which sleeps 2 and the largest sleeps up to 10). Family members are welcome to join you for the stay, on a private course not public, even if they are not participating in the course or guided adventure. There are miles of trails available for cross-country skiing and smaller, kid-friendly hills for tubing and sledding! Additional logistical concerns must be addressed if you are interested in this private option, so please contact our office for more details.


Hut-Based Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Instruction

Courses and Programs

AIARE Rec 1 Courses

  • Due to COVID-19 we are not running any public hut-based programs during the 2020-2021 winter season. There is a possibility for private programs but it is depended on hut availability. Please call for information about trips further in the future.

Cost:  $685

Please see the AIARE Rec 1 Course page on our website for more information on course curriculum.


Inclusions:  course fees, guide fees, lodging fees and standard amenities (mattresses, pillows, dishes, cookware), transportation from the Alpine Lakes High Camp parking lot to the cabins.

Exclusions:  travel before and after the program, personal clothing, backcountry travel equipment (skis, splitboard, snowshoes), avalanche safety equipment, sleeping bags or blankets, pillowcases, food.


Other instruction and guided outings

Besides the AIARE courses, we are also able to offer instructional courses in backcountry skiing or splitboarding on a private basis to individuals or groups. You can add this private instruction after one of our public group courses, or it can be arranged as a stand-alone program.

In addition to instruction, we can also do guided trips into the backcountry. Step out the door of your cabin and follow the expertise of you guide to find the best snow and rip some amazing turns in the untracked powder of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

Please call our office for pricing and availability of these custom programs.

Program Finder