Winter Camping in the Cascades


This course is designed to give skiers, boarders, snowshoers and climbers the skills necessary to competently and confidently spend multiple nights in the winter backcountry. 

Regardless of how you move through the snow during the winter, this course will give you the skills to select a proper campsite and will teach you skills to help you stay warm and dry while camping overnight in the snow.

Since there will be the potential for traveling through avalanche terrain during this course, we recommend having taken our AIARE 1 Avalanche Course (or equivalent) before joining. This will give you the necessary avalanche awareness for extended travel in the winter backcountry.

Winter Camping in the Cascades


Introduction to Winter Camping and Multiday Backcountry Touring

Course Goals

At the intro level, this course is aimed at developing the hard skills and techniques associated with multi-day travel in the winter alpine. Traveling in the mountains in winter requires knowledge of terrain and snow assessment, as well as avalanche rescue skills. This is why we recommend students to have previously attended an AIARE 1 Avalanche Course prior to participating in this course.


Skills Covered

  • Review use of avalanche safety equipment
  • Ski/board skills for traveling with a heavy pack
  • Self care in the mountains
  • Proper camp location selection
  • Planned winter shelters
  • Camp fortification techniques
  • Use of map and compass
  • Introduction to tour planning
  • Mountain ethics and Leave No Trace principles


All course leaders have extensive experience with 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

Winter Camping in the Cascades

Dates and Details

Winter Camping - Intro

  • 2023/24 Dates TBD



$415 (min of 2 students)



  • Ability to efficiently move in winter backcountry terrain with the use of either backcountry skis, splitboard, or snowshoes
  • Previous backpacking experience (non-winter)
  • Ability to cook for yourself on a backpacking stove
  • Good physical fitness
  • * AIARE 1 Avalanche Course is recommended, but not required.


Combo Courses

The Winter Camping Intro Course can be combined with other courses to give you a more comprehensive winter skills training.

The Backcountry Ski Course with Avalanche 1 Training is the first level for the Combo Courses and combines the 1-day Intro to Backcountry Skiing, the 3-day AIARE 1 Avalanche Course, and the 2-day Winter Camping Intro. It is a chance for you to put the skills you have learned in an AIARE 1 Avalanche Course to the test, while still under the supervision of a trained professional who will give assistance and coaching, and to start preparing yourself for longer multi-day tours.

When you combine the Winter Camping Intro Course with the AIARE 1, you will be eligible for a discounted tuition on the Winter Camping Course!

Click on the link above to learn more about this training. 

Winter Camping in the Cascades

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