Introduction to Backcountry Skiing

Join us for a day in the beautiful and accessible mountains of Colorado! Forget the resort crowds and expensive lunches. In addition to laying out and practicing the fundamentals of ski touring and backcountry skiing, this introductory class prepares skiers for taking an AIARE 1 course.

In order to truly enjoy this day, we recommend that skiers be at least at an intermediate ability level and have all the requisite gear.

Techniques and skills to be covered include, but are not limited, to:

  • Avalanche rescue review/briefing
  • Basic tour planning and implementation
  • Gear and safety gear considerations
  • Group communication
  • Terrain selection (micro and macro assessments)
  • Track setting and pacing
  • Skinning technique and efficiencies
  • Transitions
  • Descending considerations

Skier Expectations:
MUST be proficient at resort skiing. You must be able to ski some black runs at the resort with confidence and handle blue runs in any conditions (powder, icy hardpack, wind buff, cut up chop, crust etc.). We highly encourage skiing off-piste at resorts to practice skiing wild snow prior to heading into the backcountry.

Equipment Provided:
Use of Ortovox beacon, probe, and shovel included. Ortovox avalanche airbag ski packs are also available for free demo with availability. Alpine Touring skis can be rented at Mountain Chalet. The gear list is provided prior to the trip and will be checked before heading to the field.

Not Included:  Transportation and toll fees, accommodations, food, and guide gratuity.


  • Monarch Pass near Salida, CO

Public Course Pricing


  • 8 hour public course (1-day)
  • Price is per person
  • 5:1 maximum ratio
  • 2:1 minimum ratio to run course

Call 719-368-9524 or contact us to book this course for one or more riders.

Public Course Dates 2024

As always, this course can be scheduled any day of the week as a private course.

Pikes Peak Alpine School operates under special use permits from the USDA Forest Service, Pike National Forest and is an equal opportunity service provider & employer

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