This four-day course will build on your previous backcountry skiing experience. You will ski a lot of vert in the Snoqualmie backcountry while learning in depth tour planning, route finding, gear management, terrain management, decision making, uphill and downhill movement skills, and much more from our professional ski guides. You will meet 2 consecutive weekends in January or February.
This four-day course will build on your previous backcountry ski touring experience. Snoqualmie Pass's rugged backcountry terrain, less than one hour from Seattle, offers the perfect training ground for this intensive course. Prior ski touring experience required, avalanche education is highly recommended.
This course is offered twice, consecutive weekends in January or consecutive weekends in February:
January 14/15 and 21/22
February 11/12 and 18/19
Please note you will see the starting date ONLY (January 14 or February 11) when you sign up.
Overall Difficulty Level: Moderate to difficult
Skills Required: Advanced skiing ability and prior ski touring experience
Fitness Level: Moderately Strenuous
Day 1: We will meet at the uppermost parking lot of the Alpental ski area unless otherwise communicated. We will do a tour of 4000 to 5000 feet of vertical (maybe the Chair Peak circumnavigation, Kaleetan Peak etc.). We will use the tour to review some of the principal skills taught in the Ski Touring course. Please refer to the curriculum of the 3-Day Ski Touring course for further details.
Day 2: If conditions allow we will try to ski the Slot Couloir along with a side tour to the North Slopes of Snoqualmie Mountain. The size of this tour will dictate the main topic of the day. Transition efficiency. Terrain evaluation and decision making on the go are standard topics that will be an ongoing theme through the four days.
Day 3: Everything learned up to now will be applied in another tour. In addition we will work with our compasses and topographic maps, GPS and apply prepared tour plans.
Day 4: We will conduct another tour and apply everything we learned so far. Course participants will be in charge. In addition we will conduct a multiple burial transceiver search and bring "digging" and snow stability assessments into a relevant context.
Each day will include a debrief after the tour. The course program might change depending on weather, conditions, group strength, etc. The course curriculum is extensive and you can expect full days.
Snow Travel Gear
You should be at least a very solid intermediate skier (preferably advanced skier) with many days spent on backcountry skis moving through a variety of terrain. We would recommend taking our 3-Day Ski Touring Course if you have not spent time ski touring before.
The course is movement based. Ski Touring principles are being explained and taught on the go and put into practical application instantly.
Although AIARE Avalanche courses and Ski Touring courses have some overlap, we recommend taking both. The designs of these two courses are very complementary.
Although tipping is not a requirement it is considered standard practice in the guiding industry and is appreciated by our guides. We generally recommend roughly 10%-15% of your course or trip cost or a flat amount that you are comfortable with.