Backcountry Ski & Snowboard Course - Everett - 2021

Backcountry Skiing Course

Backcountry Ski & Snowboard Course

Introduction to backcountry travel for alpine skiers and splitboarders.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers course.

This course offers a great introduction to safely meeting the challenges of travelling in the Cascades backcountry on snow.

This course is designed for alpine skiers, telemarkers, and splitboarders of advanced intermediate level or better. A prerequisite for the course is having completed an AIARE or AAA Level 1 course within the last 3 years

Leader permission is required: when requesting leader permission, please provide the following: evidence of recent AIARE 1 course completion and description of your recent skiing experience (difficulty/snow type). 


  • Become a competent and engaged group member on Mountaineers day touring trips rated M1-M3 (no glacier travel) 
  • Plan and execute day tours in the backcountry by evaluating important safety factors such as weather, terrain, avalanche risk, and group fitness
  • Demonstrate correct use of the equipment necessary for backcountry touring
  • Demonstrate mastery of backcountry touring skills such as kick-turns, ascending with climbing skins, skiing downhill on touring gear with a heavy pack, and transitions
  • Demonstrate successful practice of avalanche safety skills including route planning, observation, identification of avalanche hazards, beacon use, and companion rescue


This course includes 3 required lectures, 3 required day field trips. The field trips are tours where we put it all together, from planning where to go (tour planning) to making decisions on how to travel uphill and downhill (route finding). Everybody will get the chance to practice skills they have learned while receiving coaching and feedback.

Note: Field trip locations and dates may change depending on weather, avalanche forecasts, road closings, or other conditions.

Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements
Course Activity Date Availability Leader
Online Classroom
Thu, Feb 18, 2021
Registration closes Feb 16
9 participants
Online Classroom
Thu, Feb 25, 2021
Registration closes Feb 23
8 participants
Online Classroom
Thu, Mar 11, 2021
Registration closes Mar 9
8 participants
Field Trip #1
Sun, Feb 21, 2021
Registration closes Feb 19
6 participants
2 instructors
Field Trip #2
Kendall: Knobs, Lakes & Loops
Sat, Feb 27, 2021
Registration closes Feb 25
6 participants
0 instructors
Field Trip #3
Bagley & Chain Lakes
Sat, Mar 13, 2021
Registration closes Mar 11
6 participants
0 instructors
Required Equipment
  • The Ten Essentials
  • Metal-edged alpine touring (AT) or telemark skis or splitboard (nordic/XC skis may not be used; snowboarders may not bootpack or use snowshoes for travel)
  • Appropriate alpine touring boots with a ski/walk mechanism, telemark boots, or snowboard boots that work with splitboard bindings
  • Appropriate  ski touring, telemark, or splitboard bindings. Non-frame "tech" bindings are preferred.
  • Climbing skins that are trimmed to fit the skis/snowboard
  • Poles (adjustable length preferred)
  • Avalanche safety tools (all required)
    • Modern 3-antenna beacon
    • Collapsible probe (minimum 240cm length; ski poles that convert to a probe are not acceptable)
    • Metal shovel
  • Repair kit
  • First aid kit
  • Emergency kit
  • Touring-appropriate clothing
  • Ski helmet
  • Pack that can comfortably carry all of the above equipment (including your skis/snowboard). Your pack must be able to carry all critical equipment, especially the avalanche safety tools (probe, snow saw, shovel), in a manner that is both secure and easily accessible, ideally inside the body of the pack, not strapped to the outside of it. The first lecture will demonstrate and review proper packing and carrying of equipment.
Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.