Introduction to Backcountry Uphill Travel on Skis


Introduction to Backcountry Uphill Travel on Skis - Meany Lodge

Learn to efficiently skin up hill on back country skis, and then enjoy the turns you earned! Explore the lift-assisted backcountry skiing available at Meany Lodge via our rope tow.

  • Sat, Jan 20, 2024
  • Meany Lodge
  • Backcountry Skiing
  • Adults
  • Easy

Meeting place and time

We will meet at 8:10am in the overnight parking area of the Crystal Spring Sno-Park.  Find one of the instructors (Art, Dave, or Shelby), as there will be other people there headed to Meany Lodge to ski for the day.  Your car will need a State Sno-Park Permit.  Have your ski boots on and your skis handy (skins in your pack).  We will ride to Meany inside the TomCat or tow behind a snow machine.  We expect to be back at the cars by 6pm.  Bring a headlamp and the ten essentials.  This is a trip into the Mountains.

Leader's notes

This experience is for those looking to improve their backcountry skiing skills, especially those relatively new to the activity.   Instructors have considerable experience in the backcountry on Alpine Touring gear, and we will tailor the class to meet the desires and abilities of students.

Prerequisites: Students should bring Alpine Touring (AT) gear (skis & bindings, boots, poles, skins) and be at least strong intermediate skiers with some experience skiing in broken or new snow.  

Class focus: the essential skills needed for skinning up the hill, including efficient movement,  turning techniques, ideal track angle, route selection, and good ways to transition between uphill and downhill modes.  We’ll also cover gear issues such as: boots, what to bring in your pack, skin fit, ski width, binding pros and cons, and ski crampons (bring if you have).  

Some time is spent coaching techniques for skiing the snow conditions and terrain found in the backcountry, and, depending on conditions, the slopes at Meany can be ideal for this.  In the course of the day participants will experience the slopes, rustic lodge and friendly community of the oldest continuously operating ski area in Washington State.  And optionally,  there may be opportunity to learn to safely ride the rope tows for a few lift-serviced runs.  

Logistics: We will end by 5 pm, and we expect to be back at the cars by 6pm.  Bring a headlamp and the ten essentials.  This is a trip into the Mountains.

Split-boards:  Split-boarders are welcome!  However, none of the instructors are split-boarders, so there are elements of gear and riding for which we can't offer guidance.  However, many fundamentals of skinning uphill are the same for both skiers and split-boarders, and many split-boarders have taken this class and reported learning lots.

The fee for the class includes a copy of the book  Backcountry Skiing: Skills for Ski Touring and Ski Mountaineering, by Volken, Schell and Wheeler, published by The Mountaineers.

More information about Meany Lodge, including our COVID-19 mitigation strategies, is available on the Winter Weekends page


Meany Lodge

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

Bring your own Alpine Touring gear and skins, boots and poles. Helmets are strongly recommended.  Bring ski crampons if you have them.

Bring a headlamp and the ten essentials.  Bring layers of clothes that will keep you warm outside in the weather from 8am till 6pm.  This is a trip into the Mountains. 

Bring snacks and water.

 Meany Lodge will serve us a simple hot lunch with a vegetarian option.  If you have special dietary needs, please bring your own food.

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