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.

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 activity.
  • Sat, Jan 15, 2022
  • Meany Lodge
  • Backcountry Skiing
  • Adults
  • Easy
Meeting place and time

We will meet at 8:15am 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.

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 will tailor the class to meet the needs and desires of students.  Some time is typically spent coaching on techniques for skiing snow conditions and terrain found in the backcountry, and, depending on conditions, the slopes at Meany can be ideal for this.  Participants begin the day with an orientation to Meany, its terrain, and learn to safely ride the rope tows.  The group can then ride the tows and take some runs together for a guided exploration of the area. 

The emphasis for most of the day will be on skills for skinning up the hill, including track angle, route selection, turning, efficient transition and gear issues, such as skins, ski width and ski crampons (bring if you have).  Students should have Alpine Touring (AT) gear, and be at least strong intermediate skiers with some experience skiing in broken or new snow.   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.

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.

COVID-19 Notes:  All participants must be fully vaccinated.  Everyone is expected to bring and wear a mask anytime the group is gathered inside.  Before arriving, all visitors must send a copy of their vaccine credentials to We don't yet know how COVID-19 will affect our plans this year, so we ask for your understanding and flexibility as we all navigate these difficult times.  The instructors will send more information as the course date approaches, and our Winter Weekend page will be kept current with our COVID-19 mitigation plans. 

We expect Meany Lodge will be open for overnight guests, and we encourage you to register for a Meany Lodge stay to spend Sunday with us to practice the skills you've learned and ski our off-piste slopes.  At the minimum Meany Lodge will open for day-use, with access to the bathrooms and a warm lunch served in an open-air shelter. 

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

Bring layers of clothes that will keep you warm outside from 8am till 6pm.  We will have a place you can store a backpack with extra dry clothes.   


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.  If you have special dietary needs, please bring your own food.

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