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Winter Backcountry Education, grades 9-12

Winter Backcountry Education, grades 9-12

The SSWSC Backcountry Program is designed for skiers and riders looking to develop fundamental skills needed for safe, fun, backcountry travel while exploring the backcountry in our region. The program will be led by an experienced backcountry instructor, Lucas Mouttet, and will include AIARE 1 avalanche training certification and wilderness first aid education both in the classroom and in the field. The season will start with avalanche safety training, then prep for a hut trip during the Steamboat Springs school district holiday break. Weekend backcountry trips after the New Year will include Rabbit Ears Pass, Cameron Pass, and the Hahn’s Peak area. Weekday evening training sessions will be based out of Howelsen Hill with a focus on education and preparation for the upcoming weekend’s adventure. No previous experience is required, but first year athletes will be required to participate in early season avalanche safety training (or have taken an AIARE 1 course previously).

  • Minimum skiing requirement: Ability to ski the entire ski mountain and a desire to learn to safely access backcountry ski terrain.
  • Equipment requirements: Backcountry ski or splitboard setup with touring bindings (tech/pin bindings recommended for skis), skins, poles, and boots with walk mode. Avalanche safety equipment, including modern 3-antenna beacon (5 years old or less), shovel and probe. Daypack for safety gear along with helmet and goggles, personal first aid kit, and items for day tours. Backcountry equipment discounts may be available, check with coach.
  • Season Pass Information: Check with coach
  • Competition information:Optional ski mountaineering (skimo) competitions may be available during the winter

2023-2024 DATES: TBD

See the Scholarships page for information on program fee scholarships, including the one-step EZ Scholarship.

For information on the SSWSC work deposit program, click here.

Email Andy Michnay, Freeskiing Program Director

Andy Michnay