Freeski Winter Freeski Winter Freeski Winter Freeski Winter Freeski Winter Freeski Winter Freeski Winter Freeski Winter Freeski Winter Freeski Winter Freeski Winter


High School Backcountry Education, grades 9-12

High School Backcountry Education, grades 9-12

This program is for beginning to intermediate backcountry riders looking to learn about how to travel efficiently and stay safe in the winter mountains. Most training sessions will take place every other Tuesday evening at Howelsen Hill, with two longer field days at local backcountry areas (see schedule below). The group will discuss and learn components of backcountry and ski touring awareness while hiking and exploring Howelsen Hill and Emerald Mountain. In addition to touring techniques, topics will include ski touring or splitboarding gear and riding in variable snow, avalanche gear, basic rescue skills and backcountry leadership skills. Participants will be ready for AIARE educational courses or for joining hut trips and backcountry outings with experienced groups.

  • Skill Requirement: Ability to ski black runs and a desire and willingness to hike for 1-3 hours.
  • Equipment:

    Ski/Splitboard gear for all sessions:
    -  Backcountry skis with touring bindings (tech/pin binding recommended for skis) OR splitboard with bindings, skins, poles, and boots with walk mode (feel free to contact instructor with questions before buying equipment).
    -  Snacks, water and layers for walking uphill as well as skiing down.

    Additional gear for full-day outings:
    -  Avalanche safety equipment, including modern 3-antenna beacon, shovel and probe (rentals available).
    -  Daypack for safety gear along with helmet and goggles, water/lunch, personal first aid kit and extra layers (usually a large school backpack or similar works well).

  • Age: Grades 9-12(AGE GROUP GUIDELINES)

January 14 – March 15

Every other Tuesday evening in addition to two tour days
Optional ADD-ON: AIARE Rescue Course, December 22 (full day training, additional fee)
Tuesday, January 14, 4-6 p.m.
OPTIONAL ADD-ON: AIARE 1 Course, January 18-20 (MLK weekend, 3 full days)
Tuesday, January 28, 4-6 p.m.
Saturday, February 8, 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. (Tour Day, Winter Carnival Weekend)
Tuesday, February 11, 4-6 p.m.
Tuesday, February 25, 4-6 p.m.
Tuesday, March 11, 4-6 p.m.
Saturday, March 15, 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. (Tour Day)
OPTIONAL COMP: Sunday, March 16, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., Uphill/Big Mountain Comp at Howelsen
More info here about AIARE courses and special events.

2024-2025 Program Fee

2024-2025 Program Fee: $675

  • Payment Plan: SSWSC offers multiple payment options for summer, winter, and year-round program fees. Credit cards, eCheck (ACH bank transfer), cash, and checks are all accepted. We also offer a payment plan option. Find more information HERE.

  • Scholarships: SSWSC offers scholarships for program fees through a one-step EZ Scholarship process during registration and enrollment. For more information on additional program fee scholarships and other scholarship opportunities, check out the scholarship pages on our website.

Questions about this program?
Email Lucas Mouttet, Head Backcountry Coach

Email Andy Michnay, Freeskiing Program Director

Andy Michnay