Originally Posted by Cirquerider
Kirkwood has expanded its offerings to include guided backcountry and cat skiing, avalanche awareness training and avy I certification. If you have the time and money to stay at the resort to take advantage of this it would be very worthwhile. Kirkwood offers great terrain that can be accessed with a fairly easy hike off the top of the lifts. The guided experience gives you a chance to get hands-on learning experience in the terrain you will eventually use.http://www.kirkwood.com/winter/exped...ackcountry.php
Cat skiing/guided skiing is a good way to get an introduction to the sport. Cat skiing won't get you the uphill part of the experience but it will give you an idea of what the terrain is like. Avy training and gear is crucial.
BC skiing is a sport you do with partners, so you're going to want to a) develop the skillset and b) hook up with some people interested in the same terrain as you are wanting to pursue - who have AT LEAST your experience/training re: avalanche awareness. Avy classes are a good place to do this if you don't already know any backcountry skiers.
If you're interested in learning in Utah and Colorado, check out Exum Mountain Guides in Utah and San Juan Ski Company in Durango. Go to www.avalanche.org
to look for avalanche classes in areas that are of interest to you.