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Backcountry/ Avalanche Ski Week?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
My previous post today got me thinking... For my kids winter break next year (February) we are thinking about choosing a destination with a focus on backcountry and avalanch training. Would anyone else be interesting in grouping together to set up a week with some king of backcountry and avalanche programs. Are there Bears out there who would like to maybe run this? From our perspective we would probably also like to include a focus on searching out some exciting ski terrain/descents.

I know Eski (Holiday's involved as well) already offers programs along this line at Sugar Bowl (All Mountain Ski Pros). However, with myself and 2 kids (older teenagers), keeping the cost down is a consideration.

There are certainly many areas to consider for a week: Tahoe, Colorado (Silverton), Whistler, etc. I have been leaning toward Tahoe or the Silverton area as we have also never skied at Teluride or Crested Butte and might be able to work them into this idea. The Wasatch and Jackson Hole are places where we already spend time regularly and can more easily find opportunities on our own.

Any interest?

[ April 26, 2002, 10:02 AM: Message edited by: Si ]
post #2 of 6
If the Bear's Clinic (a gathering of students and instructors for the purpose of learning to ski better -- details in the Instruction forum) happens, I offered to provide a backcountry/avalanche clinic.

ESki's program would certainly be far better and I would recommend that over my own, but If you want something more basic and free, I could instruct on bc and avy safety. I could also informally lead bc trips in my home terrain (anywhere in the California, Sierras), but would not want to do so in an unfamiliar snowpack like CO or UT -- though I could still teach avy basics there.

My background in this is: active member of Tahoe Backcountry Ski Patrol, National Ski Patrol (NSP) and ASI Level II avalanche certified, a bunch of Ski Mountaineering and snowcamping training from ASI and NSP, and many years of bc travel in the Sierras.
post #3 of 6
If AC's generous offer does not work out and you instead have to go to a fee-based commercial provider, I would strongly recommend seeking out an instructor who conforms to AIARE standards:
Until recently, no U.S. standards have existed for avy courses (in stark contrast with our neighbors to the north), but fortunately AIARE is changing that.
post #4 of 6
As I remember there are quite a few Bears heading to Utah next year. That would/could be cheap and satisfy any desire for in bounds steeps skiing, and if the Bears were lucky maybe a qualified instructor or two could provide pointers for an hour or so in the morning and afternoon, but I am offering services I don't have to offer.

As for backcountry, you might want to take AC up on his offer or see if the Bears in Utah have something planned. See the thread in Resorts, Conditions, and Travel.
post #5 of 6
Hi, Si:

I'm coming into this thread a little late, but here's another idea you might want to consider. Exum Utah Mountain Adventures


not only does guided backcountry tours in the Wasatch, they also host a number of basic and advanced avalanche courses each winter.

EUMA is managed by Julie (Faure) Bradley. Julie was our climbing guide for the Grand Teton, and she has also spent several winters as a snow control expert at Snowbird. If you recall, Julie's the one I told you was very likely the best woman all-terrain skier I've seen, especially consdidering that she skis on pins.

Julie's husband Tyson is a guide for Wasatch Powderbird and he's the author of the just-published book "Backcountry Skiing Utah" from Falcon (which you'll need to get, by the way - it's excellent).

Between the two of them, they have an enormous amount of talent, experience, and snow skills. They've skied (safely) essentially every peak and range in Utah, as well as many unbelievable things around the world.

I'm sure Julie could tailor an excursion to just about anything you would want. You can email her at


Tell her I referred you.

post #6 of 6
If a class or something is taught here next year, count me in. I feel that every upper level skier should take a class at some point in their skier lives, if they ski inbounds or out. I've released chutes inbounds at more than one resort, not a fun experience.

In addition, I believe that Wasatch Powderbird Guides do a class 1/2 in the classroom 1/2 in the mountains with heli access for fairly cheap. Not sure on the details though.
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