Avalanche Skills Tour

Refresh and sharpen your skills as you explore the best backcountry zones around Tahoe. On this mission the objective is not just finding the deepest snow in the basin (you'll get that too!), but learning from the decisions your guide is making at every turn.
Overview
Itinerary
Prerequisites
Inclusions
Gear

We'll cover the following topics and skills:

  • You decide where to go, the route to get there, the observations to make along the way, and key decision points.

  • Your guide will help you refresh and build on skills from AIARE 1, Avy Rescue, and AIARE 2 courses

  • Build the leadership and decision making skills in avalanche terrain that will allow you to be a strong touring partner

  • Gain the knowledge and skills to educate your touring partners to create strong groups with great communication

  • Have an awesome day of ski touring!

  • 8:00am - Meet your guide in the field at the designated trailhead

  • 8:15am - Review avalanche hazard rating, gear check, trailhead departure check

  • 8:45am - Begin the course / tour - with lessons and teachable moments along the way

  • 12pm - Lunch on the go

  • 3:30 - Finish tour at the trailhead. Debrief of the day and discuss strengths, areas for improvement, goals, and next steps in your backcountry progression.

Here are the skills and fitness you'll need for your course:

  • Advanced Resort Riding Skills - Including off-piste terrain in challenging snow conditions.

  • Intermediate Backcountry Experience - Including efficient gear management and skinning, transition technique, with 20+ days spent in the backcountry.

  • Strong Fitness - Able to spend a long, active day outside, moving uphill at 1,000’ per hour for durations of 1-1.5 hours between breaks. Participants should be able to hike 8-10 miles, climbing 2,500 - 3,500 vertical feet throughout the course of the day. People with strong fitness typically have a strenuous workout 3-4 days a week.

  • Completed AIARE 1 and AIARE Avalanche Rescue - Course completion certificates from AIARE are required

Here's what's included with your course:

  • Experienced AMGA/AIARE Trained Guide
  • Group Safety Gear - your guide will be equipped with snow science tools and a first aid kit
  • Wag Bags - for human waste disposal in with compliance 'Leave No Trace' principles
Not Included
  • Ski/Splitboard Gear
  • Avalanche Gear
  • Guide Gratuities

Ski/Split Touring Gear

  • Ski Touring or Splitboard Setup - No snowshoes
  • Ski Touring or Splitboard Boots
  • Climbing Skins
  • Touring Backpack - with pockets for avalanche gear
  • Adjustable Touring Poles
Avalanche Safety Gear
  • Avalanche Beacon
  • Avalanche Shovel
  • Avalanche Probe
Clothing & Accessories
  • Technical Outerwear (jacket, bibs/pants)
  • Multiple Midlayer Options
  • Gloves
  • Helmet
  • Goggles
  • Beanie
  • Baseball Cap
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Water Bottle / Hydration Pack (2L)
  • Lunch and Snacks

  • Know Before you go

    SKILL LEVELIntermediate Advanced
    ELEVATION6,000’-9,000’
    LocationTahoe

    Price/Person $250.00
    Private Programs
    Duration: 1 Day
    View Full Itinerary
    Private Programs

    Blackbird Mountain Guides offers both scheduled group programs and private programs.

    Private programs are simply above and beyond what Blackbird Mountain Guides currently has scheduled. Scheduled courses are not always less expensive. Before booking a trip with Blackbird Mountain Guides, clients are encouraged to review the differences between these types of programs, and to decide what works best for them.

    SCHEDULED PROGRAMS

    Scheduled Programs have fixed dates, itineraries, objectives, curriculum, and costs. They typically appeal to solo individuals or small groups or who are looking to share the cost of their program with a larger group. Correspondingly, scheduled programs are less expensive for smaller groups (1-2), and they provide the opportunity to meet others with similar interests. If you have a large group (3+), Scheduled programs will often be more expensive. They can fill up quickly, and scheduling flexibility is obviously limited.

    Scheduled programs will have advertised dates. All scheduled programs can be run as private programs with private dates/rates as well.

    PRIVATE PROGRAMS

    Private programs have scheduling freedom. They typically appeal to those who would like some flexibility in planning their own trip or course. In this regard, Itineraries and objectives can be tailored to suit current conditions as well as client goals. Private programs are normally less expensive for larger groups (3+). If you have a small group (1-2) private programs will be more expensive.

    Contact us
    Full Itinerary

    This program begins with email correspondence between you and your guide.  You will begin by sending your objectives and route plans to your guide.  If there is a major risk assessment problem, your guide will consult and steer you toward a more appropriate objective.

     

    8:00 am  Meet your guide and review the plan for the day. Trailhead Departure Check/Beacon Check.

    8:00 am  You are calling the shots.  You decide where to go, the route to get there, the observations to make along the way, and key decision points.  Your guide will ask questions and provide insight to help prompt you if your uncertainty is leading to increased risk, but the goal is for you to gather information and make decisions. 

    3:30 pm  We will try to close the program with a margin of daylight remaining when we hit the trailhead.  When we’re safely back at the cars, we’ll review the day and debrief the decisions you made throughout the day.  This is very helpful for building useful experience quickly!

    We'll cover the following topics and skills:

    • You decide where to go, the route to get there, the observations to make along the way, and key decision points.

    • Your guide will help you refresh and build on skills from AIARE 1, Avy Rescue, and AIARE 2 courses

    • Build the leadership and decision making skills in avalanche terrain that will allow you to be a strong touring partner

    • Gain the knowledge and skills to educate your touring partners to create strong groups with great communication

    • Have an awesome day of ski touring!

    • 8:00am - Meet your guide in the field at the designated trailhead

    • 8:15am - Review avalanche hazard rating, gear check, trailhead departure check

    • 8:45am - Begin the course / tour - with lessons and teachable moments along the way

    • 12pm - Lunch on the go

    • 3:30 - Finish tour at the trailhead. Debrief of the day and discuss strengths, areas for improvement, goals, and next steps in your backcountry progression.

    Here are the skills and fitness you'll need for your course:

    • Advanced Resort Riding Skills - Including off-piste terrain in challenging snow conditions.

    • Intermediate Backcountry Experience - Including efficient gear management and skinning, transition technique, with 20+ days spent in the backcountry.

    • Strong Fitness - Able to spend a long, active day outside, moving uphill at 1,000’ per hour for durations of 1-1.5 hours between breaks. Participants should be able to hike 8-10 miles, climbing 2,500 - 3,500 vertical feet throughout the course of the day. People with strong fitness typically have a strenuous workout 3-4 days a week.

    • Completed AIARE 1 and AIARE Avalanche Rescue - Course completion certificates from AIARE are required

    Here's what's included with your course:

    • Experienced AMGA/AIARE Trained Guide
    • Group Safety Gear - your guide will be equipped with snow science tools and a first aid kit
    • Wag Bags - for human waste disposal in with compliance 'Leave No Trace' principles
    Not Included
    • Ski/Splitboard Gear
    • Avalanche Gear
    • Guide Gratuities

    Ski/Split Touring Gear

    • Ski Touring or Splitboard Setup - No snowshoes
    • Ski Touring or Splitboard Boots
    • Climbing Skins
    • Touring Backpack - with pockets for avalanche gear
    • Adjustable Touring Poles
    Avalanche Safety Gear
    • Avalanche Beacon
    • Avalanche Shovel
    • Avalanche Probe
    Clothing & Accessories
  • Technical Outerwear (jacket, bibs/pants)
  • Multiple Midlayer Options
  • Gloves
  • Helmet
  • Goggles
  • Beanie
  • Baseball Cap
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Water Bottle / Hydration Pack (2L)
  • Lunch and Snacks
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    Epic Reviews From Adventurers

    1 review
    • Rated 5 out of 5 stars
      Amazing experience

      This skills tour exceeded my expectations. It was extremely fun and the Blackbird Mountain Guides team was all super friendly!

      Sean
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    the blackbird difference

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