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Cancellation Policies
Covid-19 Policies
International Trips
Travel Insurance 

Cancellation Policies

Frog Lake Huts

  • If you cancel your trip more than 60 days before your trip begins, we will refund the full amount less a 10% administrative fee. If you cancel 60 days or less from when your trip begins, we will not be able to issue a refund of any amount. 

Domestic Trips

  • If you wish to cancel your trip for any reason, a request must be made in writing via email.
  • Cancellation Time Prior to Trip Dates:
    • Over 60 Days: Full refund of trip fees and Trip Deposit minus 10% administrative fee.
    • 31-59 Days: 50% refund of the trip fees.
    • Within 30 Days: NO REFUND can be made.
  • Travel insurance can be purchased to cover the trip fee and other costs.
  • Some custom domestic trips for large groups may be subject to the "International Trips" Cancellation Policy.  If this policy applies, it will be stated in the booking confirmation.
  • “Rescheduling” a trip is considered a cancellation and is subject to the same policies as cancellation.

​International Trips (including Canada)

  • If you wish to cancel your trip for any reason, a request must be made in writing via email.
    • Cancellation Time Prior to Trip Dates:
      • 120 Days: Full refund of trip fees and Trip Deposit minus 10% administrative fee.
      • 91-119 Days: 50% refund of the trip fees.
      • Within 90 Days: NO REFUND can be made.
  • “Rescheduling” a trip is considered a cancellation and is subject to the same policies as cancellation.
  • Travel Insurance IS MANDATORY FOR ALL FOREIGN TRIPS and must have the following minimum limits for foreign travel:
    • Evacuation and Repatriation Coverage: $250,000
    • Medical Coverage: $50,000

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance is MANDATORY FOR INTERNATIONAL TRIPS and must have the following minimum limits:

    • Evacuation and Repatriation Coverage: $250,000
    • Medical Coverage: $50,000

We recommend Travelex Select because it meets these limits and tends to provide the best coverage and price point.​​

Travel insurance covers a wide variety of circumstances that could make it impossible for you to participate in a trip.  If you cannot afford to lose the Trip Fee, Trip Deposit, or other associated costs, please research and purchase trip insurance that will cover you adequately. 

In many states, "Cancel for any Reason" insurance provides partial coverage for trip fees, airfare and other non-refundable trip costs and might be a good way to cover yourself against changing plans or other unforeseen circumstances. 

Research with care and make sure that you're covered for what you need to be.  You can compare rates and benefits at travelinsurance.com or choose Travelex Select Insurance to cover our required limits for foreign travel.

Cancellations Made By Blackbird Mountain Guides 

  • Blackbird Mountain Guides reserves the right to cancel or reschedule trips for any reason.  These reasons include inadequate sign-ups (under-booked trip), guide injuries, or other unforeseen circumstances.  Participants who have signed up for an under-booked trip will be given the option of making it a private trip for an additional cost, given credit to apply to another trip, or be refunded in full.
  • No refunds can be given due to weather, environmental conditions or other unforeseen circumstances beyond our control that causes a trip to be cancelled.  These events include: severe weather, political unrest, health pandemics, airline/transportation strikes, etc. 
  • In the event of unforeseen circumstances beyond our control, we reserve the right to reschedule, alter the trip's itinerary, or cancel the trip.  Trip cancellation is the last resort and every effort will be made to run the trip in some facility.  Please research and purchase travel insurance to cover the trip fee and other costs of your trip if you cannot afford to lose these costs in the event of a cancellation.
  • WE OPERATE TRIPS IN INCLEMENT WEATHER! Do not expect a trip to be cancelled due to weather.  Unless we specifically cancel the trip, please assume the trip will run regardless of weather.  It is your responsibility to plan accordingly and arrive at the program venue on time.  California and Washington State have severe weather that can make travel extremely difficult.  It is up to you to make sure that you can make it to our trips ON TIME.  No refund can be issued for participants who are unable to attend or who cause a major disruption to the program itinerary due to tardiness.

Early Season Guarantee

  • We want to make sure you feel comfortable booking an AIARE avalanche course in the early season with Blackbird. Early season courses can offer many benefits over programs later in the season and we want you to understand that we're committed to providing the learning outcomes you need, regardless of the snowpack.
  • If we determine we cannot meet the learning objectives of our avalanche courses based on lack of snow coverage, we'll help you reschedule a later date that works for you!
  • All skiing and skiing-based courses are subject to snow conditions and the Early Season Guarantee is not a guarantee of "good skiing conditions."  It does mean that we're making sure that there is enough coverage to cover all of the field-based portions of the program reasonably 

Covid-19 Policies

  • For overnight trips with shared indoor space (Lodges & Huts): We are requiring that all clients and guides be fully vaccinated this season and stay up to date on their protection against the virus by getting booster shots when eligible. This means you have received the latest booster within six months of your trip. Review our guidelines here and make sure that you agree and comply with the terms before signing up for a program:

Covid-19 Guidelines for Participants and Guides

  • We'll ask you to submit a QR-Code to verify your Covid-19 Vaccination status. Please consult the following resources to obtain your QR-Code if you don't already have one:
Other States:
  • For day trips: we are not requiring vaccination.
  • For overnight camping trips: we are not requiring vaccination.  Participants who do not wish to share a tent with another participant should contact us regarding options for their program.
  • We need everyone on our programs to be healthy when we meet in the field.  If you have any symptoms, we need you to stay at home.  In the event that you do not pass the health screening, we will reschedule your program to use after you are no longer sick.

Wildfire Smoke Policy

In some cases, poor air quality from wildfire smoke might warrant the need to issue a refund or offer a credit for your trip. We will do so under the following conditions when the Air Quality Index (AQI) gets within a certain level:

AQI 151-200

If you have a pre-existing medical condition, we will reschedule or issue a credit.

AQI 201-300

If you don’t want to climb in the smoke, we will reschedule or issue a credit

AQI >301

As this AQI is considered unsafe, we will cancel the activity for the day and issue a credit. Refunds can be requested as necessary.

Season Pass Policy

Any of the Blackbird season passes, including but not limited to ski mountaineering passes, Tahoe Backcountry Pass, and Avy Passes must be used for programs during the current season. Unused credits cannot be applied to programs in future seasons.

Leave No Trace

Guides and clients are expected to follow Leave No Trace principles when participating in our courses or future trips. Learn more about Leave No Trace principles here.


Here are some of our most Frequently Asked Questions. 

Conditions range widely in the backcountry, from not enough snow to too much snow, hard snow to soft snow. The weather could be rainy, snowy, sunny or windy. We will hold our courses as long as we have the conditions to meet the learning outcomes of our programs. There is never a perfect time to take an avalanche course and on the same token there is never a bad time as long as we can accomplish the learning outcomes of the course. There are always learning opportunities to be had and the conditions in our courses will reflect the conditions in the backcountry!

Gear is a major consideration on all backcountry skiing, mountaineering and climbing trips. Make sure you have the appropriate gear for your program by checking the "Equipment" Tab on the booking page. The equipment list and gear guide will provide a detailed checklist for your program, with specific examples of each piece of gear so that you understand what to bring.
Equipement list for your Lake Tahoe Backcountry skiing, avalanche course or climbing trip

We are working on updating this section. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out to info@blackbirdguides.com with any questions you may have.