Avalanche Skills Tour
Level up your awareness and confidence in the backcountry with the Avalanche Skills Tour! You'll come away with improved decision making in avalanche terrain from planning to the end of day debrief and earn some great turns in the process!
The Avalanche Skills Tour is perfect for skiers and riders who want to :
- Advance their skills beyond AIARE1 or AIARE2 avalanche courses
- Build leadership and decision making skills in avalanche terrain
- Have a ripping day of ski touring
This program has two roles. Leaders and participants. You can choose how much you'd like to lead and how much you'd like to contribute as a participant. Our AMGA/AIARE trained guides will help the team create priorities and make decisions when necessary, add observations, provide tips and set the ship back on course if the team drifts from its goals.
With the guide serving as a mentor rather than a leader, everyone participating in the program has more engagement and "skin in the game." This accountability will challenge you and create a deeper understanding of decision making process. Guides add insight and keep the program running efficiently so you'll get the most out of your day.
The AST is suited for backcountry skiers and riders who have a minimum of an AIARE 1 (or equivalent A3 Avalanche Level 1 course) and ideally ARC (Avalanche Rescue Course). This program is also a great development tool for advanced backcountry riders who have taken AIARE 2 and are looking to become more confident and rely less on others for decision making in the backcountry.
Contact Us Here to Schedule Dates for a private AST today.
Prices$225 per person
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!
Gear Guide / Packing List
Backcountry Touring Gear
❏ Alpine Touring Skis or Splitboard - Light to Midweight Setup with “Tech Bindings”
❏ Alpine Touring Boots or Splitboard Compatible Boots; Scarpa F1
❏ Climbing Skins - Mohair Mix is Best; Black Diamond GlideLite Mohair Mix,
❏ Touring Backpack - A Pack with Avalanche Tools Pocket; BD Cirque 35
❏ Ski Poles - Lightweight, Adjustable Poles with Baskets; BD Expedition 3 Poles
❏ Ski Helmet - Lightweight S
RENT a the full Avalanche Gear Kit from Blackbird
❏ Avalanche Beacon - Digital Avalanche Transceiver; Black Diamond Guide Recon BT
❏ Avalanche Shovel - Collapsible, Aluminum Shovel; Backcountry Access BT2 Shovel
❏ Avalanche Probe - Quickdraw Style Probe; Backcountry Access Stealth 300
Head and Neck Layers
❏ Sun Hat - A Baseball Hat; Blackbird Mountain Guides Logo Hat
❏ Sunglasses - Dark Lens Glasses with Side Coverage; Julbo Shield
❏ Goggles - Ski Goggles with a Storm Lens; Julbo Aerospace Reactive
❏ Warm Hat - Lightweight Warm Hat that Fits Under Your Helmet;
❏ Neck Gaiters - Light to Midweight Neck Gaiters; Buff or your favorite Face Masks
***These Are Required as Covid-19 Face Coverings
Upper Body and Hand Layers
❏ Long Sleeve Base Layer - Lightweight, Synthetic/Wool; Patagonia SunHoody
❏ 2 Insulating Top Layers - Light to Midweight Insulation Layers; Patagonia R1 & Nano Air
❏ Puffy - Midweight Down or Synthetic with Hood; Patagonia Fitzroy or similar
❏ Hardshell Jacket, Hooded - Waterproof, Gore-Tex, NOT insulated; Arc’Teryx Alpha FL
❏ Light Gloves - Light to Mid Weight for Warm Temps; Flylow John Henry Gloves, BD Tour
❏ Midweight Gloves - Mid to Heavy Weight for Cold Conditions; BD Legend
❏ Sports Bra - Wool/Synthetic;
Lower Body and Foot Layers
❏ Socks - Midweight Wool/Synthetic; Darn Tough Via Ferrata
❏ Underwear - Wool/Synthetic
❏ Long Underwear - Wool/Synthetic “Long Johns”; Patagonia Capilene Air
❏ Softshell Ski Pants - Breathable, Weather Resistant for Fair Weather; OR Trailbreaker II
❏ Vented Hardshell Ski Pants - Waterproof Pants for Extreme Weather; Flylow Compound
Food and Water
❏ Nalgene Water Bottle - Hard Sided Bottle; Nalgene 16oz-32oz Wide Mouth Bottle
❏ Soft Water Bottle 1.5L - Flexible Water Bladder; Hydrapak Flux 1.5L
***Please bring at least one hard sided water bottle.
❏ Snacks - Enough Snacks for the Day. There will be no lunch break so snacks must be
convenient and easy to eat.
❏ Sun Screen (SPF 30 minimum)
❏ Lip Balm (with SPF)
❏ Hand Sanitizer
❏ Toilet Paper
❏ First Aid/blister Kit
❏ Chemical Hand Warmers
❏ Hydration System - Flexible Water Bladder with Hose; Hydrapak, Camelback, Platypus
Blackbird Mountain Guides will supply all of the group gear for the trip, including:
✓ Guide’s First Aid Kits
✓ Wag Bags (Solid Human Waste Disposal Bags)
✓ Snow Observation Equipment (Snowsaws, Loops, Crystal Cards, Etc)
Know Before You Go
North Lake Tahoe, CA
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