Eastern Sierra Ski Mountaineering

Join us for a day of ski mountaineering in one of the most magical ranges in the United States: California’s Eastern Sierra. Renowned for incredible corn and powder skiing, the Range of Light is a ski mountaineer’s paradise. Not sure what you want to ski? We’ll work with you to pick an objective that has the best snow and the level of adventure you’re looking for!
Eastern Sierra Ski Mountaineering
Eastern Sierra Ski Mountaineering
Skier bootpacking Bloody Couloir in the Eastern Sierra on a guided mountaineering trip with Blackbird Guides
Eastern Sierra Ski Mountaineering
Eastern Sierra Ski Mountaineering
Eastern Sierra Ski Mountaineering
Eastern Sierra Ski Mountaineering

The Eastern Sierra, also known as The Range of Light, is a ski mountaineer's dream.  Clear, cold nights and warm, sunny days make for incredible corn skiing.  Equally as alluring are the steep, powder filled couloirs that often are the signature of this 250+ mile range of granite spires.  While these corn and powder are two snow surfaces that are seemingly at odds with one another, it's amazing how often one can find cold snow in couloirs and ski corn from the base back to the car!

Whether you're looking for perfect corn skiing or steep, granite-walled couloirs, the Eastern Sierra, is a destination for aspiring ski mountaineers and veterans alike!  Book a program with us or reach out to build the trip you've been dreaming of!

Requisite Experience

The Eastern Sierra is home to a huge range of backcountry skiing objectives.  From simple ski tours to involved, technical skiing, there is something for every ability level.  Please be transparent with your guide to make sure that you pick an objective that is appropriate for your abilities and fitness.

Most tours require Ski Mountaineering Skills or similar experience.

 

    Eastern Sierra Ski Mountaineering
    Eastern Sierra Ski Mountaineering
    Skier bootpacking Bloody Couloir in the Eastern Sierra on a guided mountaineering trip with Blackbird Guides
    Eastern Sierra Ski Mountaineering
    Eastern Sierra Ski Mountaineering
    Eastern Sierra Ski Mountaineering
    Eastern Sierra Ski Mountaineering
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, Eastern Sierra Ski Mountaineering
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, Skier bootpacking Bloody Couloir in the Eastern Sierra on a guided mountaineering trip with Blackbird Guides
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, Eastern Sierra Ski Mountaineering
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, Eastern Sierra Ski Mountaineering
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, Eastern Sierra Ski Mountaineering
    • Load image into Gallery viewer, Eastern Sierra Ski Mountaineering

    Dates

    Available Dates

    April 16
    April 17
    April 23
    April 24
    April 30
    May 7
    May 14
    May 21

    Prices

    Prices are as follows:

     

    Eastside Skiing Price List
    Ski Touring & Ski Mountaineering Private
    Private RatesPer Person / Per Day
    1:1$495
    2:1$375
    3:1$335

    Itinerary

    6:00 am  Meet your guide at the trailhead and review the plan for the day. The guide will discuss the avalanche problem for the day, the proposed route up and options for the ascent and descent.  The guide will conduct a Trailhead Departure Check/Beacon Check.

    6:30 am  Tour into our objective for the day and ski as many laps as time will allow on the best snow available.

    5:30 pm  Return to the trailhead with enough daylight to have a margin to get back safely.

     

     

    Equipment

    Ski Mountaineering Gear Guide

    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
    • Ski Poles - Lightweight, Adjustable Poles with Baskets; BD Expedition 3 Poles
    • Climbing Skins - Mohair Mix is Best; Black Diamond GlideLite Mohair Mix,
    • Ski Crampons - Specific to your Skis/Board; 
    • Ski Strap - Voile Ski Strap or Similar


     

    Avalanche Gear

    • 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


     

    Technical Gear

    • Climbing/Ski Helmet - Dual Rated Helmet; Petzl Sirocco or Black Diamond Vision
    • Headlamp - LED headlamp with fresh batteries; Petzl Actik Core
    • Climbing Harness -  Light Alpine Harness; Petzl Altitude, Mammut Zephyr Altitude
    • Two Locking Carabiners - Petzl Attache, etc
    • Triple Action Locking Carabiner - Edelrid HMS Strike Triple FG Locking Carabiner
    • Double Length Sling - Sewn Runner; Black Diamond 10mm Dynex Runner
    • Belay Device - Tube Style Belay Device; BD ATC Guide, Petzl Reverso
    • Crampons, Steel - Steel Crampons Compatible with Your Boots; Petzl Vasak

    OR Crampons, Aluminum - Aluminum Crampons, Compatible with Your Boots

    Please ask your guide which is appropriate for your objective

    • Lightweight Ice Axe - An ultralight Axe for Steep Terrain; Petzl Ride, BD Raven Ultra


     

    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 Gaiter - 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 & NanoAir
    • Puffy - Midweight Down or Synthetic with Hood; Patagonia Fitzroy or similar
    • Hardshell Jacket, Hooded - Waterproof, Light, 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 Pants; OR Trailbreaker II
    • Vented Hardshell Ski Pants - (Conditions dependent) Waterproof Pants for Extreme Weather

    Camping & Backpacking Gear

    • Sleeping Bag - Down or Synthetic Rated to 0F-20F; Feathered Friends Egret UL 20
    • Sleeping Pad - Insulated Inflatable Air Mattress; Therm-a-Rest NeoAir X-Therm, X-Lite
    • Compression Stuff Sack -  To Pack Sleeping Bag; Ultralight Compression Stuffsack 10L
    • Backpack - Lightweight, Simple 50 Liter Pack; Patagonia Alpinist 50, BD Speed 50 - MUST FIT ALL OF YOUR GEAR AND FOOD


     

    Food and Water

    • Dinner - Your Favorite Freeze Dried or “Just-Add-Hot-Water” Meal for Each Night in the Field.
    • Breakfast - Your Favorite Freeze Dried or “Just-Add-Hot-Water” Meal for Each Morning in the Field
    • Hot Drinks - For After Dinner and During Breakfast; Instant Coffee, Decaffeinated Tea, Hot Cocoa, Tang, Whatever You Prefer
    • Half Liter Nalgene Bottle - A Hard Sided Water Bottled that Can Act as your Mug For Hot Drinks and WAter Bottle Dutring the Climb; Nalgene 16oz Wide Mouth Bottle
    • Soft Water Bottle 1.5L - Flexible Water Bladder; Hydrapak Flux 1.5L

    ***Please bring at least one hard sided water bottle.

    • Water Treatment or Filtration - Katadyn BeFree Filter Connects to Hydrapak Flux Bottles 
    • Bowl - Reuse your Freeze Dried Dinner Bag as Your Bowl, or Bring Another;
    • Spoon - 9” Long Handled Spoon (For Eating Food in a Bag); GSI Essential Spoon Long
    • Snacks - Snacks and Lunch food  for each day of the trip


     

    Other Essentials

    • Sun Screen (SPF 30 minimum)
    • Lip Balm (with SPF)
    • Hand Sanitizer
    • Toilet Paper


     

    Optional

    • First Aid/blister Kit
    • Chemical Hand Warmers
    • Hydration System - Flexible Water Bladder with Hose; Hydrapak, Camelback, Platypus


     

    Group Gear

    Blackbird Mountain Guides will supply all of the group gear for the trip, including:

    • Slingfin Tents (Designed and Headquartered in Berkeley, CA)
    • Stoves
    • Fuel for Stoves
    • Ropes
    • Snow Pickets (if required)
    • Rock Protection (if required)
    • Guide’s First Aid Kits
    • Wag Bags (Solid Human Waste Disposal Bags)

     

    Know Before You Go

    Location

    Eastern Sierra, CA

    Elevation

    7,000-14,000

    Difficulty ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚪

    The Eastern Sierra offers incredible couloir and open bowl skiing.  Most routes are fairly strenuous, both physically and with technique.  Climbs of 3,000 feet or more are common.  This program requires efficiency with skinning, transitioning and excellent endurance.

    Trip Length

    1 day

    Regular price
    $295.00
    Sale price
    $295.00
    Regular price
    Sold out
    Unit price
    per