Intro to Backcountry

Get up to speed in the backcountry on our Into to Backcountry program. It's the easiest and most efficient way to get the basics down. From gear management to setting a skin track, our guides will help you get comfortable earning your turns. Don't thrash, just sign up and show up!
Intro to Backcountry
Intro to Backcountry
Intro to Backcountry
Intro to Backcountry

Taking the leap from resort riding to exporing the backcountry?  You're in the right place!  Blackbird's Intro to Backcountry program is built for skiers and riders who want to learn the basics of backcountry travel without floundering around.  Our expert guides will dial you in on the gear, techniques and safety tips to have you up to speed in no time!

You'll learn:

  • How to find the best mountain weather forecast for your day's objective
  • How to find and understand the Avalanche Advisory for the day
  • How to perform a trailhead transceiver check
  • Fundamentals of using your touring gear, whether you're using alpine touring skis or a splitboard.  If you're travelling on snowshoes, contact us here and we can get you sorted out with a great setup to make your trip the best it can be! We'll discuss how to use your gear at the onset of the trip and talk about the pros and cons of different setups throughout the day as we travel.
  • How to apply, maintain and store climbing skins.
  • Techniques for efficient skinning and track setting.
  • Basics of backcountry navigation
  • Basics of avalanche rescue tools 

Requisite Experience 

The Intro to Backcountry program is for riders with little to no backcountry experience but advanced resort riding skills.  The "wild snow" of the backcountry can be tricky and many riders don't get to experience these untamed conditions at the resort.  Breakable crust, wind slabs, sticky "hot pow", and deep powder are all snow conditions that are somewhat rare to find at resorts (for better or worse!) and they require higher levels of skill to manage effectively.  We want everyone to have a great experience on our programs, so we kindly request your riding skills meet the demands of the snow.  Contact us if you're unsure and we can help you figure it out!


Contact Us Here to Schedule Custom Dates for an Intro Program today!

Available Dates

Dec 11, 2020
Dec 18, 2020
Dec 23, 2020
Dec 30, 2020
Jan 8, 2021
Jan 15, 2021
Jan 22, 2021
Jan 27, 2021
Jan 29, 2021
Feb 3, 2021
Feb 5, 2021
Feb 10, 2021
Feb 12, 2021
Feb 17, 2021
Feb 19, 2021
Feb 24, 2021
Feb 26, 2021
Mar 3, 2021
Mar 5, 2021
Mar 10, 2021
Mar 12, 2021
Mar 17, 2021
Mar 19, 2021
Mar 24, 2021
Mar 26, 2021
Mar 31, 2021
Apr 2, 2021


$199 per person!


Get up to speed in the backcountry with our Into to Backcountry program!  It's the easiest and most efficient way to get the basics down.  From gear management to setting a skin track, our guides will help you get comfortable earning your turns.  Don't thrash, just sign up and show up - we're excited to introduce you to human-powered riding!


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

Avalanche Gear

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.

Other Essentials

❏ 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

Group Gear

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



Difficulty ⚫⚪⚪⚪⚪

Trip Length 

Single Day

Add Avalanche Gear Rental 


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