Ski Mountaineering Skills in Tahoe

Are you confident in the backcountry and ready to start tackling bigger objectives in Tahoe and beyond? The efficiency and safety techniques we teach on this course are the foundation for any big mountain summit and ski attempt including classic lines like Mt Shasta’s Avalanche Gulch or Mt Baker’s Roman Wall.
Overview
Itinerary
Prerequisites
Inclusions
Gear

We'll cover the following topics and skills:

  • The Rest Step: the Foundation of Mountaineering and Ski Mountaineering.

  • Crampons Types and pros and cons of each How to put them on Techniques: flat footing, duck step, pied a troisieme, front pointing, plunge stepping

  • Ice Axes Types of axes and pros and cons of each Anatomy of the axe and how to hold it Ice Axe Arrest: Rope Team Arrest (to stop a partner who has fallen into a crevasse in glaciated terrain) Self Arrest (to stop yourself from falling)

  • Rope Travel For glaciated terrain For steep technical terrain with a guide

  • Transitions Skinning to Ski Crampons Ski Crampons or skinning to Boot Crampons Climbing/Cramponing to Skiing on steep terrain

Here's the schedule for your course:

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

  • 8:30 am - We'll spend the day demonstrating and coaching while you practice ski mountaineering skills

  • 12:00pm - Lunch on the go

  • 3:00pm - Course ends

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

  • This is an introductory program - No ski mountaineering experience is required!

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

  • Basic Fitness - Able to spend an active day outside, moving uphill at 1,000’ per hour for durations of roughly 1 hour between breaks. Participants should be able to hike 3-5 miles and climb 1,000-1,500 vertical feet throughout the course of the day.

Here's what's included with your course:

  • Experienced AMGA Trained Guide
  • Tahoe National Forest Permit
  • Group Safety Gear - Snow Science, First Aid Kits
  • Wag Bags - for human waste disposal in with compliance 'Leave No Trace' principles
Not Included
  • Ski & Splitboard Touring Gear
  • Avalanche & Ski Mountaineering Gear - beacon, shovel, probe, ice axe, crampons, climbing harness
  • Transportation
  • Meals
  • Guide Gratuities

Ski Mountaineering Skills Gear List

  • Avalanche & Ski Mountaineering Gear - Come prepared with your own gear or rent from Blackbird

  • Ski & Splitboard Touring Gear - Come prepared with your own gear or rent from Tahoe Sports Hub - use code BLACKBIRD10 for 10% off at checkout.


Know Before you go

SKILL LEVELIntermediate
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

7:30 am  Meet your guide at the trailhead.  This early start time will allow us to take advantage of frozen surface conditions and will help with learning fundamental cramponing skills.

Your guide will conduct a Trailhead Departure Check/Beacon Check then we’ll tour to an appropriate venue with terrain that provides excellent learning opportunities.

 

8:00 am  From start to finish we’ll be explaining, demonstrating and coaching you while you practice the following skills: 

  • The Rest Step: the Foundation of Mountaineering and Ski Mountaineering.
  • Crampons 
    • Types and pros and cons of each
    • How to put them on
    • Techniques: flat footing, duck step, pied a troisieme, front pointing, plunge stepping
  • Ice Axes
    • Types of axes and pros and cons of each
    • Anatomy of the axe and how to hold it
    • Ice Axe Arrest:
      • Rope Team Arrest (to stop a partner who has fallen into a crevasse in glaciated terrain)
      • Self Arrest (to stop yourself from falling)
  • Rope Travel 
    • For glaciated terrain
    • For steep technical terrain with a guide
  • Transitions
    • Skinning to Ski Crampons
    • Ski Crampons or skinning to Boot Crampons
    • Climbing/Cramponing to Skiing on steep terrain
  • We’ll leave time to answer questions you may have about ski mountaineering and the various techniques at the end of the program

 

3:00 pm  We will close the program after finishing the learning objectives of the course.

We'll cover the following topics and skills:

  • The Rest Step: the Foundation of Mountaineering and Ski Mountaineering.

  • Crampons Types and pros and cons of each How to put them on Techniques: flat footing, duck step, pied a troisieme, front pointing, plunge stepping

  • Ice Axes Types of axes and pros and cons of each Anatomy of the axe and how to hold it Ice Axe Arrest: Rope Team Arrest (to stop a partner who has fallen into a crevasse in glaciated terrain) Self Arrest (to stop yourself from falling)

  • Rope Travel For glaciated terrain For steep technical terrain with a guide

  • Transitions Skinning to Ski Crampons Ski Crampons or skinning to Boot Crampons Climbing/Cramponing to Skiing on steep terrain

Here's the schedule for your course:

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

  • 8:30 am - We'll spend the day demonstrating and coaching while you practice ski mountaineering skills

  • 12:00pm - Lunch on the go

  • 3:00pm - Course ends

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

  • This is an introductory program - No ski mountaineering experience is required!

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

  • Basic Fitness - Able to spend an active day outside, moving uphill at 1,000’ per hour for durations of roughly 1 hour between breaks. Participants should be able to hike 3-5 miles and climb 1,000-1,500 vertical feet throughout the course of the day.

Here's what's included with your course:

  • Experienced AMGA Trained Guide
  • Tahoe National Forest Permit
  • Group Safety Gear - Snow Science, First Aid Kits
  • Wag Bags - for human waste disposal in with compliance 'Leave No Trace' principles
Not Included
  • Ski & Splitboard Touring Gear
  • Avalanche & Ski Mountaineering Gear - beacon, shovel, probe, ice axe, crampons, climbing harness
  • Transportation
  • Meals
  • Guide Gratuities

Ski Mountaineering Skills Gear List

  • Avalanche & Ski Mountaineering Gear - Come prepared with your own gear or rent from Blackbird

  • Ski & Splitboard Touring Gear - Come prepared with your own gear or rent from Tahoe Sports Hub - use code BLACKBIRD10 for 10% off at checkout.

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Epic Reviews From Adventurers

4 reviews
  • Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    Great prep for Eastern Sierra Ski Mountaineering!

    Zeb was awesome, and our intro to ski mountaineering course was a great intro to take before hitting some Eastern Sierra objectives the following week. Zeb was patient and informative and open to any and all questions throughout the course, and then we did a mini tour where he continued to share his breadth of knowledge about various observations and snow conditions. Couldn't recommend enough!

    Kyle M.
    Flag of United States
  • Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    Blackbird always beat my expectations!

    Blackbird is the best! They always beat my expectations, I can't say enough great things about them. Extremely professional, knowledgeable while making it fun, exciting and wanting to come back for more. If you're thinking about getting your avi certification, mountaineering training or guided backcountry tour- look no further.

    Mikael O.
    Flag of United States
  • Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5 Ski Mountaineering Skills Course!

    5/5 Ski Mountaineering Skills Course!

    Elizabeth G.
    Flag of United States
  • Rated 5 out of 5 stars
    Lots of skills & lots of fun!

    Took the ski mountaineering class with Zeb. Learned a bunch of skills and got to practice them in class before taking them to the mountains. Had lots of fun doing it! Highly recommend working with Zeb and Blackbird!

    Edmond K.
    Flag of United States
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