Intro to Ski Touring & Split Boarding-Part II of Backcountry Education Level 1

  • Dates:
    • Evening Lectures 7:30 @ Second Ascent: Dec 30; Jan 13; Feb 10
    • Field Dates 2016: Jan 2-3, 16-17; Feb 13-14,
  • Duration: 3
  • Level: Beginner
  • Client Ratio: 5:1
  • Cost:
    • – $295
    • With AIARE Level 1 – $545
    • 1 Day – $200
  • Included: 2 evening lecture and field instruction and fresh tracks!.
  • Not Included: Transportation to field location, transceivers, shovels, probes or touring equipment. A detailed equipment list will be sent to all participants.
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Intro to Ski Touring & Split Boarding Course will teach you to avoid another day stuck in long lift lines, paying for expensive tickets and no fresh tracks. We understand why you want and need these new skills because, years ago we too felt the pull of the mountains and powder stashes beyond the boundaries of resorts. You will learn the basics of skinning technique, care and use of skins, transceiver check (group/independent), kick turns, terrain management uphill & downhill, simple & in depth transceiver search, and how to find beautiful uncrowded terrain away from the resorts!

We also learn about Tour Planning: ‘Fortune favors the prepared’ covered the why we need to plan. The ‘how’ covers map reading, route plotting and calculating time over distance, plotting compass bearings and learning about apps that can do this for us.This course is designed for all types of backcountry travelers, snowshoers, backcountry skiers, snowboarders, and mountaineers. BCA Guides operates under special use permit from the Mt Baker/Snoqualmie & Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forests.

Field Day 1
Snoqualmie Pass or Mt Baker Ski Area. Arrive 8:00 am and get ready for the day. Meet at 8:30am, perform a gear check, do introductions, and then start our tour we planned on Wed. We work on skin technique, kick turns and route finding thru avalanche terrain.

Field Day 2
We continue our education with a full day tour focusing on Terrain Management, Track Setting, and more advanced transceiver techniques. We bring all the skills together and move into Tour Planning, Map And Compass Navigation.

Touring Gear

  • Adjustable Ski poles with powder (big) baskets*
  • Skis or snowboard.Skis should be equipped with alpine touring bindings or telemark bindings. We prefer split decision snowboards w/ skins because you do not need snow shoes.
  • Alpine touring, telemark, or snowboard boots *(Available for rental @Pro Ski Service)
  • Snowshoes for snowboarders *(Available for rental @Second Ascent)
  • Skins with glop stopper (skin wax)
  • Avalanche Beacon This needs to be Triple Antenna. *(Available to rent from BCA Guides)
  • Shovel Small collapsible style *(Available to rent from BCA Guides)
  • Avalanche Probe 265cm or longer*(Available to rent from BCA Guides)
  • Helmet for riding and climbing adjustable to fit over hats

Upper Body

  • Lightweight base layer T-shirt or long sleeve polypropylene shirt
  • Soft Shell
  • 1 Down/synthetic jacket with hood
  • 1 Hard shell jacket with hood Waterproof and breathable. roomy enough to fit over multiple layers.
  • 1 pair liner gloves Thin wool or polypropylene
  • Shell gloves or mitts
  • Warm hat Wool or synthetic
  • Balaclava or Buff
  • Shade hat or baseball cap

Lower Body

  • 1 pair heavy wool/synthetic socks Check boot fit with liner and wool socks on
  • 1 pair lightweight long underwear Polypropylene or Capilene
  • Soft shell pants with Schoeller fabrics
  • Shell pants Waterproof/breathable with full side zips, Gore-Tex or equivalent is best


  • Internal frame pack 2000-2500 cubic inch capacity, avoid unnecessary options that add weight

Miscellaneous Equipment

    • Sunglasses 100% UV protection
    • Personal first aid kit Basics: moleskin/blister kit, Band-Aids, first-aid tape, ibuprofen, personal medications, etc.
    • Lip balm At least SPF 20,
    • Sunscreen At least SPF 40
    • Headlamp compact LED
    • 2 water bottles 1 liter wide-mouth Nalgene and 1 bottle holster, or
    • Multi-tool.
    • Bandana
    • Hand wipes
    • 1 small stainless steel thermos (Optional)
    • Lunch & snack food (no more than 2 pounds)
    • Camera