Skills for the Big Lines

This course is designed for the experienced backcountry skier or splitboarder looking to get into more technical objectives in glaciated terrain. Skis are the perfect tools for climbing (and descending) peaks as they allow us to move quickly and cover a lot of terrain. These camps typically take place utilizing both Washington Pass and Mount Baker, and if the weather cooperates, we finish up with a descent of Mount Baker, truly one of the most classic snow descents in the lower 48. While skiing or riding off the summit is an unforgettable experience, this course is decidedly skill-focused with ample time spent learning and practicing the skills necessary to plan and execute a trip in glaciated terrain.

Ski Mountaineering Course
Itinerary

We typically begin this course with a day tour in the Washington Pass area where we work on steep skinning and skiing techniques including the use of ski crampons (however, we sometimes run the entire course on Mount Baker). That afternoon/evening, we work on the critical skill of tour planning so you can take a leadership role during our next three days. We then switch venues for to Mount Baker where we cover a range of technical skills from rope team travel to crevasse rescue to whiteout navigation. In addition to being guides, we are all educators and work hard to create a useful and accessible progression of skills – we will take you from the most basic snow anchor to mechanical advantage while highlighting realistic, simple systems.

Ski Mountaineering Course
Skills Required

Experience with backcountry skiing or splitboarding, preferably at least 2 seasons of backcountry experience. Ability to ski/ride downhill in control on steep slopes in highly variable snow conditions. No glacier experience is required.