Washington Pass/North Cascades

We invite you to join our Women's Backcountry Series this winter! Guides Steph Williams and Adrienne Schaefer will be offering a progression of courses and adventures for Women looking to take their backcountry game to the next level. Here are the details:

One Day Intro to Backcountry Skiing: This one-day clinic will focus on the fundamentals of touring including safety equipment, skinning, transitions, downhill technique, assessing terrain and many other considerations to keep in mind when out touring for the day. This clinic will be conducted in the backcountry at Washington Pass. Participants should be at least advanced skiers or snowboarders. Depending on current conditions this may be a snowmobile accessed ski tour with snowmobiles provided by NCMG. 6 spots available

Two Day Backcountry Intensive Clinic: This 2-day intensive course will immerse you in ski-tour planning and touring based out of the NCMG headquarters in Mazama and snowmobile-accessed touring at Washington Pass. We'll meet in Winthrop, Washington on Friday evening to talk about tour planning, review the gear needs for the weekend, and meet our backcountry partners for the next 2 days. Day 1 we will meet to talk about the tour plan for the day, and then we will head to the end of the road and get a briefing on how to operate a snowmobile. Then we will snowmobile to the start of our tour and spend the day touring. Finally, after we return and put the snowmobiles away we will meet and review video footage from the day, debrief on the day and plan for the Day 2 touring. Day 2 will be another full day of ski touring. Participants should be advanced skiers or snowboarders or higher. Previous backcountry touring experience highly recommended. 6 spots available

One Day Heli-Assisted Touring with North Cascade Heli: Join our all women's heli-assisted backcountry ski touring adventure. Ski tour all day in the North Cascades with a helicopter drop-off and pick-up provided by North Cascade Heli in Mazama. Participants should be advanced skiers or split-boarders with previous backcountry ski touring experience. Contact North Cascade Heli at info@heli-ski.com. 8 spots available

Three Day Backcountry Yurt: We are excited to offer a 3-day backcountry yurt trip through North Cascade Heli. This is a great way to get away from it all and live and breathe backcountry touring. All meals are provided along with incredible touring terrain that you get all to yourself. Contact North Cascade Heli at info@heli-ski.com 8 spots available.

We'd love to have you join us for some or all of the clinics and if these dates don't work for you we are always happy to schedule a private course.

Gear List

Backcountry Skiing Day Trips



  • Washington Pass Backcountry Day Trips
  • Stevens Pass Backcountry Day Trips

A NOTE ABOUT EQUIPMENT LISTS: Nothing can ruin a trip faster than having the wrong gear for the conditions at hand.  All our programs are subject to rapid and severe changes in the weather.  Select garments that are warm, lightweight and durable.  Generally speaking, the best arrangement is to think in terms of layers – a system that dries quickly, allow flexibility and resists wind, water and abrasion. All of us have different tolerances for heat or cold; for example, you might choose warmer gloves than specified here if you tend to get cold hands. If you have doubts about a specific garment’s appropriateness, please talk to your guide in advance about conditions you are most likely to experience. This list is built for a trip with an unsettled weather forecast.  With a good weather forecast some of these items may be left behind to save weight. All trips require that you bring adequate food and water, please see our “food” equipment list for details.


Head, Hands & Feet

  • Warm Hat
  • Sun Hat
  • Buff
  • Lightweight Gloves (for uphill; softshell)
  • Heavyweight Gloves (for downhill; waterproof and breathable)
  • Ski Socks

Upper Body Layers

  • Lightweight Base Layer Top
  • Lightweight Fleece jacket
  • Softshell Jacket with Hood
  • Puffy Jacket with Hood
  • Hardshell Jacket with Hood
  • Additional Puff Jacket (for snowmobile)

Lower Body Layers

  • Lightweight Baselayer Bottom
  • Softshell Pants
  • Hardshell Pants (worn over softshell pants for snowmobile)


  • Backpack (30-40 Liters, designed for skiing)
  • Sunglasses

ACCESSORIES continued…

  • Goggles
  • Sunscreen and spf lip balm
  • Water & Food (we strongly recommend not using drink hoses during winter trips)
  • Headlamp
  • Blister Kit
  • optional: Ski Helmet


  • Skis or Split Board (we recommend tech/pin bindings and skis  105mm to 125mm waist width for winter conditions)
  • Climbing Skins (sized and cut for your skis or board)
  • Ski or Snowboard Boots
  • Ski Poles (collapsible for split boarders)
  • Ski Strap (rubber voile style)

AVALANCHE SAFETY (these may be rented from NCMG)

  • Transceiver (3 antenna, less than 5 years old)
  • Shovel (metal blade required)
  • Probe (240cm or longer)


Available Guides
  • Profile picture for user Steph Williams

    Steph Williams

  • Profile picture for user Adrienne Schaefer

    Adrienne Schaefer