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Trip Details

Date Tuesday  11/28/2017
End Date
Group Fort Collins
Event Title Backcountry Ski Skills Seminar Field Trips
Start Time 6:30 PM
Status Approved
Leader John Raich
Member Price Free
Available Participants No tickets left
Type Trip
Trip Type Ski
Pace Moderate
Classification Moderate II
Trail Mileage 0
Elevation Gain 0
Driving Distance 0


Orientation session: Tuesday, November 28, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., location TBA. Field trip leaders and assistants are encouraged to attend the orientation. Attendance for other participants is optional.
Field trip locations: 5 field trips Jan through May at Cameron Pass and RMNP

For more info Contact

John Raich,




Backcountry ski tours provide realistic settings to practice a decision-making framework in avalanche terrain. The best way to practice skills learned in avalanche courses is to apply them consistently on all ski tours where all participants share responsibilities for trip planning, working as a team, assessing weather, snowpack, and terrain risks, choosing terrain for ski ascents and descents, and formulating travel strategies. All participants practice small group leadership. The emphasis is on trip planning, snowpack and terrain assessment, and decision making. Ski descents are still a priority, but secondary. This is not a ski mountaineering course nor is it an avalanche training course. There is no fee for the seminar. Seminar director: John Raich,


An evening orientation session is scheduled for Tuesday, November 28, 6:30-8:30 p.m., location TBA. The orientation includes discussion of field trip planning and management and introduces planning tools. Leaders and assistants are strongly encouraged to attend the orientation, it is optional for other seminar participants.

Field trips

Several field trips are scheduled over a period of 5 months, January through May, at different locations on gradually more challenging terrain at Cameron Pass and RMNP. Field trips are conducted in one or more groups of 4 with overall coordination by the seminar director. Participation on the last two field trips may require completion of an earlier field trip. Those registered for the seminar have priority. Tentative field trip schedule:
January 20 - Montgomery Pass
February 17 - North Diamond Pk
March 17 - Nokhu Ridge or Seven Utes Mtn
April 7 - Richthofen Saddle or Mahler Couloir or Nokhu Couloir
May 19 - Hallett Pk or Tyndall Glacier or Flattop Mtn
Be aware that trip dates may be changed later because of high avalanche risk, poor weather, marginal driving conditions, availability of trip leaders, or other reasons

Registration options

(1) Seminar: Register online for the entire seminar.
At the time of the seminar registration, you should indicate your preference:
* Register as a field trip leader or assistant leader: You commit to lead a group of 4 on at least one field trip and participate in at least another. Field trip leaders initiate the field trip planning process and coordinate activities for their groups.
* Register as a participant: You commit to participate in at least 2 field trips. You share responsibilities for planning and conduct of the trip with leaders and other participants and should be prepared to assume small group leadership roles on portions of the field trips.
Seminar registration puts your name on a mailing list. You will be notified regarding field trip locations and dates prior to when they are posted in the CMC activity schedule. You sign up for specific field trips at that time.

(2) Field trips: 'Register with leader', i.e. the seminar director at, for each field trip after it is posted on the CMC activity schedule. Those registered for the seminar have priority to sign up for field trips.

(3) Space available basis: Qualified CMC members not registered for the seminar may sign up with the director for specific field trips prior to the field trip start if there is room.


Participant requirements

Avalanche training and gear: completion of a level 1 avalanche course with avalanche rescue prior to the start of the seminar. Beacon, shovel, probe. AIARE 1 courses are offered locally: CMC (Denver and Boulder Groups - see activity schedule), Colorado Mountain School (Estes Park and Boulder), Never Summer Outdoor School (Fort Collins).
Skiing ability: You should be able to ski "blue" runs at ski areas with considerable confidence and be able to get down "black" runs competently at moderate speed, although perhaps not elegantly. You should have some experience skiing untracked snow in the backcountry on slopes 30-35 degrees.
Fitness: You should be able to ascend a good ski track at a rate of 750' vertical and 1 mile distance in about an hour. You should be able to alternate ascents and descents with short breaks between and keep it up for up to 6 hours.
Basic first aid training: Recommended.
Individual gear: AT, telemark, or splitboard gear, avalanche rescue gear, helmets recommended, air bags optional.
By signing up for this trip, participants agree to allow the trip leader to share contact information with other participants.

Sorry it is past the registration deadline for this event.