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Trip Details

Date Tuesday  12/11/2018
End Date
Group Fort Collins
Event Title Backcountry Ski Skills Seminar
Start Time 6:30 PM
Status Approved
Leader John Raich
Member Price Free
Available Participants 3
Type Trip
Trip Type Ski
Pace Moderate
Classification Moderate II
Trail Mileage 6
Elevation Gain 2000
Driving Distance 140


Orientation and classroom session at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, December 11, 2018 in the meeting room at the Council Tree Library in Fort Collins:
Field trip locations are at Cameron Pass or RMNP to be scheduled.

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. The seminar is intended as a follow-up to a level 1 avalanche course:

Orientation and discussion sessions

An evening orientation session is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, December 11, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Council Tree Library in Fort Collins location (see above for directions). The orientation includes discussion of field trip planning and management and introduces planning tools for the seminar. Subsequent evening discussion sessions may be scheduled at a later time. A set of seminar notes will be provided for participants.

Field trips

A number of field trips will be scheduled over a period of 5 months, January through May, about one per month, at different locations on gradually more challenging terrain at Cameron Pass and RMNP. One or two field trips are are shake-down tours to review basic skills. You should attend one of these to participate in subsequent field trips. We will will sample terrain at elevations from below treeline to the alpine with a variety of snowpack and weather conditions. Field trips are conducted in one or more groups of 4 with overall coordination by the seminar director. You can sign up for field trips when they are listed in the CMC activity schedule. Those registered for the seminar have priority for field trip participation.

Participant requirements

Avalanche training and gear: Completion of a level 1 avalanche course with an avalanche rescue component prior to seminar field trips. 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 the seminar, all participants agree that responsibility for group safety is shared by all participants.

Seminar Registration

There is no fee for the seminar. Seminar director: John Raich, Registration puts you on a mailing list for scheduled field trips. Those registered for the seminar have priority on field trips.

Group Leaders

When registering for the seminar please indicate if you are willing to serve as a small group leader/coordinator. The number of participants will depend on the number of volunteer leaders. Qualifications for assistants include all of the participant requirements plus at lea


By signing up for this seminar, participants agree to allow the trip leader to share contact information with other participants.


Sorry it is past the registration deadline for this event.