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Trip Details

Date Wednesday  1/30/2019
End Date
Group Fort Collins
Event Title Classroom Intro to Nordic Backcountry Skiing
Start Time 6:30 PM
Status Complete
Leader Ward Whicker
Co-Leader Scott Farquhar
Member Price Free
Available Participants No tickets left
Type Trip
Trip Type All Other
Trail Mileage 5
Elevation Gain
Driving Distance


The location will be e-mailed to participants a week before the classroom session. NOTE there is a $10 Fee for this Clinic (see description below) even though it says "Free". This is because to get an activity in the Fort Collins Group Sunday e-mail it has to be listed as a "Trip" rather than a "Class", when it is listed as a Trip it shows up as Free. A glich in the system that we just have to work around, sorry if this causes any confusion.

For more info Contact

To sign up contact Scott Farquhar at


Note to sign up for the classroom session you must also be available for the field trip on February 2. 

The fee for the course is $10. The fee for active Trip Leaders will be wavied, the fee will be reimbersed to folks that become trip leaders in 2019. 

This course is intented to those who want to safely ski off-trail into the backcountry using Nordic equipment and techniques.  Participants should already feel comfortable skiing on-trail, either with narrower lightweight trail skis or the wider BCX skis.  We will cover the various ski/boot/pole choices, uphill aids such as climbing skins, clothing, safety equipment, and the wintertime essentials that should be in one’s pack.  We will discuss the many types of snow conditions and discuss techniques for skiing the various types of snow, especially climbing and turning when descending.  We will review winter hazards and discuss avalanche recognition & avoidance. Note for the field trip you will need at to have skis with metal edges (there are options for renting these). 

  • Evening classroom to demonstrate and discuss equipment, clothing, safety, and comfort gear.  We will also discuss snow conditions and internet resources for planning routes, and predictiong weather & snow characteristics.  A basic section on avalanche awareness and other winter hazards will be presented. Finally a basic description of ski stances & ski weighting for making turns and controlling speed will be demonstrated.

  • An all-day field trip will be led by Scott Farquhar and Steve Dielman to an area near Cameron Pass, where the group will practice the various techniques of off-trail travel.  We will look for differing snow characteristics to ski, and variable terrain to practice trail breaking, climbing, descending with & without making turns, getting up after a fall, etc.  We will point out hazards and how to manage them, and observe areas that have avalanche potential.  The specific areas to be used will depend on snow conditions, but Montgomery Pass, Lower Meadows, and areas just west of Cameron Pass will be considered.

  • For the field trip you will need to at least have skis with metal edges. Jax has a number of metal-edged Alpina Discovery skis (102-64-87) with Rotafella NNN-BC bindings available for daily rental (see photos).  During a recent visit to the shop there were ~3-6 pair in each of the following lengths: 148, 158, 168 and 178. They rent these as a package with boots and poles for $30/day, its possible to reserve in advance, and pickup the evening before does not count as a day.  Kicker skins not available to rent.


To register for this course contact Scott Farquhar at