Skiing

CMC offers skiing courses from resort to backcountry, nordic to telemark to alpine to snowboarding and flat-land ski touring to ski mountaineering. Find your preferred way to play in the snow below:

Introduction to Backcountry Skiing & Splitboarding

We want to help our Colorado community learn the skills necessary to get started on their

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 backcountry ski or snowboard journey! This course is designed for those that are “new to the backcountry,” who plan to travel on AT skis, splitboards, or telemark skis. This course gives students the tips and tricks necessary to get comfortable and be confident in the backcountry. Backcountry skiing and snowboarding is basically a different sport than the resort equivalents, and it takes a lot of knowledge to get out there. While it takes most strong skiers and snowboarders years to feel comfortable and confident in the backcountry, we saw our students make this same progress in one season!

Learn more here!


Backcountry Nordic Ski School

This course was previously called Backcountry Ski Touring School - still the same great classes with an updated name for clarity

Overview:

Learn the nuances of nordic skiing in the backcountry!

Experience Colorado’s finest snow, away from the crowds and lift tickets! Learn to cross-country ski and get prepared for backcountry trails using classic Nordic-style technique. (No AT or Tele gear allowed in this school.) We accommodate students from never-evers to folks who have skied for years. Classes are often less than ten students, with at least two instructors.

In December, we hold an interactive lecture on clothing, selection of skis and avalanche awareness. In January, you get three full days on the snow with lessons geared to your level of skill and endurance.  The first on-snow day is at a Nordic center and focuses on becoming comfortable on skis and basic flat-track skills. The second snow day will emphasize basic downhill and uphill techniques. The third day is a trip into the backcountry, with the location tailored to the skill level of your group.

  • Proper skis/gear/clothing for the terrain and conditions you want to ski

  • Better balance techniques

  • Diagonal stride, including poling

  • Downhill maneuvers (includes stopping, which is always good to know…)

  • Turning maneuvers

  • Climbing maneuvers – herringbone, side-step, side-step traverse, etc.

  • Avalanche awareness

For more information, head to https://cmcdenver.org/backcountry-nordic-ski-school

Or email bnsscmc@gmail.com


Telemark Ski School

The CMC’s Telemark Ski School is designed to help beginners and experts alike learn or improve their tele skills, and put those skills to use in the backcountry. If you currently venture into the backcountry on touring skis, have witnessed tele skiers carving sweet s-turns down slopes or through the trees, and have wondered to yourself “can I do that?” we’re here to tell you that yes, you can and we’ll help you get there! You’ll spend the day at the ski area learning and practicing those skills. There will be an optional backcountry day that you can sign up for in the CMC schedule. We will be offering the school in three separate modules, one in January, February and March. The best way to take advantage of the school is to take the January module, practice for a few weeks, then take the February or March module to hone your skills. But you can take them singly as well. This is YOUR year for telemark skiing!


Ski Mountaineering School

If you are interested in taking your downhill skiing skills and backcountry ski experience to the peaks and high mountains of Colorado, the Ski Mountaineering School (SMS) offered by the Colorado Mountain Club may be for you.  The Ski Mountaineering School is intended to develop the skills, attitudes, and awareness needed for ski mountaineering tours, such as 13′er and 14′er ski descents in Colorado.  Some of the topics covered include planning and preparation, ski gear and equipment, ski techniques, route finding, and avalanche assessment.

Prerequisites

  • Strong independent decision-making skills and the understanding of the hazards of backcountry skiing and mountaineering.
  • Expert downhill ski (AT, Telemark, Splitboard) skills, such as the ability to comfortably ski double black diamond resort trails in any type of weather or snow condition. 
  • Ability to Ski in full control in all snow conditions (breakable crust, mank, wet grabby powder, perfect corn and white smoke). 
  • Ability to handle extreme weather such as freezing cold, zero visibility and high winds.
  • Fitness and stamina to skin uphill at 1000 ft elevation gain per hour for 3000+ foot, at 3 mph+ for 5 mile+ distances.
  • Experience with traveling uphill on skins (ski or splitboard) in mountain terrain
  • At least 2 full seasons of backcountry experience and at least 1 CMC ski outing
  • The Intro to Backcountry Skiing and Splitboarding course is recommended  
  • AIARE avalanche class level 1 must be completed prior to start of course
  • Experience with ski crampons, boot crampons, ice/snow axe and relevant snow climbing skills/experience);
  • First aid or Wilderness First Aid strongly recommended
  • Must own the following equipment and know how to use them properly
    • Digital 3- antenna Beacon, shovel and probe
    • Modern AT, telemark skis or splitboard, with modern touring bindings
    • Backcountry ski boots that are broken in, comfortable and dependable
    • Full width skins covering entire base of skis
    • Ski crampons
    • Ice axe and boot and ski crampons, and the skills to use them properly
    • Other necessary gear such as Backpacks, emergency repair kit, first aid kit, extra layers and clothing and other supplies as relevant.

Registration is by application only.  Skiers need to have all the basics for backcountry ski travel and touring solidly down prior to this class, it is an advanced mountain skiing course. The application deadline for 2022 is now past. The 2023 Registration Deadline is January 31, 2023