Backcountry Nordic Skiing Course

Backcountry Nordic Ski School (BNSS)

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 Telemark gear allowed in this school.) We accommodate students from never-evers to those who have skied for years. Classes are often less than ten students and a minimum of two instructors.

To Register, click the 'Register' button to the right (desktop) or below (mobile), then select only ONE day to take the class, (i.e. Sat or Sun or Wed).

    Activity                Wed Class          Sat Class         Sun Class
                                  Dates                  Dates               Dates

Zoom Meeting          Dec 5                 Dec 5               Dec 5
1st Ski Day                 Jan 3                  Jan 6                Jan 7
2nd Ski Day               Jan 10                Jan 13               Jan 14
3rd Ski Day                Jan 17                Jan 20              Jan 21

In December, we hold an interactive lecture on clothing, selection of skis and avalanche awareness. In January, you receive three full days of instruction on the snow with lessons geared to your skill level 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 to practice the skills you've learned with the trail location tailored to the skill level of your group.

What's Included...
  * XC ski rental and Nordic Center Trail Pass on Day 1

What's NOT included...
  * Ski / Boot / Pole Rental for remaining days (rent from REI or other outdoor
     ski shops)
  * Your share of gas money when carpooling.

Topics discussed in Zoom Meeting:
Proper clothing for the terrain and conditions you want to ski
  * Proper ski / boots / poles for backcountry skiing
  * What to pack and how to pack it
  * Avalanche awareness

Topics covered while learning to ski:
  * Better balance techniques
  * Diagonal stride, including poling
  * Downhill maneuvers (includes stopping, which is always good to know…)
  * Turning methods
  * Climbing maneuvers – herringbone, side-step, side-step traverse, etc.
     (no climbing skins)

For additional information, contact the Backcountry Nordic Ski School Director at

Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Required Equipment

A Want To, Can Do, Will Do ATTITUDE!

Winter Clothing -  you have to know how your body reacts to cold to know what to bring. This will be discussed during the December lecture.

Daypack - to carry extra warm clothing, lunch, water, hot drink and Ten Essentials

(Rented?) Backcountry skis, boots and poles for the 2nd and 3rd days of skiing. Do NOT reserve your backcountry skis until after the December lecture. We suggest you do not PURCHASE skis until you've tried / rented skis of different lengths and widths to determine what's best for your style of skiing.

Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.