Advanced Ski Touring Course - Snoqualmie Pass

This four-day course will build on your previous backcountry skiing experience. Our February course will be conducted over 4 consecutive days and our March course will be conducted over two consecutive weekends.

Difficulty rating and Skill requirements

Difficulty Rating System Explained

Overall Difficulty Level: Moderate to difficult

Skills Required: Advanced skiing ability and prior ski touring experience

Fitness Level: Moderately Strenuous

  • Category: Ski
  • Type: Instructional
  • Ratio: 4:1,8:2

* Required Fields

This four-day course will build on our "Into to Ski Touring Course". Snoqualmie Pass's rugged backcountry terrain barely less than one hour from Seattle offers the perfect training ground for this intensive course. Prior ski touring experience and avalanche education is highly recommended.
Driving directions to the meeting spot from the Seattle area:
Drive Interstate 90 East to Snoqualmie Pass and take the West Summit Exit. Go left at the Stop sign and follow the Alpental Road to the uppermost Parking Lot.
Course Outline:
Day One:           
We will meet at the uppermost parking lot of the Alpental ski area unless otherwise communicated. We will do a tour of 4000 to 5000 feet of vertical (maybe the Chair Peak circumnavigation, Kaleetan Peak etc.). We will use the tour to review some of the principal skills taught in the Intro to ski touring course.  Please refer to the Course Curriculum of the Intro Course for further details.
Day Two:           
If conditions allow we will try to ski the Slot Couloir along with a side tour to the North Slopes of Snoqualmie Mountain. The size of this tour will dictate the main topic of the day. Transition efficiency. Terrain evaluation and decision making on the go are standard topics that will be an ongoing theme through the four days.
Day Three:           
Everything learned up to now will be applied in another tour.  In addition we will work with our compasses and topographic maps, GPS and apply prepared tour plans.
Day Four:          
 We will conduct another tour and apply everything we learned so far. Course participants will be in charge. In addition we will conduct a multiple burial transceiver search and bring "digging" and snow stability assessments into a relevant context.
Each day will include a debrief after the tour. The course program might change depending on weather, conditions, group strength, etc. The course curriculum is full and you can expect full days.

Sign up for a course or a trip and receive a 10% discount on purchases and a 20% discount on gear rental. Go to Pro Ski and Mountain Service

Pro Ski and Mountain Service is our retail specialty store. It has been located in North Bend, WA since 1999.

The past trips and courses have had a large influence on what we sell. Many of our Pro Guiding customers come on trips and courses with gear they purchased from our store. Not only do we want our clients to have the right gear for the job; we also receive direct feedback from them while they are using it in the field. Trust us - if the gear does not work - we won't sell it.

o 1 Bottom - midweight or lightweight
o 1 Top - midweight or lightweight
o Sock Liners
o Ski Socks
o Windshirt, Soft Shell, Fleece - only one of these is necessary
o Lightweight Waterproof/Breathable Jacket
o Schoeller™ Type Pants
o Warm Hat - should cover ears
o Sun Hat - baseball type or visor
o Lightweight Gloves
o Ski Gloves
o Day Pack – 25 to 40 Liters
o Water Bottles - 1 or 2 liters, wide mouth, hydration system
o Lunch and Snacks - appropriate for a full day outing
o Sunglasses - adequate for snow travel
o Goggles
o Sunscreen - SPF >25, waterproof
o Lip Balm - SPF 15+
o Headlamp - lightweight LED recommended
o Small Personal 1st aid kit - blister repair (Compeed™), aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.
o Skis  - Alpine Touring or Telemark
o Snowboard – must be a Splitboard or supplemented with snowshoes
o Ski Boots - Alpine Touring or Telemark
o Ski Poles - telescopic poles work well, but not required
o Climbing Skins
o Ski Crampons - THESE ARE REQUIRED!
o Ski Brakes
o Harness
o One locking Carabiner
o Transceiver
o Shovel - compact, lightweight, metal blade preferred
o Probe - dedicated probe only, ski poles do not suffice
OPTIONAL ITEMS *We highly recommend these items, but do not require them to participate.
o Down or Synthetic Jacket
o Skin Wax
o Thermos - vacuum type
o Compass - adjustable declination a must
o Altimeter - Suunto watch works well
o Map Case - large zip-loc will suffice
o Maps - contact guiding office for appropriate quadrangles
o Snow Study Kit
o Snow Saw
o Technical Group Gear, VHF radio
o Group 1st Aid Kit

I am an intermediate skier, but I would love to get into backcountry skiing. Can I take this course? You should be at least a very solid intermediate skier with time spent on backcountry skis moving through a variety of terrain. We would recommend taking our 3-Day Ski Touring Course if you have not spent time ski touring before. 

What is the general character of this course? The course is movement based. Ski Touring principles are being explained and taught on the go and put into practical application instantly. 

What about the Avy courses you you prefer one of the other? Well, Ideally you will take both of them. The designs of these two courses are very complementary. That is why we offer a 10% discount to anyoe who decides to sign-up for both of them. We do feel very strongly about the refined quality of the ski touring course - it is a real world course.

SHOULD I TIP MY GUIDE? AND HOW MUCH SHOULD I TIP THEM? Although tipping is not a requirement it is considered standard practice in the guiding industry and is appreciated by our guides. We generally recommend roughly 10%-15% of your course or trip cost or flat price tip that you are comfortable with.