3-Day Ski Touring Course - Snoqualmie Pass

The best way to become a backcountry skier is to take a backcountry skiing course. The ski touring course we offer just one hour away from Seattle in the Alpental backcountry is a stand alone course. We would like to enourage you to combine the ski touring course with one of our AIARE Level 1 courses.

Difficulty rating and Skill requirements

Difficulty Rating System Explained

Overall Difficulty Level: Moderate

Skills Required: Advanced skiing skills in the ski area

Fitness Level: Moderately Strenuous

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

* Required Fields

Ski touring courses and avalanche safety courses are certainly related, but there are some clear differences. The ski touring course is a 100 % movement and application based course, designed to introduce you to all the elements of ski touring. Please contact us if you are interested in taking both the ski touring and AIARE L1 course. We offer a 10 % discount on these courses if you take both of them. 
We firmly believe that the best classroom setting is in the outdoors-- we therefore keep the indoor lecturing to a bare minimum. There will be debriefs over a cup of coffee after the various days. Any of the lead guides teaching this course are either an IFMGA mountain guide or an AMGA ski mountaineering guide. Trust us - it makes a difference. 
Course Curriculum:
Day 1 (Ski Tour)
Skin up, skin maintenance
Use of AT boot and binding
Transceiver check
Walking – pole position
Kick turn, AVA turn
Terrain management: #1 safe #2 efficient #3 fast
Simple transceiver search (grid, induction, range vs. directional)
Day 2 (Ski Tour)
Understanding the importance of a tourplan
Transceiver check (repeat)
More walking, kick turns
More terrain evaluation
Time plan on micro level
Snow stability, aspects
Day 3 (Ski Tour)
Execution of a tourplan
Independent transceiver check
Map work (bearings, declination adjustment, time calculations)
Terrain management (for people in front)
Transceiver search (in-depth)
Avalanche scenario –progression
Elaborate pit (base line history)
Back to basics (steepness, cohesion, base layers)
Downhill guiding
Debrief with 3 X 3 in depth

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 Transceiver
o Shovel - compact, lightweight, metal blade preferred
o Probe - dedicated probe only, ski poles do not suffice

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, or you will most likely not enjoy the course. Snow conditions may vary, ski touring boots are not as supportive as standard alpine gear and the course is physically demanding. 

What is the general character of the course? The course is movement based. Ski touring prinicple are being explained on the go and practical application is instant. 

What about the Avy Courses you offer...do you prefer one over the other? Well, ideally you take both of them. The designs of these two courses are very complementary and that is why we offer a 10% discount to anyone who decides to sign-up for both of them within the same season. 

Should I tip my guides? 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.