Backcountry Skiing in Vail Pass

Intermediate
1 day
All ages
1–4 people
Overview

Come explore backcountry skiing in Vail Pass, Colorado. Going by splitboard, telemark or alpine touring, you’ll have a blast in all the beautiful powder in the Colorado backcountry. 


Vail Pass has long been known as a backcountry haven. There’s tons of routes, so you can rest and ski assured that even with years of skiing, you’ll won’t have to ski the same route twice. There’s open bowls, steep and secluded tree shots, and big alpine peaks. The backcountry in Vail has it all. 

Count on exploring classic runs at places like Wingle Ridge, Ptarmigan HillCorkscrew or Machine Gun Ridge.

Your guide will take your skills into consideration when planning your day in the backcountry. Regardless, count on doing a lot of backcountry skiing. This course is also great to take in conjunction with an Avalanche Level 1, Level 2 or an AIARE Avalanche Rescue class.

After this class you’ll
  • Have skied in some beautiful, gorgeous powder
  • Be ready to try the next step, like a hut-to-hut tour
Prerequisites for backcountry skiing

All participants need to be competent and comfortable skiers on variable packed snow and untouched terrain. The skiing is a ton of fun, but it demands some experience.

Where we are
Class Location
Vail Pass, Colorado
Why book through 57hours?

We’re an adventure loving, rock climbing, tech company that loves all things outdoors-y. Why spend days looking for the right guide and adrenaline rush, when we can (and already did) do it for you? Want a serious guide for a challenging backcountry tour? We know a bunch. How about a guide to show you around the Alps? Check. Maybe your kids want to ski and won’t stop going on about it until you book them a trip. Yes, we know guides who are great for beginners, too. Oh, yeah, every guide we know prioritizes SAFETY and FUN. Book with 57hours, we’ve done your work for you. You’re welcome.

Guides running this program

Rob Coppolillo

Rob and his family moved to Colorado in 1976, when Denver was sleepy and the term "skier traffic" didn't exist. He and his twin brother, Pete, learned to ski by following the fast guys on the hill and luckily their high school offered an outdoor-ed class which taught them the basics of rock climbing, too. Despite the protestations of their parents, the pair climbed throughout Colorado in high school and college (CU-Boulder, where Rob earned a BA in environmental conservation).

Rob blew his 20s racing bicycles, but then began apprenticing as a guide with Markus Beck's guide service, Alpine World Ascents, in 2004. Markus shepherded Rob through his beginning courses at the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) and all three courses of the American Institute of Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) curriculum. In September 2014, after a decade of courses, an intense apprenticeship, and a bunch of fun, Rob passed his final AMGA exam, having bunched all three (ski, rock, and alpine) into a chaotic seven-month period -- phew! Rob is the 97th American to have earned his international certification with the International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations (IFMGA).

He speaks French and Italian and is a freelance writer and the author of Holy Spokes: a Biking Bible for Everyone. Rob lives in Boulder with his ever-understanding wife, Rebecca, and their identical twin boys, Luca and Dominic.

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