Intro to Backcountry Skiing in Mammoth

Half day AM or PM
All ages
2–4 people

Mammoth Lakes is the ultimate ski town! There's a fantastic ski resort shadowing the town, which is surrounded by snowy backcountry. Enjoy easy access to slopes whether you're new to the backcountry or an experienced freerider. On days that close the lifts, tree runs hold irresistible powder, and whenever the resort gets tracked out, the backcountry calls and keeps on delivering the goods.

Discover amazing skiing in the Sierra Nevada backcountry!

This 4-hour half day skiing program allows for one heart-pumping climb and one pristine descent into the local Mammoth backcountry. You’ll also learn all the tools and techniques needed to get there!

When does this program run?

There’s a morning and afternoon outing on a daily basis through the winter/spring seasons when there is enough snow on the ground.

What else can I expect?
  • Bring your Alpine Touring, Telemark or Splitboard equipment and check out the nearby stashes like SherwinsEarthquake Dome or the Mammoth Mountain sidecountry
  • Your guide will choose the best location, based on weather conditions
  • This program requires enough snow close to the trailheads
  • Starts at 8:00am or 12:30pm daily, and needs a minimum of 2 to run

Backcountry snow takes some finesse. Even though this is a great introductory backcountry program, participants must have intermediate to advanced downhill resort skills:

  • Be able to ski/ride black diamond runs in all conditions, with efficiency and control, with linked, fall-line turns
Where we are
What's included
  • All guiding fees
  • Your guide will provide avalanche rescue gear for you to use (beacon , shovel, & probe)
What's not included
  • AT skis and boots, splitboards and avalanche equipment are all available for rent and all other gear
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 climb? We know a bunch. How about a guide to show you around the Alps? Check. Maybe your kids want to climb 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

Viren Perumal

Viren was born in Thailand, and then settled in the Southeastern US, where, in his youth, he learned to climb and kayak whitewater. Viren holds a Masters degree in Biology/Eco-physiology. Since 1999, he has worked as a professional in almost every diverse aspect of the outdoor industry: raft guide, wilderness therapist, ski patroller, search and rescue worker, ambulance crew, outdoor educator, outdoor retail specialist, and biology researcher, and climbing guide. He is a insatiable learner and a master teacher. Viren got his first work as a climbing guide in 2000. He moved to the Sierra Nevada Mountains in 2004, where he fell in love with granite cracks and alpine peaks. Viren has guided rock, ice, and alpine ascents throughout the High Sierra as well as in the North Cascades, Canada, Alaska, Red Rocks, and South America. Viren earned AMGA Rock Guide certification in 2011, has completed an AMGA alpine guide training course, and completed AIARE Level 2 avalanche training in 2010. He also teaches the “AMGA Single Pitch Instructor” courses run by SMG. When not guiding, Viren trains and certifies other outdoor professionals in wilderness medicine through the Wilderness Medicine Institute of NOLS and he serves as Adjunct Faculty for the Prescott College Adventure Education Program.

Howie Schwartz

Howie is an international UIAGM & AMGA ski and mountain guide. He was fortunate to learn to ski as a toddler and he owned the first p-tex snowboard by Burton in 1987, where he hiked up the groomed runs of East Coast ski resorts. He discovered rock and alpine climbing in 1988 on a trip to the Tetons. The highlight was climbing the Grand Teton via the upper Exum Route with legendary climber and guide Chuck Pratt. Since then, climbing, skiing, and mountain guiding has taken him to many spectacular places, primarily to the Sierra Nevada, Alaska, and throughout the Alps – but also to places like Canada, Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Antarctica, and Thailand. He has logged numerous first ascents and ski descents in his personal and professional tenure. Howie has been guiding since 1993, and became one of the first 20 American guides to achieve the IFMGA professional credential in 2001. He was also the first and only American IFMGA guide to pass ski guiding exams on telemark equipment (though he shortly afterward went back to his fixed heel roots). With an outdoor education background, Howie got involved with teaching Avalanche Awareness Courses for a small Swiss-owned guide service in Crested Butte, Colorado in 1997. There he became one of the several collaborators to design the now ubiquitous AIARE avalanche course curriculum, and was the creator of the ” AIARE Decision Making Framework,” which the Level 1 & 2 courses are still based upon. Howie teaches Level 1-3 Avalanche Seminars and is involved with the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center locally as a Board Member. Howie has also been an instructor/examiner for the AMGA Training and Certification Programs since 2000, working in all 3 disciplines and serving on the AMGA Technical Committee. He spent 6 years overseeing and developing AMGA ski mountaineering guide training and certification programs as Ski Discipline Coordinator. Lately, when not overseeing SMG’s operations, Howie has been getting back to what he loves most – climbing, skiing, guiding, & family. Howie also enjoys flatpicking guitar and can be seen jamming with string musicians throughout the Eastern Sierra. Howie’s wife, Karen, manages their unique mountain shop on Main Street in Bishop, California called Sage to Summit. They own a geodesic dome in Big Pine, but recently moved back to Bishop where they currently live with their amazing son Cosmo and dog Wheeler.

Neil Satterfield

Neil is a second generation mountain guide. Born in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Neil began climbing when he was six years old. A 20 year+ resident of the Eastern Sierra, Neil enjoys the close proximity to backcountry skiing, rock climbing and alpine peaks. “After guiding and climbing in many different countries I am still in awe of how cool the East Side is. I still have more than a lifetime worth of climbing to do in my backyard.” Neil is an international UIAGM & AMGA ski and mountain guide. In addition, he is an avalanche and snowboard instructor, as well as a local ski patroller. Neil has climbed extensively in the United States as well as in South America, Mexico, Europe and Africa.