Top three reasons to go backcountry skiing in Aspen
Aspen delivers secluded ski tours for all types of powder seekers
Approachable slopes guarantee a time-efficient backcountry experience
Colorado’s terrain variety will satisfy all types of backcountry skiers
Ask anyone to name a classic backcountry skiing destination, and chances are, Aspen will be at the top of the list. The town’s situated in a sweet spot within the Elk Mountains and the Sawatch Range and is home to four world-famous resorts and their stunning backcountry terrain. Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass boast spacious and approachable slopes covered with light and fluffy champagne powder guaranteed to satisfy even the most demanding backcountry connoisseurs. The terrain variety is spectacular—from Buttermilk Mountain’s relaxing low-angle cruises to Mount Sopris’ steep and challenging couloirs, Aspen touring accommodates beginners and seasoned skiers alike. To top it all off, the views you’ll experience while riding Colorado’s boundless snow-capped wilderness are sure to knock you off your feet. If you’re in search of bigger terrain with rewarding challenges, you’ve come to the land of 14,000-feet peaks. Let the best Aspen alpine & ski guides introduce you to the area and find out why Aspen is one of the best places to go backcountry skiing in Colorado.
December through February
Denver, CO, is 4 hours away from Aspen
Book as many days as you want
Beginner to advanced
Choose how you spend your day
Backcountry Ski Tour With a Guide
Take a day trip to Aspen’s legendary slopes for some backcountry skiing delights! Take on Colorado’s greatest backcountry terrain and conquer world-class intermediate and advanced objectives such as Ashcroft and the Castle Creek Valley. Your seasoned Aspen ski guide will assess your skills and fitness level, and help you plan a perfect backcountry adventure!
Lift Accessed Backcountry Skiing
With this lift access backcountry ski tour, Aspen’s top-tier slopes are more approachable than ever before! Get the most out of your day in Aspen, as you ride a state-of-the-art chairlift up to the ski area, shredding as many untracked chutes and bowls as possible. Aspen is the epitome of luxury skiing, and you’ll fall in love with the rugged mountains of the Elk Range. Skip a long skin up and spend the day chasing powder in the Aspen backcountry!
Meet your guides
IFMGA/AMGA Certified Guide
IFMGA/AMGA Certified Guide · 22 years of experience
IFMGA/AMGA Certified Guides
IFMGA/AMGA Certified Guides
We were steered toward Aspen Expeditions through a friend who had taken Avy classes with the principal owner Amos. When it came time to plan a trip to Japan, the choice was a no brainer- Amos is a pinned IAMFG / AMGA guide, one of the first in the states. Unlike many Japan ski trips, Aspen Expeditions avoids the crowded spots in favor of SNOW. The trip consisted of equal parts back country, lift-assisted back country, and side-country. Each day ended with an Onsen (hot springs) and a meal fit for a king. On top of that, Amos had the foresight to hire a Japanese guide- clutch move to unlock next-level secret stashes of both food and snow. I would tell you to go, but I may be filling these spots every year that they are offered…
If you’re looking for a mountain guide to bring you out climbing, mountaineering, skiing or an all around alpine mentor, Jayson is the one. I’ve traveled the world with Jayson and other mountain guides and can confidently say he is the best in the business! A great teacher and a fun person to spend time with in the mountains.
For the past 10 years I have skied and climbed with Jayson all over the world. I can say without hesitation my relationship with Jayson as a friend, educator, mentor, and guide is one of the most positive in my life. He has pushed me to be a better climbing, skier, and person and I’m forever grateful.
We had an awesome day of backcountry skiing with Britt. Initially he asked insightful questions to assess our skill and fitness level, which led to an experience that exceeded our expectations. During the adventure he also offered excellent coaching and improvement tips. I highly recommend Aspen Expeditions if you desire to safely push yourself to new levels.
Amazing place! Best guides around whether you’re staying local or doing trips worldwide. Highly, highly recommend!
What a wonderful experience in my first ever trip to Japan with Aspen expeditions. They provided not only an epic ski experience, but also a cultural experience that would have been unattainable on a solo trip. This is a group of top notch operators and they can be trusted to provide you with your time of your life, but also bring you back safely.
I’d give 10 stars if they were available.
2 day’s ski touring in the beautiful San Juan mountains out of Silverton. Our guide Britt Ruegger ensured that we made the most of the fabulous snow. Highly recommended for his calm professionalism, knowledge and skiing.
Things to know
Covid measures in Aspen, Colorado
57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.
We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Aspen, Colorado, please refer to Colorado’s COVID-19 travel guidelines.
Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!
What you get in this adventure:
- An experienced, certified Colorado backcountry ski guide with extensive knowledge of the area
- A full day of backcountry skiing
- Avalanche safety equipment
- A 3% USFS land use surcharge
What’s not included:
- Personal backcountry skiing equipment
- Food and snacks
- Lift ticket (available for purchase from Aspen Snowmass)
How fit do I need to be?
To enjoy these backcountry adventures, you need to be in good physical shape. You will be on your feet for 5-7 hours. You will need to manage controlled descents in variable conditions. All participants should feel comfortable on challenging blue or black-level resort runs and be able to carry a loaded daypack while skinning up variable degrees of terrain.
What if I’ve never backcountry skied before?
To participate in the lift-accessed tours, you don’t need to have previous backcountry skiing experience. However, for the full-day of skiing with a guide, most of the tours are suited for intermediate to advanced skiers. You will be skiing on glaciated terrain for around 7 hours. Your friendly Aspen guide will take care of the planning, oversee your technique, and teach you how to better manage the terrain. They also have the experience and avalanche training necessary to keep you safe.
What about required equipment and rentals?
For technical backcountry ski touring gear, you will need to bring:
- Alpine touring skis, telemark skis, or splitboard with skins (can be rented)
- Touring boots and poles (can be rented)
- Avalanche safety equipment (provided by guide):
- Digital, 3-antenna avalanche transceiver or beacon
- Lightweight snow shovel
- Avalanche probe
For personal items, we recommend bringing:
- Ski goggles
- Warm hat and sun hat
- Heavy and medium weight gloves
- Neck gaiter or balaclava — optional
- Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore-Tex recommended)
- Ski pants (Gore-Tex recommended)
- Down or synthetic jacket or vest
- Synthetic or wool zip shirt
- Synthetic or wool base layers, underwear, and socks
- Repair kit and Leatherman for your equipment (can be shared between several people)
- Water bottle and 1L of water
- Thermos with a warm beverage — optional
- Food you can eat on-the-go
- First aid kit
- Sunscreen and lip balm
- Daypack large enough to carry all items listed (around a 30-40L backpack)
- Camera — optional
Can I rent equipment?
All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. You can rent:
- Alpine touring or telemark skis, touring boots, and poles can be rented from Aspen Snowmass
- Splitboards can be rented from Aspen Snowmass
Ski rental locations are in Aspen Highlands Village.If you need to rent gear, let us know and we can help make arrangements.
Group sizes and age requirements
Groups and pricing:
- For this adventure, the max client to guide ratio is 4:1.
- The cost per person decreases as the group grows, so it’s the perfect opportunity to backcountry ski with friends and family.
Ski touring in Aspen can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.
Min. age requirements:
- Everybody over the age of 18 is welcome to book this backcountry skiing adventure.
- Minors may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis.
If you plan to ski with anyone under the age of 18, please contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
Getting there and meeting location
Aspen airport (ASE) is minutes to any of the four mountains in the area. You can hire a rental car, arrange a shuttle with your hotel, or take tne of the free city buses with all of your ski gear.
Alternatively, Denver International Airport is a four-hour drive and rental cars are available. Keep in mind, weather is unpredictable in the winter and the Vail Pass can be closed during snow storms. Check the weather and plan for mountain driving.
Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, usually at the guide shop in Aspen Highlands Village. From there, you’ll head to the trailhead. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ski ability of the group.