Late November through early April
Jackson Hole Airport is 15 minutes away
Beginner to intermediate
Learn the basics and develop your skills in this backcountry ski camp
Jackson Hole offers terrain for all skill levels and some of the most epic out-of-bounds territory in the country, with plenty of options for backcountry newcomers. In this intro camp, your professional guide will give you an overview of all the necessary equipment and skills for enjoying the backcountry and will help ease your transition from the resort to the backcountry. Spend one evening online discussing trip planning and equipment before heading out for a full day of learning and touring. See for yourself why so many people enjoy the peaceful and fun days in the backcountry terrain of Jackson Hole!
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Intro to Backcountry Ski Touring in Jackson Hole
Grand Teton National Park offers many options for backcountry rookies looking to improve their skills and technique. Let your guide teach you all the necessary basics such as avalanche rescue, navigation, pacing and packing, so you could take on some bigger challenges on your own in the future. Although the transition from resorts to out-of-bounds can be intimidating to some, your guide will make sure that all goes smoothly and that you have nothing but fun on the slopes!
This one-evening and one-day camp is ideal for the resort skier or rider who is looking to transition into backcountry skiing or riding. Your guides will help you make the adjustment from frontcountry to backcountry feel more approachable by sharing the basic fundamental skills in both the classroom and the field. By the end of the day, you will be introduced to the necessary knowledge to participate in future backcountry tours, either guided or as a well-informed recreational partner. This information includes avalanche rescue, packing, layering, pacing, navigation and emergency planning, as well as many teachable moments along the way. This camp is ideal preparation for taking an AIARE 1 course.
Things you need to know
Covid measures in Jackson Hole
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 Jackson Hole, please refer to the Wyoming Department of Health website.
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!
Why should I book with 57hours?
With us, it’s all play and no work for you! 57hours is an open platform that connects you with trained and certified outdoor adventure professionals all over the world. Using our tech-savvy, we make it super easy to find and book adventures worth tackling, with guides worth booking, all gathered from the first-hand experiences of the locals who adventure in these amazing locations.
Why should I go backcountry skiing?
Nothing beats the rush you’ll get from laying down first tracks on an incredible route with nothing but endless terrain laying before you. Alpine peaks, open bowls, steep and secluded tree shots, cruisy, mellow runs — it’s all out there waiting to be explored in the backcountry. You’ll spend less time waiting in chairlift lines and more time skiing, so leave the crowded resort behind and head off-piste for some of the best powder you’ll ever experience!
What can I expect from skiing with a guide?
A certified ski guide will take all of the guesswork out of your time in the backcountry. From tour planning to route selection, terrain management, avalanche safety, and gear knowledge, your guide’s expertise and backcountry experience will ensure you have an unforgettable ski touring adventure. It doesn’t matter your skill level, whether you’ve never backcountry skied or you’re seasoned on the slopes, skiing with a guide has its advantages. Your techniques will sharpen, you’ll learn how to navigate terrain safely, make smart decisions, and most of all, you’ll remain safe in unfamiliar terrain.
What if I’ve never backcountry skied before?
Backcountry skiing isn’t just for pros looking for the ultimate thrill ride, it’s also beginner friendly, meaning anyone with blue level resort experience can have fun in the backcountry. If you’ve never backcountry skied before, heading out with a guide is your best bet. They’ll take care of the planning, introduce you to the basics, like skinning uphill, and teach you how to manage the terrain. They also have the experience and avalanche training to keep you safe.
What you get in this adventure:
- An experienced, certified ski guide with extensive knowledge of the area
- An evening of online learning prior to your day of skiing
- A full day of backcountry ski touring
What’s not included:
- Technical backcountry ski touring equipment
- Trip insurance
- Transportation to and from Jackson Hole
How fit do I need to be?
In order to enjoy this backcountry adventure, you need to have a moderate level of fitness. You will be on your feet for a full day. Participants should be capable of hiking 3500 feet uphill in a day and must be strong intermediate to advanced skiers who are capable of skiing ungroomed and treed terrain.
What equipment do I need to bring?
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 (can be rented):
- Digital, 3-antenna avalanche transceiver or beacon
- Lightweight snow shovel
- Avalanche probe
For personal items, we recommend bringing:
- Helmet — optional
- Sunglasses or ski goggles
- Extra Prescription Glasses/Contact Lens
- Sunscreen/Lip balm
- Headlamp with extra batteries
- 3 pairs of gloves: 1 light, 1 medium, 1 heavy pair
- Buff/neck gaiter
- Soft Shell or Fleece Jacket
- Shell Jacket with hood
- Puffy Jacket (hood recommended)
- Synthetic or wool base layer (bottoms and long-sleeve top)
- Shell pant: full side zips and built-in gaiters
- Synthetic or wool socks. Sized for your boots and blister protection (liners recommended)
- One triple-action locking carabiner or two conventional locking carabiners
- 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
- 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 from your guide if you don’t have your own. You can rent:
- Avalanche safety pack, including backpack, beacon, shovel and probe locally from your guide or rental shops in Jackson Hole
- Alpine touring or telemark skis, touring boots and poles can be rented locally from your guide or rental shops in Jackson Hole
- Splitboards can be rented locally from your guide or rental shops in Jackson Hole
Ski rental locations are in Jackson Hole and should be picked up the night prior to your outing. If you need to rent gear, let us know and we can help make arrangements.
What’s the itinerary?
This intro to touring camp is split over one evening and one full day.
Evening Zoom call:
- 6:00 pm – 6:30 pm: Introductions
- 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm: Tour planning
- 7:30 pm – 8:00 pm: Equipment selection
- 8:00 am – 9:00 am: Learn about avalanche rescue
- 9:00 am – 3:30 pm: Spend the day ski touring in Grand Teton National Park
- 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm: Back to the car for a debriefing and high fives
What is the minimum age requirement?
- 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.
What about group sizes and pricing?
This intro to touring camp is a group class, with a maximum client to guide ratio of 6:1. Larger groups can be accommodated. Contact us to make arrangements.
Pricing for this adventure is per person.
What about bad weather?
Mitigating avalanche risk is paramount for any excursion in the backcountry — that’s why it’s best to tour with a guide! Rest assured, your guide will set objectives that are attainable for the weather conditions on that particular day. Of course, inclement weather can always get in the way of backcountry skiing, but your guide will know the best course of action to take if the weather takes a turn.
On the rare occasion of truly bad weather, your guide will present you with suitable, safe alternatives. The most common practice is to move to a nearby location if it exists, or to reschedule your backcountry ski tour to a more favorable day.
If backcountry skiing is not possible on your scheduled day and no options presented are viable, you will be issued a full refund.
Do I need an insurance policy?
We highly recommended that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance. With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more.
If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!
With 57hours, you benefit from both our own cancellation policy as well as that of the individual guiding service that delivers your adventure. All policies regarding cancellation will be clearly laid out by your guide after booking your adventure, but rest assured that our own cancellation policy will work on top of what is provided by your guide.
For this adventure, 57hours offers a Moderate Cancellation Policy, which states:
If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to thirty (30) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to a full refund. For cancellations fourteen (14) to twenty nine (29) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of fifty percent (50%) of the total amount paid when Booking. For cancellations zero (0) to thirteen (13) days in advance, the Client is not entitled to any refund.
For more information on terms and conditions, please visit our Terms of Service page.
Getting there and meeting location
Jackson Hole has its own airport (located only 15 minutes away), but Salt Lake City, Utah (4.5 hour drive) is also an air travel option. It is helpful to arrive a couple of days prior to your trip in order to acclimatize. Otherwise, you should arrive the day before get your rental gear sorted out prior to your day of backcountry skiing.
Grand Teton National Park is located roughly 30 minutes from your guides’ Jackson, WY headquarters. Most trips and classes will meet at this office for gear checks, preparation, and classes. From there, you’ll head to your tour. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ski ability of the group.