Top three reasons to backcountry ski in Wasatch, Utah
Experience what the locals call “the greatest snow on earth”
Feel the rush of Wasatch’s steep couloirs and low-angle meadows
Master advanced ski and riding techniques under expert guidance
With dozens of Pacific snowstorms coming in every year to cover Salt Lake City and the rest of Utah with blanket upon blanket of deep blower powder, it’s no wonder the Wasatch Range became synonymous with top-of-the-line skiing. Add to the mix its easy access to fantastic terrain, which holds enough variety to supply a lifetime of exquisite runs, and you’ve got yourself a perfect winter sports destination. This three-day camp in the breathtaking Wasatch backcountry is designed to help experienced skiers and riders break into the world of ski and splitboard mountaineering under the mentorship of an expert guide. Gladed meadows, steep chutes, and massive bowls await you in these marvelous mountains that seem to have been sculpted for backcountry adventurers. Find out more about the best backcountry skiing in Utah from IFMGA Mountain Guide and AMGA Ski Mountaineering Guide Willie Benegas.
December through April
Salt Lake City, UT, is 2 hours away
Book this adventure
Wasatch Split and Ski Mountaineering Camp
Get ready to conquer the backcountry with this three-day camp set in the deep powder paradise of Utah’s Wasatch Range! Learn to practice safety in avalanche terrain, recognize snow conditions and manage your equipment before getting to grips with new skiing and riding techniques. With a professional guide by your side at all times, your days of perfect powder on the steep descents and technical lines of the Wasatch backcountry will be a memory to cherish.
Day 1: Safety first
After a Zoom call in which you will discuss current snow conditions and how to adequately prepare for your three days in the camp, the group will transition into the field for hands-on study. On your first day in Wasatch, your guide will cover:
- avalanche search
- rescue techniques
- proper rope management
- how to use your ice axe and snow anchors.
Days 2 and 3: Go wild
On your second and third day, you will have the opportunity to put your newfound knowledge to the test and up your skiing and riding skills on the pristine powder of the Wasatch Mountains. You will learn:
- how to assess the snowpack
- how to navigate steep backcountry slopes
- how to utilize snow boots, crampons and skin tracks.
You will walk away from this camp a more advanced and confident backcountry traveler.
Meet your guide
Jackson Hole Mountain Guides
The JHMG team provided a top-shelf experience for our custom backcountry ski adventure. The guides reached out to provide a helpful introduction and trip planning assistance. Our guide Pat quickly discerned the different skill and strength levels of our group members, and then tailored our adventure to accommodate each team member. Pat remained level headed and patient in the face of challenges and helped instill confidence in our team. We had a fantastic experience with Pat and JHMG, and hope to join for another adventure.
Amazing Backcountry Ski day with JHMG. Our Guide knew exactly where to find the best pow! I wouldn’t hesitate to book again.
Top notch guide service with enormous experience. I love the educational aspect as well. I always learn a ton.
Things to know
Covid measures in Wasatch, Utah
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 Wasatch, Utah please refer to the official Covid-19 website of the Government of Utah.
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 ski guide with extensive knowledge of the area
- Avalanche safety and rescue lessons
- Three days of backcountry ski touring
What’s not included:
- Technical backcountry ski touring equipment
- Food and snacks
How fit do I need to be?
In order to enjoy this backcountry adventure, you need to have an advanced level of fitness and backcountry skiing experience. The terrain in Wasatch will be quite steep, ungroomed and treed. All participants should feel comfortable on challenging black-level resort runs and be able to carry a loaded daypack while hiking uphill for 4000-6000 vertical feet every day.
What if I’ve never backcountry skied before?
This adventure is suited for advanced skiers with previous skiing and riding experience in the backcountry. In order to keep up with your guide’s pace, you should be comfortable hiking uphill for 4000-6000 vertical feet every day and navigating steep, ungroomed and treed terrain. If you’re not an advanced skier, we recommend checking out these beginner and intermediate options in Wasatch you can choose from.
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:
- Sunglasses or ski goggles
- Gloves and hat
- Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore-Tex recommended)
- Ski pants (Gore-Tex recommended)
- Down jacket or vest
- Synthetic or wool base layers, underwear and socks
- 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 if you don’t have your own. You can rent:
Ski rental locations are in Wasatch 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.
Group sizes and age requirements
- This lesson is not private. For the group lesson, the usual guest-to-guide ratio is 4:1.
- If joining alone, you’ll be placed with peers that share a similar level of experience.
- Cost is per person and it doesn’t decrease as the group grows.
Ski and mountaineering camps Wasatch, Utah, can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.
Min. age requirements:
- If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
- Minors may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis.
If your group has skiers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
Getting there and meeting location
The simplest way to reach Wasatch is by taking a flight to Salt Lake City International Airport 2 hours away. From there you can rent a car or take a shuttle to Wasatch.
Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, whether that’s at the guide shop or a predetermined location. 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.