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The San Juan Mountains have always been synonymous with riches. As a highly mineralized area, they played a large role in the early Colorado gold rush, and its many worn-out mines still remain, like monuments to a long-gone era. However, modern-day travelers make their way to the mountain range seeking a different kind of treasure—San Juan’s unparalleled backcountry skiing opportunities! The range’s high altitudes and cold temperatures make gold-standard powder available no matter the season. Furthermore, areas such as Telluride flourish with endless skiing variety, from steep, aesthetic couloirs and low-angle powder-filled glades to beautiful high alpine bowls. Remember the last time you just barely missed the jackpot? Don’t make the same mistake again. Head to Telluride for some truly priceless backcountry skiing. Learn more about backcountry skiing in the San Juan Mountains from Ebony Roberts, outdoor enthusiast and adventurer.

Adventure highlights

  • Overcome some of the highest plateaus and peaks in North America

  • 300 days of annual sunshine guarantee amazing ski conditions year-round

  • Over 2,000 acres of skiable descents for thrillseekers of all ability levels

Itinerary

Enjoy a full day of conquering Telluride’s backcountry with this fully customized private guided tour. Whatever your skill level may be, your guides will craft the ideal day of ski touring for you. And when you hit the slopes, your guides will also provide you with the instruction and guidance you need to properly navigate avalanche terrain or to muster the confidence to drop into Telluride’s steep lines and beautiful couloirs beneath towering peaks!

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Meet your guides

Bill Allen
5.00
Bill Allen
AMGA Certified Ski Guide and Co-Owner/Lead Guide of Mountain Trip
AMGA Certified Ski Guide and Co-Owner/Lead Guide of Mountain Trip
An Oregon native, Bill grew up playing in the Cascade Mountains, where he fell in love with the outdoors. His guiding career started over 20 years ago in Alaska and has taken him to all of the Seven Summits (thrice to the top of Mount Everest). Although he spends most of his time in the San Juan Mountains, he retains his love for Alaska, where he has guided around 30 expeditions on Denali.
Mountain Trip
5.00
Mountain Trip
Mountain Trip has a lot of experience leading teams of climbers on the Seven Summits. Their professional certified guides are thoroughly familiar with each destination. They’ve been guiding climbers in Denali and the Alaska Range since 1973 and were one of the original permitted concessionaires for leading guided expeditions in the Park, and they’ve grown to help more climbers ascend Denali than any other guide service!
5.00 (4 reviews)
Tim Wenger

We toured up above 12,000 feet and dropped into a couloir that was challenging and rewarding. Then proceeded into an open bowl with wide, floaty powder turns. Incredible day. Bill with Mountain Trip was incredible. We had a great ski tour up outside of Ophir to some incredible alpine terrain. The run down was memorable and it was great skinning up the mountain while talking to Bill about skiing and life. Highly recommend.

Amazing Backcountry Skiing Trip
Elijah S. (source: TripAdvisor)

I had an amazing backcountry skiing trip with my guide Fischer. He was super nice and taught me a lot about avalanche safety, using skins, and living in telluride. He and everyone at Mountain Trip communicated with me a lot and helped me to prepare for our trip. Renting gear was no problem and they even lent me extra stuff that wasn’t up for rent. Overall super friendly and super helpful. The trip was amazing and I recommend it to anyone that loves skiing and wants to learn about and experience the backcountry!

Backcountry Skiing - beautiful scenery, great guides
Drew N. (source: TripAdvisor)

Guides Kaylee and Nicole took my family on a great day trip of backcountry skiing. Our group had some inexperienced backcountry skiers, some quite experienced, and some in the middle. Kaylee and Nicole did a great job at making sure all levels were taken care of and had a safe and great time. The scenery was beautiful of course as well. We would definitely use Mountain Trip again!

Backcountry skiing with my Daughter
Doug6208 (source: TripAdvisor)

This is actually the second trip we have done with Mountain Trip. Todd set us up with a great guide to take us ice climbing in the hidden treasure of bear creek. We wanted more, so a call to Todd got us another excellent guide, Eric Larson who took us out on our first backcountry tour together. An amazing day from trout lake to Ophir. Eric was confident in his ability, prompt, and knowledgeable. Highly recommend mountain trip for those looking to have amazing life experiences with the confidence of well-seasoned guides with very impressive resumes.

Things to know

  • What you get in this adventure: 

    • An experienced, certified Telluride ski guide with extensive knowledge of the area
    • A full day of backcountry ski touring
    • Avalanche safety equipment, including a beacon, shovel, and probe

    What’s not included:

    • Technical backcountry ski touring equipment
    • Accommodation
    • Food and snacks
  • 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. While there is terrain for all skill levels in Telluride, 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.

  • Backcountry skiing isn’t just for pros looking for the ultimate thrill ride, it’s also beginner-friendly, meaning anyone with challenging blue or black-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. Professional Colorado backcountry ski guide will help you gain new skills during the private lesson. 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. 

  • 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 the guide):
        • Digital, 3-antenna avalanche transceiver or beacon
        • Lightweight snow shovel
        • Avalanche probe

    For personal items, we recommend bringing:

      • Helmet
      • Light base layer top (wool or Capilene)
      • Light fleece hoody
      • Softshell wind jacket
      • Ski shell
      • Puffy skiing jacket
      • Base layer bottoms (wool or Capilene)
      • Ski pant
      • Heavyweight gloves
      • Medium weight gloves
      • Lightweight gloves
      • Buff neck gaiter
      • Sun hat
      • Hand warmers
      • Ski goggles
      • Sunglasses
      • Lip balm
      • Water bottles (2 liters)
      • Sunscreen
      • Snacks and lunch food
  • 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 your guide

    Ski rental location is in Telluride 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 pricing:

    • For this adventure, the max client to guide ratio is 4:1
    • Costs per person decrease as the group grows for private lessons, so it’s the perfect opportunity to climb with friends and family. 

    Ski tours in Telluride, Colorado 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.

  • To get to Telluride, most people fly into Denver International Airport. From there, you can take a three-hour local flight to Telluride, which is the fastest and cheapest option. You can also fly to Montrose and take a 1,5-hour shuttle ride to Telluride, or rent a car in Denver and take a nearly 7-hour long drive.

    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’s office in Telluride 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.

  • 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, their guides, and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Telluride, Colorado, please refer to the Official Colorado COVID-19 Update 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!

  • Day Trips Cancellations
    Fully refundable within the initial 48 hours from booking, unless the trip date is less than 7 days from the time of the booking.
    Cancellations up to 7 days prior to the trip date are refundable 100%.
    Cancellations within 7 days prior to the trip date are non-refundable.

Have more questions? Read our FAQ,
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