Ski Program Levels

LEVEL 1:
Intermediate to Expert Alpine Skier/Rider with NO previous Backcountry experience.

You’ve logged lots of runs skiing on-piste and can handle Blue runs or even Double Black, but have not yet ventured Out-of-Bounds. Our programs for Level 1-2 skiers teach you the ins and outs of safe backcountry skiing.

Although our clinics suited for Level 1 are not extreme by any means. A good level of uphill fitness is required to carry a 15-20 lb. pack while skinning and skiing downhill.  For overnight trips, the ability to carry a pack weighing 30-40 lbs for a short distance to a ski hut is necessary.

Skills covered include:

  • the technical how-to’s of using an alpine touring set up
  • skiing/riding techniques for the backcountry
  • skinning uphill
  • transitions
  • basics of avalanche safety equipment, including companion rescue.

Suggested Ski Program for Level 1:
The Alchemist


LEVEL 2:
Intermediate to Expert Alpine Skier/Rider with Basic Backcountry experience.


You have logged lots of runs skiing on-piste and can handle Blue runs or even Double Black, and have a couple of days under your belt skiing in the Backcountry.  You have used an alpine touring set-up, climbed uphill with skins on and carried a pack while doing so. You have a basic understanding of avalanche safety equipment (but are not expected to remember the how-to’s). 

Our programs suitable for Level 2 skiers are more rigorous than Level 1 but not extreme.  A good level of fitness with the ability to carry a 15-25 lb. pack all day is recommended. For overnight trips, the ability to carry a pack weighing up to 30-40 lbs. for a short distance into a hut is necessary.

Skills covered include all of the above in Level 1, plus:

  • advanced training in techniques for controlled skiing/riding in variable conditions
  • efficiency with transitions and learning how-to evaluate and make safe decisions in avalanche terrain.

Suggested Ski Programs for Level 2:
Heli Skiing: The Bird
Hokkaido, Japan: In Deep


LEVEL 3:
Intermediate to Expert Alpine Skier/Rider with Backcountry experience.


You have logged considerable mileage both on and off-piste and have the ability to ski any conditions in control in the Backcountry. You are familiar and practiced with the use of avalanche safety equipment and companion rescue, but want to take your skills to the next level in all aspects of safe Backcountry skiing or riding.

Our programs suited for Level 3 skiers and riders are more demanding with an emphasis on advanced skills and bigger days. Although not extreme, a high level of fitness is recommended.  The ability to ski in control with a 20-25 lb. pack is necessary. On overnight trips, the ability to carry a pack weighing 30-40 lbs for a short distance to a hut is necessary.

Suggested Ski Programs for Level 3:
Heli Skiing: The Bird
Hokkaido, Japan: In Deep