Avalanche Rescue Course: December 21, 22 or 28

Click on the date below to register for a Chicks Avalanche Rescue Course.

You will be re-directed to the Silverton Avalanche School Website.

December 21, Ouray, CO

December 22, Telluride, CO

December 28, Silverton, CO

To learn more about our relationship with the Silverton Avalanche School, read Chicks Climbing and Skiing Co-Owner, Angela Hawse’s blog: Can You Dig? | Chicks Joins Force with the Silverton Avalanche School.

Prepare for winter safety.

Chicks practice digging at an avalanche rescue course

Chicks Avalanche Rescue Course participants digging practice. ©Angela Hawse

All women backcountry users, please join us in our backyard, Colorado’s San Juan Mountains.

This year we’re offering three 1-day Avalanche Rescue courses with Kitty Calhoun, Co-owner Chicks Climbing and Skiing, in partnership with the Silverton Avalanche School.

Kitty Calhoun grew up skiing with her dad in North Carolina. This was before she became the most accomplished female alpinist in American history. With A Skiing Legacy passed down from her dad and from an esteemed lineage of story-based learning, Kitty asks, “Are you Avalanche Aware?” and expects you to say, “Yes!”

 

 

An Avalanche Rescue Course is a beginner-level course and a refresher course for all backcountry users. (We recommend refreshing your avalanche rescue skills with an Avalanche Rescue Course every two years.)

This all-women’s course is a unique opportunity to learn from Kitty Calhoun, one of the most-experienced, all-female climbing and backcountry skiing instructors in the world. 

In 1999 Kitty taught her first Chicks with Picks Ice Climbing clinic and she hasn’t looked back since. 

Women feel more comfortable asking questions in an all-female environment. And when they feel more comfortable, they learn more and they learn faster.” –Kitty Calhoun.

 

Review and practice fundamental avalanche rescue skills in an all-female environment.

Chicks avalanche rescue course participant practices a fine search with her avalanche transceiver

Chicks Avalanche Rescue Course participant practicing fine search with her avalanche transceiver. ©Angela Hawse

An Avalanche Rescue Course is the first step towards building avalanche rescue skills.

Any woman—backcountry newbie to veteran—who plans to travel in the backcountry in the wintertime, should take this course. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really love Chicks. The spirit, attitude, and all-female learning and support is a beautiful aspect of advancing outdoor education. As a women in multiple outdoor sports that has had a lot of “guys” attempt to show me the ropes, I’m very thankful for alternatives like Chicks. And having Kitty as a guide is really a highlight – her experience and knowledge are invaluable. I would literally sign up for almost anything if Kitty was guiding 🙂–Courtney Myer.

Set yourself up for success as a competent member of any winter backcountry party.

This intensive clinic will give you more confidence to use your avalanche rescue equipment and a framework for sound decision-making in the event of an avalanche incident.  You’ll learn how to access backcountry conditions and weather forecasts, how to make a basic emergency plan and how to manage groups in avalanche terrain.

Ample hands-on practice helps you perform critical avalanche rescue skills in the event of an avalanche burial.

Chicks Climbing and Skiing Avalanche Rescue Course participants learning avalanche rescue skills in an all-female course

Chicks Climbing and Skiing Avalanche Rescue Course participants learning avalanche rescue skills in an all-female environment. ©Angela Hawse

Chicks offers a systematic approach with the best professional instruction and coaching in the industry. You’ll know your avalanche transceiver inside and out, use your probe and shovel effectively, as well as get the skinny on airbag and Avalung use.

Our Avalanche Rescue Course doesn’t require skis or any specialized equipment, only warm clothing, winter footwear, and ample calories.

This course meets guidelines set by the American Avalanche Association and the International Commission for Alpine Rescue (ICAR).

Chicks’ Avalanche Rescue Course is a certified pre-requisite the Pro Level 1, if that is your goal.  

 

It had to happen! Incredible women, incredible purpose, I’m all about it . . . most of the time (in work, play, indoors, outdoors), I am surrounded by and learning/working with men. The concept of ONLY being with women was fantastic. We really do speak our own precious language.“–Stephanie Key

Click on the date below to register.

(You will be re-directed to the Silverton Avalanche School Website.)

December 21, Ouray, CO

December 22, Telluride, CO

December 28, Silverton, CO

Avalanche Rescue Course Learning Outcomes and Hands-on Training

  • Recognizing and preparing to enter avalanche terrain
  • Personal protective equipment for the winter environment
  • Overview of personal avalanche rescue equipment and proper use
  • Self-evacuation equipment and proper use
  • Functionality checks of your personal avalanche rescue equipment
  • How to perform group checks of transceivers at the start of each day
  • Basics of an Emergency Plan and group management
  • Travel protocols for avalanche terrain
  • How to use the functions on your avalanche transceiver quickly and decisively
  • Response and actions if involved in an avalanche (victim or rescuer); assessing the scene and taking leadership
  • Fundamentals of organizing and executing an effective search in avalanche debris using the signal, course, fine and pinpoint search technique
  • Scenarios; how to set up effective scenarios for practice
  • Techniques for effective probing and shoveling  
  • Discussion of first aid skills likely to be used in actual rescues
  • Requesting outside assistance and what to expect

At the end of the Avalanche Rescue course our students should be able to:

  • Describe what to do if they or a member of their party is caught in an avalanche
  • Identify and be able to use gear necessary for avalanche rescue
  • Set up a realistic scenario in order to practice an avalanche rescue response
  • Improve their response skills and times during and after the course with feedback from instructors and peers
  • Develop a plan for continued practice

PRICE: $150

Included:

  • 8-hours of instruction
  • Avalanche Rescue Certification upon completion
  • Chicks Welcome Bag

Not Included:

  • Personal protective outerwear*
  • Warm clothing*
  • Food and Water
  • Transportation
  • Personal or Trip Insurance
  • Lodging

*Demos from our Sponsors are available including outerwear, warm layers, and gloves.  Please contact us if you would like to check out some of the latest and greatest.


DATES, LOCATIONS & REGISTRATION:

Click on the date you’d like to register for and you will be re-directed to the Silverton Avalanche School website to complete the process.

December 21, Ouray, CO

December 22, Telluride, CO

December 28, Silverton, CO


TRAVEL & LOGISTICS:

What to Bring

Travel Logistics


PROPOSED ITINERARY:

8:00 Welcome and intros, Chicks Welcome Bags, goals and objectives

8:30 All-day In the Field Training – venue specifics provided upon registration

5:00 Wrap Up and Avalanche Rescue Certificates


CANCELLATION POLICY:

A $35.00 fee is charged for course date transfers. 60% of the course cost can be refunded up to 30 days prior to the course start.  No refunds are provided for cancellations made less than 30 days prior to the start of the course for which you are registered. Unfortunately, we cannot give refunds, rainchecks or cancellations if mountain passes are closed.

Hokkaido Japan Powder skiing

Hokkaido, Japan | Powder Skiing: January 30 to February 7, 2020

Hokkaido Is A Winter Adventure Wonderland

powder skiing in hokkaido

Skiing in Hokkaido, Japan where our guide, Norie Kizaki, always finds the best powder.

Powder skiing in Japan is magical. Just south of Siberia, Hokkaido catches the cold, moisture-rich air coming in from the Siberian Sea.

This sea effect dumps 12 to 16 feet of snow on Hokkaido each season––it’s the deepest, driest powder skiing on earth.

Awesome. It was such a unique experience being out with a group of women. I was pleasantly surprised by all’s skiing ability and the group’s cohesiveness.”
––Jill M., 2016 Chicks Japan Powder Skiing participant

“The high point was giggling on skis in fresh powder.
––Gretchen H., 2016 Chicks Japan Powder Skiing participant

Ski Hokkaido with the best.

Our mission is to empower women through mountain experiences.

This trip will be led by Angela Hawse and Norie Kizaki.

“What I love most about skiing is that that it requires digging deeply. From just getting started, all the way to ski mountaineering, backcountry skiing encompasses big picture stuff like weather, avalanche hazard, communication, and technical skill. It requires homework. You don’t just show up when you go skiing,“–Angela Hawse, Co-Owner of Chicks Climbing and Skiing

Angela stands as America’s leading mountain guide as the president of the American Mountain Guides Association.

Norie Kizaki in Hokkaido where the snow banks reach over her head

Norie Kizaki in Hokkaido where the snowpack reaches over her head.

Norie Kizaki is an American-Japanese ski guide born in rural western Japan.

Norie adds a unique cultural bonus as both a highly accomplished American guide and a Japanese woman. Norie knows Hokkaido’s secret stashes. For the best snow, culture, and food on the island, follow Norie!

Learn more about top-of-the-line guides at Chicks Guides.

Both guides were outstanding. They were excellent leaders, listeners, teachers and supporters. Clearly they were very knowledgeable and I felt completely safe.”
––Carol B., 2016 Chicks Japan Powder Skiing participant

So seamless. Incredibly warm and very involved in the group. I love them.
––Candi C., 2016 Chicks Japan Powder Skiing participant

 

Experience the beauty of nature, summit an active volcano, spend all day outside skiing deep Japow.

The Furano region is in the center of Hokkaido. We’ll ski three, world-class, powder skiing destinations. With Norie leading us, we’ll ski previously scouted terrain that’s not overrun by other skiers.

Powder skiing in Japan

Heading to the summit. Photo: Angela Hawse

  • Daisetsuzan National Park
  • Asahidake
  • Off-Piste close to Furano

On Hokkaido, there are good skiing options in any weather. Beautiful Japanese Birch trees help with visibility on stormy days. On blue-sky days, we can ski tour up live volcanoes to see beautiful views and volcanic fumes. Some days, we will use a tram to lift access off-piste skiing. Other days we’ll ski up with our skins to earn our turns.

Chicks makes skiing in Hokkaido extra special.

Fresh fish for dinner in Hokkdaido.

While the secret might be out about Hokkaido’s powder, we offer an immersive experience in true Japanese culture, away from the crowds. 

For the first half of the trip, we’ll base in Furano and travel to wherever the weather makes the most snow.

For the second half of the trip, we’ll stay in Daisetsuzan National Park Lodge, which has a natural hot springs. We’ll ski the park and nearby areas such as Asahidake. 

“I loved the national park the best.”
––Gretchen H., 2016 Chicks Japan Powder Skiing participant

“The lodge was an awesome cultural experience, as was the dinning in Furano.”
––
Jill M., 2016 Chicks Japan Powder Skiing participant

Hokkaido, Japan Powder Skiing Is A True Chicks Experience.

Onsen, Hokkaido, Japan

Onsen, Hokkaido, Japan

You’ll get so much more than powder skiing: friendship, camaraderie, new skills, powder technique, face shots, smiles and deeply lasting memories. 

Our group will be small and nimble. We maximize the personal nature of the experience both culturally and in the mountains with a 2:1 guest/guide ratio.

Our first goal is to ski safely. This is followed closely by the goal of fun. We’re committed to finding the best snow every day. 

On top of it all, you’ll get to know a lot about Japanese culture, with one of your guides being a native Japanese who has guided in Hokkaido for many years.

“Fabulous!”––Gretchen H., 2016 Chicks Japan Powder Skiing participant

“I can ski forever, so 7 days on snow was perf! I liked the off piste side country day in the middle as a rest day.”––Jill M., 2016 Chicks Japan Powder Skiing participant

 

Prerequisite Experience:

You must be a Level 2 skier for this In Deep Powder Skiing in Japan Trip (or be a Level 1 with 2-3 days of backcountry experience before the program starts).

Hokkaido, Japan

In Deep Powder Skiing. Hokkaido, Japan

Hokkaido Dates:

January 30-February 7, 2020 (includes travel days to/from the US)

Includes:

  • 5 and a half guided powder skiing days
  • 2 Professional ski guides and their expenses
  • All transportation in Japan, starting at Sapporo airport and ending at Sapporo airport
  • All lodging and breakfasts
  • Dinners for 6 nights (You are on your own on the first night at Air Terminal Hotel)

Not Included:

  • Airfare from the US. (Airfare from the U.S. to Sapporo ranges from $1000.00 to $1500.00 economy class.)

    Adamants

    Photo: Angela Hawse

  • Personal backcountry skiing and avalanche safety equipment
  • Lift tickets if used (average between $45-60 USD)
  • Lunches, alcohol, and dinner on the first night at Air Terminal Hotel
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance (required)

Hokkaido Pricing: $ 3600

You can break this into two payments of $1800 or pay in full at time of registration. We will email you the full equipment list upon registration. This trip will run with a minimum of 4 guests.

Travel Insurance Requirements: (Not Included)

For an international trip with Chicks, LLC, we require that you purchase travel insurance including a global rescue policy. This is necessary to cover your evacuation costs in case of an emergency, trip cancellation, airline delays, and lost baggage. We work with an agent to help you get set up with the required policy. Please contact Erin Rountree at (208) 788-2870. http://www.travelguard.com


PROPOSED ITINERARY*:

Days 1 & 2: JANUARY 30–31

International Travel from the U.S. to Chitose Sapporo Airport.  Arrive late in the afternoon or early evening at Chitose Airport.

Day 3: FEBRUARY 1

Transport from Sapporo to Furano. Half-day of Resort Skiing. Equipment check and avalanche transceiver practice. Stay in Furano

Day 4: FEBRUARY 2

Powder Skiing. Off-piste or ski touring. Stay in Furano.

Day 5: FEBRUARY 3

Powder Skiing. Off-piste or ski touring. Stay in Furano.

Day 6: FEBRUARY 4

Skiing in the Daisetsuzan National Park. Check out from Furano lodging and check into Daisetsuzan National Park lodging.

Day 7: FEBRUARY 5

Skiing in the Daisetsuzan National Park. Stay in Daisetsuzan National Park.

Day 9: FEBRUARY 6

Skiing in Asahidake. Stay in Daisetsuzan National Park.

Day 8: FEBRUARY 7

Check out from National Park lodge and drive 3-4 hours to Chitose airport. Guests fly out in the afternoon!  Because of the time change, you will arrive in US on the same day you depart Japan.

*Actual daily schedule will be based on finding the best powder skiing conditions each day.


CANCELLATION & REFUND POLICY: 

All requests for cancellations must be submitted in writing.  Chicks requires full payment at the time of booking for all programs, refunds will be issued according to the following schedule:

  • More than 60 days, full refund minus a 10% administration fee
  • 30-60 days, 50% refund
  • Less than 30 days, no refund no transfer of payments.

*Travel insurance is required for all International Trips and is strongly recommended for US programs as well. In the event, you have an unexpected life occurrence and need to cancel it will help you recover your payment. Chicks works with an agent who is familiar with our programs and travel insurance needs. Please contact Erin Rountree at 208-788-2870.

Indian Creek, the splitter-crack capital of the world and home to Chicks' Crack Climbing clinic

Indian Creek, UT | Rock Climbing: April 2-6, 2020

At our Indian Creek Crack Climbing Clinic, you’ll learn how to jam up desert splitters like a crack climbing machine.

Chicks Indian Creek Crack Climbing Clinic

“Indian Creek is hard and painful, yet the most rewarding climbing I’ve ever done.  I didn’t know I could shove my body part in a crack and push off of it. The guides pushed us to learn more. Now that I know how to do it right, I use cracks with confidence!”
— Chicks Alum Dawn R. (with a gleam in her eyes)

Here’s the thing about crack climbing: It can feel ridiculously strenuous. Cracks can eat us alive until we find the techniques to tame them. In the meantime, you’ll wear scabs and bruises like graduation badges as we share stories of triumph around the campfire. After a few days of camping in the sand and climbing with your entire body, you’ll be covered in dirt––and feel fully grounded from the experience.

Our Indian Creek Climbing Clinic focuses on trad climbing and jamming skills. The emphasis will be on techniques such as hand jams, fist jams, ring locks, finger stacks, chicken wings, hand stacks, and more.

This clinic is appropriate for intermediate climbers (can follow 5.9) and more advanced climbers.

Indian Creek is in the heart of Canyonlands National Monument, 2 hours south of Moab, Utah. As a result, the Indian Creek climbing experience is remote and self-contained.

What to expect at Chicks’ Indian Creek Crack Climbing Clinic:

  • Camaraderie with new friends and climbing partners
  • Campfires under the stars
  • Catered breakfasts and dinners
  • Crucial crack-climbing knowledge and experience in the splitter-crack capital of the world
  • Demo fleet of crack-climbing shoes
  • Gift bags full of great climbing gear from our sponsors
  • True Chicks style:
    • We always climb in small groups
    • World-class instruction from renowned climbers and guides
    • IFMGA/AMGA certified guides operates only with the highest safety standards
    • Fun, safe and encouraging atmosphere

PRICING:

$799

Includes 3 days guiding and instruction; 4 nights camping

Please note that the October 2019 event is full. Please apply for the April 2020 event.

 

INCLUDES:

  • 3 days of guided climbing  (4-to-1 ratio)
  • 4 nights camping
  • All breakfasts and dinners
  • Welcome gift bag
  • Sponsor demo gear

NOT INCLUDED:

  • Airfare and ground transportation
  • Lunches and snacks
  • Tokens for coin-operated showers
  • Guide gratuity
  • Trip Insurance

Indian Creek Crack Climbing Clinic

PROPOSED ITINERARY:

Day 1 | Thursday, October 3, 2019/April 2, 2020: 

Arrive at Indian Creek by 3:30 p.m. to set up tents at Creek Pasture Campground.

4:00 pm: Kick-off meeting/orientation at the group campsite

5:30 pm: Catered dinner at the campsite

 

Day 2 | Friday, October 4, 2019/April 3, 2020:

7:00 am: Breakfast

8:00 am: Meet at the campsite geared up for the day, bring your lunch

5:30 pm: Climbing day ends

6:30 pm: Catered dinner at the campsite

 

Day 3 | Saturday, October 5, 2019/April 4, 2020: 

7:00 am: Breakfast.

8:00 am: Meet at the campsite geared up for the day, bring your lunch

5:30 pm: Climbing day ends

6:30 pm: Catered dinner at the campsite

 

Day 4 | Sunday, October 6, 2019/April 5, 2020: 

7:00 am: Breakfast

8:30 am: Meet at the Chicks Rock campsite geared up for the day, bring your lunch

4:30 pm: Climbing day ends

5:30 pm: Clinic wrap up. Travel home or stay another night.

 

Day 5 | Monday, October 7, 2019/April 6, 2020:
8:00 am: Breakfast and depart for home


CANCELLATION & REFUND POLICY: 

All requests for cancellations must be submitted in writing.  Chicks requires full payment at the time of booking for all programs, refunds will be issued according to the following schedule:

  • More than 60 days, full refund minus a 10% administration fee
  • 30-60 days, 50% refund
  • Less than 30 days, no refund no transfer of payments.

***Travel insurance is required for all International Trips and is strongly recommended for US programs as well. For all your travel insurance needs, please contact Erin Rountree at 208-788-2870.

Joshua tree women climbing weekend

Joshua Tree, CA | Rock Climbing: April 10-13, 2020

Looking to up your trad climbing game? Then join Chicks for a women’s-only Joshua Tree climbing weekend at Joshua Tree National Park, California. Joshua Tree is an “old-school” climbing area that is steeped with climbing history. Most of the climbing in Joshua Tree is traditionally protected crack climbing, but there are friction face climbs that are sparsely bolted. Generally, there aren’t many fixed anchors due to J-Tree’s protected wilderness status, so it’s the perfect venue to work on technical skills like gear placement and anchor building. 

Joshua Tree National Park’s surreal landscape is littered with giant monzonite granite cliffs and boulders, while the unique Joshua Trees stand guard as far as the eye can see. The approaches to Joshua Tree climbing areas are generally short, flat hikes which allow us to maximize climbing time each day.

Our Joshua Tree climbing clinic is perfect for all levels of climbers, ideal for beginners to advanced climbers alike. The variety of terrain allows us to tailor the clinics to your experience level and goals. We will divide you into one of  4 different levels so that people with similar experience, ability, and goals are grouped together to facilitate the best learning environment for you at an appropriate level of challenge. Each level is comprehensive and aims to make you a more confident and self-reliant climber. This program is packed with climbing and instructional time so you’ll gain lots of practice and valuable experience as you learn to maneuver granite while climbing in Joshua Tree. 


PRICING:

$999.00 – 3 days climbing instruction with 3 nights lodging

INCLUDED:

  • 3 days of guided climbing instruction
  • 4:1 ratio
  • 3 nights at a vacation rental home (Fri, Sat, Sun)*
  • Demo gear from Chicks sponsors
  • Breakfasts (Sat, Sun, Mon) and Dinners (Fri, Sat, Sun)
  • Sponsor gift bag

NOT INCLUDED:

  • Airfare or ground transportation
  • Lunch and snacks
  • Gratuities
  • Park Entrance Fee ($25/vehicle for a 7-day pass)

*Housing accommodations include your own bed in a shared room. If you’re a light sleeper you may want to bring earplugs and an eye cover.


ITINERARY:

DAY 1: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2019/APRIL 10, 2020

Arrive at Joshua Tree early enough to drive an hour from the airport and get settled in. 
Allow about an hour of extra time if you plan to shop for groceries.

5:00 pm: Check into the rental house. Directions to be provided.

6:00 pm: Kick-off meeting/orientation meeting. Demo gear handed out and catered group dinner.

DAY 2: FRIDAY,  SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2019/ APRIL 11, 2020

7:00 am: Breakfast meet and gear up for the day.

8:00 am4:00 pm: Carpool to the climbing area, about a 10-20 minute drive. Climbing in Joshua Tree National Park.

6:30 pm: Catered dinner

DAY 3: SATURDAY, SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2019/ APRIL 12, 2020

7:00 am: Breakfast. Meet and gear up for the day.

8:00 am4:00 pm: Carpool to the climbing area, about a 10-20 minute drive. Climbing in Joshua Tree National Park.

6:30 pm: Catered dinner

DAY 4: SUNDAY, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2019/ APRIL 13, 2020

7:00 am: Breakfast. Pack up personal belongings, check out of the rental house, then depart for climbing. 

8:00 am3:00 pm: Carpool to the climbing area, about a 20-minute drive. Climbing in Joshua Tree National Park

3:30 pm: Wrap up meeting at the climbing area.

**Lodging and dinner are not included on the last day of our programs.  If you want to spend an extra night, please make your own lodging arrangements.


CANCELLATION & REFUND POLICY:

All requests for cancellations must be submitted in writing.  Chicks requires full payment at the time of booking for all programs, refunds will be issued according to the following schedule:

  • More than 60 days, full refund minus a 10% administration fee
  • 30-60 days, 50% refund
  • Less than 30 days, no refund no transfer of payments.

*Travel insurance is required for all International Trips and is strongly recommended for US programs as well. In the event you have an unexpected life occurrence and need to cancel it will help you recover your payment. Chicks works with an agent who is familiar with our programs and travel insurance needs. Please contact Erin Rountree at 208-788-2870.

AIARE Level 1 – Recreational: January 10-12, 2020

Decision Making in Avalanche Terrain

silverton avalanche schoolJoin our all women’s Recreational Level 1 course to learn the key elements of making sound decisions while traveling in avalanche terrain from some of the most experienced women guides and instructors in the industry.  

This 3-day course effectively combines classroom time and field sessions to provide a comprehensive overview of avalanche hazard recognition and evaluation. This course is a nationally recognized Avalanche Level 1 Course.

We know that women excel at learning in a supportive, fun atmosphere where they can ask questions, have a voice and engage with other women who are passionate about the outdoors. Fun always plays a huge part in all of our programs and it’s a fact that we learn more when we’re enjoying ourselves.

This intensive, hands-on training will cover trip planning and preparation, interpretation of the avalanche bulletin, observational techniques for snowpack, weather, and avalanches, terrain analysis, safe travel techniques, and decision-making fundamentals. Students will also learn the elements of companion avalanche rescue and practice using realistic scenarios.  It is geared toward skiers, boarders, and other outdoor enthusiasts who want to build winter backcountry skills.

Course Details

Morning sessions introduce avalanche concepts to students. Afternoon field sessions in backcountry terrain provide hands-on experience and ensure quality field time with our top-notch staff. Each day students travel into backcountry ski terrain in small groups with their instructors.

These experiential sessions examine the topics discussed in the classroom. All students will be able to practice route finding and terrain analysis, dig snow pits and conduct stability tests.  The redesigned Recreational Level 1 will include more field on route planning, terrain management, and hazard evaluation time.

Students receive valuable input, instant feedback, and vital insight from our instructors who are responsible for mitigating avalanche hazard in Class A avalanche terrain filled with one of the most dangerous snowpacks on earth, where avalanche hazard assessment and reduction is an everyday job. Instructors will help students acquire and enhance the critical skills, perceptual cues, and knowledge needed to make better decisions with greater accuracy and success.

Who should take this course?
Level 1 is for anyone who wants to recreate in or near avalanche terrain. Participants may have attended some awareness classes or workshops or completed the Avalanche Rescue course, but none are a prerequisite for this course.  Aspiring professionals will need to take this Level 1 and Avalanche Rescue as a prerequisite for the Pro 1 course.

Learning Outcomes

  • Improved Avalanche Judgement and Decision-making Skills
  • Expanded Situational Awareness and Perceptual Capacities
  • Human influence in group dynamics
  • Applying the Current Avalanche Bulletin to Tour Planning
  • Develop a trip plan based on snowpack and weather
  • Make and record field observations

Course Curriculum

  • Tour Preparation
  • Analyzing avalanche forecasts
  • Identifying avalanche terrain
  • Recognizing hazardous conditions
  • Snowpack Development
  • Snowpack Instabilities
  • Route Finding and Travel Techniques
  • Using Observations and Tests
  • Human Factors
  • Educated Decision-Making
  • Mountain Weather
  • Safe Travel Protocols
  • Snow Pit Profiles
  • Group Management
  • Snow layer analysis
  • Risk evaluation

PRICE $465

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER NOW

You will be re-directed to the Silverton Avalanche School website to register for this program.

Price Includes:

  • Chicks IFMGA/AMGA Ski Guide and Silverton Avalanche School Instructor
  • Avalanche Rescue Equipment – Transceiver, Probe, Shovel
  • Chicks Sponsor Welcome Bag
  • Level 1 Certificate upon completion

Does Not Include:

  • AT, Tele, Splitboard, and Skins*
  • Transportation to and from Red Mountain Pass
  • Lunches and Snacks
  • Personal protective outerwear**
  • Warm clothing**
  • Personal or Trip Insurance

* Affordable rental packages available: (splitboards, skis, boots, poles, backpacks, skins)

**Demos from our Sponsors are available including outerwear, warm layers, and gloves.  Please contact us if you would like to check out some of the latest and greatest.


TRAVEL & LOGISTICS:

What to Bring

Travel Logistics


SCHEDULED ITINERARY/COURSE OUTLINE:

Day 1: January 10, 2020

 

  • Meet at the Silverton Avalanche School HQ in Silverton, CO.
  • Course Introduction and Equipment Check for Hut Trip
  • Introduction to Decision Making
  • Avalanche Fundamentals
  • Mountain Snowpack
  • Travel to RMP
  • Companion Rescue and Scenarios
  • Teamwork and Avoiding Human Factors

Day 2: January 11, 2020

    • Making Weather and Avalanche Observations
    • Practicing companion rescue
    • Field Observational Techniques
    • Snowpit Documentation and Snowpack Testing
    • Transceiver, Probing and Shoveling lessons
    • Decision Making: Choosing Terrain and Traveling Wisely

Day 3: January 12, 202o

  • Effective Tour Planning
  • Route Finding & Terrain Analysis
  • Group Management
  • Implementing the Decision Making Framework
  • Course Wrap Up, Evaluation, Q & A, Instructor Feedback
  • Return to Red Mountain Pass for Course End

 CANCELLATION POLICY:

A $35.00 fee is charged for course date transfers. 60% of the course cost can be refunded up to 30 days prior to the course start.  No refunds are provided for cancellations made less than 30 days prior to the start of the course for which you are registered. Unfortunately, we cannot give refunds, rainchecks or cancellations if passes are closed (best arrive early if the weather forecast is big).

Mount Baker Scholarship 2019

Coming soon!

Mount Baker Scholarship: Heuberger Motors joins Chicks Climbing and Skiing AGAIN for another great scholarship opportunity.

Words from Past Scholarship Recipients

Chicks is an extraordinary group of women. Not just the amazing guides and leaders, but everyone that participates in a Chicks clinic has wisdom to impart, strengths to share and courage to elevate themselves and those around them. I recently had the opportunity to participate in the life changing experience of a Chicks with Picks ice climbing clinic through a generous scholarship from the Subaru Adventure Team.

Click on Trip Report: Subaru Adventure Team Women’s Ice Climbing Clinic Contest to find out more.

Last year I was the lucky winner of one of Subaru Adventure Team’s big prizes: a trip to City of Rock in Idaho to attend a climbing clinic put on by Chicks Rock.

In the spring, a friend of mine told me about the essay contest SAT was having. He thought it would be right up my alley, and it was!

I have been an aspiring mountaineer for many years and the one piece I was working hard at (but struggling with in Minnesota!) was rock climbing.

I wrote my essay and submitted my photos. For days after, I talked about how amazing it would be to have this opportunity. And as more days went by, it sort of fell off my radar. Like contests do.

Much to my surprise, months later, I received an email that I had in fact won. And that I had two weeks to figure everything out for travel, because Idaho was calling! And there was no way I would miss out on such a rare and rad event.

In order to get to Idaho from Minnesota, I had to drive by so many beautiful parts of the country.

So naturally this turned into a glorious road trip of National Parks and National Forests. Dirtbagging steadily out west. Surviving on quick oats, tuna packets and instant coffee. It was bliss. Every day that I woke up, I was somewhere new and glorious. And so aware that none of this would have been possible without winning the climbing scholarship.

Read more at Real Chick: Dede Rosenburg, Subaru Scholarship Winner 2016

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We’ll let you know when the next Chicks Alpine Subaru Scholarship Opportunity goes live.

City of Rocks, ID | Rock Climbing: September 2020 TBA

City of Rocks Climbing Clinic | Find out what City of Rocks is all about!

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City of Rocks is a world-class climbing destination with technical face, slab, and crack climbing––and the perfect place to work on technique, gain confidence in your leading, or fine-tune your anchor-building and technical skills.

Brush the dust off your outdoor climbing or challenge yourself to bring your outdoor climbing up a few notches at this four-day, all-inclusive women’s rock climbing program. Whether you’re learning to climb or refreshing skills you’ve had for years, you’ll be making progress with highly experienced female guides certified by the American Mountain Guides Association.

Raise your confidence level

Whether your goal is to be a solid 5.9 climber outside or you’re are interested in making the transition from sport to trad climbing, City of Rocks has something for you.

Over the course of three full days of climbing, you’ll gain enough confidence in your systems to be able to set up top ropes safely for yourself and your friends.

City of Rocks is the perfect training ground

With hundreds of climbing routes from easy to expert (and beyond), City of Rocks is nestled in the high desert mountains and pine trees of scenic southern Idaho.

You will climb… A lot. Whether you’re learning to climb and apply your newfound skills or you want to lead routes, you’ll get the chance––and on the last day of this course, you’ll get the opportunity to climb a multi-pitch route. Topics we’ll cover include:

  • Instruction on climbing technique
  • Building anchors
  • Using traditional protection
  • Performing self-rescue

We’ll spend our days climbing and working on skills at various areas within City of Rocks and Castle Rocks State Park, located just outside of Almo, ID. In addition to instruction of unmatched quality, Chicks provides:

  • Personalized attention in small climbing teams according to skill/experience level and individual goals
  • All group climbing gear (ropes & technical equipment)
  • An array of demo gear you can test out
  • A welcome bag full of gifts from Chicks’ Sponsors
  • The camaraderie of camping together right along the climbing formations
  • Friendships and new partnerships with like-minded climbers
  • Delicious, nutritious breakfast and dinner prepared by Chicks guides
  • An optional day of multi-pitch climbing

Join us this fall!

The Chicks experience is a special one. Camaraderie around the campfire in this remote and beautiful, high-desert terrain only adds to the charm of the City of Rocks, letting you go unplugged for a few days. Prepare to be pushed and inspired by a fun and supportive group of peers.


City of Rocks Climbing Clinic Pricing:

Option 1: 3 days of climbing / 4 nights camping – $899

Option 2: 3 days of climbing plus 4th day multi-pitch climb / 4 nights camping – $1,199

 

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We currently have no dates scheduled for this program

 

INCLUDES:

  • 3 days of guided climbing and instruction max. 4:1 ratio
  • Optional guided multi-pitch day 2:1 ratio
  • 4 nights camping
  • All breakfasts and dinners
  • Welcome gift bags from Chicks sponsors
  • Demo gear from Chicks Sponsors

NOT INCLUDED:

  • Ground or Air Transportation
  • Trip Insurance
  • Lunches and snacks
  • Gratuities

PROPOSED ITINERARY:

Day 1: 

City of Rocks is about a 4-hour drive from Jackson, WY or from Salt Lake City, UT.  Reno, NV is also a good starting point within driving range.

4:00 pm: Opening meeting and orientation at the campground.  Group dinner and demo gear handed out.

Day 2:        

7:00 – 7:30 am: Group breakfast at the campsite

8:00 am: Meet at the cars geared up to climb for the day

8:00 am – 4:00 pm:  Climbing at the City of Rocks (bring your own lunch)

6:00 pm: Prepared dinner at the campsite

Day 3:      

7:00 – 7:30 am: Breakfast

8:00 am: – 4:00 pm: Climbing at the City of Rocks (bring your own lunch)

5:00 pm: Optional visit to Durfee Hot Springs and Pool

6:30 pm: Prepared dinner at the campsite

Day 4: 

7:00 – 7:30 am: Breakfast

8:00 am – 4:30 pm: Climbing at Castle Rocks State Park (bring your own lunch)

5:00 pm: Closing Ceremony followed by group dinner at the campsite

Day 5: Optional Multi-pitch Day

7:00 – 7:30 am: Breakfast

8:00 am – 4:30 pm: Climb a multi-pitch route in Castle Rock State Park, 2:1 ratio (bring your own lunch)

3:30 pm: End of City Chicks clinic


CANCELLATION & REFUND POLICY:

All requests for cancellations must be submitted in writing. Chicks requires full payment at the time of booking for all of our women rock climbing programs. Refunds will be issued according to the following schedule:

  • More than 60 days, full refund minus a 10% administration fee
  • 30-60 days, 50% refund
  • Less than 30 days, no refund no transfer of payments.

*Travel insurance is required for all International Trips and is strongly recommended for US programs as well. In the event you have an unexpected life occurrence and need to cancel it will help you recover your payment. Chicks works with an agent who is familiar with our programs and travel insurance needs. Please contact Erin Rountree at 208-788-2870.

Chamonix summit

Chamonix, France | Alpine Climbing July 6-10, 2020

From any vantage point in the Chamonix Valley, you’re looking at climbing history.

Chamonix—the ultimate mountain town in the heart of the Alps—is the birthplace of alpine climbing. The first ascent of Mont Blanc took place over 250 years ago (and the first woman to climb it did so in 1808), and today, you can experience the same magic those early alpinists did.

Chamonix isn’t just an incredible place. It’s also a cultural experience. Imagine topping off your big day of climbing with delicious French wines and cheeses and splendid views of the Alps, all shared with new friends who share your love of mountains.

Develop your skills with the best.

Join us for five unforgettable days developing your mountaineering skills in this iconic location. You’ll be surrounded by towering peaks as you learn all the essentials of alpinism: glacier navigation and travel, route-finding, anchor and belay-station management, multipitch transitions, and decision-making in the alpine—from an internationally certified (IFMGA) mountain guide.

Stand on a summit.

This course culminates on a high-altitude mountain route, where you’ll get to apply all the skills you’ve just learned in real-time. You’ll finish your course atop a summit with France on one side and Italy on the other—and with the important skills and the confidence, you’ll need for a lifetime of alpine climbing.

Gain confidence and become part of the Chicks community.

Here’s what you’ll get when you sign up for our Chamonix program:

  • 5 days instruction and guided climbing by a Chicks IFMGA Mountain Guide
  • 3:1 climber to guide ratio
  • Ropes, group technical gear, and rescue/emergency gear are provided
  • 2 nights lodging in a high mountain hut with breakfast and dinner
  • All tram and lift tickets as per itinerary
  • Final group dinner in town
  • Taxi/public transport transfer back to Chamonix
  • Chicks welcome bag from our Sponsors
  • Increased confidence in your skills
  • An introduction to the Chicks community and alumni network

Recommended prerequisites:

  • Basic rock climbing experience, including top-rope climbing and belaying
  • Basic snow travel experience, including walking in crampons
  • Basic mountaineering experiences, such as having climbed peaks like a Colorado Fourteener or past participation in our Mount Baker Program

Cost: $1,999

Ready for the trip of a lifetime? Spots are super limited to help us maintain a small ratio, so reserve your spot today!


Cost doesn’t include:

  • Travel to/from Chamonix, France
  • In-town lodging in Chamonix for beginning and end of the program
  • Dinners and breakfasts in town
  • Lunches and other extras
  • Extras at the huts such as drinks and snacks
  • Travel and Rescue Insurance

PROPOSED ITINERARY*

*may be adjusted based on weather and conditions

Plan to arrive in the Chamonix Valley on July 5 or before at your own schedule.

Day 1 | July 6

Opening meeting 9:00 am. Les Gaillands or Le Brevent. After introductions and a gear check, we’ll head to a close-by crag to work on rope skills and multi-pitch transitions. This is a rock-based day with lots of short pitches of climbing and skills practice. Stay at your own lodging in town.

Day 2 | July 7

Glacier travel, snow ridge climbing, and rock ridges. We’ll be climbing in mountaineering boots and crampons in the high alpine. Stay at your own lodging in town. Laurance or Cosmiques Arete.

Day 3 | July 8

We’ll take the local bus to le Tour and use the lift system to get to the Col de Balms. From there, we hike to the Albert Premier Hut. Crevasse rescue practice on the Tour Glacier in the afternoon. Overnight in the hut with dinner and breakfast included.

Day 4 | July 9

An early start to put We’ll make a big glacier crossing, climb over the Col du Tour Superieur, then head for the summit of the AIguille du Tour where put our skills to use. This day is a great opportunity for student-led rope teams. We finish by crossing the Trient Plateau. Overnight at the Cabane du Trient with dinner and breakfast included.

Day 5 | July 10

From the Trient hut, we descend the Orny Glacier, stopping by the Cabane d’Orny for lunch and some rock climbing before descending to the lift at La Breya. We end in Champex, Switzerland. A swim in the lake followed by a taxi ride back to Chamonix. We finish with a celebration dinner in town. Stay at your own lodging in Chamonix.

View from Rifugio Torino

Lodging is covered on our last night, and you can plan to leave on your own schedule the following morning.

We’re looking forward to seeing you in the Alps this summer!


CANCELLATION & REFUND POLICY:

All requests for cancellations must be submitted in writing.  Chicks requires full payment at the time of booking for all programs, refunds will be issued according to the following schedule:

  • More than 60 days, full refund minus a 10% administration fee
  • 30-60 days, 50% refund
  • Less than 30 days, no refund no transfer of payments.

**Rescue Insurance is required for all International Trips and is strongly recommended for US programs as well. For all your travel insurance needs, please contact Erin Rountree at 208-788-2870.

view while climbing mount baker

Mount Baker, WA | Mountaineering

On our Mount Baker Climbing Course you will continue to expand your alpine climbing knowledge and grow your journey in exploring the backcountry.

 

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Mount Baker Climbing Course is a Women’s-only Intro to Mountaineering

Get more education and experience with snow and glacier terrain.

On our Mount Baker Climbing Course you will become a more skilled and efficient mountaineer.

Mount Baker, WA is a magnificent glaciated icon of the American Northwest.

This 5-day climbing program offers a comprehensive mountaineering course and a summit climb.

We’ll camp in the wilderness, practice climbing on steep snow, and ice, learn proper glacier travel techniques, crevasse rescue, and route navigation.

At the end of the program, we’ll put all our skills together for a summit climb to the top of Mount Baker (10,781 feet), conditions permitting.

Gain experience in the world of glaciers, snow, and ice in the care of Chicks Guides.

Whether you’re seasoned in the mountains or new to alpine climbing and mountaineering, on our Mount Baker Climbing Course you will gain skills and experience as you learn from among the best female guides in the industry.

In small teams, we will work on your skills in steep snow. As you become more skilled and efficient, you will also come to understand risks and how to mitigate them.

By the end of the course you will be quicker and more dialled in with short roping and snow travel in general.

What better place to practice mountaineering skills than on the flanks of a massive glaciated peak in the heart of North America’s mountain climbing birthplace?

 

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We currently have no dates scheduled for this program

 

Mount Baker Climbing Course starts at the gateway to the Mount Baker Wilderness:

Douglas Fir Campground, just outside Glacier, WA

At our opening meeting, we’ll go over all the details of our program, do an extensive gear check, and set you up with demo equipment to climb Mount Baker, if needed.

The next morning, we’ll head up into the mountains.  From the Mt. Baker trailhead, we’ll make our camp on dry ground near the Hogsback Ridge, close to ideal glacier training terrain. Here we can spend quality time on skills and practice in the coming days.

We will focus on both movement and technical skills. You’ll develop a well-rounded skill set as you prepare for the summit.

On summit day, we’ll ascend the Coleman Glacier. We’ll pass large crevasses and move beneath the beautiful Black Buttes to finally arrive at the Coleman Deming Saddle.  From there, the final push takes us up the Pumice Ridge and then the Roman Wall to the summit. From the summit, stunning views reward our efforts.  After summiting, we’ll descend to our camp, pack up our gear, and return to the valley.

We end our program in the town of Glacier with a well-deserved dinner and closing ceremony.

Exertion Level Required to Climb Mount Baker:

You must be able to carry a 35-pound pack with your gear and food.

The hike into basecamp is about 3 miles with an elevation gain of 3000 feet. This approach hike takes about 5-6 hours. 80% of the hike is at a steady incline. And, then, the last 20% has steeper switchbacks. Finally, basecamp at 6000 feet.

Here is an in-depth look at the proposed schedule. Mount Baker Climbing Itinerary. Take a careful look over it because the last day we go from the summit all the way back down to your car.
Summit Day is long –  in tune with 15 hours of exertion in a single push.

 

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We currently have no dates scheduled for this program

 

Mount Baker Climbing Course INCLUDES:

  • 4 Days guided climbing/instruction
  • 3:1 Ratio participants to guides
  • 1 Night campground lodging in Glacier, WA
  • 3 Nights alpine camping in Mt. Baker / Snowqualmie National Forest
  • Meals (Breakfast and Dinners)
  • Demo gear
  • Sponsor gift bag

NOT INCLUDED:

  • Ground and air transportation
  • Trip insurance**
  • Lunch and snacks
  • Guide gratuity

PRICING:

$1,199.00 – 4 days climbing and instruction; 1 night camping


PROPOSED ITINERARY

The itinerary might change a bit depending on weather and conditions. For example, we may utilize a high camp before our summit bid. The guides will go over the schedule in detail at our opening meeting on Day 1.

 

Day 1: Thursday, August 1

3:00 pm   Meet at Douglas Fir Campground outside of Glacier, WA – Meet and greet with appetizers

3:30 pm Welcome meeting, trip briefing, gear check, check out demo equipment

6:00 pm   Dinner prepared by Chicks at the campground

7:00 pm   Pack gear and sleep in tents for the night

 

Day 2: Friday, August 2

7:00 am Breakfast prepared by Chicks at the campground

8:30 am Depart for the Heliotrope Ridge / Mt. Baker Trailhead.

9:00 am Hike to camp

2:30 pm  Arrive and establish camp at approximately 6,000 ft.
Skills: Leave No Trace

  • How to camp in the Alpine
  • Personal Care
  • Glaciology
  • Navigation

5:30 pm  Dinner prepared by the guides

 

Day 3: Saturday, August 3

7:00 am Breakfast prepared by the guides

8:30 am Depart camp for Snow Skills training including:

  • Climbing on snow
  • Crampon technique
  • Using a mountain axe
  • Self-arrest
  • Knots
  • Ropes and hardware
  • Belaying
  • Snow anchors
  • Descending on snow

4:30 pm   Return to camp

5:30 pm  Dinner prepared by the guides

 

Day 4: Sunday, August 4

7:00 am Breakfast prepared by the guides

8:30 am Depart camp for Glacier School and Skills training

  • Rope team travel
  • Glacier travel
  • Glacier tour
  • Crevasse rescue
  • Low angle ice technique

4:00 pm  Move up to and set up High Camp

5:30 pm  Dinner prepared by the guides at High Camp

 

Day 5: Sunday, August 5

1:00 am Wake Up Call / Breakfast

2:00 am   Alpine Start!  Depart camp for the summit

8:00 am Estimated summit time if conditions allow

11:30 am   Return to camp and pack up the gear, rest, hike down

4:30 pm   Return to the trailhead

5:00 pm Dinner and closing meeting in Glacier, WA

 


CANCELLATION & REFUND POLICY:

All requests for cancellations must be submitted in writing.  Chicks requires full payment at the time of booking for all programs, refunds will be issued according to the following schedule:

  • More than 60 days, full refund minus a 10% administration fee
  • 30-60 days, 50% refund
  • Less than 30 days, no refund no transfer of payments.

***Travel insurance is required for all International Trips and is strongly recommended for US programs as well. For all your travel insurance needs, please contact Erin Rountree at 208-788-2870.

Red River Gorge, KY | Rock Climbing: Sept 2020 TBA

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Join Chicks for our Red River Gorge women’s climbing weekend. The Red is home to world-class single pitch sport climbing on pocketed sandstone overhangs and face climbs. There’s a reason that people migrate to the Red from all over the world to climb its hallowed walls. There are literally dozens of sandstone cliffs hidden throughout the forest of central Kentucky in Daniel Boone National Forest.

The emphasis of the Red River Gorge women’s climbing weekend is learning and refining the climbing techniques needed to climb all angles of rock from technical slabs to overhanging pockets.  Our veteran team of female AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructors will provide a fun, safe and encouraging environment for you to hone your new cragging skills. There are miles of cliffs that provide plenty of terrain to work on your climbing technique and practice new skills such as learning how to lead sport climbs, clean sport anchors, and transition from the indoor climbing gym to outdoor climbing.

There are  4 different skill levels to choose from and we maintain a small 4:1 ratio so you will have lots of personalized instruction. Each level is comprehensive and aims to make you a more confident and self-reliant climber. You will be paired up with others of similar experience and shared goals, to make sure you are challenged at the appropriate level.


PRICING:

$799.00

INCLUDES:

  • 3 days of climbing instruction – SPORT CLIMBING FOCUS
  • 3 nights accommodations at Miguel’s Campground in one of their bedroom rentals. You will have a shared room with other Chicks participants and access to public restrooms, and campground community space.
  • 3 dinners and 4 breakfasts
  • 4 to 1 ratio
  • Demo gear from our sponsors
  • Sponsor gift bag

NOT INCLUDED:

  • Airfare and ground transportation
  • Lunches and snacks
  • Guide gratuity
  • Trip Insurance

PROPOSED ITINERARY:

DAY 1: 
5:00 pm: Check in at the meeting Miguel’s Pizza & Campground.
6:00 pm: Kick-off meeting/orientation meeting. Get settled in, get demo gear from our sponsors and you will enjoy a family-style dinner. You’ll have the chance to mingle with the other participants, get to know your guides and finalize details for climbing.

DAY 2: 
7:00 am: Breakfast
8:00 am: Depart for climbing. Bring your own lunch. You’ll carpool to the climbing area with the other members of your group. Drive time will vary on the climbing destination but ranges from 15-30 minutes.
4:00 pm: Climbing day ends. Return to basecamp and unwind.
6:30 pm: Dinner at basecamp.
7:30 pm: Hang out time.

DAY 3: 
7:00 am: Breakfast
8:00 am: Depart for climbing. Bring your own lunch. You’ll carpool to the climbing area with the other members of your group. Drive time will vary on the climbing destination but ranges from 15-30 minutes.
4:00 pm: Climbing day ends. Return to basecamp and unwind.
6:30 pm: Dinner at basecamp
7:30 pm: Hang out time

 DAY 4: 
7:00 am: Breakfast
8:00 am:
Pack up and check out
8:30 am: Depart for climbing. Bring your own lunch.
3:00 am: Climbing day ends
4:00 pm: Closing meeting
6:00 pm: Return home

CANCELLATION & REFUND POLICY:

All requests for cancellations must be submitted in writing.  Chicks requires full payment at the time of booking for all programs, refunds will be issued according to the following schedule:

  • More than 60 days, full refund minus a 10% administration fee
  • 30-60 days, 50% refund
  • Less than 30 days, no refund no transfer of payments.

*Travel insurance is required for all International Trips and is strongly recommended for US programs as well. In the event you have an unexpected life occurrence and need to cancel it will help you recover your payment. Chicks works with an agent who is familiar with our programs and travel insurance needs. Please contact Erin Rountree at 208-788-2870.