Intro to Backcountry Skills – 2021 Dates TBD

silverton avalanche school

Join Chicks and the Silverton Avalanche School for our 1-day intro to backcountry skiing skills clinic focused on learning the ups and downs of backcountry skiing and splitboarding.  This day out is designed for both newcomers to the backcountry and seasoned skiers and riders looking for a tune-up on technique to make backcountry travel more efficient and enjoyable.

We’ll focus more on the technical aspects of backcountry touring but also delve into terrain assessment and avalanche awareness. We’ll meet you where you’re at with your current skill level but cover the basics of how to use avalanche rescue equipment, how to perform transceiver checks at the trailhead, how to recognize avalanche terrain and how to travel conservatively with a group through avalanche terrain.

Red Mountain Pass provides an outstanding classroom for us to spend a full day out in the field in moderate terrain. Starting at 11,300 feet we step onto our boards close to the tree line with both fair and foul weather options to choose from throughout the day. With some of the most stunning scenery and largest avalanche paths visible anywhere this venue is a goldmine of a classroom for beginners and seasoned veterans alike.

Our uphill focus will be on setting a good skin track, establishing a sustainable all-day pace, methods for efficient skinning and the subtleties of different kick turn techniques.  We’ll seek out fresh tracks for the down but teach you how to ski typical backcountry crud that is variable and challenging. Armed with these skills you’ll have more confidence and be less prone to injury.

Our Chicks Guide will share their decision-making process with you from the day’s start to finish, giving you insight into how to find “the goods”, how to stay comfortable in the backcountry, how to manage clothing and equipment in adverse conditions and tips for keeping your energy up and calories in.  They’ll be your coach, instructor and champion to get you out in front, making fresh tracks up and down. And true to all Chicks programs the fun factor and supportive nature of our trips puts everyone at ease and ensures a good time.

We meet at 7:00 a.m. in Ouray at the Guide Garage for coffee, get our equipment sized up and sorted out before our van shuttle picks us up for the stunning drive up Hwy 550 to Red Mountain Pass.  We’ll end the day with a van shuttle back down to the Guide Garage where we’ll celebrate and high five over Happy Hour hors-d’oeuvres and a beverage.

Who would benefit from taking this Program?

  • Anyone with no previous backcountry AT or Splitboarding experience
  • Or Any backcountry skiers and riders with a few days under their belts and have interest in learning best practices.

Prerequisite Experience:

  • A level of fitness and ability to move uphill at altitude with a moderate pace
  • You should be an Intermediate to Expert Alpine Skier/Rider with the ability to skiing “blue” runs at on-piste
  • Avalanche training/certification is NOT required for this program

PRICE: $200 per person with a minimum of four


  • 1-day of guided instruction by a Chicks Guide
  • Avalanche Rescue Equipment including Transceiver, Shovel, and Probe
  • Transportation from Ouray to Red Mountain Pass
  • 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.


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.



What to Bring

Travel Logistics


  • 7:00 am: Meet at the Ouray Chalet, CO. Coffee, Intros, Welcome Bags, and Equipment Check, Know Before You Go video
  • 8:00 am: Van shuttle to Red Mountain Pass, All-day Ski Tour
  • 4:00 pm: Van shuttle to Ouray Chalet in Ouray, CO, Happy Hour and Appetizers


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 into Silverton are closed.