Wasatch Backcountry Skiing

Fully Customized Skiing in the Wasatch Mountains in Utah

UTAH’S WASATCH MOUNTAINS ARE RENOWNED FOR THEIR CONSISTENT, DEEP, AND LIGHT SNOW. GET AWAY FROM THE CROWDS AND JOIN US FOR A DAY OF BACKCOUNTRY SKIING, OR INCREASE YOUR AVALANCHE EDUCATION BY HIRING ONE OF OUR BACKCOUNTRY SKI GUIDES.

The Wasatch Mountains outside of Salt Lake City provide unparalleled access and consistent snow. The conditions of the range are almost goldilocks in terms of their practically perfect attributes. The varied  terrain, 500 inches of annual snowfall, moderate climate, and ideally situated slopes for powder skiing are why all of our ski guides and avalanche education instructors can be found backcountry skiing every day throughout the winter.

Our backcountry skiing trips are led by a collective of ski guides, avalanche educators, professional athletes and local legends. They have been hand picked for their expertise in finding the best snow and have a high attention to detail and safety. They live and breathe skiing day in and day out.

Guided backcountry skiing within the Wasatch Mountains of Utah can be tailored to someone new who’s entering the backcountry for the first time, or those with experience looking to achieve bigger objectives. Trips are typically based out of Big or  Little Cottonwood Canyons as well as periphery locations within the Wasatch Range. All of which deliver incredible access to the “Greatest Snow on Earth.” 

Come backcountry ski unforgettable snow in the Wasatch Mountains for a guided experience like no other!

Fully-Customized Wasatch Backcountry Ski Trips: Designed to Help You Meet Your Goals

These fully-customized ski trips are breathtaking, inspiring, and leave you with new skills and outstanding know how. You’ll love these trips if you:

  • Want to gain the skills to backcountry ski tourunguided following a few years of guided mountain travel and avalanche education
  • Hope to run your own ski mountaineering expedition
  • Have some off piste experience, but yearn to dig into backcountry powder skiing, and gain greater confidence in route finding and finding deep turns during longer descents
  • Want to plan extended-length trips in winter conditions, or
  • Have an avalanche certification and great skiing ability, but want to gain the skills to rappel into something more serious

Come join our customized ski seminars that take place right here in the Wasatch Mountains. We offer fully-customized trips that help you meet YOUR goals. This way, you can improve as an independent randonee or extreme skier.

During your focused trip, you will hone in on all the skills you are either missing, or need to fine tune in order to enjoy the winter mountains independently. Our aim is to get you out in the mountains unguided in the future, by gaining backcountry ski planning, weather skills, avalanche concerns and routes, plan B’s, safety plans, camp locations, group dynamics, and plenty more!

 

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  • Cost

    From $225 / day

  • Location

    Wasatch Range, Utah

  • Client/Guide

    4:1 max

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Our team of backcountry ski guides offers privately guided ski trips that can be fully customized, and are attainable  for skiers of all levels and interests. 

As skiers who backcountry ski throughout the Wasatch on a regular basis, we know the intricacies of this unique range like no other. Whether you prefer gentle tree runs or steep couloirs, there is ideal terrain for everyone. We even have the option for guided backcountry skiing via the backcountry gates at one of the many world class ski resorts - which means taking a lift up and skiing out-of-bounds for the descent.

Specific backcountry tours vary per conditions and clients’ focuses, but we always aim to go to where the best snow can be found. When conditions are appropriate, we may begin the day in Little Cottonwood Canyon yet finish in Big Cottonwood Canyon--all while skiing untouched powder and using our skis as modes of transportation. On a backcountry ski guided tour you’ll get into some fantastic and challenging terrain – so you can continue to grow your skills in this iconic location.

Each day involves approximately 3,000 to 5,000 feet of climbing and skiing over the course of roughly seven hours.

 

 

Trip Details:

Difficulty: Whilst no backcountry experience is strictly necessary, you will enjoy this type of tour with a little touring experience under your belt, knowledge of the equipment being key as well as fitness level; intermediate to advanced downhill ski ability and good fitness required

Meeting Time: Generally 8am 

Meeting Location: Big or Little Cottonwood Park and Ride Lot, Alta or Brighton, depending on objective


What We Provide:

  • IFMGA ski and mountaineering guides
  • Avalanche beacon, shovel, probe and pack (if needed)


What You Need:

  • Alpine touring, telemark ski or split-snowboard equipment
  • Lunch, water and snacks
  • Review the equipment list
  • Lift Accessed Tours: cost of "single-ride lift ticket" is additional

 

Client/Guide:

4:1 (max)

 

Duration and dates:

  • 1 day, December to May
  • These are private guided days, so simply contact us to select your date(s)

 

Rates according to client to guide ratio:

  • Price for 1: $450
  • Price for 2: $300 each
  • Price for 3: $250 each
  • Price for 4: $225 each

 

Gear List:

Download

 

Our  advanced backcountry ski tours focus on covering a wide variety of terrain and aspects. These days are for those interested and capable of bigger objectives, with more hazard considerations. Because this type of tour requires solid physical stamina and good skinning and skiing technique in avalanche terrain, clients must be approved beforehand either through someone we know, or prior outing(s) with one of our guides. 

A typical Advanced Ski Tour or Mountaineering day consists of 5,000 to 8,000 feet of climbing and skiing over roughly eight hours with time for lunch and snacks.

These fully-customized ski trips are not only spectacular, but also provide skiers a learning opportunity to grow their backcountry ski skills. 

This might be your choice for an objective such as the South Face of Superior, Pfifferhorn or any big committing ideas. You'll love these trips if you:

  • Have some off-piste experience, but are eager to commit more time to backcountry skiing with greater confidence on bigger terrain.
  • Have some avalanche education  and great skiing ability, but want gain the skills to rappel into something more serious
  • Want to gain the skills to backcountry ski the Utah backcountry unguided
  • Want to hone in on all the skills you are either missing, or need to fine tune in order to enjoy the winter mountains independently
  • Hope to run your own ski mountaineering expedition
  • Want to plan extended-length trips in winter conditions

Our aim is to get you out in the mountains unguided in the future, by gaining backcountry skiing experience, weather skills, avalanche concerns and routes, plan Bs, safety plans, camp locations, group dynamics, and plenty more!

 

 

Trip Details:

Difficulty: Because this tour requires solid physical stamina and good skinning technique, clients must be approved beforehand either through someone we know, or prior outing(s) with BBE

Meeting Time: Generally 7am 

Meeting Location: Big or Little Cottonwood Park and Ride Lot, Alta or Brighton, depending on objective


What We Provide:

  • IFMGA ski and mountaineering guides
  • Avalanche beacon, shovel, probe and pack (if needed)


What You Need:

  • Alpine touring, telemark ski or split-snowboard equipment
  • Lunch, water and snacks
  • Review the advanced equipment list
  • Lift Accessed Tours: cost of "single-ride lift ticket" is additional

 

Client/Guide:

2:1 (max)

 

Duration and dates:

  • 1 day, December to May
  • These are private guided days, so simply contact us to select your date(s)

 

Rates according to client to guide ratio:

  • Price for 1: $500
  • Price for 2: $330 each

 

Gear List:

Download

 

If the idea of starting the day at a trailhead and utilizing your Alpine Touring gear for the first time in the backcountry is a bit daunting, then leaving the backcountry gates via one of the nearby ski areas is likely for you.

The ski resort’s lifts provide us with speedy access to high mountain terrain, and allow us to reach the Wasatch’s uppermost elevations while stacking up vertical with considerably less hiking or skinning.

Some of the best skiing in the Wasatch lies just outside the resort boundaries. Join one of our backcountry ski guide experts to find out where!

 

Trip Details:

Difficulty: no backcountry experience is necessary; intermediate to advanced downhill ski ability and good fitness required

Meeting Time: Generally 8am 

Meeting Location: Big or Little Cottonwood Park and Ride Lot, Alta or Brighton, depending on objective


What We Provide:

  • IFMGA ski and mountaineering guides
  • Avalanche beacon, shovel, probe and pack (if needed)


What You Need:

  • Alpine touring, telemark ski or split-snowboard equipment
  • Lunch, water and snacks
  • Review the equipment list
  • Full day Lift ticket or "single-ride lift ticket" 

 

Client/Guide:

4:1 (max)

 

Duration and dates:

  • 1 day, December to May
  • These are private guided days, so simply contact us to select your date(s)

 

Rates according to client to guide ratio:

  • Price for 1: $450
  • Price for 2: $300 each
  • Price for 3: $250 each
  • Price for 4: $225 each
  • Add extra cost for lift ticket(s)

 

Gear List:

Download

If you’ve never explored the Wasatch backcountry before, our introductory classs is  the gateway for a new world of adventure!

This introductory tour is part avalanche education and part private guiding, and includes covers all the necessary instruction, technique, and fine-tuning as needed. The skiing features gentle rolling terrain suitable for all abilities, and with any luck, some of Utah’s famous powder. 

The backcountry ski runs will vary from lower angle tree skiing on low-visibility days, to easy to reach summits. You will get our top pick of panoramic views and fabulous descents – but with the very shortest approach. 

These ski trips are suitable for those who have never toured before, and depending on conditions, take place in either Little or Big Cottonwood Canyon. 

An average day will include time for lunch, and approximately 1,500 – 2,500 feet of climbing over the course of six hours.

 

 

Trip Details:

Difficulty: No backcountry experience necessary; intermediate to advanced downhill ski ability and good fitness required

Meeting Time: Generally 8am

Meeting Location: Big or Little Cottonwood Park and Ride Lot, Alta or Brighton, depending on objective


What We Provide:

  • IFMGA ski and mountaineering guides
  • Avalanche beacon, shovel, probe and pack (if needed)


What You Need:

  • Alpine touring, telemark ski or split-snowboard equipment
  • Lunch, water and snacks
  • Review the equipment list
  • Lift Accessed Tours: cost of "single-ride lift ticket" is additional

 

Client/Guide:

4:1 (max)

 

Duration and dates:

  • 1 day, December to May
  • These are Private Courses, so simply contact us to select your date(s)

 

Rates according to Student to Instructor ratio:

  • Price for 1: $450
  • Price for 2: $300 each
  • Price for 3: $250 each
  • Price for 4: $225 each

 

Gear List:

Download

 

During this two day course guests willgain avalanche education and practice  essential skills, such as companion rescue with an avalanche transceiver,safe route selection, efficient skinning, downhill technique on skis or  splitboards, while enjoying the legendary Wasatch terrain. 

The course is designed for those who'd like to learn the basics of backcountry travel. If you are fit and have good aerobic endurance, you will do well on this two-day course.

 

You’ll love this course if you:

  • Want to learn to travel in the backcountry and sget away from the resort crowds

  • Have some off piste experience, but yearn to dig into backcountry powder skiing and safe mountain travel

 

Course Details:

Difficulty: No backcountry experience necessary; intermediate to advanced downhill ski ability and good fitness required

Meeting Time: Generally 8am 

Meeting Location: Big or Little Cottonwood Park and Ride Lot, Alta or Brighton, depending on objective


What We Provide:

  • IFMGA ski and mountaineering guides
  • Avalanche beacon, shovel, probe and pack (if needed)


What You Need:

  • Alpine touring, telemark ski or split-snowboard equipment
  • Lunch, water and snacks for 3 days
  • Review the equipment list
  • Book a hotel for the durantion of the course 

 

Curriculum - THE BBE "ESSENTIALS" COURSE 

  • Getting to know our equipment
  • Objectives for safe travel in avalanche terrain (terrain, terrain, terrain!)
  • Current hazards (weather and avalanche forecast)
  • Group capabilities and limitations
  • Group travel procedures
  • Beacon rescue
  • Maximizing our efficiency on skins
  • Kick turning skills and tricks
  • Safety concerns whilst ascending a line
  • Safety concerns whilst skiing/boarding a line
  • Introduction to snow stability assessment techniques
  • Picking suitable unguided tours 
  • Progression of tours to enable goals to be achieved.

 

Client/Guide:

4:1 (max)

 

Duration and dates:

  • 2 days, December to May
  • These are Private Courses, so simply contact us to select your date(s)

 

Rates according to Student to Instructor ratio:

  • Price for 1: $825
  • Price for 2: $550 each
  • Price for 3: $450 each
  • Price for 4: $400 each

 

Gear List:

Download

 

The mountains are a paradise for many of us. That said, the alpine environment isn’t without hazards. Avalanches, in particular, are a deadly and treacherous force we all must reckon with when in the mountains. If you spend enough time in the backcountry, you will eventually see an avalanche. Avalanches happen naturally and have for centuries, however the problems arise when humans enter avalanche terrain when conditions are not appropriate. Having the proper training is critical to safety. 

For 2021 we are stoked to announce our new Level 1 Hybrid Avalanche Course, which we created working together with the American Avalanche Institute. This comprehensive course offers both online learning and two hands-on field days, led by our expert instructors.

 

What's Included:

  •         Self-Paced Online Learning Course
  •         Live Virtual Seminar with Expert BBE Instructors
  •         Two In-Depth Field Days in the Backcountry 

 

The Online Course:

Once you have paid and registered, you’ll receive access to an expansive online course containing:

  •         Instructional Videos
  •         Extensive Workbook with Note Outlines
  •         In-Depth Online Study Guide
  •         Comprehensive Quizzes

This digital course was developed by the American Avalanche Institute and is framed around the Backcountry Avalanche Checklist. This Checklist is a systemic and proven approach to comprehensive decision-making in the complex backcountry environment.

The course material can be completed at your leisure but must be completed before your field days. The BBE team will be available to respond to questions via email at all times. Participants can go back and review course material even after the completion of the course, for the duration of the 2021 winter season.

As mentioned, we’ll also sign you up for two field days in the backcountry. We’re offering private group custom dates (we must confirm availability or your selected dates). The evening before your first field day, we’ll meet with you via video conference to answer any questions you have and make sure you’re packed and ready. 

 

The Field Days:

Our field days will be two consecutive 8-hour days based in Big or Little Cottonwood Canyon. We’ll cover an exhaustive set of avalanche preparedness skills, including:

  •         Terrain Assessment 
  •         Safe Travel 
  •         Snowpack and Weather 
  •         Tour Planning 
  •         Field Ops
  •         Stability Test Use and Interpretation
  •         Rescue (beacon search, probing techniques, strategic shoveling, and more)
     

Dates:

These are Private Courses so simply contact us to schedule

 

Cost depending on Student to Instructor Ratio:

  •         1:1 $1025
  •         2:1 $730 per person
  •         3:1 $620 per person
  •         4:1 $540 per person

 

Gear List:

Download

You can be an expert skier, yet the moment you enter the backcountry for the first time you’re instantly a beginner again.

Backcountry skiing is a process that takes both dedication and hard work. The myriad of avalanche conditions, hazards, changes in weather, to being able to truly ski in all conditions takes decades of perfection. However, the backcountry has become a trendy segment of the sport. This has led to a new genre of ski guiding, mentorship programs.

This new mentorship program utilizes our team of backcountry ski guides and will allow for a natural progression, as guests gain and learn new skills to be more proficient backcountry skiers. Having a guide/mentor to learn from all ski season is invaluable. Every snow science and guide professional has had some form of mentor during their career, it’s one of the best ways to learn.

Focused topics will include avalanche companion rescue, matching the avalanche forecast and hazards for the day to specific ski tours, learning how to identify changing condition and avalanche red flags while in the field, utilizing maps and gps phone apps to recon and ski new zones, and developing efficient skinning and downhill techniques to ski any condition.

Think of our Backcountry Skiing Mentorship Program as driver-ed when you were a teenager, only this time around you’ll be traveling through the mountains skiing deep powder and not driving around a beat-up sedan. 

Sign up now for this winter and become the backcountry partner you seek.

Skiing in the Wasatch books through our subsiary permittted company Wasatch Mountain Guides. 

Booking

Once you have chosen a trip and date, click on BOOK YOUR NEXT TRIP at the top of the page and drop us a line to confirm availability! We simply require a 20% down payment per person to confirm your spot, please use our PAYPAL ME, and for you to complete our Trip Registration Form

 

Payments & Cancellations

We requires a 20% down payment to secure your reservation. Changes/cancellations can be made by phone or email up to 5 business days before the trip but must be acknowledged by the BBE office, by email. Final payment in full is due before trip departure.

If you cancel 5 (or less) business days before your trip’s start date, a credit will be issued for the amount of your deposit, but no refund of your deposit is available. Credits must be used within 18 months days from the original start date.

No date changes can be made within 5 business days of the start of the trip or course.

We reserve the right to cancel a trip due to lack of sign-ups, or other factors beyond our control. In this case, you will have the option of receiving a full refund or credit or rescheduling for a later date. BBE is not responsible for additional expenses incurred, including non-refundable airline tickets, equipment, lodging, and other travel-related expenses.

Changes to a trip itinerary made by our guides for any reason do not constitute a cancellation, and no refunds will be made in this case.

 

Safety and Participant Responsibility

Participants have responsibilities to themselves, BBE and to each other. They must choose the trip that is appropriate for their interests and skill level. Good physical condition is important on all BBE and is a prerequisite for participation. Proper trip preparation includes, but is not limited to, acquisition of the proper equipment, understanding the trip's itinerary, and familiarity with proper wilderness etiquette.

The activities you engage in during your program may require a degree of skill and knowledge different than other activities that you have participated in and you have a responsibility as a participant to be in optimal physical condition and health. You are voluntarily participating in these activities with knowledge of the potential dangers involved, as well as the knowledge that some dangers are unforeseeable and uncontrollable, and the knowledge that these dangers exist no matter your physical and mental preparedness.

You must follow all instructions given by BBE and your guide without question, even if you do not agree with those instructions. On a trek or expedition, our guides reserve the right to remove any person from a trip for any reason. These reasons include jeopardizing the safety of yourself or another team member or physical inability to climb at the level necessary for the chosen route. If your guide removes you from a program, you will not receive any refund and you will be responsible for any additional costs incurred in leaving the trip.

 

Insurance

We recommend that all participants carry rescue insurance. 

Trips

Hybrid Avalanche Course (AAI Level I)
From $540 per person
Online course, 1 evening online, 2 days in the field

Hybrid Avalanche Course (AAI Level I)

Hybrid Self-Paced Online Learning Course + Backcountry Field Days

Hire a Guide: Ski & Split Touring
From $225 per day
1 day

Hire a Guide: Ski & Split Touring

Intermediates: grow your skills in one of the most stunning parts of the planet

Introduction to Backcountry Skiing Course
From $225 per day
1 day course

Introduction to Backcountry Skiing Course

Ski trips suitable for those who have never toured before

Lift Accessed Skiing
From $225 per day
1 day

Lift Accessed Skiing

Make lap after lap to your heart's content...

Backcountry Essentials Course
From $400 for two days
2 days

Backcountry Essentials Course

Learn and practise essential avalanche skills, route selection, and efficient technique

Advanced Tours & Ski Mountaineering
From $330 per day
1 day

Advanced Tours & Ski Mountaineering

Breathtaking, inspiring, fully-customized ski trips

Our stunning Wasatch Range adventures our permited via our partner WASATCH MOUNTAIN GUIDES LLC.