Wasatch Backcountry Skiing

Fully Customized Skiing in the Wasatch Mountains in Utah

Utah’s utterly breathtaking Wasatch Mountains are renowned among skiers worldwide for their consistent, deep, and light snow, backcountry adventure opportunities, hugely varied terrain, and all-season-long snowfall.

At BBE, we can’t WAIT for winter. That’s why we run ski-touring days as well as longer ski trips all season. Our ski trips are led by Willie Benegas on the dates of YOUR choice, and immerse you in truly out-of-this-world backcountry skiing opportunities. Trips are set in the Cottonwood Canyons, giving us access to some of the best touring on the whole planet. These canyons are famous for the “Greatest Snow on Earth”, and lie just a short drive from Salt Lake City. Use the tabs above to read over the details about our tours for all levels of skier.

About Your Guide

Willie not only boasts significant expedition experience on Himalayan Peaks, seventeen Everest summits, first ascents around the world, as well as Denali, Aconcagua, and Antarctica, but he simply adores to ski! His enthusiasm is contagious. Guiding or not, the extraordinarily, light “champagne powder” that blankets the Wasatch each winter keeps him out in the mountains exploring the region every single day. Book a day’s touring from introductory to advanced level to enjoy untracked powder, exquisite solitude, great exercise, and some of the country’s most spectacular scenery. Rest assured, Willie will share his intimate knowledge of the Wasatch Range and its snowpack with you.

Willie has full IFMGA certification, and whilst planning each day around daily weather patterns and snow conditions, he also works hard to choose the perfect backcountry tour specifically for YOU! Tours range from lower angle tree skiing on low-visibility days, to high summits, couloirs, and high mountain traverses (and just about everything in-between!).

Whether this is your first time in the Wasatch Range, or you’re a veteran of the area, rest assured that tons of secrets await! Get a group together now to join Willie for a private day, and take in some of the most truly beautiful backcountry touring terrain in the US.


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 ski tour the Utah backcountry unguided
  • Hope to run your own ski mountaineering expedition
  • Have some off piste experience, but yearn to dig into backcountry powder skiing, with greater confidence in route finding and deep turns during longer descents
  • Want to plan extended-length trips in winter conditions, or
  • Have an avvy cert and great skiing ability, but want gain the skills to rappel into something more serious

Come join our customized ski seminars that 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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Grow your backcountry touring skills in one of the most stunning parts of the planet! Let BBE introduce you to just some of the places which have made backcountry skiing in Utah world-famous!

Our fully-customized ski trips are breathtaking, inspiring, and leave you with new skills and outstanding know how. BBE offers privately guided trips through the backcountry for skiers of TRULY all levels and interests. As local residents, we know all the ins and outs of a huge area, like the back of our hands. Whether you prefer gentle tree runs or steep couloirs, there is ideal terrain for everyone. We even have the option for guided “slackcountry skiing,” which means taking a lift up and skiing out-of-bounds on the way down. 

Specific tours vary per conditions and clients’ focuses, but we always aim to go to where the best snow can be found. On many of these tours, we begin in Little Cottonwood Canyon, ski down into Big Cottonwood, and eventually work our way back up and over into Little Cottonwood again. You’ll get into some fantastic, challenging terrain – so you can continue to grow your skills in one of the most stunning parts of the planet.

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

 

BBE's more advanced tours focus on covering a wide variety of terrain and aspects with the best snow. These days are for those interested and capable of bigger objectives of a longer duration, with more hazard considerations. Because this type of 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.

A day will include time for lunch, plus 5,000 to 8,000 feet of climbing and skiing over roughly eight hours.

These fully-customized ski trips are breathtaking, inspiring, and leave you with new skills and outstanding know how. This might 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 yearn to dig into backcountry powder skiing, with greater confidence in route finding and deep turns during longer steeper descents
  • Have an avvy cert and great skiing ability, but want gain the skills to rappel into something more serious
  • Want to gain the skills to ski tour 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 ski planning, 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

 

Make lap after lap to your heart's content... Some of the best skiing in the Wasatch lies just outside resort boundaries ... join BBE's local experts to find out where!

Lifts provide us with speedy access to high mountain terrain, and allow us to reach the Wasatch’ uppermost elevations, and stack up vertical with considerably less hiking or skinning.

We may make a ‘one-up’ to gain altitude on our way to more remote peaks, or return to the lifts multiple times, combining lifts with short hikes and traverses in order to enjoy untracked powder adjacent to the resorts. 

 

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 Mountain backcountry before, our introductory classics are the gateway for a new world of adventure!

This introductory tour 1-day includes all the necessary instruction and tips on technique and fine-tuning as needed. The skiing features gentle rolling terrain suitable for people of all abilities, and with any luck, some of Utah’s famous powder. The runs on this exciting day will vary from lower angle tree skiing on low-visibility days, to easy 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 Canyons. 

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

 

Learn and practise essential avalanche skills, beacon rescue, safe route selection, efficient skinning, downhill technique on skis and splitboards....

During two days of ski touring or splitboarding, learn and practise essential avalanche skills, beacon rescue, safe route selection, efficient skinning, downhill technique on skis and splitboards, while enjoying our legendary Wasatch terrain. 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 trip.

Escape the lift lines and discover the majesty of Utah’s Wasatch Mountains from the backcountry. Explore the stunning Wasatch range on skis during this privately guided course with Wasatch Mountain Guides!

 

You’ll love this course if you:

  • Want to learn to ski tour and get away from the resort crowds
  • Have some off piste experience, but yearn to dig into backcountry powder skiing

 

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 within the mountains. If you spend enough time in the backcountry, you will eventually encounter an avalanche. When that occurs, proper avalanche response training is critical to safety.

Don’t Be Unprepared! 

 

Benegas Brothers Expeditions is 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 expert instructors from BBE.  

 

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

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.