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Avy Awareness and Intermediate Backcountry Ski & Splitboard Tour – Truckee CA

Avy Awareness and Intermediate Backcountry Ski & Splitboard Tour – Truckee CA


Location - California, Truckee

March 16, 2024 - March 16, 2024


You’ve started touring in the backcountry, taken your Avalanche Level 1Rescue Course , or been on a Beginner Backcountry Ski Tour with us before and you’re ready to expand your knowledge and experience.  Come ask questions and gain more experience – all with a professional guide! This intermediate backcountry ski tour is designed to refresh your skills, and practice effective techniques with experienced backcountry ski mentors. Plus learn new updates in avalanche safety curriculum and technology. Leave this course feeling refreshed, prepared for the backcountry ski season, and gain confidence in your backcountry skiing decision making all while connecting with a group of women who are as keen on backcountry skiing and riding as you are!

The course starts with a review of major avalanche components for assessing stability, snowpack, weather, and terrain choices. We’ll do a quick gear check, and plan our tour based on the forecast.

We’ll be out touring and skiing in the backcountry all day! We’ll make avalanche hazard observations, travel on terrain suitable to the conditions and the group, review field stability tests and companion rescue techniques, and work on good communication strategies in the field. Bring your updated knowledge back to your ski partners, and be an awesome asset to your backcountry ski group this winter!

Duration: 1 Online Evening Session, 1 Full Tour Day
Activity Level: Moderate
Required Skill Level:

You must have used your touring equipment in the backcountry before and have taken your AIARE Level 1, AIARE Rescue Course, or been on a Beginner Backcountry Ski Tour before.  You must be comfortable descending ungroomed black terrain at the resort. Your skiing doesn’t have to look pretty or be fast, but we do need everyone to be comfortable skiing and riding in control and avoiding obstacles on the descent. You must also be able to hike several miles and spend time comfortably outside in inclement winter weather.

Not sure about your downhill ability? We recommend practicing at the resort to boost your downhill skills. Taking a lesson with a PSIA instructor is one of the best ways to quickly improve your downhill technique.

Course Dates:

March 13 online session (optional) and March 16th Field Day

About the Avy Awareness and Intermediate Backcountry Ski & Splitboard Tour


Evening Online Classroom Session

5:00pm - 7:00pm

We’ll meet for an online learning session with your instructor. Discuss the tour plan and the avalanche bulletin, access local resources, review what to wear/pack, and prepare for our all day field day!

All Day Field Day

8:00am - 3:00pm

Beginner Backcountry Ski Tour

At the trailhead, learn how to use your backcountry ski bindings and skins. We’ll get hands-on practice with our beacons, shovels, and probes. Ski together at a casual, comfortable pace. Get tips and tricks for ski touring and learn efficient skinning techniques. Your instructors will explain their route-finding techniques, point out avalanche terrain, and discuss the snowpack. You will learn how to find the best snow, angles, and aspects and enjoy some well-deserved downhill. By the end of the day you will be ready to take your AIARE level 1 course and hit the backcountry as often as you can.

What to Expect

  • Learn to use your backcountry gear effectively
  • Introduction to avalanche safety
  • Comfortable and fun learning atmosphere
  • Attentive, experienced, & professionally-certified instructors
  • Engaging online classroom and field session
  • Appropriate and applicable avalanche safety knowledge
  • Edifying practical experience to build confidence
  • Joyful self-empowerment regarding safe backcountry travel & decision-making
  • A great preparatory course for your AIARE Level 1
  • We’ll be skiing downhill on ungroomed snow. Must be comfortable avoiding unmarked obstacles and skiing in control on uneven snow.  Your skiing doesn’t need to look good, but we do want you to have downhill skiing skills and survival ski skills (side slipping, wedging, traversing, etc.)

Gear Needed

  • Backcountry skis or splitboard
  • Ski poles
  • Ski or snowboard boots
  • Climbing skins
  • Avalanche beacon, avalanche probe, avalanche shovel in good working order
  • Backpack/daypack
  • Outerwear and warm layers (hand warmers can be nice)
  • Appropriate food & drink for the day

This beginner backcountry ski tour is a great time to try out new backcountry gear or demo/rent new equipment. Backcountry Babes offers a beacon, shovel, probe and backpack package for rent on a first-come, first-serve basis which you can reserve at checkout. For your convenience, your instructors will bring it to the field day for you. For additional gear rentals, We recommend Alpenglow in Tahoe City, Tahoe Mountain Sports or The Backcountry in Truckee.

Field Time

Classroom Time

Getting There

FLY: To Reno-Tahoe airport and take a shuttle or car to Truckee, CA.

DRIVE: To trailheads in the Truckee, CA area. Field sessions typically take place in our USFS permitted zones on Donner Summit, Castle Peak or Pole Creek. Exact touring location is weather and condition dependent. You will receive specific touring location information during our online evening sessions.

Backcountry Babes is an equal opportunity service provider and employer. Backcountry Babes operates under special use permit from the USDA Forest Service, Truckee Ranger District.


It was beneficial in so many ways, just getting more time on the mountain uphill with new gear, and being able to ask lots of obvious and non obvious questions in a really educational and fun environment. Abby also offered a lot of content I wouldn’t have thought to ask, and it was all super fun and non competitive. Great prep for my Avi 1 the following weekend, I learned a lot and had a great time. The layering and packing education was key, as well as getting a start on understanding planning and research so I can start to get out on my own.

Julianne G.Intro to Backcountry Skiing

Built confidence, started friendships, and provided a good level of intro knowledge

Sachi K.Intro to Backcountry Skiing

I appreciated the balance of classroom education and field application. All of the instructors were AWESOME. Approachable, allowing for all of us to ask any question.

Trent KDenver, CO

This course was beneficial in so many ways – We lived backcountry touring for a couple of days and got to go through the motions of trip planning, avalanche observations, and terrain management. I have a great framework moving forward. Our instructors Kirsten, Casey, and Janine did a great job working together. I really liked hearing different perspectives, experiences and styles.

Nathan LLittleton, CO

There is an incredibly positive and high energy stoke level of the female-empowered AND co-ed classroom environment. It is cool to hear our students discuss the value of the learning environment–enjoying growth through our women’s empowerment focus and recognizing the reality that future teamwork will consist of co-ed teams in the backcountry.

Anne St. ClairLead Instructor

This co-ed setup is so cool, as it allows couples to take an AIARE class together in a stigma-free environment where both partners can feel empowered instead of the “token” female among males or vice versa taking an avalanche course. It really flows well with what AIARE tries to accomplish and I think everyone in the group really enjoyed this format and how well the group dynamics worked.

Mike BortnowskiAIARE Avalanche Level 1 Instructor

It was a terrific introduction to backcountry ski touring – I’d never even tried using the setup before, and this course gave me exactly what I was looking for in terms of introducing me to the fundamentals.

Erica P.Intro to Backcountry Skiing