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Intermediate Backcountry Ski Tour – Breckenridge/Vail CO

Intermediate Backcountry Ski Tour – Breckenridge/Vail CO


Location - Breckenridge, Vail

January 27, 2023 - January 27, 2023 February 24, 2023 - February 24, 2023 March 17, 2023 - March 17, 2023


You’ve started touring in the backcountry, taken your Avalanche Level 1, Rescue Course , or been on a Beginner Backcountry Ski Tour before and you’re ready to expand your knowledge and experience.  Come ask questions, gain more experience, study the snowpack – 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. Learn new updates in avalanche safety curriculum, technology, and case studies. 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 as you are!

The course starts with an online evening session.  We’ll review the mountain weather forecast, snowpack, avalanche bulletin, and terrain choices. We’ll do a quick gear check, and plan our tour route based on the forecasts and our group.

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 Field Day
Activity Level: Moderate
Required Skill Level: Have used touring equipment in the backcountry and taken your Avalanche Level 1, Rescue Course, or been on a Beginner Backcountry Ski Tour before.

Course Dates:

Field Day Jan 27 with evening Online Session Jan 25

Field Day Feb 24 with evening Online Session Feb 22

Field Day Mar 17 with evening Online Session Mar 15

About Intermediate Backcountry Ski Tour


Online Evening Session

6:30pm - 8:00pm

One evening before your course (TBD), we’ll meet up online to review the recent history of the snowpack and the avalanche bulletin. During this session, we’ll practice tour planning with our AIARE Blue Books and topo maps. Our Backcountry Babes instructors have years of backcountry skiing experience, ranging from Professional Ski Patrollers, AIARE avalanche course instructors, cat ski guides, PSIA ski instructors, Wilderness First Responders, and are excellent mentors for refreshing and developing your backcountry skiing skills. Bring your ski partners to our Backcountry Babes course to hone your skills, and/or take your knowledge back to your ski partners to help them be up-to-date for the season.

All Day Field Day

8:30 - 4:00 pm

Intermediate Backcountry Ski Tour
We’ll meet at the trailhead and begin our tour at a comfortable pace, get pro tips and tricks for touring and learn more efficient skinning techniques. Your highly experienced instructors will explain their route-finding techniques, point out avalanche terrain, and discuss the snowpack. Come with questions and tap into your instructors wealth of knowledge, they are an amazing local resource! Learn strategies for finding the best snow, angles, and aspects as we enjoy the descent. We’ll aim to get as many laps as possible in after enjoying a BYO packed lunch. By the end of the day you will be ready for many more backcountry days and be a more knowledgeable, positive asset to your backcountry ski or ride group.

What to Expect

  • Welcoming, compassionate, and fun learning atmosphere.
  • Attentive instructors with years of experience who hold avalanche and Wilderness First Responder certifications.
  • Applicable, practical review of touring gear, decision making and avalanche terrain identification.
  • Mentorship from local backcountry ski professionals.
  • Increase confidence in your backcountry travel and decision making.
  • Community building with other woman who are excited about backcountry skiing and riding!

Gear Needed

  • Backcountry skis or splitboard
  • Ski poles
  • Backcountry Ski boots or snowboard boots
  • Climbing skins
  • Avalanche beacon and rescue gear (probe, shovel, pack)
  • Proper outerwear and warm layers for field time
  • Bring your AIARE Field Notebook (blue book) if you’d like more practice and guidance with this tool
  • If you want to demo any gear or rent, we recommend our friends at Mountain Outfitters in Breckenridge
  • Bring a packed lunch and snacks

Field Time

Classroom Time

Getting There

FLY: To Denver or Vail/Eagle airport in Colorado.

DRIVE: To our trailheads in the Breckenridge/ Vail area.  Our touring locations include Mt Baldy, Loveland Pass, Hoosier Pass, Vail Pass, Meadow Mountain or another of our USFS permitted locations. If you are looking to book lodging, Dillon, Frisco, and Breck are all fairly central to the majority of our touring locations.  Exact touring location is weather and condition dependent. You will receive specific touring location information during our online evening session.

Backcountry Babes is an equal opportunity service provider and employer. Backcountry Babes operates under special use permit from the USDA Forest Service, White River National Forest Ranger District and Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District.


Built upon Avy 1 knowledge in a constructive way. Enabled us to use better decision making and group management skill in the back-country.

Catt S., Denver COIntermediate Backcountry Ski Tour

It was a great “introduction” to understanding avalanche terrain, rescue and gave me the knowledge to make safe decisions, while recognizing I for sure want to practice regularly, have a solid team I trust and learn more!

Kia N., Breckenridge, COAIARE Avalanche 1 Course

I learned so much! From equipment management to touring techniques, and especially basic avalanche information. I really like the planning aspects, and understanding your group dynamics.

Melanie C., Longmont, COIntro to Backcountry Skiing

The venue of an all female instruction and clientele was integral to my being comfortable at a level that allowed me to participate fully, which left me feeling exuberant and confident. I don’t think it is easy to impart both a sense of confident determination and wary consideration, yet that’s what I came away with from your course. Thank you for your vision and follow through. I believe you have a terrific product. I’ll certainly be recommending Backcountry Babes to any who’ll listen.

ClaudinBackcountry Basics 101

Everyone in the clinic was just raving about their experience and that it was the best intro avalanche course they had ever taken. I would agree!

Kolleen D.Backcountry Basics 101

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