Advanced Backcountry - Steeps & Peaks

Advanced Backcountry - Steeps & Peaks

Cost: $350/person - $315/person Midweek

Length: 2 Days

Ratio: Max Instructor/Guide to Guest Ratio 1:6

Instructor: ACMG Ski Guide

Locations: Whistler Blackcomb

Value: Both days in the backcountry

One of the most rewarding backcountry experiences is to ski off a mountain summit!‍

The course teaches you how to get rad in the mountains. Summiting peaks and skiing steep aesthetic lines are typically done in the spring when the days are long, and the snowpack is stable, although in truth “condition windows” present themselves throughout the season. Recognizing these conditions and having the skills and knowledge to access big mountains in these conditions is highly rewarding. This is a highly advanced course, and participants are required to have a strong touring background with very strong skiing ability. 

Avoid a cornice story!

Most guides in the business have a cornice story, AKA near miss. Consider that a cornice can pull back into a ridgeline further that you think!

Key Skills learned & Practiced on course:

This course assumes a high level of ski touring competency, advanced ski skills and a high level of fitness. Customization of the course content is possible given each individual group's strengths & weaknesses.

During this course we will be traveling on glaciers and participants must have the required experience or previously done a crevasse rescue course.

Summit route finding - learn to asses the best route to the summit

Couloir Skiing - learn how to access and safety ski couloirs

Ski cutting & sluff management - learn these techniques for skiing higher consequence slopes

Cornice hazard mitigation - Everyones got a cornice story - lets not make more!

Rappelling & Natural Anchors - Selection of natural and creating snow anchors for rappelling

Belay techniques & rope work - Keep yourself and your partner safe while inspection of potential drop in locations.

Crampon & Ice axe use - learn how and when to use these tools for exposed travel.

Is this course for you?

This course assumes a high level of ski touring competency, advanced ski skills, crevasse rescue and a high level of fitness. You must have;

At least a few seasons of ski touring experience and have good general touring skills.

The ability to efficiently skin travel for 3-5hrs and climb 1200m - 1700m per day. 

The confidence to ski very steep double black terrain with some potential fall hazard.

A one days crevasse rescue refresher course can be added to the start of this course.

If you are concerned about not having the prerequisite please contact me and we can discuss a preparation strategy for you in order to achieve this course at a later time within the season. 


What's Included?

What’s included? 

Some specialized ski mountaineering equipment for group use

Phone Call preparation interview with each participant 

Customizable itinerary depending on the average skill & fitness of the group

Full Certified ACMG Ski Guide 

2 Full days in the backcountry

Lowest guide to guest ratio

What’s not included

Lift tickets 

Backcountry ski or Boarding equipment 

Avalanche rescue equipment 

Transportation to the mountain 

Harness, helmet, crampons, ice axe, ropes 

Food/water/tea for the day


Day 1

8 am - Avalanche Hazard Meeting,  Equipment check & depart for the backcountry objective.

4 - 6 pm (time of year dependent) - Back in resort boundary - During the spring we may do objectives that require a later finish.

Day 2

8 am - Avalanche Hazard Meeting &  departure for the backcountry objective.

4 pm - 4 - 6 pm (time of year dependent) - Back in resort boundary - During the spring we may do objectives that require a later finish.

What can I expect?

You can expect to have a detailed conversation with your guide about your experience, your skill area strengths and weaknesses. 

Arrive at the meeting location with food, water & all equipment and lift pass for the day, you are ready to ski or board with your boots on. On both days we will be doing a hazard meeting with our ski mountaineering objective in mind. Expect fairly big days, with a mixture of moving and instructional experiences throughout the day. Day 2 program is similar although we will build upon the skills developed on day one.

Ski Touring - Ski Mountaineering - Crevasse Rescue Equipments List

Downloadable Equipment List

This is a list that you can consult anytime you go touring, keep in mind that packing light is also critical. 

Touring Equipment

  • Ski Touring boots or snowboard boots - no regular ski boots
  • Skis - over 100mm waist is recommended
  • Touring Bindings - Pin or tech bindings are highly recommended (track binding are heavy and their ergonomics make for much more arduous travel)
  • Split board
  • Ski poles with powder baskets - adjustable type recommended
  • Adhesive climbing skins - Fitted and cut to the width and length of your skis or board
  • Backpack capacity: 30-40 litre

Avalanche Hardware

  • Avalanche probe - minimum size 240cm 
  • Snow Shovel - no plastic shovels - Lightweight aluminium
  • Modern Avalanche Transceiver - no museum pieces, please
  • Spare transceiver batteries (purchase new ones & check for correct size)

Other essentials

  • Ski goggles, x 2 if you like dunking your head in the snow.
  • Sunglasses - even if it’s not sunny the snow is bright
  • Insulated water bottle or regular water bottle (No Camelback or other hydration
    systems they will freeze) 1L of water unless you are a sweety fish! : )
  • Food and snacks for the day - that are easy to eat on the go or in a snowy environment
  • Small thermos (good option to warm the insides)

Ski Clothing

  • Ski pants gortex
  • Long underwear, shirt and bottoms (poly-pro/wool blends)
  • Fleece tops - mid layer - (wind-stopper)
  • Ski socks 
  • Ski gloves with fingers - Ideally one pair thinner and another pair thick
  • Gore-tex outer jacket/parka (with hood)
  • Down/Synthetic jacket (warm, “puffy” type jacket)
  • Neck gaiter/tube or buff - necessary if it’s windy!
  • Toque (warm hat)
  • Lightweight helmet and carrying system (optional)
  • Sun hat/powder hat - baseball caps work well

    Other Important Stuff
  • Small Personal first-Aid & blister Kit (second skin, compeed, athletic tape, personal medications, Ibuprofen, etc...)
  •  Sunblock
  •  Headlamp - it's good to bring a headlamp in your pack in case we have an
    issue, for example, a broken binding later in the day.

Ski mountaineering / Crevasse Rescue Equipment 

  • Crampons - fitted to boots
  • Ice Axe
  • Helmet - ski helmet or climbing helmet 
  • Harness - small touring harness or regular climbing harness
  • Cordalets - 2 - 7mm x 5 m climbing accessory cord 
  • Personal Prusik -  1 - 7mm x 1.75m climbing accessory cord
  • 4 locking carabiners 
  • 4 non - locking carabiners
  • 120 sewn sling
  • 240 sewn sling
  • Belay/rappel device
  • 2 ski straps 
  • Ice screw 

Do I need to sign a waiver?

All participants must read, understand, and sign a Release of Liability, Waiver of Claims, Assumption of Risk and Indemnity Agreement. Those under the age of 19 years must have a parent or legal guardian co-sign their waiver. Medical conditions that may affect your or other participants’ safety must be declared during the reservation process. The participation of any person in any program at any time is always subject to the discretion of OneLife Adventures and its guides, crew, or skipper. Please click on the waiver button below to read. An electronic wavier will be sent to you once your booking is complete.


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