Camp Highlights

  • A course which caters specifically for splitboarders
  • Guided by ACC favourite and splitboard enthusiast Chucky Gerrard
  • Pre-course material maximizes time in the backcountry
  • ACC hostel accommodation included in camp fee

Dates & price

  •  Dec 8 - 9, 2018
  • $375 + Tax / Person

An Introductory Backcountry Course Specially Tailored for Splitboarders

Sometimes skiers just don’t get it: snowboarders can go pretty much anywhere skiers can! That doesn’t mean that they want to deal with unnecessary changeovers or flat sections when there’s a way around.

Transitions from up the hill to down the hill can eat up a lot of time, even for skiers: imagine trying to un-stick skins from themselves and get them packed away, tighten your boots up, get all of your downhill clothing out of your pack and your uphill layers back into your pack, put on your helmet, and set off (all while your experienced partners are ready to go, eyeing their watches and the powder in frustration). Splitboarding adds an extra layer of complexity: you need to turn your board into skis for the uphill or for flat, rolling sections, and then back into a snowboard for the downhill. You'll also have to learn to deal with short downhill or rolling sections in ski mode.

The payoff of surfing through deep powder on your snowboard is well worth it, though. Learning the ropes with an experienced guide can be the best way to overcome the inefficiencies and use your system to its best advantage. With practice and guidance from our experienced instructors, you’ll be beating your skier friends both up and down the hill in no time.

Camp Objectives

This course is not an Avalanche Safety Training (AST-1) course: while the guides will discuss terrain and safe travel practices, the main focus of the course will be on introducing people to the world of backcountry gear, travel, and boarding. Our experienced and patient guides will walk you through how to put together a clothing layering system for backcountry splitboarding; their tips and tricks to keep yourself warm, safe, blister-free, and comfortable; what emergency equipment is absolutely essential to have in your pack; and the basics of companion rescue (how to use your beacon, probe, and shovel).

The evening session will break down the basic trip planning needed for a winter backcountry outing: trip research and resources, weather considerations, hazard evaluation, difficulty assessment, basic backcountry gear systems, emergency gear, and clothing layering systems. The next two days will be very hands-on. While your guide may find time to discuss riding technique, basic terrain management, weather, and hazards, the focus of this course is on getting you outside and helping you make your first backcountry turns.

You should walk away from this course with a good understanding of what is involved in planning a backcountry splitboarding trip, what gear you’ll need to purchase and/or rent, and what your next steps towards becoming independent in the backcountry are.

Topics specific to our splitboarding course vs. our ski course include:

  • Familiarity with splitboard: how to take apart and put together board, how to put on skins
  • Uphill and downhill riding technique
  • When transitions are appropriate
  • Rolling terrain: travelling downhill in ski mode
Day by Day Adventure Itinerary 
  • Pre Course
  • Familiarity with gear
  • Clothing layering system
  • Basic trip planning

Day 1 

  • Early morning start (to be determined by your guide); carpool to course area
  • Short session on the use of avalanche gear; avalanche companion rescue scenario
  • Lunch & discussion of afternoon objectives
  • Short ski lap: learn to use your skins and travel efficiently uphill; modelling of safe travel and group management techniques in avalanche terrain; tips and tricks for downhill skiing in backcountry conditions

Day 2 

  • Early morning start (to be determined by the group) and travel to course area
  • Safety briefing and discussion of objective
  • Longer ski lap or laps: focus on efficient and safe travel; guide will model safe travel, be available to answer participant questions, and lead group discussions on gear, planning, conditions, or techniques
  • Course ends
Is this Camp For Me?
Entry Level

This camp is designed for people with no prior knowledge of backcountry snowboarding. An intermediate level of fitness and riding abilities are recommended for your enjoyment. Participants should be able to ride the equivalent of blue runs in backcountry conditions with a daypack.

Food, Accommodation and Guiding

To keep the cost of this course as low as possible for participants, food will not be provided as part of the course. So please brink along your peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (or favoured alternative), a packed lunch and some snacks for both days.


One night of hostel accommodation is included in your course fee. Accommodation is either at the ACC Clubhouse in Canmore or the Lake Louise Alpine Centre hostel. At both, you can enjoy the remote atmosphere that surrounds us. Located on a high bench overlooking the Three Sisters, Ha Ling and Mount Rundle, our purpose built hostel is the perfect place to relax while completing your course.

For full details on the Canmore Clubhouse accommodation click here.


Charles Gerrard, splitboard enthusiast and manufacturer developed and runs this course with the ACC. You can read all about Chucky in this recent ACC blog post

  • Even though I have friends who ski in the backcountry, I was intimidated to join them without some formal training, this gave me the confidence I needed
  • One of the best weekend investments I've ever made
  • The tips and tricks our guide taught us throughout the weekend will be invaluable for years to come
- Past Intro to Backcountry Course Participants-

Adventure Map

more information

  Email us
   403 678 3200 ext. 213

  Gear list

Organizing Fantastic ACC Adventures For Over 100 Years

  • Local Knowledge - based out of Canmore, AB, we know the Rockies region and the best local caterers, guides and porters
  • Dedicated resources - full-time office staff, ACMG guides and group equipment on-hand to ensure your trip runs smoothly
  • Not-for-profit - any money we make on camps and courses is reinvested into providing services for our members and the mountain community

Cancellation policy and travel Insurance

Please be sure to review our cancellation policy before registering for ACC Adventures:
Cancellation Policy
We sell Tugo® Travel Insurance suitable for both ACC Adventures and personal trips

Travel Insurance


  • 2 days professional instruction by ACMG certified guides 
  • 1 night accommodation at the ACC Clubhouse in Canmore or Lake Louise Alpine Centre hostel
  • Group gear

Participants Must Provide

  • Transportation to and from the field location on Day 1 and 2
  • Meals and lunches
  • Personal gear (see gear list)

Your Guides

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