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