Ski Mountaineering School

If you are interested in taking your downhill skiing skills and experience to the backcountry and into the mountains, the Ski Mountaineering School offered by the Colorado Mountain Club may be for you.  The Ski Mountaineering School is intended to develop the skills, attitudes, and awareness needed for ski mountaineering tours, such as 13′er and 14′er ski descents in Colorado and ski traverses and ski mountaineering routes in Europe and Canada.  Some of the topics covered include planning and preparation, ski gear and equipment, ski techniques, route finding, and avalanche assessment.

Prerequisites include completion of first aid and a recent AIARE Level I Avalanche Course (or approved equivalent).  If you have not completed an avalanche course with at least a two full days of field practice, you should enroll in a CMC AIARE Level I Avalanche Course or equivalent.

Participants using alpine touring, telemark, or split snowboard gear are welcome.  This school is designed for CMC members with a good level of fitness (should be able to hike 1,000 vertical feet in an hour), the ability to ski black diamond slopes at downhill ski areas, some familiarity with backcountry skiing, and basic mountaineering skills and experience.  The emphasis of this course is not on teaching ski techniques but to integrate ski equipment and skills into the mountaineering experience.

2014 Schedule

The course consists of 3 weekday evening lectures and weekend field trips The lectures will be held at the American Mountaineering Center in Golden.

March 13, 2014, Thursday, SMS Lecture #1, 6:30 – 9 pm

March 20, 2014, Thursday, SMS Lecture #2, 6:30 – 9 pm

March 27, 2014, Thursday, SMS Lecture #3, 6:30 – 9 pm

April 5, 2014, Saturday, SMS Field Day #1

April 19, 2014, Saturday, SMS Field Day #2

May 2-4, 2014, Friday – Sunday, SMS Field Day #3

May 23-25, 2014, Friday – Sunday, SMS Field Day #4


Registration is by application only.   The cost of the school is $140 for Denver members and $160 for non-Denver members. The school is also looking for instructors and assistant instructors with previous ski mountaineering experience.  For more information, or for an application, please contact this year’s Director Brendan Reiss at

Application:  2014 Ski-Mountaineering-School-Student-Application

Please fill out and email to or fax back to the CMC office at 303-279-9690.





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