Start with two feet of fresh snow. Now imagine the quiet of a winter night and a sky full of stars—this is backcountry skiing. On this course, you’ll learn what you need to know to enjoy living in the wilderness during the winter.
This course starts with learning the basics of skiing at Grand Targhee Resort. After a few days of frontcountry instruction, you and your group will head to the mountains. You’ll find miles of fresh snow and see places most people only visit for part of the year. Each day will have new challenges as you explore remote Wyoming mountain ranges. You’ll learn to build your own snow shelter, assess avalanche hazards, and practice movement on snow. Along the way, you may earn a NOLS Level I Avalanche Training certificate endorsed by the American Avalanche Association.
In addition to outdoor skills, this course will focus on leadership. Just like skiing, your learning will be experiential. Working through challenging terrain with your group is an opportunity to develop skills like teamwork and tolerance for adversity. Managing the dynamics of living in a small group in the outdoors is a chance to work on developing skills in communication and self awareness. You’ll go home with the memory of seeing the sun rise from a snow cave and gliding down fresh powder in the mountains. You’ll make deep connections with this place and the people you meet. And, most importantly, you’ll have a new set of leadership skills you will use for the rest of your life.
“I really enjoyed learning about the native plants, animals and ecology of the mountains in winter. I have been interested in scientific research for a while and this course helped to focus my desired areas of study.”