Advanced Ski Mountaineering

For advanced skiers with backcountry experience who want to tackle bigger objectives or expand skills.


Advanced Ski Mountaineering is designed for the experienced backcountry skier who is ready to take their skills to a new level. Whether you aspire to target bigger objectives or want to advance your skill set we will customize this program for you.

Sierra Peak Descents

Spring is a great time for peak bagging in the Sierra! If you’re dreaming of climbing a Sierra peak and linking turns off it’s summit Advanced Ski Mountaineering is for you. The Sierra is loaded with plentiful options for venturing into the alpine zone, tagging a summit, and laying fresh tracks down to the valley below. We pick tours based on participant’s ability levels and where the best snow is. Tours range between 3000′ – 6000′ of vertical (or more!) and usually encompass passing through 3-4 climate zones. See the Eastern Sierra climate zones below. Most of our tours begin and end in the lower montane forest with some extending to the Pinyon – Juniper woodland zone. The epic descents begin in the alpine zone!

Eastern Sierra climate zones are:

  • Alpine zone: 11500′ (3,500 m) and above
  • Subalpine forest: 10,500’–11,500′ (3,200–3,500 m)
  • Upper montane forest: 9000’–10500′ (2,700–3,200 m)
  • Lower montane forest: 7000’–9000′ (2,100–2,700 m)
  • Pinyon – Juniper woodland zone: 5000’–7000′ (1500–2,100 m)

Advanced Ski Mountaineering Skills

If you’re ready to expand your skill set we focus our tours on adding new techniques to your repertoire. This is a great way to apply the steps outlined in our Risk Management Framework after you’ve completed our AIARE 1 Avalanche Course. We start by developing concepts taught on proper preparation and tour planning. We consider terrain selection and avalanche hazard management to plan a tour in complex terrain. In the field we discuss movement skills, route finding, track setting, leadership, terrain assessment, and time management. We’ll work together swapping leads to give demonstration and practice in the skills we focus on.

There is opportunity to work on advanced skills for tackling steep objectives with bigger consequences. Techniques include managing fall potential, ice axe, crampons, and rope methods, group management, terrain analysis, safe zones, and communication.

We recommend a minimum of two days for Advanced Ski Mountaineering Skills.


$520 per person per day guided 1:1
$320 per person per day guided 2:1
$250 per person per day guided 3:1 or higher


Anytime after the snow flies until it melts, which is usually early June! We prefer 72 hours or more advance notice for this offering. Book using the button below or contact our office.