The snow is here, and it's time to "Get Your Climb On" to the top of the slopes, then ride back down! If you've seen Jeremy Jones' Deeper and Further movies, and thought you'd like to get into backcountry snowboarding, or splitboarding, this is your chance! If you can ride intermediate, ungroomed slopes you can snowboard or ski in the backcountry.
I've taught a lot of anchor, self rescue, and learn to lead classes for GYCO in the past. This time of year I'm teaching avalanche classes and guiding backcountry ski and snowboard classes, and I'm stoked to offer a backcountry snowboard weekend for GYCO. Here are the details:
This is a professionally guided weekend that mixes education and adventure. We'll be out riding in the backcountry for two days, and spending nights in the Outdoor Adventure Club's Lassen house. You'll learn a lot about riding in the backcountry, but it isn't an indoor class- you'll be learning all these skills while we're out getting turns on the uncrowded slopes of the Lassen backcountry.
We'll teach you:
- What all the gear needed in the backcountry is, and how to use it.
- How to use a split board
- How skins work to provide traction to "ski" uphill
- How to skin effectively on steep slopes, so you don't slide backwards down the hill
- How to skin effectively on traverses, so you don't slide sideways down the hill
- How to make uphill kick turns, and how to avoid having to make them!
- How to make transitions on windy ridges without losing your gear
- How to practice and execute effective companion rescue in the event of an avalanche
- An introduction to avalanche awareness
- Plus a whole lot more, as time and interest allows. Richard has been splitboarding and guiding for over 15 years, and knows a ton of tricks he's happy to share with you.
We'll also involve you in our decision-making process for where we go each day. We'll show you how we read the avalanche advisories, how we make observations in the field, and how we test areas for potential signs of instability.
- Two days of guided backcountry skiing or snowboarding in Lassen National Park, led by an AIARE Avalanche Educator, and backcountry snowboard guide (me!)
- Two nights accommodation in the Outdoor Adventure Club's ski house in Mineral, just outside the park.
- Avalanche awareness education, including companion rescue practice
- Breakfast and lunch on Saturday and Sunday
(Dinner is not included, but can either be potluck in the house, or we can go out to the restaurant in town)
- Special for GYCO- Avalanche safety gear (beacon, shovel, probe) will be included
- Second special for GYCO- Splitboard rentals through the Outdoor Adventure Club will be discounted 25%
- Clothing appropriate for the weather
- A backpack that can hold your skis or snowboard plus your daily supplies (food, water, layers, avy shovel, probe)
- Backcountry skis, split board, or snowboard and snowshoes. Split boards can be rented from the Outdoor Adventure Club- we have Jones and Voile boards available, and are discounted 25% for this trip
- Money for dinner on Saturday night
- A National Parks Pass, or $10/car entrance fee for Lassen National Park
- The ability to ski or snowboard on ungroomed intermediate slopes.
How good of a skier/boarder do you have to be to take advantage of this trip?
Don’t confuse backcountry skiing/boarding with extreme skiing. The terrain we will encounter is similar to intermediate (blue) terrain at most Tahoe resorts. Of course, there are no snow cats to groom the runs. If you are comfortable skiing/boarding blue runs that are not groomed, you should feel comfortable on this trip. We can step it up from there, riding steeper runs or notching it back to the level of the easiest intermediate or harder beginner slopes. This trip has something for every skill level!
We'll pick the slopes to hit each day based on the skills of the group.
The price for this weekend trip is $360
Let me know if you have any questions about the trip, about the gear necessary, or about backcountry splitboarding or avalanche classes in general. I'm happy to answer them for you.
Here's a longer video from the Lassen Backcountry Ski Patrol that shows a lot of the fun terrain in the park: