Backcountry Ski Touring School (BSTS)

Learn to Cross-Country Ski in the Backcountry!

Click Here for the BSTS Student Resources and Materials

Click here for the 2019-2020 Backcountry Ski Touring School (BSTS) Student Handout

Experience Colorado’s finest snow, away from the crowds and lift tickets! Learn to cross-country ski and get prepared for backcountry trails using classic Nordic-style technique. (No AT or Tele gear allowed in this school.) We accommodate students from never-evers to folks who have skied for years.  Classes are often less than ten students, with at least two instructors.

In December, we hold an interactive lecture on clothing, selection of skis and avalanche awareness. In January, you get three full days on the snow with lessons geared to your level of skill and endurance.  The first on-snow day is at a Nordic center and focuses on becoming comfortable on skis and basic flat-track skills. The second snow day will emphasize basic downhill and uphill techniques. The third day is a trip into the backcountry, with the location tailored to the skill level of your group.

  • Proper skis/gear/clothing for the terrain and conditions you want to ski
  • Better balance techniques
  • Diagonal stride, including poling
  • Downhill maneuvers (includes stopping, which is always good to know…)
  • Turning maneuvers
  • Climbing maneuvers – herringbone, side-step, side-step traverse, etc.
  • Avalanche awareness




The dates for this year’s school are:

A required interactive classroom session will be held on December 3, 2019 at the American Mountaineering Center (CMC) in Golden (710 10th Street).  A make-up lecture will be available on December 11, 2019.

On-Snow Days for 2020 (Choose three Saturdays, OR three Sundays, OR three Tuesdays):

    • Saturdays:
      January 4, 2010
      January 11, 2020
      January 18, 2020
    • Sundays:
      January 5, 2010
      January 12, 2020
      January 19, 2020
    • Tuesdays:
      January 7, 2010
      January 14, 2020
      January 21, 2020

Tuition is $105 for CMC members, $125 for non-members, $95 for trip leaders. Tuition includes the lecture, three days of lessons, a trail pass for the first on-snow day and a lift ticket for the second.

Click here for more information and to register for Backcountry Ski Touring School (this is for the non-advanced class).

An Advanced Class is also being offered this year.  You will first discuss by phone your abilities and instructor who will determine whether you qualify for the Advanced Class. 

Click here to for more information and to register for the ADVANCED Backcountry Ski Touring School. 

For questions regarding registration, or any other questions about BSTS which are not answered here or on the school page, please contact the BSTS School Director at [email protected]

BSTS Instructor Materials (Password Protected)