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.


  • Steep ski skills (black diamond) in varied terrain and snow conditions, including ascending and descending in controlled manner. No need to be a “ripper”, but skiing in full control is important.
  • Fitness and stamina to climb/travel at 1000’/ hr and 3 mph on skis for 3000+ foot, 3-5 mile ascents.
  • AIARE avy 1 in last 5 years, BMS snow travel class, or similar experience (crampon, axe and snow climbing skills/experience), 2 or more seasons of backcountry ski travel, or numerous current season outings plus concurrent enrollment in Boulder group CMC backcountry ski clinic (Feb/Mar, 2016),
  • First aid or WFA. Modern AT or tele skiis or splitboard, with functional and comfortable boots and modern free pivot bindings, full width skins, and ski crampons. Some of these can be rented/demo-ed, but self- owned is expected before end of season for familiarity, efficiency, and safety in the later bigger outings, Modern 3- antenna Beacon, shovel and probe, and know how to use them. Ice axe and boot crampons, and the skills to use them properly.

Registration is by application only. Skiers without more than one full season of back country ski experience are required to be concurrently enrolled in the boulder group advanced ski touring course.

2018 Schedule

All 3 evening lectures are mandatory, at least 4 of the 8 one day field trips, and at least one of the 2 multi day field trips are required for successful completion of this class.

March 22, Thursday, SMS Lecture #1 at the CMC, 6:00 – 9:00 pm

March 29, Thursday, SMS Lecture #2 at the CMC, 6:00 – 9:00 pm

March 24, Saturday, Saturday, SMS Field Trip #1, TBA 7:00 am

April 5, Thursday, SMS Lecture #3 at the CMC, 6:00 – 9:00 pm

March 31, Saturday, SMS Field Trip #2

April 7, Saturday, SMS Field Trip #3

April 14, Saturday, SMS Field Trip #4

April 21, Saturday, SMS Field Trip #5

April 28, Saturday, SMS Field Trip #6

May 5, Saturday, SMS Field Trip #7

May 12, Saturday, SMS Field Trip #8

May 19-21, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, SMS Multi-day Field Trip #1

May 26-28, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday (Memorial Day Weekend), SMS Multi-day Field Trip #2


Registration is by application only. The cost of the school is $220. For more information please contact this year’s Director John Morrone at: [email protected] For general information, please contact CMC Member Services at (303) 279-3080 x2 or [email protected]

Application:  2018 Ski-Mountaineering-School-Student-Application Please fill out and email to [email protected], then click here to sign-up for CMC’s Ski Mountaineering School.

REFUND POLICY: Requests must be made in writing to school director. If received at least 7 days before a course begins: Full refund minus $10 processing, less cost of materials received, if any. If less than 7 days: 50 percent refund, or full refund minus $10 if replacement found, less cost of materials received. No refund on day course begins or after. (revised as of 10/2016)