Ski Mountaineering School

If you are interested in taking your downhill skiing skills and backcountry ski experience to the peaks and high 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 in all snow conditions is important.
  • Fitness and stamina to climb/travel at 1000’/ hr and 3 mph on skis for 3000+ foot, 3-5 mile ascents.
  • Experience with traveling on skins (ski or splitboard) in mountain terrain for at least 1 full season including at least 1 CMC ski outing or the Boulder Group Ski Clinic (
  • 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 skis 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 and ski 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.

2019 Schedule

All 3 evening lectures, as well as the first field outing are mandatory.  At least 4 of the 8 one day field trips, and one of the 2 multi day field trips are also required for successful completion of this class.

March 21, Thursday, SMS Lecture #1, 6:00 – 9:00 pm

March 28, Thursday, SMS Lecture #2, 6:00 – 9:00 pm

March 23, Saturday, Saturday, SMS Field Trip #1,            Vasquez pk/ pk 12,090

April 4, Thursday, SMS Lecture #3, 6:00 – 9:00 pm

March 30, Saturday, SMS Field Trip #2                                Location TBA

April 6, Saturday, SMS Field Trip #3                                     Location TBA

April 13, Saturday, SMS Field Trip #4                                    Citadel/Pettingell peaks

April 20, Saturday, SMS Field Trip #5                                    Location TBA

April 27, Saturday, SMS Field Trip #6                                    Location TBA

May 4, Saturday, SMS Field Trip #7                                        Location TBA

May 11, Saturday, SMS Field Trip #8                                      Grays + Torreys peaks

May 17-19, Friday PM, Saturday, and Sunday,

SMS Multi-day Field Trip #1 –                                                  Brainard Lake cabin

May 25-27, Friday PM, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday (Memorial Day Weekend),

SMS Multi-day Field Trip #2 –                                                   San Juan 14ers


Registration is by application only. The cost of the school is $300.  For more information please contact this year’s Director John Morrone at: For general information, please contact CMC Member Services at (303) 279-3080 x2 or

Application:  2019 Ski Mountaineering School Student Application Please fill out and email to

REFUND POLICY: Requests must be made in writing to school director. If received at least 31 days before a course begins, Full refund less $35/person processing, less cost of materials received, if any. If between 8 to 30 days, Full refund less 25% of fee paid but no less than $35/person processing fee. If less than 7 days, No refund or credit. See

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