Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding

Credit: Brad Christensen

Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding

Explore the mountains in winter

Start with two feet of fresh snow. Now imagine the quiet of a winter night and a sky full of stars—this is backcountry skiing. On this course, you’ll learn what you need to know to enjoy living in the wilderness during the winter.

This course starts with learning the basics of skiing at Grand Targhee Resort. After a few days of frontcountry instruction, you and your group will head to the mountains. You’ll find miles of fresh snow and see places most people only visit for part of the year. Each day will have new challenges as you explore remote Wyoming mountain ranges. You’ll learn to build your own snow shelter, assess avalanche hazards, and practice movement on snow. Along the way, you may earn a NOLS Level I Avalanche Training certificate endorsed by the American Avalanche Association.

In addition to outdoor skills, this course will focus on leadership. Just like skiing, your learning will be experiential. Working through challenging terrain with your group is an opportunity to develop skills like teamwork and tolerance for adversity. Managing the dynamics of living in a small group in the outdoors is a chance to work on developing skills in communication and self awareness. You’ll go home with the memory of seeing the sun rise from a snow cave and gliding down fresh powder in the mountains. You’ll make deep connections with this place and the people you meet. And, most importantly, you’ll have a new set of leadership skills you will use for the rest of your life.



2020 Dates

Jan. 26 – Feb. 8, 2020

Tuition: $2,495
Full, Waitlist Available Apply now


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Equipment Deposit



14 days

Minimum Age

17 yrs.

Academic Credit

2 College Credits
  • 2 Skills Practicum

0.50 High School Credits

  • 0.50 Physical Education
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NOLS Level I Avalanche Training


Course Description

Equipment List

Travel and Logistics


Driggs, Idaho

Fly in/out

Idaho Falls, Idaho or Jackson, Wyoming

Skills learned



Additional Details

Essential Eligibility Criteria

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What Our Grads Say

“I really enjoyed learning about the native plants, animals and ecology of the mountains in winter. I have been interested in scientific research for a while and this course helped to focus my desired areas of study.” 

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