Backcountry Skiing

Credit: Brad Christensen

Backcountry Skiing

Keep your passion for wilderness alive in the 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, including earning a NOLS Recreational Avalanche Level One certification endorsed by the American Avalanche Association.

This course starts with learning the basics at Grand Targhee Resort. Then, you’ll 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 build your own snow shelter, learn about assessing avalanches, and practice your movement on snow. And this course won’t just be about technical skills: you’ll also practice leadership every day. You and your group will work through challenging terrain, learn about communication, and practice teamwork.

You’ll go home with the memory of seeing the sun rise from your own 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.



Stay tuned for upcoming course dates.


All course information at a glance

Learn about Financial Aid & Scholarships
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
Learn about Academic Credit

Recreational Level 1 Avalanche


Course Description

Equipment List

Travel and Logistics

Driggs, Idaho
Fly in/out
Idaho Falls, Idaho or Jackson, Wyoming
Skills learned