A student smiles as they carve their way down a snowy backcountry slope in Idaho's Teton Valley.

Skiing Courses & Certifications

Camera Wilson Cheung

Skiing Courses

Develop Your Skiing Skills With NOLS

Are you ready to carve your path through snow-covered landscapes and embrace the winter wilderness like never before? On a NOLS skiing course, you’ll learn about living comfortably in a winter environment.

You’ll spend your days learning to construct snow shelters and kitchens, pull a sled, understand avalanche risk, and perform basic avalanche rescue. By the end of your skiing course, you’ll be prepared to face the challenges of any winter environment.

Why Choose NOLS Skiing Courses?

Experience more than the basics of skiing. Our immersive skiing courses foster leadership, environmental stewardship, and self-reliance. Challenge and inspire yourself as both a skier and an individual.

Students smile as they ski together down a small hill in the Teton Valley backcountry.

Experienced Ski Instructors

Our skiing instructors are the heart and soul of NOLS ski trips. With years of experience in backcountry skiing, alpine skiing, ski instruction, and a passion for the outdoors, they bring expertise and an infectious enthusiasm to every course. Our team's commitment to managing risk, fun, and hands-on learning ensures that you'll have an unforgettable experience while building the skills and confidence to tackle any skiing adventure.

Pristine Winter Skiing Locations

Imagine gliding through powder-filled valleys, carving your path down snowy mountain peaks surrounded by breathtaking vistas, and feeling the crisp mountain air on your face. NOLS Skiing courses take you far away from the bustling city life and deep into the heart of pristine winter wilderness. Connect with nature, discover hidden wonders, and forge lasting friendships with like-minded adventurers.
An instructor in mid air while skiing past trees in Idaho's backcountry.

Essential Skills for the Slopes and Beyond

Unleash the leader within as you practice essential off-piste skiing skills like blocking pole plants, hop turns and kick turns. Navigate the backcountry on skis, making critical decisions and inspiring fellow adventurers. NOLS Skiing courses help you discover your inner strength, encouraging you to push the boundaries of skiing and overcome obstacles, fostering personal growth on and off the snow. Gain lifelong lessons in effective communication, adaptability, and problem-solving, extending far beyond the slopes.
Students ski touring in the Snake River Range of Wyoming.

Risk Management and Environmental Stewardship

With adherence to the highest outdoor expedition standards, we provide comprehensive risk management protocols and emergency response systems. Moreover, we are committed to environmental stewardship, teaching Leave No Trace principles to minimize our impact on the pristine skiing landscapes and preserve these awe-inspiring terrains for generations of skiers to come. Prepare for an extraordinary journey of self-discovery, embracing the transformative power of the wilderness, and forging a deeper connection to nature.

Top Skiing Courses at NOLS

Discover the perfect course for you! Experience thrilling backcountry skiing, snowboarding, and winter touring. Master snow science, earn an Avalanche Training certificate, and build leadership skills.

Students skiing with pack sleds towards large snowy peaks in the Teton Valley.

Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding

Explore the winter wonderland of the mountains on a thrilling backcountry skiing and snowboarding course. Immerse yourself in two feet of fresh snow under a starry night sky—the essence of true backcountry skiing. Begin at Grand Targhee Resort, mastering skiing basics before venturing into remote Wyoming mountain ranges. Learn vital skills such as building snow shelters, assessing avalanche hazards, and honing movement on snow. Gain a NOLS Level I Avalanche Training certificate while fostering leadership abilities through experiential learning. Connect with nature, your group, and yourself, returning home with unforgettable memories and lifelong leadership skills.
Four winter participants pull gear sleds uphill past snow-laden trees on a sunny day in Teton Valley.

Winter Backcountry Touring

Experience the exhilaration of skiing or splitboarding through pristine winter landscapes. From snowy ridges to serene valleys, this course is your gateway to the backcountry. Begin with ski or snowboarding lessons at Grand Targhee Ski Resort before venturing into the mountains. Master touring skills, create snow shelters, and dive into snow science. Enhance leadership qualities through real challenges in risk management, communication, and decision-making. With a perfect blend of outdoor and leadership expertise, you'll be well-equipped to cherish the winter wilderness for a lifetime. Join our motivated adult group and embark on unforgettable winter adventures.
An instructor psarying up snow in while skiing past trees in Idaho's backcountry.

Women’s Winter Backcountry Touring

Savor the cold air as you ski down fresh powder, and relish the serene nights after a day well-spent. Join a group of self-identified women on a thrilling backcountry skiing or splitboarding course. Begin with ski or snowboarding lessons at Grand Targhee Ski Resort, then venture into the mountains to master touring skills. Experience cozy nights in yurts and snow shelters you build yourself. Explore fresh powder and delve into snow science. Develop leadership qualities through challenges in risk management, communication, and decision-making. Return home ready for a lifetime of winter wilderness enjoyment.
Students smile as they ski together down a small hill in the Teton Valley backcountry.

Teton Valley Backcountry Avalanche Training

Ready for a new challenge beyond the resort slopes? Join our Backcountry Avalanche Training course in Teton Valley! Master snow science, carve fresh powder, and build snow pits. Venture into the backcountry, honing touring and leadership skills. Earn the prestigious NOLS Level I Avalanche Training certificate, endorsed by the American Avalanche Association. Embrace hands-on learning, snow assessment, and risk management. Sleep in cozy yurts, sharing insights by wood-burning stoves. Gain real skills for confident decision-making in the backcountry. Prerequisite: Comfort on blue and black resort runs.

Backcountry Skiing in Japan - Daisetsuzan Mountains

This unforgettable skiing expedition in Hokkaido's Daisetsuzan Mountains, home to some of the world's deepest snowpacks and steep terrain, is perfect for advanced skiers and snowboarders proficient in powder and avalanche training. Spend seven days exploring unspoiled backcountry and immersing in Japan's cultural traditions. Start in Furano with an orientation and avalanche review, then venture into the Daisetsuzan range. Experience local cuisine, stay in traditional ryokans and onsens, and enjoy the thrill of first tracks in deep powder.

Learn More About Skiing with NOLS

Skiing Course FAQs

  • Q: Do I need prior skiing experience to join an NOLS skiing course?

    It depends on the course! Most of our skiing courses cater to all skill levels, including complete beginner skiers. During these courses, you'll learn the fundamentals of cross-country skiing, alpine touring, downhill skiing, and backcountry skiing. However, NOLS offers some advanced courses that require experience and comfort on skis or snowboard, as well as comfort on blue and ability to ski black resort runs. Check course details for specifics.

  • Q: What gear do I need for a skiing course?

    NOLS has got you covered! We provide top-of-the-line skiing and skiing safety equipment for all participants to rent or purchase. From skis and poles to avalanche safety gear, we prioritize your comfort during the course. However, if you have your personal ski gear and prefer using it, you're more than welcome to bring it along.

  • Q: How physically demanding are NOLS skiing courses?

    Our courses are designed to challenge and push your boundaries, but you don't need to be a super athlete to participate. While skiing does require a basic level of fitness, our expert ski instructors will adapt the pace and difficulty to match the group's abilities. Before joining a course, we recommend a moderate level of physical fitness and a positive attitude towards learning.

  • Q: What will a typical day on a skiing course look like?

    Each day will be an exciting blend of hands-on skiing instruction, backcountry exploration, and engaging lessons in leadership and wilderness skills. You'll have the chance to take in the breathtaking scenery, share stories around a cozy campfire, and form lasting connections with your fellow adventurers. Get ready for a truly immersive experience that will stay with you for a lifetime!