Vail, Colorado is a top international skiing destination with world-renowned skiing, both within and out-of-bounds. Our backcountry skiing and snowboarding trips allow for an unparalleled experience of the Rocky Mountains, where pristine bowls and fresh lines await. Ascend through alpine meadows, enjoy breathtaking scenery and glide down untracked lines in the peaceful quiet of Colorado’s backcountry.
Apex’s backcountry ski guides will share hidden powder stashes, as well as backcountry travel and snow analysis tips to help build your backcountry travel skills. Our guides know the local terrain better than anyone else and are excited to share their vast experience skiing and riding in the Colorado backcountry with you. Step into your bindings and experience the unique thrill of riding untracked terrain in a wild backcountry setting with Apex Mountain School.
Choose #1 recommended Apex for the unforgettable backcountry experience. Satisfaction guaranteed.
Advanced reservations are recommended, not required. Some personal items provided by participant(s); see the gear list tab above.
Ready to sign up? Register at the Book It tab above. You may also call (970) 949-9111 or use our contact page.
Backcountry Touring Options:
Split boards are snowboards that are halved down the middle. They can be used as ascension skis during uphill travel, accompanied by skins, and rejoined as a single unit for descent. Split boards offer the resort rider an efficient transition to backcountry riding.
Alpine Touring Skis allow backcountry skiers to ascend uphill with heels free, in walking mode with skins, and shorter boots make for ease of backcountry travel. Transitioning into downhill mode is as simple as removing your ascension skins and locking your heels down. The downhill ski technique is very similar to traditional downhill skiing at a ski area. This set-up, known commonly as AT skiing, offers an excellent opportunity for resort skiers to experience the backcountry.
Telemark Skis operate with a “free heel” system (no heel attachments exist for uphill or downhill travel) that allows you to ascend in walking mode with skins, as well as to descend in telemark mode, with the uphill knee bent slightly during turns. This option is available to skiers with telemark experience, and to skiers that wish to transition into telemarking. Flexible plastic boots and a fixed toe binding make walking more natural than AT skis.
Families, groups and singles are welcome. No experience is necessary, and we welcome all age, ability, and fitness levels. Whether by day tour, overnight hut trip or otherwise, we’ll customize to suit your wishes.
What to bring:
- Beacon/probe/shovel (rental available)
- *No cotton – cotton does not wick moisture or insulate when wet.
- Synthetic or wool long underwear bottom (thin)
- Synthetic or wool long sleeve top (medium)
- Mid layer top and bottom
- Synthetic or wool socks
- Winter jacket
- Insulated “Puffy” Jacket
- Snow pants
- Warm gloves or mittens
- Hat and neck gaiter or balaclava
- Goggles or sunglasses
- Small day pack
- Water bottle
- Extra wool or synthetic socks
You may also want to consider:
- Hand warmers
- Hot liquid
- Liner socks
- Adjustable Poles
- Small day pack
- Extra gloves
- Lip balm
- Water bottle insulator